Greatest Screenwritersby phbasketball6 | created - 06 Oct 2010 | updated - 23 Aug 2012 | Public
✍ - Great screenplay ✎ - Critically Acclaimed Screenplay (Either I do not agree, haven't seen, or need to re-watch) ☟- Awful screenplay
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....
Greats: Sullivan's Travels (1931) (1941)✍; The Lady Eve (1941) (1941)✍; The Miracle of Morgan's Creek (1943) (1944)✍; Hail the Conquering Hero (1944) (1944)✍; Unfaithfully Yours (1948) (1948)✍
Give It a Shot: The Palm Beach Story (1942) (1942)✍
Other Notable Screenplay(s): Christmas in July (1940) (1940); The Great McGinty (1940) (1940)✎; The Great Moment (1944) (1944); The Sin of Harold Diddlebock (1947) (1947)
2. 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...
Greats: Annie Hall (1977) (1977)✍; Manhattan (1979) (1979)✍; Broadway Danny Rose (1984) (1984)✍; Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) (1986)✍; Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989) (1989)✍
Give It a Shot: Radio Days (1987) (1987)✍; Mighty Aphrodite (1995) (1995)✍; Deconstructing Harry (1997) (1997)✍; Midnight in Paris (2011) (2011)✍
Other Notable Screenplay(s): Interiors (1978) (1978)✎; Zelig (1983) (1983); The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985) (1985)✎; Alice (1990) (1990)✎; Husbands and Wives (1992) (1992)✎; Bullets Over Broadway (1994) (1994)✎; Match Point (2005) (2005)✎
Writer | Ran
After training as a painter (he storyboards his films as full-scale paintings), Kurosawa entered the film industry in 1936 as an assistant director, eventually making his directorial debut with Sanshiro Sugata (1943). Within a few years, Kurosawa had achieved sufficient stature to allow him greater...
Writer | The Great Dictator
Considered to be one of the most pivotal stars of the early days of Hollywood, Charlie Chaplin lived an interesting life both in his films and behind the camera. He is most recognized as an icon of the silent film era, often associated with his popular character, the Little Tramp; the man with the ...
The Kid (1921); The Gold Rush (1925); Modern Times; City Lights; The Great Dictator
Other Notable Screenplay(s):
5. 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 ...
Writer | First Reformed
Although his name is often linked to that of the "movie brat" generation (Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, Brian De Palma, etc.) Paul Schrader's background couldn't have been more different than theirs. His strict Calvinist parents refused to allow him to see a...
Notable Screenplays: Taxi Driver (1976)✍; Raging Bull (1980)✍
7. Neil Simon
Writer | The Odd Couple
Neil Simon was born on July 4, 1927 in The Bronx, New York City, New York, USA as Marvin Neil Simon. He was a writer and producer, known for The Odd Couple (1968), Murder by Death (1976) and The Goodbye Girl (1977). He was married to Elaine Joyce, Diane Lander, Marsha Mason and Joan Baim. He died ...
Notable Screenplays: The Odd Couple; The Goodbye Girl
Producer | Apocalypse Now
Francis Ford Coppola was born in 1939 in Detroit, Michigan, but grew up in a New York suburb in a creative, supportive Italian-American family. His father, Carmine Coppola, was a composer and musician. His mother, Italia Coppola (née Pennino), had been an actress. Francis Ford Coppola graduated ...
Greats: Patton (1970)✍; The Godfather (1972)✍; The Godfather: Part II (1974)✍ The Conversation (1974)✍; The Godfather: Part III (1990)
Other Notable Screenplay(s):
Writer | 8½
The women who both attracted and frightened him and an Italy dominated in his youth by Mussolini and Pope Pius XII - inspired the dreams that Fellini started recording in notebooks in the 1960s. Life and dreams were raw material for his films. His native Rimini and characters like Saraghina (the ...
