"In writing fiction, the more fantastic the tale, the plainer the prose should be. Don't ask your readers to admire your words when you want them to believe your story." - Ben Bova [ more quotes ]


Saving Private Ryan
Written by Robert Rodat

Bronze star recipient and war hero, Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks) is chosen to lead a team of men to find Private James Ryan (Matt Damon) a paratrooper who landed deep inside occupied France. Two of Ryan's brothers perished in the D-Day invasion and another brother was killed in the Pacific. When Ryan's mother receives three death telegrams on the same day, U.S. Army Chief Of Staff, George C. Marshall (Harve Presnell) decides to send Private Ryan home alive no matter what the cost.

This is an early version of the screenplay and is very different from the finished film.
Saving Private Ryan [.TXT]

Scary Movie 2
Written by Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Alyson Fouse, Greg Grabianski, Dave Polsky, Michael Anthony Snowden and Craig Wayans

A group of teenagers -- Cindy Campbell (Anna Faris), Ray Wilkins (Shawn Wayans), Shorty (Marlon Wayans), Brenda Meeks (Regina Hall), Buddy (Christopher Masterson) and Theo (Kathleen Robertson) -- are brought together by their professor, Professor Oldman (Tim Curry), to stay in a creepy house for a school project in sleep disorders.
Scary Movie 2 [.TXT]

Schindler's List
Written by Steven Zaillian
From the book by Thomas Keneally

1939 German businessman Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson) attempts to capitalize on the coming war by opening an enamelware factory using Jewish slave labor to make materials for the Nazi war effort. The factory's accountant, Itzhak Stern (Ben Kingsley) helps to convince Schindler that the factory can be a way to save Jews from extinction in the concentrations camps.

SCRIPT NOTE: Academy Award winner of best adapted screenplay 1993.
Schindler's List [.TXT]

Written by Kevin Williamson

Writer Kevin Williamson and director Wes Craven offer an homage to the horror genre with this horror/thriller/comedy that lampoons the conventions of the typical teenage-slasher movie. High School senior Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) is being stalked by a ghost mask wearing psychopath on the anniversary of her mother's unsolved murder.
Scream [.TXT]

The Searchers
Civil War veteran Ethan Edwards (John Wayne) returns to his brother Aaron's (Walter Coy) Texas ranch. But after leaving to investigate who may have stolen a neighbor's cattle, Ethan returns to find the Edwards family slaughtered by Comanches and the two girls, Lucy (Pippa Scott) and Debbie (Lana Wood and later Natalie Wood) missing. Ethan then embarks on a quest to find the girls but with questionable motives...

This script contains some interesting notes from the screenwriter (Frank Nugent) to cinematographer Winton Hoch about what John Ford wanted to see in particular scenes. For example:

NOTE TO W. HOCH: What J.F. has in mind for this and the following scenes is the same kind of dramatic use of red you achieved in "Yellow Ribbon" in the scene telling of Custer's defeat.
The Searchers [.TXT]

Sense & Sensibility
Written by Emma Thompson
Based on the novel by Jane Austen

When family patriarch Henry Dashwood dies, British law requires that his home, money and possessions be left to his son from a previous marriage. This leaves the current Mrs. Dashwood and her three daughters to drastically "economize" to survive. The oldest daughter, Elinor (Emma Thompson) is very responsible and ruled more by her "sense," where the middle daughter Marianne is passionate and impulsive, controlled more by her "sensibility."

