The best screenplays ever writtenby smith-d-c | created - 30 Sep 2010 | updated - 01 Oct 2010 | Public
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1. The Godfather (1972)
R | 175 min | Crime, Drama
The aging patriarch of an organized crime dynasty transfers control of his clandestine empire to his reluctant son.
Votes: 1,288,806 | Gross: $134.97M
Mario Puzo & Francis Ford Coppola
"That's my family, Kay. It's not me."
2. Sunset Blvd. (1950)
Not Rated | 110 min | Drama, Film-Noir
A screenwriter is hired to rework a faded silent film star's script only to find himself developing a dangerous relationship.
"I am big. It's the pictures that got small."
3. The Producers (1967)
PG | 88 min | Comedy
Producers Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom make money by producing a sure-fire flop.
Votes: 43,141 | Gross: $0.11M
"How could this happen? I was so careful. I picked the wrong play, the wrong director, the wrong cast. Where did I go right?"
4. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
PG | 216 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama
The story of T.E. Lawrence, the English officer who successfully united and led the diverse, often warring, Arab tribes during World War I in order to fight the Turks.
Votes: 215,592 | Gross: $44.82M
"Do you think that I'm just anybody, Dryden, do you?"
5. Pulp Fiction (1994)
R | 154 min | Crime, Drama
The lives of two mob hitmen, a boxer, a gangster's wife, and a pair of diner bandits intertwine in four tales of violence and redemption.
Votes: 1,476,436 | Gross: $107.93M
"You know what they call a quarter pounder in Paris?"
6. Network (1976)
R | 121 min | Drama
A television network cynically exploits a deranged former anchor's ravings and revelations about the news media for its own profit.
"I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!"
7. Casablanca (1942)
PG | 102 min | Drama, Romance, War
In Casablanca in December 1941, a cynical American expatriate encounters a former lover, with unforeseen complications.
Votes: 429,810 | Gross: $1.02M
"Here's looking at you kid."
8. Citizen Kane (1941)
PG | 119 min | Drama, Mystery
Following the death of a publishing tycoon, news reporters scramble to discover the meaning of his final utterance.
Votes: 329,087 | Gross: $1.59M
Herman Mankiewicz & Orson Welles
"I don't think that there is one word that can describe a man's life."
9. Duck Soup (1933)
Not Rated | 68 min | Comedy, Musical, War
Rufus T. Firefly is named president/dictator of bankrupt Freedonia and declares war on neighboring Sylvania over the love of wealthy Mrs. Teasdale.
Bert Kalmar & Harry Ruby
"Well, that covers a lot of ground. Say, you cover a lot of ground yourself. You better beat it - I hear they're going to tear you down and put up an office building where you're standing. You can leave in a taxi. If you can't get a taxi, you can leave in a huff. If that's too soon, you can leave in a minute and a huff. You know, you haven't stopped talking since I came here? You must have been vaccinated with a phonograph needle. "
10. Singin' in the Rain (1952)
G | 103 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance
A silent film production company and cast make a difficult transition to sound.
Votes: 172,767 | Gross: $8.82M
Adolph Green & Betty Comden
"I make more money than Calvin Coolidge - put together."
11. Psycho (1960)
R | 109 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
A Phoenix secretary embezzles $40,000 from her employer's client, goes on the run, and checks into a remote motel run by a young man under the domination of his mother.
Votes: 476,402 | Gross: $32.00M
"They're probably watching me. Well, let them. Let them see what kind of a person I am. I'm not even going to swat that fly. I hope they are watching... they'll see. They'll see and they'll know, and they'll say, "Why, she wouldn't even harm a fly.."
12. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
Not Rated | 126 min | Adventure, Drama, Western
Fred Dobbs and Bob Curtin, two Americans searching for work in Mexico, convince an old prospector to help them mine for gold in the Sierra Madre Mountains.
Votes: 88,768 | Gross: $5.01M
"I know what gold does to men's souls"
13. Vertigo (1958)
PG | 128 min | Mystery, Romance, Thriller
A San Francisco detective suffering from acrophobia investigates the strange activities of an old friend's wife, all the while becoming dangerously obsessed with her.
Votes: 282,686 | Gross: $3.20M
Alec Coppell & Samuel Taylor
"Scottie, do you believe that someone out of the past - someone dead - can enter and take possession of a living being?"
14. It Happened One Night (1934)
Not Rated | 105 min | Comedy, Romance
A spoiled heiress running away from her family is helped by a man who is actually a reporter in need of a story.
"The limb is mightier than the sword."
15. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
PG | 102 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy
Dorothy Gale is swept away from a farm in Kansas to a magical land of Oz in a tornado and embarks on a quest with her new friends to see the Wizard who can help her return home in Kansas and help her friends as well.
Votes: 320,958 | Gross: $22.20M
"There's no place like home."
16. Amadeus (1984)
R | 160 min | Biography, Drama, History
Votes: 303,058 | Gross: $51.97M
"I was staring through the cage of those meticulous ink strokes - at an absolute beauty."
