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The Top 25: Best Adapted Screenplay Winners

A very Happy Father’s Day to all you dads out there! Here we go again folks with another Top 25 article today. This time around I’ll be tackling one of the big eight categories in an effort not to save them all for last. Adapted Screenplay field. The category is one that usually has a big tie in with Best Picture, as you’ll below to some degree. Oscar tends to like their big glossy adaptations, but they do go for some offbeat things here and there in this particular category. I have a few specific titles I’ll be citing in detail later on in this piece, but I know how the game works here by now. You all mostly just want to see the lists I do anyhow, so I have no problem obliging you good folks there in that particular regard once again. All you have to do is just be patient over the next few paragraphs and you’ll get the goods front and center…

Down to brass tacks. This time around, I’m once again going to be going with the overview route, especially since a bunch of these Oscar winners I’ll be discussing again when we get to Best Director and particularly Best Picture. Also, it really just comes down to taste again, with your opinion influencing what sort of winner you’re partial to. It’s pretty much a matter of taste once again for us all. I know a couple of of my selections are going to seem fairly odd, especially when you see how high I ranked it, but that’s just how the cookie crumbles. You can’t please everyone all of the time.

As always, I’ll basically just discuss my top ten a bit here now, before revealing the whole thing. To me, the best winner of this category so far to date has been The Social Network. Aaron Sorkin’s work there might actually be the best script ever written in my eyes, believe it or not. It’s just genius, complete genius. The runner up spot would be Casablanca, which is no slouch either. Also in the top five we have All the President’s Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and Schindler’s List. All of those are masterpieces, no doubt about that. Rounding out the top ten we have the likes of Argo (yes, it’s that good), Forrest Gump, Judgment at Nuremberg, The Silence of the Lambs, and To Kill a Mockingbird. You can easily have a top 30 or 40 for this category, so narrowing things down to a top ten, let alone the top 25, was quite a chore. An enjoyable chore, but hard work nonetheless.

Here now is how I’d rank the 25 top winners of the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar:

25. 12 Years a Slave
24. Brokeback Mountain
23. BlacKkKlansman
22. The Godfather
21. No Country for Old Men
20. Sideways
19. The Godfather Part II
18. Traffic
17. The Exorcist
16. Moonlight
15. The Departed
14. MASH
13. Kramer vs. Kramer
12. Marty
11. Midnight Cowboy
10. Judgment at Nuremberg
9. Argo
8. To Kill a Mockingbird
7. Forrest Gump
6. The Silence of the Lambs
5. Schindler’s List
4. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
3. All the President’s Men
2. Casablanca
1. The Social Network

Honorable Mentions: The Big Short, Jojo Rabbit, Midnight Express, Ordinary People, Sling Blade, and Terms of Endearment

Stay tuned for another one of these Top 25 installments next week!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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