SCRIPT NOTE: Academy Award winner of best adapted screenplay 1995.
Sense & Sensibility [.TXT]

Serial Mom
Written by John Waters

Beverly Sutphin (Kathleen Turner) is the perfect middle class suburban mom. She's a loving wife to her Dentist husband Eugene (Sam Waterson) and a smiling, caring Donna Reed-style mother to her children, son Chip (Matthew Lillard) and daughter Misty (Ricki Lake) -- oh, and she's a serial killer too.
Serial Mom [.TXT]

Written by Andrew Kevin Walker

A serial killer leads two police detectives -- rookie David Mills (Brad Pitt) and so-to-retire William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) -- on a twisted and sadistic spee of killings based on which of the seven deadly sins (wrath, greed, gluttony, sloth, pride, lust and envy) his victims have violated in their lives.
Se7en [.TXT]

The Seventh Seal - (a.k.a. Det Sjunde Inseglet)
Written by Ingmar Bergman

A knight, Antonius Block (Max Von Sydow) and his squire, Jons (Gunnar Bjornstrand) return from the Crusades to their native Denmark which is ravaged by the plague. The knight encounters Death (Bengt Ekerot), but wins a reprieve by challenging the grim reaper to a game of chess. If Death wins, the knight will gladly meet his doom, if Death loses, the knight will live.

The Seventh Seal focuses upon the silence of God, upon the inevitability of human death, and upon the noblest course of action in a circumstance as desolate as the human condition.
Seventh Seal, The [.TXT]

Sex, Lies, And Videotape
Written by Steven Soderbergh

Housewife Ann (Andie MacDowell), is frustrated with her womanizing husband, John (Peter Gallagher), who is having an affair with Ann's sister, Cynthia (Laura San Giacomo). Things get complicated when John's friend, Graham (James Spader), comes to visit and reveals an unusual fetish.
Sex, Lies, And Videotape [.TXT]

Shakespeare In Love
Written by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard

A young William Shakespeare (Joseph Fiennes) is hired by producer Philip Henslowe (Geoffrey Rush) to write a new comedy play "Romeo and Ethel, the Pirate's Daughter." Unfortunately, Will has writer's block and the deadline for the play is fast approaching. Viola de Lesseps (Gwyneth Paltrow) is to be wed to the Earl of Wessex (Colin Firth) but all she wants to do is be an actor. Unfortunately, women are not allow to act during Elizabethan times so she poses as a boy to win the part of Romeo.

SCRIPT NOTE: Academy Award winner of best original screenplay 1998.
Shakespeare In Love [.TXT]

Written by David Cronenberg

The residents of a high-rise apartment building are thrown into chaos when the resident doctor's experiments into breeding a "helpful" parasite go awry.

Shivers [.TXT]

Written by Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor
Based on a novel by Rex Pickett

Best friends Miles Raymond (Paul Giamatti) and Jack Lopate (Thomas Hayden Chruch) embark on a 7 day trip through California's wine country as a last fling before Jack gets married.
Sideways [.TXT]

The Siege
Written by Lawrence Wright, Menno Meyjes and Edward Zwick
Story by Lawrence Wright

When U.S. military commander, General William Devereaux (Bruce Willis), kidnaps suspected terrorist, Sheik Ahmed Bin Talal (Ahmed Ben Larby), Islamic fundamentalists target New York city with terrorist attacks. FBI special agent, Anthony Hubbard (Denzel Washington), butts heads with the CIA -- specifically, agent Elise Kraft (Annette Bening) -- and the military when he is placed in charge of investigating the terrorist incidents.
Siege, The [.TXT]

Written by M. Night Shyamalan

Recently widowed farmer and former reverend Graham Hess (Mel Gibson) awakens to find strange crop circles in his corn fields. Graham's faith is tested when he is informed that extraterrestrials may be responsible for the crop formations and may now threaten his family.

Signs [.TXT]

The Silence Of The Lambs
Written by Ted Tally
Based on the novel by Thomas Harris

FBI trainee Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) is selected by Jack Crawford (Scott Glenn), the head of the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit, to help catch a flesh skinning serial killer called Buffalo Bill. Crawford sends Clarice to interview the infamous Dr. Hannibal Lecter, (Anthony Hopkins) to encourage Lecter to provide a profile of Buffalo Bill.

