Thanks to the glory of the internet, we no longer need film school to offer us a peek at the minds behind some of cinema’s greatest works. Scripts for classic movies are available online and can teach us a thing or two about visionary writing. We looked at the scripts of ten famous films for a few pointers on compelling stories, fascinating characters, and the power of words.
Film schools around the world look to Robert Towne’s masterful Chinatown script to teach students about the essentials of screenwriting. The story about a private detective caught up in a web of corruption and murder is celebrated as one of the best (“perfect” is the word you’ll usually hear) in cinema history, made during an era of bold studio filmmaking. The screenplay contains lessons in constructing compelling character conflict and mystery, showing restraint, and more. Study the full script over here.