Five Screenplays

Here you will find the five screenplays that are analyzed in Writing Movies.

Die Hard

Thelma & Louise



The Shawshank Redemption

NOTE: These are password protected pages and PDF files.

Thelma & Louise and The Shawshank Redemption serve as the best models for the actual writing of a spec script (as described in Chapter 4). Both of these screenplays began life as a spec, both written by un-established screenwriters; though the versions here are beyond the spec stage (including some camera directions), the writing is still close to that of a spec.

The other three are less spec-like. Die Hard has more camera directions than is typical of a spec. Sideways also has plentiful camera directions and it runs much longer than a typical spec, it being co-written by the director who knew he might end up cutting some of the scenes he shot. Tootsie was frantically revised as the movie was in production, and so the description is quite dry (though you would be hard pressed to find better dialogue).

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