SCRIPT NOTE: Academy Award winner of best adapted screenplay 1991.
Silence Of The Lambs, The [.TXT]

Written by Lawrence Kasdan and Mark Kasdan

Four friends -- Paden (Kevin Kline), Mal (Danny Glover) and brothers Emmett (Scott Glenn) and Jake (Kevin Costner) -- lives intersect in the town of Silverado where each is forced to confront the evil and corrupt powers that run the town.

Silverado [.TXT]

The Sixth Sense
Written by M. Night Shyamalan

Child Psychologist Dr. Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis) attempts to put his life in order after a traumatic encounter with a former patient. He begins by counseling Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment), a withdrawn young boy with a similar problem as his former patient.

Sixth Sense, The [.TXT]

Written by Stephen Ronald Francis and Gus Silber

The members of the rock band "Dead Quiet" are stranded on their lead singer's -- Joseph "Mac" McDonald (James O'Shea) -- father's farm when their tour bus breaks down. Everyone is anxious to get back to "civilization" except Mac who starts to settle into farm life. When the band members start turning up dead, Mac becomes the main suspect.
Slash [.TXT]

Sling Blade
Written by Billy Bob Thornton
Based on a play and short film by Billy Bob Thornton

Karl Childers (Billy Bob Thornton) is a mildly retarded man, released from an Arkansas insane asylum. He was imprisoned 25 years ago for the murder of his mother and her lover with a large kaiser blade ("some folks call it a sling blade") when Karl was only 12 years old. Karl befriends a young boy, Frank (Lucas Black) whose single mother Linda (Natalie Canerday) is dating abusive redneck Doyle Hargraves (Dwight Yoakam). When Doyle turns his abuse toward Frank, Karl must examine if the line between right and wrong still applies.

SCRIPT NOTE: Academy Award winner of best adapted screenplay 1996.
Sling Blade [.TXT]

Slumdog Millionaire
Written by Simon Beaufoy
Based on the novel by Vikas Swarup

A teenagerfrom the slums of Mumbai finds himself as a contestant on the Indian version of "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" After performing well on the show, he is arrested for cheating and while being interrogated, events from his life history are shown which explain why he knows the answers.

Slumdog Millionaire [.TXT]

Smokey And The Bandit
Written by James Lee Barrett, Charles Shyer and Alan Mandel
Based on a story by Hal Needham and Robert L. Levy

Bo 'Bandit' Darville (Burt Reynolds) and his partner Cledus 'Snowman' Snow (Jerry Reed) are hired to drive a truck load of illegal beer across state lines, traveling 1800 miles in 28 hours. Bandit blows their time schedule when he stops to pick up runaway bride-to-be Kate McConnell (Sally Field) and encounters police from just about every county on their path.

NOTE: This is an early draft of the screenplay and is very different than the final film.
Smokey And The Bandit [.TXT]

Smokin' Aces
Written by Joe Carnahan

Dying mob boss Primo Sparazza (Joseph Ruskin) puts out a $1 million contract on Las Vegas lounge magician-turned-snitch, Buddy "Aces" Israel (Jeremy Piven). FBI agents Richard Messner (Ryan Reynolds) and Donald Carruthers (Ray Liotta), race to protect their witness from teams of hit-men (and hit-women) who are competing to take Aces out.

Smokin' Aces [.TXT]

So I Married An Axe Murderer
Written by Robbie Fox

San Francisco beat poet Charlie Mackenzie (Mike Myers) thinks he's found the girl of his dreams in butcher shop owner Harriet Michaels (Nancy Travis). But as the relationship becomes more serious Charlie begins to believe his sweetheart may have a murderous past.
So I Married An Axe Murderer [.TXT]

"There are some places man is not ready to go."

Psychiatrist Chris Kelvin (George Clooney) is sent to space station Prometheus in orbit around the ocean world Solaris to investigate the strange behavior of the station's crew.

Based on the novel by Stanislaw Lem, "Solaris" (written, directed, photographed and edited by Steven Soderbergh) examines what it means to be human and how we perceive others. Can we really know someone?