Greats: 81/2✍; La strada✍
Other Notable Screenplay(s):
10. Ingmar Bergman
Writer | Smultronstället
Ernst Ingmar Bergman was born July 14, 1918, the son of a priest. The film and T.V. series, The Best Intentions (1992) is biographical and shows the early marriage of his parents. The film 'Söndagsbarn' depicts a bicycle journey with his father. In the miniseries Private Confessions (1996) is the ...
Persona; The Passion of Anna; The Hour of the Wolf; The Seventh Seal
Other Notable Screenplay(s):
11. Mel Brooks
Actor | Spaceballs
Mel Brooks was born Melvin Kaminsky on June 28, 1926 in Brooklyn, New York. He served in WWII, and afterwards got a job playing the drums at nightclubs in the Catskills. Brooks eventually started a comedy act and also worked in radio and as Master Entertainer at Grossinger's Resort before going to ...
Blazzing Saddles; Silent Movie
Other Notable Screenplay(s): Young Frankenstein✎
12. Stanley Kubrick
Director | 2001: A Space Odyssey
Stanley Kubrick was born in Manhattan, New York City, to Sadie Gertrude (Perveler) and Jacob Leonard Kubrick, a physician. His family were Jewish immigrants (from Austria, Romania, and Russia). Stanley was considered intelligent, despite poor grades at school. Hoping that a change of scenery would ...
Greats: Barry Lyndon; The Shining (1980); Full Metal Jacket
Give It a Shot: Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
13. John Huston
Director | The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
An eccentric rebel of epic proportions, this Hollywood titan reigned supreme as director, screenwriter and character actor in a career that endured over five decades. The ten-time Oscar-nominated legend was born John Marcellus Huston in Nevada, Missouri, on August 5, 1906. His ancestry was English,...
Greats: Sergeant York (1941) (1941)✍; The Maltese Falcon (1941) (1941)✍; The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) (1948)✍; The African Queen (1951) (1951)✍
Other Notable Screenplay(s): Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet (1940) (1940)✎; The Asphalt Jungle (1950) (1950)✎; Moulin Rouge (1952) (1952); Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957) (1957)✎; The Man Who Would Be King (1975) (1975)✎
14. William Goldman
Writer | Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Screenwriter, novelist, playwright, non-fiction author. Born in Highland Park, Illinois, USA, began his career as a novelist in 1957. Started writing screenplays in 1965 with "Masquerade". A two-time Academy Award Winner, he is one of the most successful screenwriters and script doctors in ...
Greats: All the President's Men (1976)✍
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969); Marathon Man; The Princess Bride; Misery
Other Notable Screenplays: Chaplin (1992)
15. Joel Coen
Producer | The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Joel Coen was born on November 29, 1954 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA as Joel Daniel Coen. He is a producer and writer, known for The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018), Fargo (1996) and A Serious Man (2009). He has been married to Frances McDormand since April 1, 1984. They have one child.
:Representing the Coen brothers
Director | There Will Be Blood
Anderson was born in 1970. He was one of the first of the "video store" generation of film-makers. His father was the first man on his block to own a V.C.R., and from a very early age Anderson had an infinite number of titles available to him. While film-makers like Spielberg cut their teeth making...
Other Notable Screenplay(s):
Writer | Reservoir Dogs
Quentin Jerome Tarantino was born in Knoxville, Tennessee. His father, Tony Tarantino, is an Italian-American actor and musician from New York, and his mother, Connie (McHugh), is a nurse from Tennessee. Quentin moved with his mother to Torrance, California, when he was four years old.
In January of...
Reservoir Dogs✍; Pulp Fiction (1994)✍
Other Notable Screenplay(s): Django Unchained (2012)
18. Mike Leigh
Director | Secrets & Lies
Mike Leigh was born on February 20, 1943 in Salford, Greater Manchester, England. He is a director and writer, known for Secrets & Lies (1996), Happy-Go-Lucky (2008) and Another Year (2010). He was previously married to Alison Steadman.
Other Notable Screenplay(s):
19. 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 has been married to Debra Greenfield since 1987. They have five children.
