The top ten best scripts of all time

The Top Ten Best Scripts of All Time

From dramatic and intense to hilarious, the scripted world is filled with timeless works of art. Here, we uncover the ten best scripts that gave us unforgettable films.

“Casablanca” (1942) – Michael Curtiz

Running time: 102 minutes

This classic could be one of the greatest films ever made; its screenplay reconciles with mastery of things like romance, intrigue, and political drama. This masterpiece remains one of the most memorable classics ever done, and it is also one of the most quotable movies of all time with memorable lines like “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.”  This scene shows Rick’s emotional instability and even Bogart always thought that Rick was being too self-pitying, but as his own wife said later: “When Ingrid Bergman looks at you, you have sex appeal.” 

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“The Godfather” (1972) – Ford Coppola, Mario Puzo

Running time: 175 minutes

This cinematic masterpiece by Francis Ford Coppola, it’s not just another film, it is an experience, it immerses us into the world of the Corleone family, they’re a big and influential mafia clan based in New York City. This film explores themes of family, loyalty, and how ambition and power can be corrupting.

The brilliance of this film lies in its iconic and masterful storytelling. Weaving between the present and past stories, it reveals to us the family origins and how they got their power, this film structure keeps you engaged throughout all the duration of the movie, piecing together the story puzzle as the story unfolds and giving us some iconic quotes that encapsulate the essence of the characters:

  • “Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.” – a smart observation of the importance of understanding your adversaries.
  • “It’s not personal, it’s strictly business.” – this quote shows how cold the mafia world is.
  • “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.” – Michael expressing how hard it is to escape the family’s activities

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“Citizen Kane” (1941) – Orson Welles

Running time: 119 minutes

The masterpiece of Orson Welles, which opened entirely new horizons in cinematography and dealt with innovative devices of movie narration. Based on the extremely interesting script by himself and Herman J. Mankiewicz, the movie reveals deep insight into power, ambition, and another mystery – this time a personality, Charles Foster Kane. Pulp Fiction (1994).

It is the brilliant script by Orson Welles, Herman J. Mankiewicz, John Houseman, Mollie Kent and Roger Q. Denny that constantly explores the power media sensationalism has and how they manipulate public perception using memorable quotes like: “If The Headline Is Big Enough, It Makes The News Big Enough.” or  “I Just Try Everything I Can Think Of.” Kane expressing how his ambition costed him his happiness. It’s non-linear editing all combined with razor-sharp dialogues and witticisms keeping the film memorable at every second of it’s duration

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“The Shawshank Redemption” (1994) – Frank Darabont

Running time: 130 minutes

Frank Darabont has based this extremely touching adventure by emotionally deep, extremely touching adventure on the famous novella by Stephen King, resonating with public hearts by the tides of hope and redemption washing the suffocating precincts of Shawshank State Penitentiary. Preserved is dramatic depth and richness of thematic aspects in the works of scriptwriters.

Beyond the heart-touching story, this movie leaves you with several moments of reflection since this movie counts with many powerful quotes, here you have some of them:

  • “I have to remind myself that some birds aren’t meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright. And when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up does rejoice.” 
  • “I hope to see my friend and shake his hand. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope.”
  • “I guess it comes down to a simple choice, really. Get busy living or get busy dying.”

Whether you’ve never seen this movie before or you’ve already seen it hundreds of times, these deep quotes help understand the characters and story.

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“Schindler’s List” (1993) – Steven Spielberg

Running time: 195 minutes

In an epic historical drama based on true events, Oskar Schindler’s character counting is portrayed by Steven Spielberg, who gives a screenwriting masterpiece filled with great emotion and moral reflection. It carries fine attention to the Holocaust horrors in its dialogue yet includes triumph in human decency.

This movie celebrates the strength all humans have in our spirits, doing this by highlighting acts of compassion, courage and generosity done by people who are trapped in the worst circumstances. And this film’s impact goes beyond its visuals and story, leaving us with lasting impressions with its impactul dialogues, some examples of this are quotes like “Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire.” or “Power is when we have every justification to kill, and we don’t.”

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“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” (2004) – Michel Gondry

Running time: 108 minutes

Michel Gondry and Charlie Kaufman collaborate to create a mind-bending love story that defies conventions. The script’s inventive narrative structure and poignant exploration of memory and heartache leave an indelible impression on viewers.

