Top 3 screenwriters

Wednesday 22nd April 2009 07:58pm 1
JMOCK
JMOCK
11 Posts

Who are your top 3 screen writers, to date.

1. Matt Damon/Ben Affleck - Good Will Hunting
2. Nick Schenk - Gran Torino (there's hope for us all)
3. Frank Darabont - Shawshank Redemption (Screenplay)

Thursday 23rd April 2009 03:10pm 2
Kim
Kim
176 Posts

Only 3? Boy, that's harsh. Umm...

1. Akiva Goldsman - A Beautiful Mind
2. Mark Medoff - Children of a Lesser God
3. Peter Weir - Master & Commander

Saturday 2nd May 2009 01:24pm 3
Harry
Harry
252 Posts

Master and Commander, Kim? I'm surprised. I mean a good film, but a great one? Not sure about that. My choices would vary every single day, but on this sunny Saturday let's go for -

1. The Usual Suspects - Christopher McQuarrie
2. American Beauty - Alan Ball
3. Some Like it Hot - Wilder & Diamond

Monday 4th May 2009 10:21am 4
Kim
Kim
176 Posts

I really love both your last two choices Harry - Some Like it Hot for its sheer comical brilliance and American Beauty for its clever psychological twists. I haven’t yet seen The Usual Suspects so thank you for the recommendation, it will be added onto my 'to view list' immediately. I do, however, stand by my choice of Master & Commander. I can understand why it would not tick everyone’s boxes though. But, in my defence, I did enjoy the diversity of the characters, young, old, clever, dim, brave, cowardly, poor upbringing, privileged background and the way that they each developed throughout the story. The soundtrack is a masterpiece and the cinematography addictive. I must confess that part of my enjoyment of the story may have something to do with two of the main players (Captain Jack and Ship’s Surgeon Steven/ Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany) being two of my favourite actors. The characters also have an endearing musically linked history and, since their were no women to speak of in the film, their shared affection is a very convincing portrayal of a different kind of screenplay love, I feel. That two men at war could find such peace of mind, together, in such an emotive, quiet, shared interest such as music clinched it for me. I can’t help myself, I’m a complete sucker for any man who plays a musical instrument. Sad but true. I rest my case for it being a great film and hope to have swayed the jury. Verdict please?

Monday 4th May 2009 04:01pm 5
Kim
Kim
176 Posts

Oops. 'There' were no women not 'their' were no women. Sorry. Embarassed

Friday 22nd May 2009 10:58am 6
Harry
Harry
252 Posts

Sorry, Kim. That apology came too late. Your banned from the site.

Friday 22nd May 2009 10:59am 7
Harry
Harry
252 Posts

Oh no! Kim! I meant "You're" not "Your". No! Don't ban me! Noooooooooooooooo!

Sunday 24th May 2009 02:36am 8
Kim
Kim
176 Posts

Laughing Harry, me banning you would be a neat trick, I think; you being master of all we survey and all.

I note that the jury is still out on the appeal for Master & Commander. Is there to be no hope of a reprieve?

(P.S. Thanks to all who have me informed me of their musical prowess! Crikey.)

Thursday 28th May 2009 04:55pm 9
BJ
BJ
7 Posts

My top three screenplays are:

a) On The Waterfront - Budd Schulberg (What you can't learn about characterisation there is not worth knowing!)

b) As Good As it Gets - a brilliant script on just about every level

c) In the Valley Of Elah - my recent choice. An incredibly deep, taut, moving and acomplished script! BJ

Thursday 28th May 2009 04:57pm 10
BJ
BJ
7 Posts

Kim??? I'm with Harry on this 'Master and Commander ...? Come on, now! Laughing (Plus Russell's pony tail does him no favours and he is my favourite 'hunk' of an actor!)

Thursday 28th May 2009 05:07pm 11
Harry
Harry
252 Posts

Hi Kim, I really liked the film - I love the novels and I loved Hornblower from ages back as well - but come now, we were talking about screenplays. M&C is a thoroughly workmanlike screenplay, but is it more than that? BJ and I are outvoting you at the moment. You need some allies - a three-decker, 76, if you can find it. Yo ho ho.

