What’s Your Favorite Script?

Due to scheduling conflicts there will be no new podcast episode this week.  My sincerest apologies.

If either of these situations can be resolved this week, I will publish a new episode next week.

In order to provide content this week, I will be reviewing an amateur script on Thursday. If you’d like to get this script in advance, sign up for the newsletter and I will make sure you receive it.

I am interested in hearing about scripts that people have loved and would recommend.

So…what is your favorite script? What was it about the script that you appreciated and/or loved? What did you learn from it?

Written by admin

  • andyjaxfl

    This is always my favorite topic because I usually find out about a few scripts I had no idea that existed.

    My two favorites are THE HIGH LONESOME by Brian Helgeland and CRUSADE by Walon Green. I’d have to put SHADOW 19 by Jon Spaihts up there as well.

  • jeaux

    Never heard of Crusade…got a logline?

    One script that sticks with me is Gold which is now a movie w McConaughy. I’m sure there are others but for some reason thats the 1 i remember.

    • andyjaxfl

      CRUSADE is the famous script that Paul Verhoeven was to direct and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger that was canceled at the last minute in 1994 in favor of Cutthroat Island, which went on to become the biggest bomb in history.

      It’s about a thief who fakes a miracle to escape execution and is forced into the first crusade to retake Jerusalem.

  • Scott Serradell

    I have a small circle of scripts I continually re-read for enjoyment, inspiration, reference, or just to plain rip off from; my “favorites” I suppose:

    WITHNAIL AND I (Bruce Robinson)
    Bittersweet, baroquely detailed, and blisteringly funny. One of the only writers still alive who can measure, pound for pound, the vocabulary of H. L. Mencken. But he’s also got a poetic swagger that breaths effortlessly from image to image, which is precisely how he builds his screenplays (see also: THE KILLING FIELDS and JENNIFER 8). This from the beginning: “Dostoyevsky described hell as perhaps nothing more than a room with a chair in it. This room has several chairs.” One of a kind.

    THE PRINCESS BRIDE (William Goldman)
    Kind of a cheat since he also wrote the novel. But — Jesus! — is this not just effortless? I had seen the movie a few times over the years but it wasn’t until I read the screenplay that I thought it was actually brilliant. I mean: “The Cliffs of Insanity”?? I mean: You’d have to be pretty naïve or pretty god-damn assured of your writing abilities to include something like that.

    SWEPT AWAY (Lina Wertmuller)
    — and no: Not that Madonna remake. The actual screenwriting is strictly European, meaning no frills and to the point. So, the blood of the script runs out of the characters, of which there’s only two: A wealthy society woman and lowly (and violent) yacht hand who get stranded on an island together. But like most of Wertmuller’s work you can’t classify her; she — in a single scene! — can be tragic and funny … AND satirical, AND political etc. She’s an amazing artist.

    OTHERS: GOSFORD PARK (Julian Fellowes), UNTITLED CHEF PROJECT (Steven Knight), MICHAEL CLAYTON (Tony Gilroy), and probably others.

  • Angie

    I’ve grown whiskers waiting for production of “A Killing on Carnival Row.” The story takes off on page one with both world building and action. At the time, the writer, Travis Beacham, was a newbie, proving that talent is present in some writers from the start. They don’t have to build up to it.

    • andyjaxfl

      Soon to be an Amazon TV show! It was given a full season order about a month ago. Look for it in 2019.

      • Angie

        Hooray! Still, would have liked to see it as a feature on the big screen in what I imagined would be all its glorious color contrasts.

  • Levres de Sang

    1. Double Indemnity (Billy Wilder, Raymond Chandler)

    –A script in which 10-line paragraphs are an absolute joy.

    2. Badlands (Terrence Malick)

    — V.O. is incredible. As good as Wilder, perhaps.

    3. Sunset Boulevard (Billy Wilder, Charles Bracket, D.M. Marshman)

    — Sheer “street poetry” as the DVD commentator so aptly put it.

    • Davyd SC

      I’ve never read Wilder though I cherish his films. Will have to add him, along with Badlands, to the front of my summer reading list.

  • Kirk Diggler

    Is it weird not to have one? I mostly read amateur scripts, perhaps because I feel that by reading well known pro scripts I’ll be influenced by images or casting decisions that have already been put to celluloid.

    One of the best un-produced scripts I’ve read in recent years was from the occasional SS poster known as mulesandmud. It was called Appetite, about a female chef on the opening night of her restaurant.

    It’s a great example of an active protagonist seamlessly (or close to it) juggling multiple plotlines, each filled with their own conflicts and intrigue.

    • Davyd SC

      Usually when I’m interested in a pro spec script that’s sold and being produced, I try to read the script before I see the movie – and ideally before I know final casting decisions – for the very reasons you mentioned. Then I see the movie.

      Without exception, with the pro scripts I really love and read first, I find the movie isn’t quite as good as the script – isn’t quite as good as the movie and characters I saw and heard in my head while reading. Just like people always
      say about novels.

      How did you get a chance to read a script by the great Mulesandmud?!? Not surprised it was one of the best you’ve read given that he’s one of the greatest ss commenters of all time!

      • Kirk Diggler

        I got to read it because I belong to a writers group in which he is a member.

  • scriptfeels

    Some favorites that really blew me away were alien, psycho, and pan’s labrynth.

    but for some reason my favorite script is deeper by max landis, i wouldnt argue thats it’s great, but for me i really like the strange events and the zany dialogue. I feel like i liked the past ten scripts i read since before the last aow.

    I highly reccomend cracking open some blacklist scripts, even if the logline sounds terrible, because usually the writing is great and the stories are interesting.