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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

80 EXCELLENT MOVIES ABOUT WRITERS


In September 2013, Christina Katz, champion of mom writers and author of several books about writing (including three Writer’s Digest books), updated a remarkable list she had been working on for several years.  She calls it “277 Movies About Writers and the Writing Life.” Along with her husband Jason, she carefully researched the subject and came up with a chronological list that went from Barrets of Wimpole Street (1934) to Before Midnight (2013).

It’s a long list because they cast a wide net. They included movies about print journalism, which is fine if you’re talking about All the President’s Men. But Superman is on the list, and I’d argue that the movie is about writing in much the same way that Iron Man is about welding. Still, there are LOTS of great films from which to choose. I can’t say I’ve seen very film on Katz’s list. Not even close. Never heard of Call Northside 777. Wouldn’t pay to see Sex and the City: The Movie. And I certainly haven’t liked every one of the films that I have seen (in fact, Funny Farm is one of my absolute least favorite movies—a bad Chevy Chase film, which is redundant).

But here’s the Why Not 100 ranking of the top 80:

1. Shakespeare in Love (1998)
2. Almost Famous (2000)
3. The Player (1992)
4. The Shining (1980)
5. Stand By Me (1986)
6. Stranger Than Fiction (2006)
7. Funny People (2009)
8. All the President’s Men (1976)
9. Sideways (2004)
10. Deathtrap (1982)
11. As Good as it Gets (1997)
12. Barton Fink (1991)


13. My Left Foot (1989)
14. Finding Forrester (2000)
15. Burn After Reading (2008)
16. The Front (1976)
17. American Splendor (2003)
18. Adaptation (2002)
19. Wonder Boys (2000)
20. The Singing Detective (1986)
21. Reds (1981)
22. Romancing the Stone (1984)
23. Capote (2005)
24. The Hours (2002)
25. Misery (1990)


26. Sunset Boulevard (1950)
27. The World According to Garp (1982)
28. Sophie’s Choice (1982)
29. The Hoax (2006)
30. The Third Man (1949)
31. Missing (1982)
32. The Odd Couple (1968)
33. The Paper (1994)
34. Seems Like Old Times (1980)
35. Foreign Correspondent (1940)
36. Sleuth (1972)
37. The Squid and the Whale (2005)
38. The Year of Living Dangerously (1982)
39. Deconstructing Harry (1997)


40. His Girl Friday (1940)
41. The Diary of Anne Frank (1959)
42. Shattered Glass (2003)
43. Chasing Amy (1997)
44. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007)
45. Midnight in Paris (2011)
46. Nim’s Island (2008)
47. The Philadelphia Story (1940)
48. A Face in the Crowd (1957)
49. Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
50. It Happened One Night (1934)
51. 84 Charing Cross Road (1986)
52. Beautiful Dreamers (1990)
53. Joe Gould’s Secret (2000)
54. Slipstream (2007)
55. The Front Page (1974)


56. The Muse (1999)
57. Author! Author! (1982)
58. Prick Up Your Ears (1987)
59. The Accidental Tourist (1988)
60. Orange County (2002)
61. The Prize-winner of Defiance Ohio (2005)
62. Wilde (1997)
63. Infamous (2006)
64. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)
65. Leaving Las Vegas (1995)
66. Permanent Midnight (1998)
67. The Way We Were (1973)
68. Henry Fool (1997)


69. Moulin Rouge (2001)
70. Julie and Julia (2009)
71. Woman of the Year (1942)
72. Best Seller (1987)
73. Factotum (2005)
74. State of Play (2009)
75. Julia (1977)
76. Henry & June (1990)
77. On the Road (2012)
78. Mother (1996)
79. Martian Child (2007)
80. The Words (2012)

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for giving credit for our hard work. I see so many lists online that don't acknowledge sources that it's always a pleasure to encounter someone who does. Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  2. My pleasure, Christina. Heckuva list!

    ReplyDelete