Thursday 28th May 2009 05:18pm 12
BJ
BJ
7 Posts

I feel bad now as have JUST (yesterday!) coincidentally DELETED 'M & C' from my (fabulous, darlings - subscribe, subscribe!) BT Vision! I was going to watch it again, Kim, but thought 'Naaa ... one viewing was enough'. Now (I'm a lifelong Film Buffess!) could we REALLY say that of 'Citizen Kane', 'Gone with the Wind' (my favvvvve movie!), 'Stagecoach' (another great screenplay) etc. Come on now, Kim. You and I have just become friends as well !! Cool Now what about 'Last King Of Scotland' or, indeed (same director, of course) the very tight, well written thriller 'State of Play' (My Russell's hair was a BIT more acceptable in this film!) x

Thursday 28th May 2009 07:25pm 13
PsychoPat
PsychoPat
102 Posts

His Girl Friday - adapted by Charles Lederer, Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur from the play The Front Page by Hecht and MacArthur. (Possibly not fair, as a lot of the celebrated fast-paced dialogue came from stars Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell, with a roof-raising and much copied comic moment only surviving the cutting-room floor because it was Grant's idea.)

Citizen Kane - Herman J. Mankiewicz and Orson Welles. Forget the great visual style, the stunning, Hickcock inspiring camera-angles etc., this still stands as one of the greatest character studies ever put on film, with the most surprising and moving payoff in the history of everything.

Casablanca - Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein, Howard Koch (almost certainly a few more). What can I say? As Rudy Behlemer stiffly put it: "It's a blend of drama, melodrama, comedy and intrigue." Somehow it worked better than it was ever intended (or budgeted) to, and a lot of people like to kick it because of that; and what critic Pauline Kael called, "a special appealing schlocky romanticism."

Bogart never said, "Play it again, Sam," and the immortal line, "Here's looking at you, Kid," wasn't in the original SP - it came directly from Bogart, who used to say it to co-star Bergman between takes and ended up saying it in front of the cameras (because he was Bogart and he felt like it).

Friday 29th May 2009 01:50pm 14
BJ
BJ
7 Posts

Yup! Agree heartily with all that: what you can't learn about screenwriting and directing from 'Citizen Kane' ain't worth knowing! (Where are you standing? Is that Brighton Pavillion in the background? I ask, because used to live there). Are you a screenwriter? Me too! BJ (Barbara )

Friday 29th May 2009 04:18pm 15
PsychoPat
PsychoPat
102 Posts

Hi BJ -

That's the Sacré-Coeur, atop Montmortre in Paris, France. I'm British, but that's where I live (Paris, I mean, not the church :-) . I've never been to Brighton, but I've seen Brighton Rock a dozen or so times! (That Richard Attenborough was a mean little SOB when he was a kid!)

I've have written quite a few SP's; one managed to land a place in FFC's first Zoetrope SP contest back in, I don't know, 2003-2004. I haven't written a SP for a long time, but I did enjoy the experience.

My latest is a Vampire novel. I'm a horror expert. Watch this:

Grrrrrrrr! Argghghhhh!

Friday 29th May 2009 04:40pm 16
Pimlicokid
Pimlicokid
189 Posts

Bit of blokey trio perhaps but they're the ones that come most easily to mind

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance - James Warner Belloch, Willis Goldbeck (Had to look these up, I'm not that much of a film buff)
On the Waterfront - Schulberg
Breaker Morant -Jonathan Hardy and Kenneth G Ross

Saturday 30th May 2009 11:31am 17
Kim
Kim
176 Posts

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

Okay, I understand what you are all getting at, really I do. You approve of the Filet Mignon, Beluga Carviar, Mouton Rothschild type of screenplays and in their place, at the right time, so do I. Delicious. Especially the ones that mess with your grey matter until your brain aches and yes, all fabulous, artistically brilliant works of art I grant you.

But sometimes, just sometimes, don’t you hanker for a good old beef suet pud? Nothing else will do. You need a dish that produces that fulfilling blend of meatiness and satisfaction. Can’t this pud, if it is prepared with care, not be enjoyed as the best thing to have tickled you taste buds in a long time? Can you not take pleasure in it’s unsubtle flavours just as much as those of any delicately presented oyster?

