Netflix Project: Oscar Winners for Best Original Screenplay

Despite (because of) the lack of suggestions for a Netflix movie project, I’ve come up with one of my own. I’ve decided to work my way through the list of Oscar winners for Best Original Screenplay since 1940.

Why 1940? Mostly because that’s where the Wikipedia entry starts. The history of the award is a little muddled, with name changes, combinations and divisions with other awards, etc. I needed a logical starting point, and Wikipedia chose for me, so there you have it.

In case you’re curious, here’s the list from which I’m working:
1940: The Great McGinty (Preston Sturges)
1941: Citizen Kane (Herman Mankiewicz, Orson Welles)
1942: Woman of the Year (Michael Kanin, Ring Lardner, Jr.)
1943: Princess O’Rourke (Norman Krasna)
1944: Wilson (Lamar Trotti)
1945: Marie-Louise (Richard Schweizer)
1946: The Seventh Veil (Muriel Box, Sydney Box)
1947: The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer (Sydney Sheldon)
1949: Battleground (Robert Pirosh)
1950: Sunset Boulevard (Charles Brackett, D.M. Marshman, Jr., Billy Wilder)
1951: An American in Paris (Alan Jay Lerner)
1952: The Lavender Hill Mob (T.E.B. Clarke)
1953: Titanic (Charles Brackett, Richard Breen, Walter Reisch)
1954: On the Waterfront (Budd Schulberg)
1955: Interrupted Melody (Sonya Levien, William Ludwig)
1956: The Red Balloon (Albert Lamorisse)
1957: Designing Woman (George Wells)
1958: The Defiant Ones (Nathan E. Douglas, Harold Jacob Smith)
1959: Pillow Talk (Clarence Greene, Maurice Richlin, Russell Rouse, Stanley Shapiro)
1960: The Apartment (I.A.L. Diamond, Billy Wilder)
1961: Splendor in the Grass (William Inge)
1962: Divorce, Italian Style (Ennio de Concini, Pietro Germi, Alfredo Giannetti)
1963: How the West Was Won (James Webb)
1964: Father Goose (Peter Stone, Frank Tarloff)
1965: Darling (Frederic Raphael)
1966: A Man and a Woman (Claude Lelouch [story]; Claude Lelouch, Pierre Uytterhoeven [screenplay])
1967: Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (William Rose)
1968: The Producers (Mel Brooks)
1969: Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid (William Goldman)
1970: Patton (Francis Ford Coppola, Edmund H. North)
1971: The Hospital (Paddy Chayefsky)
1972: The Candidate (Jerry Larner)
1973: The Sting (David S. Ward)
1974: Chinatown (Robert Towne)
1975: Dog Day Afternoon (Frank Pierson)
1976: Network (Paddy Chayefsky)
1977: Annie Hall (Woody Allen, Marshall Brickman)
1978: Coming Home (Robert C. Jones, Waldo Salt [screenplay]; Nancy Dowd [story])
1979: Breaking Away (Steve Tesich)
1980: Melvin and Howard (Bo Goldman)
1981: Chariots of Fire (Colin Welland)
1982: Gandhi (John Briley)
1983: Tender Mercies (Horton Foote)
1984: Places in the Heart (Robert Benton)
1985: Witness (William Kelley, Earl Wallace [screenplay]; William Kelley, Pamela Wallace, Earl Wallace [story])
1986: Hannah and Her Sisters (Woody Allen)
1987: Moonstruck (John Patrick Shanley)
1988: Rain Man (Ronald Bass, Barry Morrow)
1989: Dead Poets Society (Tom Schulman)
1990: Ghost (Bruce Joel Rubin)
1991: Thelma and Louise (Callie Khouri)
1992: The Crying Game (Neil Jordan)
1993: The Piano (Jane Campion)
1994: Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino [story and screenplay] and Roger Avary [story])
1995: The Usual Suspects (Christopher McQuarrie)
1996: Fargo (Ethan and Joel Coen)
1997: Good Will Hunting (Ben Affleck, Matt Damon)
1998: Shakespeare in Love (Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard)
1999: American Beauty (Alan Ball)
2000: Almost Famous (Cameron Crowe)
2001: Gosford Park (Julian Fellowes)
2002: Talk to Her/Habla con Ella (Pedro Almodóvar)
2003: Lost in Translation (Sofia Coppola)
2004: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Charlie Kaufman, Michel Gondry, and Pierre Bismuth)
2005: Crash (Paul Haggis and Bobby Moresco)
2006: Little Miss Sunshine (Michael Arndt)
2007: Juno (Diablo Cody)

I’m going to try to get through at least one of these a week, and I’m also going to try to post some sort of analysis of each film. I figure this will force me to actively analyze these movies as opposed to just sitting back and watching them without any critical thought. Should be a good academic experience, and hopefully I’ll be able to use some of what I learn to improve my own writing.

One thought on “Netflix Project: Oscar Winners for Best Original Screenplay

  1. I’d love to watch one with you sometime! I’m going to be in the Summit for a hair appointment next Wednesday–you available for the evening? Oh, wait…I think you might coach. Let me know!

    P.S. Yea for years 89-91, and 05. Love those movies!

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