17. On the Waterfront (1954)
Not Rated | 108 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
An ex-prize fighter turned longshoreman struggles to stand up to his corrupt union bosses.
Votes: 113,332 | Gross: $9.60M
"You don't understand. I could've been a contender. I could've had class, instead of a bum, which is what I am."
18. Unforgiven (1992)
R | 130 min | Drama, Western
Retired Old West gunslinger William Munny reluctantly takes on one last job, with the help of his old partner and a young man.
Votes: 308,343 | Gross: $101.16M
David Webb Peoples
"It's a hard thing killing a man. You take away his life and all he's ever going to have."
19. Love and Death (1975)
PG | 85 min | Comedy, War
In czarist Russia, a neurotic soldier and his distant cousin formulate a plot to assassinate Napoleon.
"To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering one must not love. But then one suffers from not loving. Therefore, to love is to suffer; not to love is to suffer; to suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love. To be happy, then, is to suffer, but suffering makes one unhappy. Therefore, to be unhappy, one must love or love to suffer or suffer from too much happiness. I hope you're getting this down. "
20. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
Not Rated | 129 min | Comedy, Drama
A naive man is appointed to fill a vacancy in the United States Senate. His plans promptly collide with political corruption, but he doesn't back down.
Votes: 85,869 | Gross: $9.60M
"You think I'm licked. You all think I'm licked. Well, I'm not licked. I'm going to stay right here and fight for this lost cause."
21. The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
PG | 102 min | Action, Adventure, Romance
When Prince John and the Norman Lords begin oppressing the Saxon masses in King Richard's absence, a Saxon lord fights back as the outlaw leader of a rebel guerrilla army.
Votes: 41,260 | Gross: $3.98M
Norman Reilly Raine
"May I obey all your commands with equal pleasure, sire!"
22. Good Will Hunting (1997)
R | 126 min | Drama
Will Hunting, a janitor at M.I.T., has a gift for mathematics, but needs help from a psychologist to find direction in his life.
Votes: 686,527 | Gross: $138.43M
Matt Damon & Ben Affleck
What is this Sean, some kind of Taster's Choice moment between two guys?
23. Patton (1970)
GP | 172 min | Biography, Drama, War
The World War II phase of the career of the controversial American general, George S. Patton.
Votes: 82,629 | Gross: $61.70M
Francis Ford Coppola
"Now I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country."
24. No Country for Old Men (2007)
R | 122 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
Violence and mayhem ensue after a hunter stumbles upon a drug deal gone wrong and more than two million dollars in cash near the Rio Grande.
Votes: 689,226 | Gross: $74.28M
Joel & Ethan Coen
"What's the most you've ever lost at a coin toss?"
25. Heat (1995)
R | 170 min | Action, Crime, Drama
A group of professional bank robbers start to feel the heat from police when they unknowingly leave a clue at their latest heist, while both sides attempt to find balance between their personal and their professional lives.
Votes: 476,116 | Gross: $67.44M
"All I am is what I'm going after."
26. Annie Hall (1977)
PG | 93 min | Comedy, Romance
Neurotic New York comedian Alvy Singer falls in love with the ditzy Annie Hall.
Votes: 217,120 | Gross: $39.20M
"Boy if life were only like this."
27. Rocky (1976)
PG | 120 min | Drama, Sport
Rocky Balboa, a small-time boxer, gets a supremely rare chance to fight heavy-weight champion Apollo Creed in a bout in which he strives to go the distance for his self-respect.
Votes: 424,095 | Gross: $117.24M
"They don't remember you. They remember the rep."
28. Fargo (1996)
R | 98 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
Jerry Lundegaard's inept crime falls apart due to his and his henchmen's bungling and the persistent police work of the quite pregnant Marge Gunderson.
Votes: 507,559 | Gross: $24.61M
Joel and Ethan Coen
"That's a fountain of conversation. That's a geyser."
29. Broadway Danny Rose (1984)
PG | 84 min | Comedy
In his attempts to reconcile a lounge singer with his mistress, a hapless talent agent is mistaken as her lover by a jealous gangster.
Votes: 20,310 | Gross: $10.60M
" I don't wanna badmouth the kid, but he's a horrible, dishonest, immoral louse. And I say that with all due respect. "
30. Planet of the Apes (1968)
G | 112 min | Adventure, Sci-Fi
An astronaut crew crash-lands on a planet in the distant future where intelligent talking apes are the dominant species, and humans are the oppressed and enslaved.
Votes: 147,807 | Gross: $33.40M
Rod Serling & Michael Wilson
"Take your stinking paws off me! You damned, dirty ape!"
31. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
R | 108 min | Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi
When their relationship turns sour, a couple undergoes a procedure to have each other erased from their memories. But it is only through the process of loss that they discover what they had to begin with.
Votes: 746,021 | Gross: $34.40M
"Meet me in Montawk."