Which of these films would you say is the best written?

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Which of these films would you say is the best written?
22.22%
8 votes
Pulp Fiction
11.11%
4 votes
The Godfather
16.67%
6 votes
Casablanca
8.33%
3 votes
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
5.56%
2 votes
The Godfather II
11.11%
4 votes
Citizen Kane
16.67%
6 votes
Chinatown
5.56%
2 votes
Network
2.78%
1 votes
Rashomon
0%
0 votes
Hannah and Her Sisters
36 votes. You may not vote on this poll




will.15's Avatar
Semper Fooey
I went with Casablanca, not because it was the best movie (I'd go with Godfather) ,but because as writing goes it is perfect, tightly plotted, no structural flaws, and memorable, witty dialogue.



Unless you've read all these scripts, one can't really say. And I don't mean a transcript of the movie, but the script in its final draft or at least shooting version. Until then you don't know how much was added or subtracted by the director and actors on the set, or by the director and editor in the editing room. You're judging by the final product on the screen, which may be attributed to the screenplay and its writing in varying degrees.

Casablanca is rather famous for being written very much as they were shooting, that there wasn't a "finished" script with full structure and dialogue even as the cameras were rolling, instead being changed as they went. The Godfathers and Rashômon are adaptation of existing material, and Strangelove a loose adaptation. Pulp Fiction has uncredited nods to many sources. Kane, Rashômon, Pulp Fiction, Strangelove and The Godfathers have their directors as credited co-writers. Hannah and Her Sisters is the only one that has a singular writer who was also the director and heavily involved in the editing process, so that film would have to be the most "pure" from page to screen, and any alterations along the way were by the same voice and mind that created the script, discounting what each actor added and the set dresser and the cinematographer and on an on..

So you're judging by, what? Consistency of voice? Complexity of narrative? Or just the movie you like the best and, therefore, it must have the "best" screenplay?
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What about Chinatown? Robert Towne wrote that and didn't they use his script to shoot it? Although I think I read someplace that the ending is Polanski's as it's darker than the original ending.
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So you're judging by, what? Consistency of voice? Complexity of narrative? Or just the movie you like the best and, therefore, it must have the "best" screenplay?
maybe the one that according to you translated really well to the screen regardless of whether it followed the original writer's work or not.



will.15's Avatar
Semper Fooey
I have read the Casablanca screenplay, but I dont know if it was the actual shooting script. I guess ironically it was the only one of these films where the scripting was done Hollywood fashion with different writers independently rewriting the other. Two writesr started it together, the Epstein Brothers, had other commitments, and Howard Koch took over, and possibly one or two others doing a further uncredited polish. It was based on an unproduced play that attracted the interest of competing studios and was bought at much more than the then going rate. Everyone who has seen the play performed agree the screenplay is considerably better, but it contains the same basic story and even some dialogue, including the inclusion of the song "As Time Goes By.'



If you go strictly by writing there's no question Pulp Fiction wins hands down.
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Pulp Fiction, by far.
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will.15's Avatar
Semper Fooey
Pulp Fiction has great dialogue and interesting structure, but I'd rate the screenolay below the two C's, two GFs, and Strangelove.

It's hard for me to judge the screenplay of a foreign film because unless you speak the language, you're not really getting the dialogue as written. I can judge it overall as a movie, but not from isolating the screenplay.



I would say Chinatown. Though of the most innovative I'd say probably say Rashomon is another close bet. Pulp Fiction seems to get a lot of leads and the only way I can possibly fathom this is that many people, (who aren't entirely devoted to film or its century-long history), lack a certain understanding of films that precurse Star Wars. Not that either film is bad, but there are certainly better films out there that are better.
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This is a strange one for me as a poll, as Pulp Fiction (even The Godfather too) is so new compared to the others. I wouldn't like to compare them. I would like to vote, but I haven't seen all of them to really make a true call.

Makes for a great discussion though!
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Don't torture yourself, Gomez. That's my job.
I would be interested to know how many of them have won awards for best screenplay? Not that I put a lot of weight into awards shows, but still be interested to know



I voted for Chinatown. This was very difficult. My first thought was that it was between Kane, Chinatown and The Godfather. Then I started to think, if all these films were made by competent, but not exceptional, jobbing directors, which do I think would be the best film. Of course, I can only judge by the finished project and the mythology/stories and facts about each film, but, IMO, that film was Chinatown.

I will say that I've not seen Hannah & Her Sisters. I don't know if you can judge a film's screenplay in a foreign language you don't speak. However, like will, I felt I was unable to, so I admit I wrote these two films out of the running for these reasons.



will.15's Avatar
Semper Fooey
I would be interested to know how many of them have won awards for best screenplay? Not that I put a lot of weight into awards shows, but still be interested to know
They all won Oscars except Strangelove and Roshomon. Strangelove was nominated. I am not sure about Roshomon, don't think so. Might have won a screenplay award somewhere else.