Friday, January 11, 2013

Best Screenplays: 1980s

Best Adapted Screenplay:

1980: Ordinary People (Alvin Sargent)
Oscar winner: Ordinary People (Alvin Sargent)

1981: Prince of the City (Jay Presson Allen and Sidney Lumet)
Oscar winner: On Golden Pond (Ernest Thompson)
Was this nominated?: Yes

1982: Blade Runner (Hampton Fancher and David Webb Peoples)
Oscar winner: Missing (Costa-Gavras and Donald Stewart)
Was this nominated?: No

1983: Terms of Endearment (James L. Brooks)
Oscar winner: Terms of Endearment (James L. Brooks)

1984: Once Upon a Time in America (Leonardo Benvenuti, Piero De Bernardi, Enrico Medioli, Franco Arcalli, Franco Ferrini, and Sergio Leone)
Oscar winner: Amadeus (Peter Shaffer)
Was this nominated?: No

1985: Kiss of the Spider Woman (Leonard Schrader)
Oscar winner: Out of Africa (Kurt Luedtke)
Was this nominated?: Yes

1986: A Room with a View (Ruth Prawer Jhabvala)
Oscar winner: A Room with a View (Ruth Prawer Jhabvala)

1987: The Dead (Tony Huston)
Oscar winner: The Last Emperor (Bernardo Bertolucci and Mark Peploe)
Was this nominated?: Yes

1988: The Unbearable Lightness of Being (Jean-Claude Carriere and Philip Kaufman)
Oscar winner: Dangerous Liaisons (Christopher Hampton)
Was this nominated?: Yes

1989: Drugstore Cowboy (Gus Van Sant and Daniel Yost)
Oscar winner: Driving Miss Daisy (Alfred Uhry)
Was this nominated?: No

Best Original Screenplay:

1980: The Big Red One [The Reconstruction] (Samuel Fuller)
Oscar winner: Melvin and Howard (Bo Goldman)
Was this nominated?: No

1981: Atlantic City (John Guare)
Oscar winner: Chariots of Fire (Colin Welland)
Was this nominated?: Yes

1982: Diner (Barry Levinson)
Oscar winner: Gandhi (John Briley)
Was this nominated?: Yes

1983: The Big Chill (Lawrence Kasdan and Barbara Benedek)
Oscar winner: Tender Mercies (Horton Foote)
Was this nominated?: Yes

1984: Broadway Danny Rose (Woody Allen)
Oscar winner: Places in the Heart (Robert Benton)
Was this nominated?: Yes

1985: The Purple Rose of Cairo (Woody Allen)
Oscar winner: Witness (William Kelley, Earl Wallace, and Pamela Wallace)
Was this nominated?: Yes

1986: Hannah and Her Sisters (Woody Allen)
Oscar winner: Hannah and Her Sisters (Woody Allen)

1987: Withnail & I (Bruce Robinson)
Oscar winner: Moonstruck (John Patrick Shanley)
Was this nominated?: No

1988: A Fish Called Wanda (John Cleese and Charles Crichton)
Oscar winner: Rain Man (Ronald Bass and Barry Morrow)
Was this nominated?: Yes

1989: Do the Right Thing (Spike Lee)
Oscar winner: Dead Poets Society (Tom Schulman)
Was this nominated?: Yes

Updated: 6/12/14

13 comments:

  1. I'm fairly strong in 80s film, many of my favorites are from then, even though it's usually regarded as a weaker cinematic decade than the 70s.
    Never heard of Prince of the City, got to look that up.
    Withnail & I is indeed a very good screenplay, that ought to have been nominated, maybe it was too dark for the academy.

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    1. Ooh, Prince of the City is an interesting Lumet film. Just watched it recently, and it's a very underrated crime drama dealing with police corruption.

      Maybe Withnail & I was too British for the Academy? (Doesn't really make sense though, given A Fish Called Wanda's nod.) Not sure why it was overlooked, but I'm glad you like it.

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  2. Awesome to see so much Allen love here. A Fish Called Wanda deserved the win even just for the Yorkie bit - I felt dirty for laughing at that. 3 times it happened :)

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    1. Allen rocks! Haha. LOVE A Fish Called Wanda. :)

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  3. I love Dead Poets Society (one of my faves growing up) so I'm glad it won. A Fish Called Wanda is a hoot, I need to rewatch that one soon. Wow, Woody Allen dominated the 80s in this category, but I do like The Purple Rose of Cairo!

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    1. I like Dead Poets Society, but I prefer Spike Lee's screenplay.

      A Fish Called Wanda always makes me laugh, and Woody Allen couldn't be denied! Haha.

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  4. So many great movies here! I would definitely choose Kiss of the Spider Woman over Out of Africa ... I'm with you on that. :-) And I loved both Full Metal Jacket and The Last Emperor. I don't know how I'd call that one.

    I'd like to see The Verdict again -- I haven't watched it since it first came out. And I still need to see The Unbearable Lightness of Being.

    A Fish Called Wanda is one of my favorite guilty pleasures. "Interesting ... you're quite the vulgarian."


    Another fantastic post, Josh!

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    1. Thanks so much!

      Yay! Glad we agree on Kiss of the Spider Woman. I like The Last Emperor, but I think Full Metal Jacket is on another level.

      Love The Verdict, and a win for Mamet is a bonus. Be interested to hear your thoughts on The Unbearable Lightness of Being.

      A Fish Called Wanda? Why so guilty? It's a beloved, award-winning British comedy, after all. ;)

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    2. Ahah, true Josh, no need to feel guilty for loving a comedic gem that is A Fish Called Wanda :)

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  5. Great lists man. I was very disappointed with Do the Right Thing, although I'm fully aware that I'm in the minority.

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    1. Thanks man. Ha, fair enough. There are plenty of films I'm in the minority on.

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  6. Superb picks here, as usual.

    Woody reigns supreme! Love it.

    I love that you chose the The Big Chill as your favorite of '83. That is as fine a screenplay that has ever been written. Ever. I think I'd place it in my Top 10 scripts of all time. Really. Just flawless.

    "Are we the first ones up?"

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    1. Thanks! If it were up to me, Woody would have 8 Oscars. :)

      Ha! That line gets me every time. Love the script, so I had to recognize it. Fanny and Alexander gets Picture and Director wins that year, but I had to give this win to The Big Chill.

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