SCRIPT NOTE: This is the October 4, 2001 draft of the screenplay and is somewhat different than the final film.
Solaris [.TXT]

Some Like It Hot
Screenplay by Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond
Story by Robert Thoeren and M. Logan

When jazz musicians Joe (Tony Curtis) and Jerry (Jack Lemmon) witness a mob hit, their only means to stay alive is to disguise themselves as women and leave town with a traveling all-girl band.
Some Like It Hot [.TXT]

Stagecoach (1939)
Written by Dudley Nichols and Ben Hecht
Based on the story "Stage To Lordsburg" by Ernest Haycox

John Ford's "Stagecoach" is arguably one of the greatest Westerns ever made. Orson Welles is said to have watched "Stagecoach" 50 times before beginning to film his own classic "Citizen Kane." The plot is simple; A stagecoach loaded with passengers from every walk of life and social standing must make its way across the open plains while trying to avoid Geronimo and an Apache warparty. Among the passengers are sly gambler (John Carradine); alcoholic Doctor Doc Boone (Thomas Mitchell); hooker with a heart of gold Dallas (Claire Trevor); soldier's wife Lucy Mallory (Louise Platt) and outlaw "The Ringo Kid" (John Wayne).

NOTE: When asked why the Apache warriors didn't just shoot the horses to stop the stagecoach, director John Ford answered back, "Because that would have been the end of the movie."
Stagecoach (1939) [.TXT]

Stalag 17
Written by Billy Wilder and Edwin Blum
Based on a play by Donald Bevan and Edmund Trzcinski

December 1944. German prisoner of war camp, Stalag 17, becomes disordered when the inmates realize that their German captors know what is going on in the camp before it even happens. Most of the prisoners come to suspect Sergeant J.J. Sefton (William Holden) as a spy in their midst.

NOTE: Despite many similarities -- an escape tunnel hidden under the stove, a camp for American Airmen, and even an overweight, camp Sergeant named Schultz -- television producers 'swear' that "Stalag 17" was not their inspiration for the show "Hogan's Heroes." See what you think.

NOTE: Nominated for 3 Academy Awards and winner of one for Best Actor, William Holden.
Stalag 17 [.TXT]

Star Wars - Episode IV - Treatment
Title: "The Star Wars"
Date: May 25, 1973
Written by George Lucas

First, we'll start with Mr. Lucas' original idea for the movie. A treatment is a short narrative description of a film and is a way for a writer to test a story idea before writing a full-blown screenplay. A screenplay is a strictly formatted, blueprint for a film and contains scene settings, action descriptions and character dialog. A treatment is written in paragraph form and gives just enough detail to explain the story. A treatment helps the writer keep his story straight and on track and gives others -- producers, for example -- a general idea of what the film's plot will be.

Star Wars - Treatment [.TXT]

Star Wars - Episode IV - 1st Draft
Title: "The Star Wars"
Date: May, 1974
Written by George Lucas

This first draft of the screenplay was finished almost exactly one year after the completion of the treatment. The script begins with the introduction of "...Annikin Starkiller, a tall, heavy-set boy of eighteen...", his younger brother Deak and their Jedi Bendu father Kane. It also introduces General Luke Skywalker, "...Commander of the Aquilaean Starforce. He is a large man, apparently in his early sixties, but actually much older..." General Skywalker is in charge of guarding "...The Princess Leia, about fourteen years old, possessing a soft beauty and iron will..." Darth Vader is introduced as, "...a tall, grim-looking general..." and Han Solo is "...a huge, green skinned monster with no nose and large gills..."

Star Wars - 1st Draft [.TXT]

Star Wars - Episode IV - 2nd Draft
Title: "The Adventures Of The Starkiller (Episode 1) 'The Star Wars'"
Date: January 28, 1975
Written by George Lucas

In this second draft, Deak Starkiller is now a now a rebel commander and Luke Starkiller is now, a short, chubby boy about eighteen years old..."

