ScreenplayLists.com celebrates the art of screenwriting by showcasing the best movie scripts in all genres and categories. Dedicated to those who write screenplays and also to those who love to read the works of the best storytellers of our time!
Films can give us dreamy or weird fuzzy feelings. Like when you smell a certain kind of flower, or feel that warmth from the seasons changing (cue Future Islands). Have you ever watched or re-watched a certain film, and all those ooey-gooey feelings you used to have suddenly came rushing back? Nostalgia has a funny way of evoking strong feelings in all of us, especially when we watch movies.
Listed below are a few films and screenplays that might rev-up all those dream like feelings.
One of our most honorable mentions goes to The Land Before Time. It’s a real tear-jerker, and who doesn’t love dinosaurs?! We could not find the script online, but the dialogue transcript is listed below.
Whatever your feelings about Valentine’s Day, a good movie can make any holiday better. Whether it’s full on rage, feeling like a smitten kitten, sitting in a puddle of tears, or saying, “Screw this holiday, it’s all a capitalistic scam anyway,” we feel you! We listed some films you could watch for a spectrum of feelings. The list skews heavily toward romantic indie film that have great scripts.
So, after you watch the film, grab some chocolate, put on Marvin Gaye in the background, and read the script!
Although perhaps best known as the director of the hit film A Wrinkle in Time, Ava DuVernay has written and directed a wide range of culturally relevant and uniquely impactful films. Her stories are always memorable, leaving audiences with much to think about.
Ava didn't start writing screenplays until she was in her thirties. What draws us to her work is her fierce drive for inclusiveness of people of color in film, her attention to detail, and the art of asking questions about everything in her scripts. Part of what makes us love films and screenplays is how we can relate to the characters and their stories. DuVernay has always made it a point to write her films with diversity and visibility in the characters in order for all audience members to be represented and seen.
The documentary 13th, written and directed by DuVernay, examines the intersections of race and police brutality against Black communities. The film was aptly named after the Thirteenth Amendment of the Constitution. When writing and directing the documentary, DuVernay wanted to highlight the turmoils and injustices within the criminal justice system.
Selma, also one of DuVernay's most recent works as a screenwriter, portrays Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. fighting for voting rights for black Americans during the 1960s. The film was incredibly successful and earned four Golden Globes, as well as an Academy Award nomination. However, regardless of the film’s success, there were also serious issues with who was credited for writing the screenplay. DuVernay co-wrote the script with another screenwriter, but she was never given credit as a screenwriter. She went on to say that not receiving writing credits on the script was, "a really painful experience that I never talked about at the time."
As Ava creates her legacy as a screenwriter and director, she has said on screenwriting, “Remind yourself why you’re telling this story every morning on the way to set. Why it’s important to you. What you want to say. Every morning.”
Listed below are a few of the screenplays written by Ava DuVernay.
The Many Faces of Beth Jones follows the eponymous Beth as she meets her agent after a successful stint in a TV show. Aching to be a star, Beth is full of excitement for the new roles her agent has found for her. But the new roles might not be exactly what she was hoping for...
The humor of the film kicks in right away, just as you realize that Beth is very likely not getting her dream role on this particular visit to her agent. The moment the comedy starts to create an established pattern, there’s a perfect twist right at the end.
The film premiered at the Raindance Film Festival in 2018 and was shortlisted for the Performance Short Film Award.
According to director Harvey Puttock, “I wrote and directed the five-minute comedy short in 2018, a first for me in terms of genre and length. The screenplay was inspired by sketch comedy and the onslaught of ridiculous franchise films out there (I’m looking at you Battleship movie).”
There is something inherently special about a crisp black and white film that tells a story from the past but with a modern-day lens. The film Roma had us pulled in right away, just by the opening scene of water being splashed onto concrete.
Roma, written and directed by Alfonso Cuarón, tells a simple yet rich story where every moment of dialogue hits with an unusually poetic impact. It also seems that Cuarón was comfortable to use silence as a form of dialogue. For example, there’s a particularly memorable scene where subtle movements and looks reveal a tender yet tense moment between two of the main characters. The scene reads:
Alfonso Cuarón is a highly accomplished screenwriter, best known for Children of Men, Gravity, and Y Tu Mamá También (co-written with his brother Carlos Cuarón).
Cuarón stated that Roma was a remaking of his childhood, which included the trials and tribulations he experienced within his own family. He goes on to say that the film was inspired in large part by the woman who helped raise him during his childhood, and he wanted to share her story as much as his.
Roma is a uniquely crafted film that invites the audience to think deeper about timely societal issues such as classism, family structures, political strife, and the simple nuances of ordinary life.
Alejandro Jodorowsky, el hombre, la leyenda, la guionista (The man, the legend, the screenwriter). Chances are once you see a film by Jodorowsky you probably won't forget it. He has been writing films and blowing our minds for over half a century. In addition to being an accomplished screenwriter, he is a novelist, poet, musician, comic book writer, and mystic. But his scripts and films that out the most (to us). The Chilean artist's films are magical surrealism laced with hauntingly beautiful imagery and mystical eroticism.
Prior to writing the screenplay The Holy Mountain, Jodorowsky stated that he did not sleep for seven days, took a large dosage of LSD, and embarked on a spiritual journey. That's one hell of a way to get inspired to write a screenplay. His other film, El Topo, is regarded as a Mexican Acid Western film which has had profound impacts on film in society. So much so that John Lennon wanted to buy the films rights and Dennis Hopper wanted to be in his films. When writing his screenplays, Jodorowsky often went through intense and disorderly lengths to finish writing and shooting them.
Notoriously, Jodorowsky was set to write and direct the film adaption of Dune, based off the Frank Herbert novel. The film was going to feature the ultimate dream cast of artists including Mick Jagger, Orson Welles, and Salvador Dalí. However, the film never did get made. In wasn't until the early Eighties when another mystical artist David Lynch wrote and directed the classic sci-fi film.
Jodorowsky’s recent film Endless Poetry shows that he hasn’t lost his magical touch for the absurd—even late into his 80s. Although the film’s topsy turvy madness takes us on a wild ride, it's the beautifully articulated writing that allows us to follow the characters throughout their heartbreaking voyages.