Best Original Screenplay Winners

by coastergeek93 | created - 19 Jan 2014 | updated - 23 Feb 2015 | Public
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1. The Great McGinty (1940)

Passed | 82 min | Comedy

Dan McGinty has great success in his chosen field of crooked politics. But endangers it all in one crazy moment of honesty...

Director: Preston Sturges | Stars: Brian Donlevy, Muriel Angelus, Akim Tamiroff, Allyn Joslyn

Votes: 2,800

2. Citizen Kane (1941)

PG | 119 min | Drama, Mystery

100 Metascore

Following the death of a publishing tycoon, news reporters scramble to discover the meaning of his final utterance.

Director: Orson Welles | Stars: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Dorothy Comingore, Agnes Moorehead

Votes: 340,856 | Gross: $1.59M

3. Woman of the Year (1942)

Not Rated | 114 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

Rival reporters Sam and Tess fall in love and get married, only to find their relationship strained when Sam comes to resent Tess' hectic lifestyle.

Director: George Stevens | Stars: Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Fay Bainter, Reginald Owen

Votes: 7,750

4. Princess O'Rourke (1943)

Approved | 94 min | Comedy, Romance

A pilot falls in love with a woman he believes is heading cross country to become a maid, little suspecting that she's actually a princess.

Director: Norman Krasna | Stars: Olivia de Havilland, Robert Cummings, Charles Coburn, Jack Carson

Votes: 860

5. Wilson (1944)

Unrated | 154 min | Biography, Drama, History

A chronicle of the political career of US President Woodrow Wilson.

Director: Henry King | Stars: Alexander Knox, Charles Coburn, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Thomas Mitchell

Votes: 1,238 | Gross: $2.00M

6. Marie-Louise (1944)

Approved | 93 min | Drama

Marie-Louise is a 1944 Swiss German and French language Swiss film directed by Leopold Lindtberg and an uncredited Franz Schnyder. The film, distributed in the U.S. by Arthur Mayer and ... See full summary »

Directors: Leopold Lindtberg, Hermann Haller, Franz Schnyder | Stars: Josiane Hegg, Heinrich Gretler, Margrit Winter, Anne-Marie Blanc

Votes: 63

7. The Seventh Veil (1945)

Approved | 94 min | Drama, Music

One dark summer night, Francesca Cunningham, a once world famed pianist, escapes from her hospital room and tries to commit suicide by jumping off a local bridge. She is rescued and taken ... See full summary »

Director: Compton Bennett | Stars: James Mason, Ann Todd, Herbert Lom, Hugh McDermott

Votes: 1,236

8. The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer (1947)

Approved | 95 min | Comedy, Romance

A high school girl falls for a playboy artist, with screwball results.

Director: Irving Reis | Stars: Cary Grant, Myrna Loy, Shirley Temple, Rudy Vallee

Votes: 6,735

9. Battleground (1949)

Approved | 118 min | Action, Drama, War

A squad of the 101st Airborne Division copes with being trapped in the besieged city of Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge.

Director: William A. Wellman | Stars: Van Johnson, John Hodiak, Ricardo Montalban, George Murphy

Votes: 5,741 | Gross: $10.29M

10. 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.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich von Stroheim, Nancy Olson

Votes: 165,534

11. An American in Paris (1951)

Not Rated | 114 min | Drama, Musical, Romance

Three friends struggle to find work in Paris. Things become more complicated when two of them fall in love with the same woman.

Director: Vincente Minnelli | Stars: Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron, Oscar Levant, Georges Guétary

Votes: 25,462 | Gross: $4.50M

12. The Lavender Hill Mob (1951)

Approved | 78 min | Comedy, Crime

A meek bank clerk who oversees the shipment of bullion joins with an eccentric neighbor to steal gold bars and smuggle them out of the country as miniature Eiffel Towers.

Director: Charles Crichton | Stars: Alec Guinness, Stanley Holloway, Sidney James, Alfie Bass

Votes: 10,663

13. Titanic (1953)

Not Rated | 98 min | Drama, History, Romance

An unhappily married couple struggle to deal with their problems while on board the ill-fated ship.

