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Picture this: You’re curled up with your favorite book that also happens to be your favorite movie. Spending more time at home the past year has resulted in an uptick in book sales, and film screenplays are a unique way for cinephiles to dive deep into their favorite films.
Reading a screenplay can be an exercise in imagination, and an opportunity to see a film through the eyes of the screenwriter — who in some cases doubles as the director and star. Sure, it’s easy to own a movie or stream it online, but reading the script feels as if it works a whole other muscle. For the moviegoers who haven’t made it back to theaters just yet, the aspiring screenwriters looking to study up on writing and character-building techniques, or anyone interested in reading about a movie, Amazon has a bunch of great screenplays that you can own at an affordable price.
To make things easier for you, we put together a list of 12 screenplays from an assortment of classic and newer films. The selection includes Jordan Peele’s Oscar-nominated directorial debut, Quentin Tarantino’s breakout film, and Francis Ford Coppola’s epic crime saga. Below are a dozen of the best screenplays that you can buy right now.
Robin Williams stars in this 1989 drama about an English teacher at an elite New England boarding school who inspires his students to rebel against convention and seize the potential of each day. Screenwriter Tom Schulman won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for the film, which earned Williams his first (and only) Oscar nod for Best Actor. (He won years later for Best Supporting Actor in “Good Will Hunting.”)
The hunter becomes the hunted in “No Country for Old Men.” The Coen brothers’ classic neo-noir film stars Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, and Tommy Lee Jones. The paths of the three main characters intertwine throughout the film about a man who takes home a bag of money after stumbling upon the remnants of a violent drug deal gone wrong, which leads to him being hunted by an escaped hitman. If you’re a fan of classic Coens films, you can also pick up the screenplay for “The Big Lebowski.”
This 1998 Wes Anderson film is one of the many screenplays that fans of the Texas-born director should buy (along with items inspired by his movies). In this offbeat comedy, Jason Schwartzman plays Max Fishman — a precocious high schooler whose grades are so bad that he gets put on academic probation. Instead of focusing on his GPA, Fishman becomes obsessed with a teacher and turns to his friends’ father, Herman Blume (Bill Murray), for advice. Naturally, Blume also falls for the teacher and quickly goes from Fishman’s friend to his mortal enemy.
Ruben Santiago-Hudson adapted the screenplay for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” from August Wilson’s Tony-winning Broadway musical of the same name. “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” takes place during a daylong Chicago recording session in July 1927. Viola Davis earned an Oscar nod for her portrayal of the blues legend in the Netflix drama, which was also Chadwick Boseman’s final onscreen appearance prior to his death last year.
Film historian Jenny M. Jones leads the way on this surreal journey through one of the most celebrated movies of all time. “The Godfather” screenplay book has more than just dialogue — the collection includes commentary on every scene, plus little-known facts about the Francis Ford Coppola film starring Marlon Brando.
Emma Thompson’s screenplay for “Sense and Sensibility” is a must-have for enthusiasts of the Oscar-winning film, which was adapted from the classic Jane Austen novel. The screenplay book includes Thompson’s personal account of making the film about two formerly wealthy English sisters forced to marry for financial security.
Own the screenplay from Jordan Peele’s brilliant 2017 directorial debut starring Daniel Kaluuya. The socially-conscious horror film blends the story of a young Black man visiting his white girlfriend’s parents, into the terrifying reality of being Black in America.
This special two-piece set captures the sheer beauty in Bong Joon Ho’s Oscar-winning film. The book comes complete with a graphic novel storyboard showcasing each exquisite scene from the South Korean dark comedy thriller as illustrated by Bong.
Pick up the spellbinding full script and storyboard collection from the 2019 psychological thriller “Joker,” starring Joaquin Phoenix. Released last year, the 226-page book authored by David Van Antwerp, blends scripts and storyboards from the film.
Based on the Stephen King novella, “Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption,” the 1994 film adaptation is a riveting story about two inmates who become unlikely friends after spending decades in prison together. “The Shawshank Redemption,” which received five Oscar nominations, including Best Adapted Screenplay, was written and directed by Frank Darabont.
If you love the way Tarantino’s dialogue comes to life on screen, then the screenplay for “Pulp Fiction” will make for a fascinating read. The 1994 dark comedy/crime film starring John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, and Uma Thurman, became Tarantino’s breakout film and a cult-classic to boot.
Revisit the 1997 drama that put Ben Affleck and Matt Damon on the map. Williams stars opposite Affleck and Damon in the film that earned the pair an Oscar for Best Screenplay, and a Best Supporting Actor win for Williams. The plot follows the untapped mathematical genius of a young janitor, Will Hunting (Damon), whose court-ordered therapy sessions help him re-think his future.