Sunday, April 22, 2012

Best of the Academy Awards Winners: Best Original and Adapted Screenplay

Best Adapted Screenplay
Winner - Philip G. Epstein, Julius J. Epstein, Howard Koch "Casablanca"
Runner Up - Ring Lardner Jr. "M*A*S*H" and Horton Foote "To Kill a Mockingbird"
Commentary - This one was a pretty easy choice from the first time I went through the list. In the AFI's Top 100 Quotes, one film simply dominates. That film of course is Casablanca. It is a brilliantly written piece of screenwriting, deftly combining war and romance, and giving us some of the best quotes of all time.
Best Original Screenplay
Winner - (TIE) Charles Brackett, D.M. Marshman Jr., Billy Wilder "Sunset Boulevard" & Quentin Tarantino "Pulp Fiction" & Woody Allen "Annie Hall"
Runner Up -
Commentary - A lot tougher than the previous category, which is why I have copped out and selected not just two, but three. But when I think of great original scripts, I think of three different eras. The first is the Billy Wilder era, with his witty and original scripts that created some of the greatest films of all time, particularly that of Sunset Blvd. It didn't hurt having Gloria Swanson, but Wilder & Co's script is one that has been copied by many others to this very day. The second era is that of Woody Allen, his scripts, when they are on top of their game, are consistently funny, signaturely Woody, and highly original concepts. Finally, the third era is that of Quentin Tarantino. Ultra-vibrant and violent, his films happily take from the b-rated movies of the 70's, and cleverly twist them into incredible stories that excited and entertain. So yes, I copped out, but I don't feel bad about it.

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