20. Orson Welles
Actor | Citizen Kane
His father was a well-to-do inventor, his mother a beautiful concert pianist; Orson Welles was gifted in many arts (magic, piano, painting) as a child. When his mother died (he was six) he traveled the world with his father. He was orphaned at 15 after his father's death and became the ward of Dr. ...
Notable Screenplays: Citizen Kane✍
Writer | Dunkirk
Best known for his cerebral, often nonlinear, storytelling, acclaimed writer-director Christopher Nolan was born on July 30, 1970, in London, England. Over the course of 15 years of filmmaking, Nolan has gone from low-budget independent films to working on some of the biggest blockbusters ever made.
Memento✍; Inception (2010)✍; The Prestige (2006)
Other Notable Screenplay(s):
22. Michael Powell
Director | The Red Shoes
The son of Thomas William Powell and Mabel (nee Corbett). Michael Powell was always a self-confessed movie addict. He was brought up partly in Canterbury ("The Garden of England") and partly in the south of France (where his parents ran a hotel). Educated at Kings School, Canterbury and Dulwich ...
24. Ruth Gordon
Actress | Rosemary's Baby
When Ruth Gordon convinced her father, a sea captain, to let her pursue acting she came to New York and studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She acted in a few silents made at Fort Lee, New Jersey, in 1915. She made her Broadway debut in "Peter Pan" as Nibs the same year. The next 20 ...
25. Pedro Almodóvar
Writer | Hable con ella
The most internationally acclaimed Spanish filmmaker since Luis Buñuel was born in a small town (Calzada de Calatrava) in the impoverished Spanish region of La Mancha. He arrived in Madrid in 1968, and survived by selling used items in the flea-market called El Rastro. Almodóvar couldn't study ...
Other Notable Screenplay(s):
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 ...
27. 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 ...
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 ...
29. Leo McCarey
Director | An Affair to Remember
Leo McCarey was born on October 3, 1896 in Los Angeles, California, USA as Thomas Leo McCarey. He was a director and writer, known for An Affair to Remember (1957), Going My Way (1944) and Love Affair (1939). He was married to Stella Martin. He died on July 5, 1969 in Santa Monica, California.
Writer | Howards End
Ruth Prawer Jhabvala was born on May 7, 1927 in Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany as Ruth Prawer. She was a writer, known for Howards End (1992), A Room with a View (1985) and The Remains of the Day (1993). She was married to Cyrus Jhabvala. She died on April 3, 2013 in Manhattan, New York ...
32. 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 ...
33. 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 "...
Greats: Network (1976)✍
Other Notable Film(s):
Writer | La nuit américaine
French director François Truffaut began to assiduously go to the movies at age seven. He was also a great reader but not a good pupil. He left school at 14 and started working. In 1947, aged 15, he founded a film club and met André Bazin, a French critic, who became his protector. Bazin helped the ...
35. Robert Towne
Writer | Chinatown
Writer, director, producer, actor. Born in Los Angeles, California, USA, and raised in the seaport town of San Pedro. Got his start acting and writing for legendary exploitation director/producer Roger Corman. Came into his own during the 1970s when he was regarded as one of the finest ...
36. Luis Buñuel
Writer | Le charme discret de la bourgeoisie
The father of cinematic Surrealism and one of the most original directors in the history of the film medium, Luis Buñuel was given a strict Jesuit education (which sowed the seeds of his obsession with both religion and subversive behavior), and subsequently moved to Madrid to study at the ...
37. Ben Hecht
Writer | Notorious
Ben Hecht, one of Hollywood's and Broadway's greatest writers, won an Oscar for best original story for Underworld (1927) at the first Academy Awards in 1929 and had a hand in the writing of many classic films. He was nominated five more times for the best writing Oscar, winning (along with writing...
38. Mario Puzo
Writer | The Godfather
Mario Puzo was born October 15, 1920, in "Hell's Kitchen" on Manhattan's (NY) West Side and, following military service in World War II, attended New York's New School for Social Research and Columbia University. His best-known novel, "The Godfather," was preceded by two critically acclaimed novels...
