Writing film scripts that get noticed requires a great concept. But that getting screenplay actually read (all the way through) means having some killer dialogue. (For some studio execs, that’s the only part of a screenplay they’ll actually read.)

So, here are 10 classic film scripts to add to your library and help you boost your dialogue screenwriting repertoire.

10 Classic Film Scripts to Boost Your DialogueClassic Film Script To Boost Your Dialogue #1: Goodfellas

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.


http://nofilmschool.com/2013/06/screenwriting-tips-goodfellas

Classic Film Script To Boost Your Dialogue#2: Annie Hall

Arguably Woody Allen’s best and a groundbreaking film in the romantic comedy 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.

http://whatculture.com/film/10-essential-screenplays-every-aspiring-screenwriter-must-read.php

Classic Film Script To Boost Your Dialogue# 3: Juno10 Classic Film Scripts to Boost Your Dialogue

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 pizzazz, 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.

http://www.savethecat.com/todays-blog/what-we-can-learn-from-juno

Classic Film Script To Boost Your Dialogue#4: Jerry Maguire

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. Prime example: “You had me at hello.” It’s a whole lot better than saying, “Yes, Jerry. I’ll come back to you”, isn’t it?

http://www.screenwritingu.com/node/86

10 Classic Film Scripts to Boost Your Dialogue

Classic Film Script To Boost Your Dialogue#5: Before Sunset

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.

http://taylorholmes.com/2011/03/09/top-10-best-dialogue-movies/

Classic Film Script To Boost Your Dialogue#6: Rain Man

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.

http://grantland.com/hollywood-prospectus/remembering-rain-man-the-350-million-movie-that-hollywood-wouldnt-touch-today/

10 Classic Film Scripts to Boost Your DialogueClassic Film Script To Boost Your Dialogue #7: Erin Brockovich

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.

http://www.whatascript.com/movie-dialogue-38.html

Classic Film Script To Boost Your Dialogue#8: Pulp Fiction

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.

http://whatculture.com/film/10-essential-screenplays-every-aspiring-screenwriter-must-read.php

10 Classic Film Scripts to Boost Your DialogueClassic Film Script To Boost Your Dialogue#9: Match Point

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.

http://taylorholmes.com/2011/03/09/top-10-best-dialogue-movies/

Classic Film Script To Boost Your Dialogue#10: Dead Poet’s Society

Yes, this film has its flaws, but it’s a classic because of its dialogue. John Keating’s Carpe 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.

http://taylorholmes.com/2011/03/09/top-10-best-dialogue-movies/

 

Transcript for “10 Classic Film Scripts to Boost Your Dialogue Writing”

Film Scripts To Boost Your Dialogue Skills #1: Goodfellas
Description: 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.
http://nofilmschool.com/2013/06/screenwriting-tips-goodfellas

Film Scripts To Boost Your Dialogue Skills #2: Annie Hall
Description: Arguable Woody Allen’s best and a groundbreaking film in the romantic comedy 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.
http://whatculture.com/film/10-essential-screenplays-every-aspiring-screenwriter-must-read.php

Film Scripts To Boost Your Dialogue Skills #3: Juno
Description: 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.
http://www.savethecat.com/todays-blog/what-we-can-learn-from-juno

Film Scripts To Boost Your Dialogue Skills #4 Jerry Maguire
Description: 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. Prime example: “You had me at hello.” It’s a whole lot better than saying, “Yes, Jerry. I’ll come back to you”, isn’t it?
http://www.screenwritingu.com/node/86

Film Scripts To Boost Your Dialogue Skills #5: Before Sunset
Description: 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.
http://taylorholmes.com/2011/03/09/top-10-best-dialogue-movies/

Film Scripts To Boost Your Dialogue Skills #6: Rain Man
Description: 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.
http://grantland.com/hollywood-prospectus/remembering-rain-man-the-350-million-movie-that-hollywood-wouldnt-touch-today/

Film Scripts To Boost Your Dialogue Skills #7: Erin Brockovich
Description: 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.
http://www.whatascript.com/movie-dialogue-38.html

Film Scripts To Boost Your Dialogue Skills #8: Pulp Fiction
Description: 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.
http://whatculture.com/film/10-essential-screenplays-every-aspiring-screenwriter-must-read.ph

Film Scripts To Boost Your Dialogue Skills #9: Match Point
Description: 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.
http://taylorholmes.com/2011/03/09/top-10-best-dialogue-movies/

Film Scripts To Boost Your Dialogue Skills #10: Dead Poet’s Society
Description: Yes, this film has its flaws, but it’s a classic because of its dialogue. John Keating’s Carpe 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.
http://taylorholmes.com/2011/03/09/top-10-best-dialogue-movies/

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About The Author

Michael Rogan
Editor, ScriptBully Magazine
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Michael Rogan is a former screenplay reader and optioned screenwriter. He is also the founder and editor-in-chief of ScriptBully magazine, and has written a few non-sucky books including "How to Write a Book That Doesn't Suck (and Will Actually Sell)". He has made it his mission to help screenwriters kick ass - and rid the world of films based on action-figure lines.

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