Director: Jean Negulesco | Stars: Clifton Webb, Barbara Stanwyck, Robert Wagner, Audrey Dalton

Votes: 5,466 | Gross: $4.91M

14. On the Waterfront (1954)

Not Rated | 108 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

88 Metascore

An ex-prize fighter turned longshoreman struggles to stand up to his corrupt union bosses.

Director: Elia Kazan | Stars: Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb, Rod Steiger

Votes: 119,835 | Gross: $9.60M

15. Interrupted Melody (1955)

Passed | 106 min | Biography, Drama, Music

The film chronicles Australian-born opera star Marjorie Lawrence's success, her battle with polio, and her eventual career comeback.

Director: Curtis Bernhardt | Stars: Glenn Ford, Eleanor Parker, Roger Moore, Cecil Kellaway

Votes: 766

16. The Red Balloon (1956)

Not Rated | 34 min | Short, Comedy, Drama

A red balloon with a life of its own follows a little boy around the streets of Paris.

Director: Albert Lamorisse | Stars: Pascal Lamorisse, Sabine Lamorisse, Georges Sellier, Vladimir Popov

Votes: 14,056

17. Designing Woman (1957)

Approved | 118 min | Comedy, Romance

A sportswriter and a fashion-designer marry after a whirlwind romance, and discover they have little in common.

Director: Vincente Minnelli | Stars: Gregory Peck, Lauren Bacall, Dolores Gray, Sam Levene

Votes: 3,429

18. The Defiant Ones (1958)

Approved | 96 min | Crime, Drama

Two escaped convicts chained together, white and black, must learn to get along in order to elude capture.

Director: Stanley Kramer | Stars: Tony Curtis, Sidney Poitier, Theodore Bikel, Charles McGraw

Votes: 10,908

19. Pillow Talk (1959)

Not Rated | 102 min | Comedy, Romance

A man and a woman who share a party line cannot stand each other, but he has fun romancing her with his voice disguised.

Director: Michael Gordon | Stars: Rock Hudson, Doris Day, Tony Randall, Thelma Ritter

Votes: 12,862 | Gross: $18.75M

20. The Apartment (1960)

Not Rated | 125 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A man tries to rise in his company by letting its executives use his apartment for trysts, but complications and a romance of his own ensue.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray, Ray Walston

Votes: 131,552 | Gross: $18.60M

21. Splendor in the Grass (1961)

Not Rated | 124 min | Drama, Romance

A fragile Kansas girl's love for a handsome young man from the town's most powerful family drives her to heartbreak and madness.

Director: Elia Kazan | Stars: Natalie Wood, Warren Beatty, Pat Hingle, Audrey Christie

Votes: 15,130 | Gross: $8.72M

22. Divorce Italian Style (1961)

Not Rated | 105 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A married Sicilian baron falls in love with his cousin and vows to wed her, but with divorce illegal he must concoct a crime of passion to do away with his wife.

Director: Pietro Germi | Stars: Marcello Mastroianni, Daniela Rocca, Stefania Sandrelli, Leopoldo Trieste

Votes: 9,425

23. How the West Was Won (1962)

G | 164 min | Western

A family saga covering several decades of Westward expansion in the nineteenth century - including the Gold Rush, the Civil War, and the building of the railroads.

Directors: John Ford, Henry Hathaway, George Marshall, Richard Thorpe | Stars: James Stewart, John Wayne, Gregory Peck, Henry Fonda

Votes: 15,958 | Gross: $46.50M

24. Father Goose (1964)

Approved | 118 min | Adventure, Comedy, Romance

During World War II, a man persuaded to live on an isolated island and spot aircraft finds himself responsible for a teacher and several students, all female.

Director: Ralph Nelson | Stars: Cary Grant, Leslie Caron, Trevor Howard, Jack Good

Votes: 8,246 | Gross: $12.50M

25. Darling (1965)

TV-MA | 128 min | Drama, Romance

A beautiful but amoral model sleeps her way to the top of the London fashion scene at the height of the Swinging Sixties.