Notable Screenplays: The Godfather (1972)✍; The Godfather: Part II (1974)✍; Superman
39. Paul Haggis
Writer | Crash
Paul Haggis established himself over twenty years with an extensive career in television, before his big break into features arrived when he became the first screenwriter to garner two Best Film Academy Awards back-to-back for his scripts: "Million Dollar Baby" (2004) directed by Clint Eastwood, ...
40. George Seaton
Writer | Miracle on 34th Street
Working his way up from general factotum and gag writer to highly versatile writer/director, George Seaton was involved in many aspects of the entertainment industry along the way.
He was born George Stenius of Swedish parentage (his family hailed from Stockholm) in South Bend, IN, and grew up in ...
41. 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 married to Laura Ziskin and Joan Camden. He died on May 9, 2019 in Seattle, Washington, USA.
42. Charlie Kaufman
Writer | Synecdoche, New York
Avid reader Charlie Kaufman wrote plays and made short films as a young student. He moved from Massapequa, New York to West Hartford, Connecticut in 1972 where he attended high school. As a comedic actor, he performed in school plays and, after graduation, he enrolled at Boston University but soon ...
43. 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. ...
44. Warren Beatty
Actor | Bonnie and Clyde
Since starring in his first film, Splendor in the Grass (1961), Warren Beatty has been said to have demonstrated a greater longevity in movies than any actor of his generation. Few people have taken so many responsibilities for all phases of the production of films as producer, director, writer, ...
Writer | Blowup
Michelangelo Antonioni was born in 1912 into a middle-class family and grew up in bourgeois surroundings of the Italian province. In Bologna he studied economics and commerce while he painted and also wrote criticism for a local newspaper. In 1939 he went to Rome and worked for the journal "Cinema"...
46. Oliver Stone
Producer | JFK
Oliver Stone has become known as a master of controversial subjects and a legendary film maker. His films are filled with a variety of film angles and styles, he pushes his actors to give Oscar-worthy performances, and despite his failures, has always returned to success.
William Oliver Stone was ...
47. Barry Levinson
Director | Rain Man
Barry Levinson was born in Baltimore, Maryland, to Violet (Krichinsky) and Irvin Levinson, who worked in furniture and appliance. He is of Russian Jewish descent. Levinson graduated from high school in 1960, attended college at American University in Washington, DC. He did well, but decided he ...
48. Andrew Stanton
Writer | WALL·E
Oscar-winning filmmaker Andrew Stanton was raised in Rockport, Massachusetts. He was educated at The California Institute of the Arts (or "CalArts") in Los Angeles, where he studied character animation. After graduation, Stanton began working as a writer on the TV series Mighty Mouse: The New ...
49. Brad Bird
Writer | The Incredibles
Phillip Bradley "Brad" Bird is an American director, screenwriter, animator, producer and occasional voice actor, known for both animated and live-action films. Bird was born in Kalispell, Montana, the youngest of four children of Marjorie A. (née Cross) and Philip Cullen Bird. His father worked in...
50. Simon Beaufoy
Writer | Slumdog Millionaire
Born in Keighley, West Yorkshire. He attended Malsis School in Cross Hills Ermysted's Grammar School at Skipton, later he attended Sedbergh School in Cumbria.
He has read English at St Peter's College, Oxford and graduated from the Arts Institute at Bournemouth.
In 2009 he won an Academy Award for ...
52. Peter Jackson
Peter Jackson was born as an only child in a small coast-side town in New Zealand in 1961. When a friend of his parents bought him a super 8 movie camera (because she saw how much he enjoyed taking photos), the then eight-year-old Peter instantly grabbed the thing to start recording his own movies,...
53. George Lucas
Writer | Star Wars
George Walton Lucas, Jr. was raised on a walnut ranch in Modesto, California. His father was a stationery store owner and he had three siblings. During his late teen years, he went to Thomas Downey High School and was very much interested in drag racing. He planned to become a professional racecar ...
