Explore Scripts of These Oscar-Winning Iconic Film Adaptations

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All Quiet on the Western Front by Robert Waterhouse

Winner of the 1930 Academy Awards® for Best Picture & Best Director

based on the novel by Erich Maria Remarque

In October 1918, a month before the end of World War I, Paul Bäumer is shot and killed by a sniper on the western front. He is the last of his classmates to fall in a war that will destroy many in his generation and disillusion those who remain. ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT chronicles Paul’s observations of life and death in the mud of the trenches and the impossibility of returning to civilian life after living in hell. Paul, Müller, Kat, and Kropp are all brought briefly to life in this adaptation of one of the great anti-war classics of the twentieth century.

You Can’t Take It with You by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman

Winner of the 1939 Academy Awards® for Best Pictures & Best Director

Winner of the 1937 Pulitzer Prize for Drama

The family of Martin Vanderhof lives “just around the corner from Columbia University—but don’t go looking for it.” Grandpa, as Martin is more commonly known, is the paterfamilias of a large and extended family: His daughter, Penny, who fancies herself a romance novelist; her husband, Paul, an amateur fireworks expert; their daughter, Alice, an attractive and loving girl who is still embarrassed by her family’s eccentricities—which include a xylophone player/leftist leaflet printer, an untalented ballerina, a couple on relief, and a ballet master exiled from Soviet Russia. When Alice falls for her boss, Tony, a handsome scion of Wall Street, she fears that their two families—so unlike in manner, politics, and finances—will never come together. During a disastrous dinner party, Alice’s worst fears are confirmed. Her prospective in-laws are humiliated in a party game, fireworks explode in the basement, and the house is raided by the FBI. Frustrated and upset, Alice intends to run away to the country, until Grandpa and Co.—playing the role of Cupid—manage not only to bring the happy couple together, but to set Tony’s father straight about the true priorities in life. After all, why be obsessed by money? You can’t take it with you.

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Winner of the 1941 Academy Awards® for Best Picture & Best Cinematography, Black-and-White

The play unfolds the story of Rebecca, Maxim de Winter’s first wife, whom the audience never meets. The action takes place in the living room of Maxim’s estate, Manderley, where he brings his second wife, a sincere young girl. The new Mrs. de Winter, knowing nothing of Rebecca, strives to penetrate the mystery of the impalpable presence of her husband’s first wife and assume her rightful position as mistress of Manderley. There is, however, the sinister Mrs. Danvers, Rebecca’s housekeeper, who refuses to allow the new Mrs. de Winter to take the place of Rebecca. It is Mrs. Danvers who induces Mrs. de Winter to wear at a fancy dress ball the costume Rebecca had worn the year before. But the sight of her in Rebecca’s costume arouses painful thoughts in Maxim, and he turns on her in a towering rage. His wife, utterly bewildered, decides she can no longer cope with the mystery that surrounds Rebecca, and since she loves Maxim she is completely perplexed. A climax is reached by the discovery of Rebecca’s body in the sea, where she had been supposedly drowned. The bride becomes a pillar of strength for her husband, who reveals the tragic story of his first marriage and admits the love he has for his bride, a love he never felt for Rebecca. The drama rises to a climax, involving a police investigation and attempted blackmail, but because Maxim and his wife face the future with confidence the drama ends on a note of triumph.

All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren

Winner of the 1949 Academy Awards® for Best Picture, Best Actor & Best Supporting Actress

As told by Brooks Atkinson: “Eliminate the story of Huey Long, which Mr. Warren says is not what he is trying to interpret. He is anatomizing the career with nothing but purity in his heart. Discovering that he is being used by a cynical machine, [Willie] adopts their methods, and presently, he is in control of the state. By resorting to corrupt methods he accomplishes things for the people that were only abstract ideals when he was campaigning honestly. As a portrait of politics, this is effective and provocative.” NOTE: A revised version of this work, adapted for the stage by Adrian Hall and including incidental music, is also available for amateur production.

Around the World in Eighty Days adapted by John Hildreth

Winner of the 1956 Academy Awards® for Best Picture, Best Screenplay – Adapted, Best Cinematography – Color, Best Film Editing & Best Music Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture

In 1872, on a gentleman’s wager, Phileas Fogg and his French manservant Passepartout attempt to traverse the globe in just eighty days. The two encounter strange new countries, colorful (and at times hostile) characters, and even love. A faithful, swift adaptation of Jules Verne’s classic adventure novel.

Terms of Endearment adapted for the stage by Dan Gordon

Winner of the 1983 Academy Awards® for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay – Based on Material from Another Medium, Best Actress & Best Supporting Actor

Challenges in life and love test the resilience of a mother-daughter relationship in Dan Gordon’s adaptation of Terms of Endearment, based on the book by Pulitzer Prize-winner Larry McMurtry and James L. Brooks’s screenplay of the Oscar-winning film. Though Emma is often exasperated by her highly-opinionated mother, Aurora, they talk every day about their problems, from Aurora finding unexpected love even as she becomes a reluctant grandmother, to Emma’s struggle in her troubled marriage. But when they need one another most, will they be able to find courage in each other? This funny and touching story captures the delicate, sometimes fractured bonds between mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, and lovers, both old and new.

Driving Miss Daisy by Alfred Uhry

Winner of the 1989 Academy Awards® for Best Picture, Best Screenplay – Based on Material from Another Medium, Best Actress & Best Makeup

Winner of the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for Drama

The place is the Deep South, the time 1948, just prior to the civil rights movement. Having recently demolished another car, Daisy Werthan, a rich, sharp-tongued Jewish widow of seventy-two, is informed by her son, Boolie, that henceforth she must rely on the services of a chauffeur. The person he hires for the job is a thoughtful, unemployed black man, Hoke, whom Miss Daisy immediately regards with disdain and who, in turn, is not impressed with his employer’s patronizing tone and, he believes, her latent prejudice. But, in a series of absorbing scenes spanning twenty-five years, the two, despite their mutual differences, grow ever closer to, and more dependent on, each other, until, eventually, they become almost a couple. Slowly and steadily the dignified, good-natured Hoke breaks down the stern defenses of the ornery old lady, as she teaches him to read and write and, in a gesture of good will and shared concern, invites him to join her at a banquet in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. As the play ends Hoke has a final visit with Miss Daisy, now ninety-seven and confined to a nursing home, and while it is evident that a vestige of her fierce independence and sense of position still remain, it is also movingly clear that they have both come to realize they have more in common than they ever believed possible—and that times and circumstances would ever allow them to publicly admit.

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