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Mine are Paul Schrader and Walter Hill with a sprinkling of Scott Frank and Shane Black :)
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John August, Robert Mark Kamen, William Goldman and John Carpenter
The Wachowski Brothers, Luc Besson, Brian Helgeland, and QT are a few.
Shaun I cd easily swap my 4 for that 4 ;)
Aaron Sorkin & Quentin Tarantino.
Stephen Moffat. What an imagination!
someone always has to mention alan smithee.
Some of the above, and Joel and Ethan Coen.
Robert Towne, Richard Curtis, David Koepp, Joe Eszterhas and of course, the already mentioned, Shane Black.
Ingmar Bergman, Edgar Wright, Joss Whedon, John Michael McDonagh, and Ana Lily Amirpour to name a few
Dalton Trumbo, George Axelrod, William Goldman, Sam Peckinpah and Robert Bolt.
Yes, of course, Robert Bolt, how could one forget.
William Goldman, John Lasseter, Nora Ephron and Michael Arndt.
I forgot Neil Marshall!
.... and I totally admire Billy Wilder!
Aaron Sorkin, Tony Gilroy, Christopher & Jonathan Nolan, Quentin, and Chris Terrio.
Joss Whedon, Quentin Tarantino and the Coens. Oh, and I think Jane Goldman is definitely one to watch. I've loved everything she's written so far.
Billy Wilder, Paddy Chayevsky, Alvin Sargeant, William Goldman, Alexander Payne, The Coen Brothers, and Tom McCarthy.
Billy wilder ... Bad me
Every aspiring screenwriter here is my hero. Those are the people truly up against the odds. Sorry to be so schmaltzy but it's true.
Already mentioned, but how good, how hot and how talented is Jane Goldman, love her writing.
Chanel, how could you like Jane Goldmans writing and not Mathew Vaughns?
Good point, GiVan, but I suspect she did the bulk of the writing and he played a role in SOME of her work, but he's a good director - have you seen her credits? Loved Kickass!
Every screenwriter who had a vision that they saw come to life. Each one who strived to obtain their dream. I admire the ones who keep me engaged until the credits.
To the other names I've mentioned above, I add Herman Mankiewicz, Robert Benton, Francis Coppola, Woody Allen and Steve Zallian.
Chanel, I've seen her credits. Huge gap between the Kick Asses. I find Gillian Flynn to already be a better writer than her. I know she's only 1 screenplay but it has more nominations than Jane's entire career. - what genres do you write?
GiVan, again, you're right, Gillian Flynn did well with Gone Girl, but Jane writes the movies I would like to see - the second Kickass was terrible, but I'm certain neither she nor Michael had a hand in either, yeah, HUGE gap.
M. Night Shayamalan
Billy Wilder, Andrew Kevin Walker
Josh Whedon and David Cameron
Walter Hill, William Goldman, Eric Red, Dan O'Bannon and Shane Black also to name a few
Vince Gilligan, Chris Carter
You come late to this party and you sound like Little Sir Echo, but in no particular order...Paddy Chayefsky, Woody Allen (for being not only good, but prolific), David Koepp, Robert Towne ("Chinatown" is probably one of the best screenplays ever), Francis Coppolla (who wrote and was Oscared for "Patton" way before "the Godfather"), The Coen Brothers (brilliant!!), William Goldman ("Hell, the fall'll probably kill ya"), and the estimable Billy Wilder (and all his collaborators) for not only being superb - but doing it in English which was not his first language.
Coen Brothers, QT, Scott Frank, Tony Gilroy (seriously, get a copy of the "Michael Clayton" screenplay if you want to know what you need to aspire to), Daniel Waters, Billy Wilder, David Mament.
Ingmar Bergman, Paddy Chayefsky, Woody Allen, Billy Wilder, Dustin Lance Black, Robert Towne, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Pedro Almodovar, The Coen Brothers, David Mamet, David Hare, Charlie Kaufman, Jean-Claude Carriere, William Goldman, Francois Truffaut, Federico Fellini, Tonino Guerra, and many others.
Aaron Sorkin, Vince Gilligan, Tony Gilroy, David E Kelley, David Simon (The Wire), Woody Allen, Michael Arndt, Mel Brooks, Kevin Williamson, etc...
Vince Gilligan is giant talent. Better Call Saul is another brilliant show.
I agree with CJ. There are a great many writers we can admire and learn from, but the challenges of today's writer puts them in a league of their own.