Director: John Schlesinger | Stars: Julie Christie, Dirk Bogarde, Laurence Harvey, José Luis de Vilallonga

Votes: 4,863

26. A Man and a Woman (1966)

Unrated | 102 min | Drama, Romance

A man and a woman meet by accident on a Sunday evening at their children's boarding school. Slowly the widower and widow reveal themselves to each other, with each revelation hidden by a ... See full summary »

Director: Claude Lelouch | Stars: Anouk Aimée, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Pierre Barouh, Valérie Lagrange

Votes: 7,883

27. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967)

Not Rated | 108 min | Comedy, Drama

63 Metascore

A couple's attitudes are challenged when their daughter introduces them to her African American fiancé.

Director: Stanley Kramer | Stars: Spencer Tracy, Sidney Poitier, Katharine Hepburn, Katharine Houghton

Votes: 33,004 | Gross: $56.70M

28. The Producers (1967)

PG | 88 min | Comedy

97 Metascore

Producers Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom make money by producing a sure-fire flop.

Director: Mel Brooks | Stars: Zero Mostel, Gene Wilder, Estelle Winwood, Renée Taylor

Votes: 43,973 | Gross: $0.11M

29. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

PG | 110 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

58 Metascore

Wyoming, early 1900s. Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid are the leaders of a band of outlaws. After a train robbery goes wrong they find themselves on the run with a posse hard on their heals. Their solution - escape to Bolivia.

Director: George Roy Hill | Stars: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Katharine Ross, Strother Martin

Votes: 175,796 | Gross: $102.31M

30. Patton (1970)

GP | 172 min | Biography, Drama, War

91 Metascore

The World War II phase of the career of the controversial American general, George S. Patton.

Director: Franklin J. Schaffner | Stars: George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Stephen Young, Michael Strong

Votes: 84,074 | Gross: $61.70M

31. The Hospital (1971)

PG-13 | 103 min | Comedy, Drama, Mystery

An over-burdened doctor struggles to find meaning in his life while a murderer stalks the halls of his hospital.

Director: Arthur Hiller | Stars: George C. Scott, Diana Rigg, Barnard Hughes, Richard Dysart

Votes: 4,660 | Gross: $19.71M

32. The Candidate (1972)

PG | 110 min | Comedy, Drama

Bill McKay is a candidate for the U.S. Senate from California. He has no hope of winning, so he is willing to tweak the establishment.

Director: Michael Ritchie | Stars: Robert Redford, Peter Boyle, Melvyn Douglas, Don Porter

Votes: 8,379

33. The Sting (1973)

PG | 129 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

80 Metascore

Two grifters team up to pull off the ultimate con.

Director: George Roy Hill | Stars: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Robert Shaw, Charles Durning

Votes: 204,481 | Gross: $159.60M

34. Chinatown (1974)

R | 130 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

86 Metascore

A private detective hired to expose an adulterer finds himself caught up in a web of deceit, corruption, and murder.

Director: Roman Polanski | Stars: Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston, Perry Lopez

Votes: 249,304 | Gross: $29.20M

35. Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

R | 125 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

86 Metascore

A man robs a bank to pay for his lover's operation; it turns into a hostage situation and a media circus.

Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: Al Pacino, John Cazale, Penelope Allen, Sully Boyar

Votes: 208,071 | Gross: $50.00M

36. Network (1976)

R | 121 min | Drama

88 Metascore

A television network cynically exploits a deranged former anchor's ravings and revelations about the news media for its own profit.

Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch, Robert Duvall

Votes: 122,390

37. Annie Hall (1977)

PG | 93 min | Comedy, Romance

92 Metascore

Neurotic New York comedian Alvy Singer falls in love with the ditzy Annie Hall.

Director: Woody Allen | Stars: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Tony Roberts, Carol Kane

Votes: 225,818 | Gross: $39.20M

38. Coming Home (1978)

R | 127 min | Drama, Romance, War

A woman whose husband is fighting in Vietnam falls in love with another man who suffered a paralyzing combat injury there.

Director: Hal Ashby | Stars: Jane Fonda, Jon Voight, Bruce Dern, Penelope Milford

Votes: 10,508 | Gross: $32.65M

39. Breaking Away (1979)

PG | 101 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

91 Metascore

A small-town boy obsessed with the Italian cycling team vies for the affections of a college girl.