54. William Rose
Writer | Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
William Rose was born on December 12, 1914 in Jefferson City, Missouri, USA as William Arthur Rose. He was a writer, known for Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967), It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963) and The Ladykillers (1955). He was married to Tania Rose. He died on February 10, 1987 in Jersey, ...
55. Nora Ephron
Writer | Julie & Julia
Nora Ephron was educated at Wellesley College, Massachusetts. She was an acclaimed essayist (Crazy Salad 1975), novelist (Heartburn 1983), and had written screenplays for several popular films, all featuring strong female characters, such as anti-nuclear activist Karen Silkwood (Silkwood (1983), ...
57. Frederic Raphael
Writer | Eyes Wide Shut
Frederic Raphael was born on August 14, 1931 in Chicago, Illinois, USA as Frederic Michael Raphael. He is a writer and actor, known for Eyes Wide Shut (1999), Two for the Road (1967) and Darling (1965). He has been married to Sylvia Betty Glatt since January 17, 1955.
58. I.A.L. Diamond
Writer | The Apartment
I.A.L. Diamond was born on June 27, 1920 in Ungheni, Romania as Itek Domnici. He was a writer and producer, known for The Apartment (1960), Some Like It Hot (1959) and The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970). He was married to Barbara Ann Bentley. He died on April 21, 1988 in Beverly Hills, ...
59. Ernest Lehman
Writer | North by Northwest
One of the most critically and commercially successful screenwriters in Hollywood history, Lehman grew up on Long Island, graduated from NY's City College. One of his first jobs was as a copywriter for a Broadway publicist. This experience would later be reflected in his novel and screenplay, "...
60. John Steinbeck
Writer | Lifeboat
John Steinbeck was the third of four children and the only son born to John Ernst and Olive Hamilton Steinbeck. His father was County Treasurer and his mother, a former schoolteacher. John graduated from Salinas High School in 1919 and attended classes at Stanford University, leaving in 1925 ...
61. 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 ...
Writer | The Talented Mr. Ripley
Anthony Minghella was the son of immigrants from Italy, who own an ice-cream factory on the Isle of Wight, where Anthony was born on January 6, 1954. He and his two siblings, Edana Minghella and Dominic Minghella, grew up there, a popular British holiday spot. After graduating from the University of...
63. Frank Darabont
Writer | The Green Mile
Three-time Oscar nominee Frank Darabont was born in a refugee camp in 1959 in Montbeliard, France, the son of Hungarian parents who had fled Budapest during the failed 1956 Hungarian revolution. Brought to America as an infant, he settled with his family in Los Angeles and attended Hollywood High ...
65. Jim Sheridan
Producer | In America
Jim Sheridan is a master story-teller, and an acclaimed film director of few films, but good films nevertheless.
Born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1949, Sheridan moved to America in 1982, meeting a man who invited him to run the Irish Arts Center. He found a place to live in Hell's Kitchen, New York City,...
66. Lawrence Kasdan
Writer | The Big Chill
Lawrence Kasdan was born on January 14, 1949 in Miami, Florida, USA as Lawrence Edward Kasdan. He is a writer and producer, known for The Big Chill (1983), Silverado (1985) and Wyatt Earp (1994). He has been married to Meg Kasdan since November 28, 1971. They have two children.
67. James Goldman
Writer | The Lion in Winter
James Goldman was born on June 30, 1927 in Chicago, Illinois, USA. He was a writer, known for The Lion in Winter (1968), Robin and Marian (1976) and Cyber Bandits (1995). He was married to Barbara Goldman and Maria McKeon. He died on October 28, 1998 in New York City, New York, USA.
Writer | Ultimo tango a Parigi
Bernardo Bertolucci, the Italian director whose films were known for their colorful visual style, was born in Parma, Italy. He attended Rome University and became famous as a poet. He served as assistant director for Pier Paolo Pasolini in the film Accattone (1961) and directed The Grim Reaper (...
