Best Screenwriters Ever

by jrsloopy | last updated - 19 Sep 2012 | Public

1. Dalton Trumbo

Writer | Roman Holiday

Dalton Trumbo, the Oscar-winning screenwriter, arguably the most talented, most famous of the blacklisted film professionals known to history as the Hollywood 10, was born in Montrose, Colorado to Orus Trumbo and his wife, the former Maud Tillery.

Dalton Trumbo was raised at 1124 Gunnison Ave. in ...

2. Herman J. Mankiewicz

Writer | Citizen Kane

Herman J. Mankiewicz, now known primarily as the man who co-wrote Citizen Kane (1941) with Hollywood's greatest wunderkind, Orson Welles, was one of the highest-paid screenwriters in Hollywood and the head of Paramount's screen-writing department in the late 1920s and early '30s. He reached the ...

3. Graham Greene

Writer | The Fallen Idol

Graham Greene was one of the greatest novelists of the 20th century and his influence on the cinema and theatre was enormous. He wrote five plays and almost all of his novels, including "Brighton Rock", "The Ministry of Fear" and "The End of the Affair", have been brought to the screen. A superb ...

4. Billy Wilder

Writer | The Apartment

Originally planning to become a lawyer, Billy Wilder abandoned that career in favor of working as a reporter for a Viennese newspaper, using this experience to move to Berlin, where he worked for the city's largest tabloid. He broke into films as a screenwriter in 1929, and wrote scripts for many ...

5. Woody Allen

Writer | Manhattan

Woody Allen was born Allan Stewart Konigsberg on December 1, 1935 in Brooklyn, New York, to Nettie (Cherrie), a bookkeeper, and Martin Konigsberg, a waiter and jewellery engraver. His father was of Russian Jewish descent, and his maternal grandparents were Austrian Jewish immigrants. As a young boy...

6. Gary Ross

Writer | Pleasantville

Gary Ross is an American writer, director and actor born November 3rd, 1956 in Los Angeles, California. His father was screenwriter Arthur A. Ross (1920 - 2008). After writing for television series The Hitchhiker (1983) in 1986, Ross broke through by penning the Tom Hanks hit Big (1988), his first ...

7. Charles Brackett

Writer | Sunset Blvd.

Charles Brackett, born in Saratoga Springs, New York, of Scottish ancestry, followed in his attorney-father's footsteps and graduated with a law degree from Harvard University in 1920. He practised law for several years, before commencing work as drama critic for The New Yorker (1925-29), in ...

8. Robert Bolt

Writer | A Man for All Seasons

Son of a small shopkeeper, he attended Manchester Grammar School. He later said that he made poor uses of his opportunities there. He went to work in an insurance office, but later entered Manchester University, taking a degree in History. A post-graduate year at Exeter University led to a ...

9. Joseph L. Mankiewicz

Writer | All About Eve

Born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, on February 11, 1909, Joseph Leo Mankiewicz first worked for the movies as a translator of intertitles, employed by Paramount in Berlin, the UFA's American distributor at the time (1928). He became a dialoguist, then a screenwriter on numerous Paramount ...

10. Tony Kushner

Writer | Lincoln

Tony Kushner's play "Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes" earned him the Pulitzer Prize, among many other awards. His other acclaimed plays include "Slavs", "Homebody/Kabul" and "Caroline, or Change". He has collaborated with children's author and illustrator Maurice Sendak on ...

11. Tony Gilroy

Writer | Michael Clayton

Tony Gilroy was born in Manhattan, New York, New York, USA; and raised in upstate New York. His father, Frank D. Gilroy, was a Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, director, and screenwriter. Tony has penned many films, including The Devil's Advocate (1997) and The Cutting Edge (1992).

12. Aaron Sorkin

Writer | The West Wing

Aaron Sorkin grew up in Scarsdale, a suburb of New York City where he was very involved in his high school drama and theater club. After graduating from Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater, Sorkin intended to pursue a career in acting. It took him only a short time to ...

13. Preston Sturges

Writer | The Great McGinty

Preston Sturges' own life is as unlikely as some of the plots of his best work. He was born into a wealthy family. As a boy he helped out on stage productions for his mother's friend, Isadora Duncan (the scarf that strangled her was made by his mother's company, Maison Desti). He served in the U.S....

14. Larry McMurtry

Writer | Brokeback Mountain

Larry McMurtry was born on June 3, 1936 in Wichita Falls, Texas, USA as Larry Jeff McMurtry. He is a writer and producer, known for Brokeback Mountain (2005), The Last Picture Show (1971) and Streets of Laredo (1995). He has been married to Faye Kesey since April 29, 2011. He was previously married...

15. Eric Roth

Writer | Forrest Gump

Eric Roth was born on March 22, 1945 in New York City, New York, USA. He is a producer and writer, known for Forrest Gump (1994), The Insider (1999) and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008). He is married to Debra Greenfield. They have five children.

16. Paddy Chayefsky

Writer | Network

Author, producer and composer who earned a Bachelor of Science degree from CCNY, then a Purple Heart during World War II while serving in the US Army. Joining ASCAP in 1955, his chief musical collaborators included George Bassman and Harry Warren. His popular-song compositions include "Marty" and "...

17. Richard Maibaum

Writer | Licence to Kill

The name is "Maibaum, Richard Maibaum".....the brilliant screenwriter who adapted the Ian Fleming 007 novels into the highly entertaining screenplays of nearly every James Bond film from Dr. No (1962) through to Licence to Kill (1989). Maibaum attended New York University, then studied acting at ...

18. Cameron Crowe

Writer | Almost Famous

Certainly idiosyncratic as a writer, Cameron Crowe has created a series of scripts that, while liked by the critics, were considered offbeat and difficult to market.

Cameron Bruce Crowe was born in Palm Springs, California, to Alice Marie Crowe (née George), a teacher and activist, and James A. ...

19. Joss Whedon

Writer | Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Joss Whedon is the middle of five brothers - his younger brothers are Jed Whedon and Zack Whedon. Both his father, Tom Whedon and his grandfather, John Whedon were successful television writers. Joss' mother, Lee Stearns, was a history teacher and she also wrote novels as Lee Whedon. Whedon was ...

20. James L. Brooks

Writer | As Good as It Gets

James L. Brooks was born on May 9, 1940 in Brooklyn, New York, USA as James Lawrence Brooks. He is a writer and producer, known for As Good as It Gets (1997), Terms of Endearment (1983) and Broadcast News (1987). He was previously married to Holly Holmberg Brooks and Marianne Catherine Morrissey.

21. Alvin Sargent

Writer | Spider-Man 2

Alvin Sargent was born on April 12, 1927 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA as Alvin Supowitz. He is known for his work on Spider-Man 2 (2004), Ordinary People (1980) and Paper Moon (1973). He was previously married to Laura Ziskin and Joan Camden.

22. Noah Baumbach

Writer | The Squid and the Whale

Born in Brooklyn in 1969 Noah Baumbach is the son of two film critics, Georgia Brown and Jonathan Baumbach (also a writer). His studies at Vassar College were the subject of his first film (made as he was 26 years old), Kicking and Screaming (1995). His second major picture, made ten years later, ...