Director: Peter Yates | Stars: Dennis Christopher, Dennis Quaid, Daniel Stern, Jackie Earle Haley

Votes: 19,057 | Gross: $16.42M

40. Melvin and Howard (1980)

R | 95 min | Comedy, Drama

The story of hard-luck Melvin E. Dummar, who claimed to have received a will naming him an heir to the fortune of Howard Hughes.

Director: Jonathan Demme | Stars: Paul Le Mat, Jason Robards, Elizabeth Cheshire, Mary Steenburgen

Votes: 3,787 | Gross: $4.31M

41. Chariots of Fire (1981)

PG | 125 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

78 Metascore

Two British track athletes, one a determined Jew, and the other a devout Christian, compete in the 1924 Olympics.

Director: Hugh Hudson | Stars: Ben Cross, Ian Charleson, Nicholas Farrell, Nigel Havers

Votes: 46,117 | Gross: $58.97M

42. Gandhi (1982)

PG | 191 min | Biography, Drama, History

79 Metascore

Gandhi's character is fully explained as a man of nonviolence. Through his patience, he is able to drive the British out of the subcontinent. And the stubborn nature of Jinnah and his commitment towards Pakistan is portrayed.

Director: Richard Attenborough | Stars: Ben Kingsley, John Gielgud, Candice Bergen, Edward Fox

Votes: 197,036 | Gross: $52.77M

43. Tender Mercies (1983)

PG | 92 min | Drama, Music

A broken-down, middle-aged country singer gets a new wife, reaches out to his long-lost daughter, and tries to put his troubled life back together.

Director: Bruce Beresford | Stars: Robert Duvall, Tess Harper, Betty Buckley, Wilford Brimley

Votes: 7,962 | Gross: $8.44M

44. Places in the Heart (1984)

PG | 111 min | Drama

In central Texas in the 1930s, a widow, with two small children, tries to run her small 40-acre farm with the help of two disparate people.

Director: Robert Benton | Stars: Sally Field, Lindsay Crouse, Ed Harris, Amy Madigan

Votes: 8,786 | Gross: $34.90M

45. Witness (1985)

R | 112 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

76 Metascore

A young Amish boy is sole witness to a murder; policeman John Book goes into hiding in Amish country to protect him until the trial.

Director: Peter Weir | Stars: Harrison Ford, Kelly McGillis, Lukas Haas, Josef Sommer

Votes: 73,728 | Gross: $68.71M

46. Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)

PG-13 | 107 min | Comedy, Drama

90 Metascore

Between two Thanksgivings two years apart, Hannah's husband falls in love with her sister Lee, while her hypochondriac ex-husband rekindles his relationship with her sister Holly.

Director: Woody Allen | Stars: Mia Farrow, Dianne Wiest, Michael Caine, Barbara Hershey

Votes: 58,797 | Gross: $40.08M

47. Moonstruck (1987)

PG | 102 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

83 Metascore

Loretta Castorini, a bookkeeper from Brooklyn, New York, finds herself in a difficult situation when she falls for the brother of the man she has agreed to marry.

Director: Norman Jewison | Stars: Cher, Nicolas Cage, Olympia Dukakis, Danny Aiello

Votes: 40,244 | Gross: $80.64M

48. Rain Man (1988)

R | 133 min | Drama

65 Metascore

Selfish yuppie Charlie Babbitt's father left a fortune to his savant brother Raymond and a pittance to Charlie; they travel cross-country.

Director: Barry Levinson | Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise, Valeria Golino, Gerald R. Molen

Votes: 420,454 | Gross: $172.83M

49. Dead Poets Society (1989)

PG | 128 min | Comedy, Drama

79 Metascore

English teacher John Keating inspires his students to look at poetry with a different perspective of authentic knowledge and feelings.

Director: Peter Weir | Stars: Robin Williams, Robert Sean Leonard, Ethan Hawke, Josh Charles

Votes: 329,675 | Gross: $95.86M

50. Ghost (1990)

PG-13 | 127 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

52 Metascore

After a young man is murdered, his spirit stays behind to warn his lover of impending danger, with the help of a reluctant psychic.

Director: Jerry Zucker | Stars: Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, Whoopi Goldberg, Tony Goldwyn

Votes: 169,311 | Gross: $217.63M