This movie is not just a story about a failed relationship, it tries to explore how we often can let the past go, how it is painful and comfortable at the same time, and how our past experiences shape who we are. With its sensible storytelling and with heart touching themes, this movie makes us question the relationship we have with our past and our memories, especially our dating past. Here are some quotes that can help you better understand this:

  • “Please let me keep this memory, just this one.”
  •  “Remember me. Try your best. Maybe we can.”
  • “I could die right now, Clem. I’m just… happy. I’ve never felt that before. I’m just exactly where I want to be.”

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“Good Will Hunting” (1997) – Gus Van Sant

Running time: 126 minutes

Written by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon using their talented minds, this film is an inspirational work that the two bring vividly to life through this story about genius, friendship, and self-realization. It resounds with this not only since the story was written from the heart—written in a very realistic manner—but also how authentically and emotionally it was written.

What’s brilliant about this film it’s how it explores many complex themes with genuine depth, it shows how challenging it is to confront past hurts, how people often struggle to connect with others and the importance of personal growth. The dialogue of this movie connects with the audience on a personal level and it does so with deep quotes like “Every day, I come by your house and I pick you up. And we go out. We have a few drinks and a few laughs, and it’s great. But you know what the best part of my day is? For about 10 seconds, from when I pull up to the curb and when I get to your door, ’cause I think maybe I’ll get up there and I’ll knock on the door and you won’t be there. No goodbye. No see you later. No nothing. You just left. I don’t know much, but I know that.”

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“Pulp Fiction” (1994) – Quentin Tarantino

Running time: 154 minutes

This American neo-noir crime film written by Quentin Tarantino follows a web of Los Angeles criminals whose lives connect in a series of different violent events. Instead of unfolding the story chronologically, this film instantly throws you in the middle of the action, throughout the film all the different stories masterfully connect, creating completely unexpected events and also showing the human side of these criminals, these criminals include:

Jules Winfield (Samuel L. Jackson) a philosophical hitman, who usually gives us a iconic quote before unleashing all his fury, one of his most iconic quotes “The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children.” Next we have Vincent Vega (John Travolta) . He’s a cold hitman with some drug problems, he’s known for his love for burgues and for some iconic quotes like “A Royale with cheese. In Paris, they call it a ‘Royal with Cheese’. You know why they don’t call it ‘Le Big Mac’? They wouldn’t get it.” Finally another iconic character is Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman) the captivating wife of the mob boss Marsellus Wallace gives us unforgettable moments with iconic lines like “Mia Wallace, y’all get me a shot, bunny!” 

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“Annie Hall” (1977) – Woody Allen

Running time: 93 minutes

This film isn’t just a love story; it is a masterpiece in comedic storytelling. It contains captivating dialogue, insightful observations, and some self-deprecating humor that make the film a comedic masterpiece.

An important part of this film’s script is its capacity to capture the complexity of human interaction, more specifically the changes love and relationships experiment. Allen’s masterfully created script contains both naturality and insightfulness, it is filled with remembered lines that are still present in popular culture like “I love you. You complete me. Complete neurosis.”

This movie’s script is an iconic achievement for Woody Allen, it demonstrates Allen’s sharp wit, his observation of our human behavior, and his ability to perfectly mix humor with important observations.

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“The Social Network” (2010) – Aaron Sorkin

Running time: 120 minutes

This masterpiece, directed by David Fincher and written by Aaron Sorkin it’s a captivating exploration of things like ambition, betrayal, and the double-edged sword of the innovation in the digital age

The film goes through the journey of Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg), who is a Harvard student, who has a goal to connect the college community on an online platform. Through a series of different events, with sharp and masterfully written dialogue we presence the birth of Facebook, from its small beginnings to being the worldwide phenomenon it is now.

The Social Network is an engaging film that is more than just a biographical movie; it’s a much more complex story that delves into the consequences the tools we create have, and it’s up to us to be aware of the benefits and pitfalls of the digital landscape.

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These are the best scripts of all time. From classics that transcend time to those made in this very generation, their great storytelling continues to make a mark on the cinematic world and on the generations they influenced.

From timeless classics to contemporary gems, these top scripts exemplify the power of storytelling to captivate, inspire, and provoke fans worldwide to love these films. Whether through unforgettable dialogue, innovative narrative techniques, or profound thematic exploration, these masterpieces continue to shape the landscape of cinema and inspire generations of storytellers and scriptwriters to come. After reading this, are you ready to improve your scriptwriting game? Estimate your script time, listen to your script, and improve it with our AI tools!


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