69. David Lean
Director | Lawrence of Arabia
An important British filmmaker, David Lean was born in Croydon on March 25, 1908 and brought up in a strict Quaker family (ironically, as a child he wasn't allowed to go to the movies). During the 1920s, he briefly considered the possibility of becoming an accountant like his father before finding ...
70. John Hughes
Writer | Planes, Trains & Automobiles
John Hughes was born on February 18, 1950 in Lansing, Michigan, USA as John Wilden Hughes Jr. He was a writer, known for Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987), The Breakfast Club (1985) and Weird Science (1985). He was married to Nancy Hughes. He died on August 6, 2009 in Manhattan, New York City...
Notable Film(s): Breakfast Club; The Great Outdoors; Sixteen Candles; Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
71. Todd Field
Director | Little Children
William Todd Field was born in Pomona, California, and began acting after graduating from high school in Portland, Oregon, where he was raised. A budding jazz musician as well, he skipped college in favor of a move east to New York to study acting. Once there, he began performing with the Ark ...
74. Ronald Harwood
Writer | The Pianist
Born in South-Africa in 1934, Ronald Harwood moved to London in 1951 to pursue a career in the theater. After attending the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, he joined the Shakespeare Company of Sir Donald Wolfit, one of the last 'actor-manager' of Great-Britain. From 1953 to 1958, Harwood became the ...
75. Roman Polanski
Actor | Chinatown
Roman Polanski is a Polish film director, producer, writer and actor. Having made films in Poland, Britain, France and the USA, he is considered one of the few truly international filmmakers. Roman Polanski was born in Paris in 1933.
His parents returned to Poland from France in 1936, three years ...
76. Sofia Coppola
Director | Lost in Translation
Sofia Coppola was born on May 14, 1971 in New York City, New York, USA as Sofia Carmina Coppola. She is a director, known for Somewhere (2010), Lost in Translation (2003) and Marie Antoinette (2006). She has been married to Thomas Mars since August 27, 2011. They have two children. She was ...
Notable Film(s): Lost in Translation (2003)✍
77. David Hare
Writer | The Hours
David Hare is an English playwright, screenwriter and theatre and film director. Best known for his stage work, Hare has also enjoyed great success with films, receiving two Academy Award nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay for writing The Hours in 2002, based on the novel written by Michael ...
Writer | Dangerous Liaisons
Christopher Hampton was born on January 26, 1946 in Faial, Açores, Portugal as Christopher James Hampton. He is a writer, known for Dangerous Liaisons (1988), Atonement (2007) and The Quiet American (2002). He has been married to Laura de Holesch since 1971. They have two children.
79. William Monahan
Writer | The Departed
Greats: The Departed (2006)✍
Other Notable Film(s):
80. Darren Aronofsky
Director | Pi
Darren Aronofsky was born February 12, 1969, in Brooklyn, New York. Growing up, Darren was always artistic: he loved classic movies and, as a teenager, he even spent time doing graffiti art. After high school, Darren went to Harvard University to study film (both live-action and animation). He won ...
83. John Logan
Writer | Skyfall
John Logan was a playwright in Chicago for ten years before writing, on spec, his first screenplay, "Any Given Sunday." He won the 2010 Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League and Outer Critics Circle awards for his play RED, which premiered at the Donmar Warehouse in London and the Golden Theatre on ...
84. 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 ...
Writer | Field of Dreams
Phil Alden Robinson was born on March 1, 1950 in Long Beach, Long Island, New York, USA. He is a writer and director, known for Field of Dreams (1989), Sneakers (1992) and The Sum of All Fears (2002). He has been married to Paulette Bartlett since September 26, 2009.
87. Wes Anderson
Writer | Fantastic Mr. Fox
Wesley Wales Anderson was born in Houston, Texas. His mother, Texas Ann (Burroughs), is an archaeologist turned real estate agent, and his father, Melver Leonard Anderson, worked in advertising and PR. He has two brothers, Eric and Mel. Anderson's parents divorced when he was a young child, an ...