Do I feel friendless in the matter of Master & Commander - Far Side of The World? Perhaps. But I take consolation that only yesterday I was wandering down Park Avenue chatting with Nicholas Cage so all is well with my world – ‘Far Side’ or otherwise.
.....*sighs*.

Wink

Monday 1st June 2009 12:27pm 18
BJ
BJ
7 Posts

Chatting with Nick Cage? REVEAL!!!! (I enjoyed his performance recently in 'Captain Corelli's Mandolin', which, although very schmaltzy, I rather enjoyed and found moving!

Barbara x

Monday 1st June 2009 01:20pm 19
Kim
Kim
176 Posts

Oh BJ. How long have you got?

Our daughter, Alex, is a Film Studies student (spookily enough studying Captain Corelli as part of both her Film and English A Level coursework). She is a huge fan of Nicholas Cage too and she had
warned us before we left for New York that if we saw ANYONE famous we were not to come back without their autograph.

Having dithered for five minutes after Mr. Cage walked by us with his two bodyguards, wondering whether to approach the poor guy or respectfully leave him in peace, I then ran three blocks to catch up with him. There was nothing cool in either my approach or indeed the conversation which ensued on my part. Panting and drooling were involved, a certain amount of out of context laughing, an embarrassingly mad search though all the crap which I keep in my handbag for paper and pen and an apology for having troubled him. He asked politely all about Alex. He was the perfect gentleman about the whole thing and even thanked me for taking the time to approach him! What a great guy and what a lovely smile.

(We are giving Alex his note on her AS results day as a surprise so it will either make her day complete or soften the blow depending on her grades.)

Monday 1st June 2009 03:42pm 20
BJ
BJ
7 Posts

Wowza?! THAT is hillarious!!!! REMIND me (am a bit busy today) to tell you my MARLON BRANDO story at some point. Why don't you put up a picture of yourself? Bit more personal and we/I would like to see what you look like, etc. Where do you live?

Monday 1st June 2009 05:49pm 21
Kim
Kim
176 Posts

Marlon! Nice one. Do tell when you have a sec'.

Picture? And lose my anonymity? Crikey. Erm...Haven't had one taken for a while (not very photogenic). I'll try and hunt one out.

As for where I live - in a small village next to Althorp ten miles out of Northampton .

Tuesday 2nd June 2009 12:04pm 22
BJ
BJ
7 Posts

I will certainly tell you ALL about my three hour phone conversation with Marlon Brando some fifteen years ago, but it will take time and am a bit crazed at moment. It's a GREAT story! x

Tuesday 2nd June 2009 12:26pm 23
Kim
Kim
176 Posts

Three hours! Now that is being connected. (Our first guide dog pup was named Marlon; just thought I'd share.) By the way - State of Play. Fabulous. I suppose if I mention the new Star Trek film in passing that everyone will throw stuff at me? (Fair enough. I am a bit of a Trekkie...and I do 'silly' - I can handle it.) :o)

Thursday 7th January 2010 03:14pm 24
Drakeopolypse
Drakeopolypse
2 Posts

Putting the writer of Casablanca on a 'best-writer' list seems a bit out of place to me. That film was made extremely haphazardly. It was a pioneering film for its time in that it had numerous plot twists in contrast to the linear plots common among films in its genre/era. However, Casablanca came to be the magnificent piece that it was largely due to improvisation and some good editing. The filming was a mess and the real talent was in the editing room.

Totally google the story of how that movie came to be - its a great one

Thursday 7th January 2010 03:29pm 25
Aonghus Fallon
Aonghus Fallon
461 Posts

I heard the whole thing was shot out of sequence and quite a bit was written on the hoof. My favourite story relates to one scene in which the director told Humphry Bogart to go up to the bar and nod at the camera. 'What's my motivation?' Bogart asked. He was told to stop being a pretentious sod and just do what he was told. In the film, a bunch of drunken nazi's are singing Deutschland Über Alles. Bogart goes up to the bar and (apparently) nods at the band who strike up La Marseillaise. Everybody in the bar stands up and sings it, drowning out the nazis.

Other favourite bits? How George Raft was the original choice (Bogart's career seems to have been built on parts Raft turned down); the bit about the cardboard aeroplanes and the dwarves; how 'this could be the start of a beautiful relationship' was dubbed on a lot later.

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