Star Wars - 2nd Draft [.TXT]

Star Wars - Episode IV - 3rd Draft
Title: "The Star Wars" From 'The Adventures Of The Starkiller'
Date: August 1, 1975
Written by George Lucas

In this 3rd draft, "...Luke Starkiller, a farm-boy with heroic aspirations..." and Darth Vader is the now familiar "...dark knight. His face is obscured by his flowing black robes and grotesque breath mask which stands out next to the fascist white armored suits of the Imperial stormtroopers..." and Han Solo is "...a tough James Dean style starpilot about twenty-five years old..."

Star Wars - 3rd Draft [.TXT]

Star Wars - Episode IV - 4th Draft
Title: "Star Wars" Episode IV - A New Hope - 'From The Journal Of The Whills'
Date: January 15, 1976
Written by George Lucas

This 4th draft screenplay is the movie you all know and love. Farm boy, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), gets caught up in the rebellion and tries to rescue Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) from Darth Vader (David Prowse / voice: James Earl Jones) and the evil Empire.

Star Wars - 4th Draft [.TXT]

Star Wars - Return of the Jedi
Title: "Star Wars" Episode VI - Return of the Jedi
Date: DECEMBER 19, 1982
Written by George Lucas

This 2nd draft screenplay is the movie which many fans consider the best of the Star Wars movies. The Empire is building a second Death Star, which the Rebel Fleet lauches a full scale attack against. Luke struggles to convert his father from the Dark Side

Star Wars - Return of the Jedi [.TXT]

Written by Bruce A. Evans and Raynold Gideon with Dean Riesner (uncredited)

An alien, Starman (Jeff Bridges), crash lands on earth and assumes the shape of Scott Hayden, the deceased husband of teacher Jenny Hayden (Karen Allen). Starman kidnaps Jenny and drags her along on his journey to meet with a rescue ship scheduled to appear in 3 days hundreds of miles away while trying to avoid the military men intent on killing him.

SCRIPT NOTE: This is an early draft of the screenplay and is a bit different than the final film.

TRIVIA: Columbia Pictures had two scripts in development concerning aliens visiting earth. Since they didn't want to make both pictures, the studio chose to make one movie and sold the rights to the other script to Universal Pictures. Columbia chose to make "Starman." The script they sold to Universal was "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial."
Starman [.TXT]

State And Main
Written by David Mamet

Waterford, Vermont is turned upside down when a movie crew comes to film in town.

State And Main [.TXT]

Station West
Written by Frank Fenton and Winston Miller
Based on a novel by Luke Short

Government investigator, Haven (Dick Powell) is sent to a small frontier town to investigate the murder of two cavalrymen and uncovers a web of crime and corruption.

Station West [.TXT]

The Sting
Written by David S. Ward

Depression era con man Johnny Hooker (Robert Redford) and his partner Luther Coleman (Robert Earl Jones) con a courier out of $10,000 belonging to murderous gangster Doyle Lonnegan (Robert Shaw). When Lonnegan kills Luther, Hooker turns to Luther's old pal Henry Gondorff (Paul Newman) to help take Lonnegan down.

SCRIPT NOTE: Academy Award winner of best original screenplay 1973.

MOVIE TRIVIA: Robert Earl Jones is the father of actor James Earl Jones.
Sting, The [.TXT]

Stolen Summer
Written by Pete Jones

Eight-year-old Irish Catholic Pete O'Malley (Adiel Stein) begins a "quest" to convert his Jewish friend Danny Jacobsen (Mike Weinberg) to the "true faith" so he can get into heaven.

SCRIPT NOTE: Winner of the first "Project Greenlight" contest. To learn more about "Project Greenlight" click here.
Stolen Summer [.TXT]

Written by Jon Favreau

New York native Mike Peters (Jon Favreau) moves to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. Mike's four friends, Trent Walker (Vince Vaughn), Rob (Ron Livingston), Sue (Patrick Van Horn), and Charles (Alex Desert) focus all of their energies on finding Mike a girlfriend.

Swingers [.TXT]

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