88. Frank Pierson
Writer | Dog Day Afternoon
Frank Pierson was born on May 12, 1925 in Chappaqua, New York, USA as Frank Romer Pierson. He was a producer and writer, known for Dog Day Afternoon (1975), Presumed Innocent (1990) and Cool Hand Luke (1967). He was married to Helene Szamet, Dori Pierson and Polly Stokes. He died on July 22, 2012 ...
89. James Cameron
Writer | Avatar
James Francis Cameron was born on August 16, 1954 in Kapuskasing, Ontario, Canada. He moved to the United States in 1971. The son of an engineer, he majored in physics at California State University before switching to English, and eventually dropping out. He then drove a truck to support his ...
90. Michael Mann
Producer | The Insider
A student of London's International Film School, Michael Mann began his career in the late 70s, writing for TV shows like Starsky and Hutch (1975). He directed his first film, the award-winning prison drama The Jericho Mile (1979), in 1979. He followed that in 1981 with his first theatrical release,...
91. Martin Scorsese
Director | Taxi Driver
Martin Charles Scorsese was born on November 17, 1942 in Queens, New York City, to Catherine Scorsese (née Cappa) and Charles Scorsese, who both worked in Manhattan's garment district, and whose families both came from Palermo, Sicily. He was raised in the neighborhood of Little Italy, which later ...
92. Michael Arndt
Michael Arndt was born on November 11, 1965 in Harris County, Texas, USA as Michael deBruyn Arndt. He is a writer, known for Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015), Little Miss Sunshine (2006) and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013).
93. Mardik Martin
Writer | Mean Streets
Mardik Martin is in the elite group of screenwriters on WGA's list of 101 Greatest Screenplays ever written. He immigrated to the United States from Iraq to attend 'New York University'. He won the Mahler award and graduated with a Master's degree in Screenwriting in 1968, then went on to teach at ...
Writer | Milk
Dustin Lance Black was born on June 10, 1974 in Sacramento, California, USA. He is a writer and producer, known for Milk (2008), When We Rise (2017) and My Life with Count Dracula (2003). He has been married to Tom Daley since May 6, 2017. They have one child.
Greats: Milk (2008)✍
Caution: J. Edgar (2011)
Other Notable Screenplay(s):
95. Ben Affleck
Producer | Argo
American actor and filmmaker Benjamin Géza Affleck-Boldt was born on August 15, 1972 in Berkeley, California, and was raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His mother, Chris Anne (née Boldt), is a school teacher, and his father, Timothy Byers Affleck, is a social worker; the two are divorced. Ben has...
Good Will Hunting (1997)✍
96. Matt Damon
Actor | Good Will Hunting
Matthew Paige Damon was born on October 8, 1970, in Boston, Massachusetts, to Kent Damon, a stockbroker, realtor and tax preparer, and Nancy Carlsson-Paige, an early childhood education professor at Lesley University. Matt has an older brother, Kyle, a sculptor. His father was of English and ...
Good Will Hunting (1997)✍
97. Diablo Cody
Writer | Juno
Diablo Cody is originally from Chicago, Illinois, and moved to Minnesota to live with her Internet boyfriend, Jonny who later became her husband. While there, she decided on a whim to take up stripping as a hobby of sorts.
She was working at an ad agency and got a promotion. The job wore her ragged ...
Give It a Shot: Young Adult (2011)
Caution: Juno (2007)
Other Notable Screenplay(s):
98. Shane Black
Writer | Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
Considered one of the pioneer screenwriters of the action genre, Black made his mark with his Lethal Weapon (1987) screenplay. He also collaborated on the story of the sequel, Lethal Weapon 2 (1989). Each successive script he turned in had a higher price attached it, from The Last Boy Scout (1991) ...
100. Nick Cave
Soundtrack | The Proposition
Nick Cave is a man of many talents. Musician. Songwriter. Screenwriter. Novelist. Actor. The Australian was born in Warracknabeal, Victoria in 1957, and would go onto form the alternative rock band Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, who have since successfully released a string of hit albums.
In film, Nick ...