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10 Classic Film Scripts to Boost Your Dialogue Writing

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Need to boost your dialogue screenwriting game? Here are 10 classic film scripts to take your verbal skills to the next level.

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10 Classic Film Scripts to Boost Your Dialogue Writing

  1. 1. 10 CLASSIC FILM SCRIPTS TO BOOST YOUR DIALOGUE WRITING BROUGHT TO YOU BY…
  2. 2. #1: GOOD FELLAS “Do I amuse you?” Not only does Goodfellas serve as one of the prime examples of voiceover done right, but it also is PACKED with realistic dialogue all screenwriters should AIM to emulate. Scorsese reportedly gave the actors full reign to work through much of the dialogue in rehearsals, prioritizing the achievement of authentic conversations.
  3. 3. #2: ANNIE HALL “I guess we need the eggs.” Arguably Woody Allen's best and a groundbreaking film in the rom-com genre, Annie Hall is wrought with deeply complex and unique characters and snappy dialogue to boot. What Allen TEACHES aspiring screenwriters is the skill of WRITING dialogue that is both true to the writer's style, while also enhancing the complexity of each character.
  4. 4. #3: JUNO “Will you still think I’m cute if I’m huge?” What Diablo Cody ACHIEVES with Juno is witty, smart teenage dialogue in a world where teen stories are often PLAGUED with stereotypes and clichés. Juno is her own person, with her own pizazz, and Cody makes her leading lady smart enough to GAIN the respect and attention from viewers that she deserves all while discussing the serious topic of teen pregnancy in a lighthearted way.
  5. 5. #4: JERRY MAGUIRE “You had me at ‘Hello.’” What makes Jerry Maguire one of the most quotable movies in history with CLASSICS like, "Show me the money!" and "You complete me"? Easy, Cameron Crowe's dialogue. A quotable movie is a memorable movie, and Crowe's dialogue PROVIDES a much-needed lesson in subtext in a business where "on the nose" dialogue too often plagues the screen.
  6. 6. #5: BEFORE SUNSET “Baby, you are gonna miss that plane.” Linklater's Before Sunrise, Before Sunset and Before Midnight series are true dialogue-heavy films. The story almost solely RELIES on talking, and the screenwriters are able to not only make their conversations interesting, but also ENTICING. It's a movie as close to a novel as they get and proves that action can take a back burner to quality dialog when it's done correctly, and be just as fascinating.
  7. 7. #6: RAIN MAN “I’m an excellent driver.” This surprise hit won the hearts of viewers due to the expertly CRAFTED back-and-forth between two "new" brothers. Addictingly quotable, with fleshed-out characters, Rain Main SERVES as a model Road Trip movie, with smart, heartfelt dialogue that PAVED the way for outstanding performances from its stars, Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise.
  8. 8. #7: ERIN BROCKOVICH “They’re called boobs, Ed.” Erin Brockovich not only WON Julia Roberts an Oscar, but the film was also nominated for best Original Screenplay the year it came out. The film EMPLOYS many dialogue techniques to convey authentic human conversation. This includes repetition, interruption, avoidance, and exaggeration, among other things, to convey Erin's volatile PERSONALITY.
  9. 9. #8: PULP FICTION “This is a tasty burger.” It's true, Pulp Fiction doesn't follow the traditional screenwriting conventions, and as a model, it certainly isn't by the book. Still, Pulp Fiction is an excellent example of realistic dialogue. But don't try to WRITE like Tarantino, instead find your own style. Much of Tarantino's skill is at making untraditional dialogue sound as if it's exactly how people TALK.
  10. 10. #9: MATCH POINT “Men always seem to wonder.” Allen's Hitchcockian thriller makes the list purely for its mastery of the grey line. Allen CRAFTS his characters so carefully that he makes killers so sympathetic that you find yourself ROOTING for them to get away with the crime and this is, in large part, due to the clever dialogue.
  11. 11. #10: DEAD POET’S SOCIETY “I sound my barbaric yawp…” Yes, this film has its flaws, but it's a classic because of its dialogue. John Keating's CARPIE DIEM speech is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear this film's title and it has many quotable lines. Cheesy? Maybe a little, but as far as quality dialogue interspersed with inspirational speeches--this film has it down.
  12. 12. NEED A SCRIPT IDEA? GRAB YOUR SEAT TO THE (TOTALLY-FREE) SEMINAR: “5 SECRETS TO A MOVIE IDEA THAT DOESN’T SUCK (AND WILL ACTUALLY SELL)” Did we mention it’s FREE?!!
  13. 13. CONNECT WITH US! https://youtube.com/scriptbully https://pinterest.com/scriptbully https://facebook.com/scriptbully https://twitter.com/scriptbully
  14. 14. “Sometimes not speaking says more than all the words in the world.” –Colleen Hoover

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