I have three scripts the best eve,r which I believe ,will win the OSCAR. I am looking for potential producers. Please contact me Thanks. Warm regards Kavi Akbardeen 5-6-2015 firstname.lastname@example.org
Kavi: Strange, I've never heard of those writers.
ya know only 1 script can win at a time...
I'm going to jump in with some of my favourites that haven't been mentioned so far: Wes Anderson and Brian Duffield
To GiVan: Jane Goldman did Woman in Black and Shame in addition to Kick Ass. Such variety and all amazing films in their own right. You can't link her only to Matthew Vaugn despite the fact that their work together has been great.
@Kavi: are you nominating yourself as your own screenwriting hero? ;-)
Anthony: yes, and In all modesty, he is nominating himself.
@Chas, Jane Goldman didn't write Shame, at least according to IMDb. The writer who co-wrote Shame also had The Iron Lady the same year. I will always remember that particular one-two punch.
Just watched Walt Disney Pictures, The Haunted Mansion. Some fab throwaway lines in there. Actually it was absolutely my kinda dialogue. I came over all warm and...wordy, so I went on to IMDB to see who wrote it. 'Twas a guy called David Berenbaum, who also wrote Elf (Will Ferrell, James Caan, Bob Newhart), one of my ALL TIME fave comedies, and now I am in love with David Berenbaum.
As Michael has said - arrive at the dinner party late and you sound like little Miss Echo. You guys have pretty much covered the Usual Suspects but what about a blast from the past. Studio hacks, in some cases reworking great novels - but professional story tellers to the core. James R. Webb (Cape Fear), Raymond Chandler (supposedly hated writing screenplays but co-wrote Double Indemnity and you have got to admit The Blue Dahlia is still horribly watchable), Build My Gallows High (Geoffrey Homes), Crossfire (John Paxton - who also adapted Chandler's 1944 Farewell My Lovely - easily my favourite version with Dick Powell. And if we are talking about the mother of all heist movies Jules Dassin's screenplay for Rafifi.
Steven Spielberg with anything he has done,
Julian Fellows, Quentin Tarantino, and especially Emma Thompson. Her writing is magnifique! Callie Khouri - Thelma & Louise, excellent character descriptions.
I forgot about Emma Thompson, but you're right! She's done great work. Callie Khouri - thumbs up!
We forget about Emma because she's a magnificent actress. But she did win an Oscar for writing Sense and Sensibility. And until Anthony mentioned it, I never realized she's written a dozen scripts. I'm sure "Wit" also one Emmys. Well done Emma!
When you stop and think about it, there are several big name and not so big name actors that have written great features.http://www.complex.com/pop-culture/2014/02/30-best-actor-writers/
Robert Rodriguez, Paul Haggis, Martin Scorsese
Callie Khouri with Nashville is amazing!
I'm surprised nobody or few mentioned Mark Boal.
Jeremy T. - Spielberg only rarely takes any sort of writing credit on his films, so not sure he qualifies in this category. He certainly works very closely with his writers and uses many of them repeatedly (much like Hitchcock did), but I doubt that even he would list himself as a screenwriter. And GiVan - not sure why you're surprised that Mark Boal is not listed here. He is a very good writer (and recently turned screenwriter) but so far in his career - he has also written a very specific and narrow type of film and story - which to date - for me anyway - makes him a bit of a one trick pony. I do not think it qualifies him to be mentioned in the same breath as a Woody Allen, or Billy Wilder or Robert Towne, or the Coens - or so many of the others listed above.
Michael - would you mind sharing your top 5 caper films?
GiVan - not sure what this has to do with fave screenwriters - but I'm game. Problem is - I always find it difficult to do lists - especially narrow lists. Five seems rather limiting. Plus - as "caper films" go - even those have sub stratas - straight action caper film, comedy caper films etc. So off the top of my head - amongst my faves - Topkapi. The Taking of Pelham 1,2,3 (the original with Matthau). The Asphalt Jungle. Out of Sight. The Anderson Tapes. Going in Style (Martin Brest - w/ Art Carney and George Burns). Heist (David Mamet). Inside Man. The Lavender Hill Mob. See what I mean? Get me rolling here and it doesn't stop. I also liked Ocean's 11 (the original and the remake. The original - for me - had a better ending). Thomas Crown Affair (remake). National Treasure (the first). The Great Train Robbery with Sean Connery. Comic stuff - The Hot Rock with George Segal and Robert Redford. Larceny, Inc. with Edward G. Robinson and Anthony Quinn (and a very young Jackie Gleason). Love that one. I think that's 15 - which makes it a multiple of five - so I'll quit there. Work for you?