Oscars The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)  

Ranker Film
1.5k votes 344 voters 2.4k views 81 items

Every year the Academy evaluates a year's worth of brilliant original screenplays and picks what they believe to be the best of the best, nominating these for the most prestigious writing awards in cinema: the Oscars. This in itself is an honor - just to be nominated for an Academy Award. But only one person can win each year, and the men and women listed here are all Academy Award winners for Best Adapted Screenplay - but which Best Adapted Screenplay winners are the best?

Of the screenwriters who have won in this category, who is the greatest?  Is it a classic writer like Francis Ford Coppola (Godfather I, II, and III)? Maybe a more contemporary writer like William Monahan (The Departed) or Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network)? Maybe it's writer who penned a contemporary classic like Steven Zaillian (Schindler's List). What about the other top Hollywood writers who can count themselves among the ranks of Oscar-winning screenplay writers?

With so many options choosing the best is hard, but that's where you come in. Vote up the very best writers of all the Best Adapted Screenplay Academy Award winners below!
list ordered by
1
84 20
Eric Roth is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Television producer, Screenwriter
Forrest Gump, 1995
2
78 18
James Ivory is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Film Producer, Screenwriter, Cinematographer

Call Me by Your Name, 2018

3
40 16
Francis Ford Coppola is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Television director, Television producer, Film Producer
The Godfather, 1972; The Godfather Part II, 1975
4
27 14
Aaron Sorkin is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Television producer, Screenwriter, Actor
The Social Network, 2011
5
23 12
Ted Tally is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Screenwriter, Writer, Playwright
6
20 10
Peter Shaffer is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Screenwriter, Author, Playwright
Amadeus, 1985
7
25 15
Steven Zaillian is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Film Producer, Screenwriter, Film Editor
Schindler's List, 1994
8
26 16
Bo Goldman is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Television producer, Screenwriter, Playwright
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, 1976
9
24 15
Emma Thompson is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Comedian, Film Producer, Screenwriter
Sense and Sensibility, 1996
10
18 10
William Monahan is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Journalist, Novelist, Film Producer
The Departed, 2007
11
21 13
Horton Foote is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Film Producer, Screenwriter, Actor
To Kill a Mockingbird, 1963
12
12 7
Larry McMurtry is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Novelist, Screenwriter, Author
Brokeback Mountain, 2006
13
14 9
Brian Helgeland is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Film Producer, Screenwriter, Film Director
L.A. Confidential, 1998
14
11 6
Billy Bob Thornton is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Musician, Singer-songwriter, Screenwriter
Sling Blade, 1997
15
15 11
John Ridley is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Television producer, Film Producer, Screenwriter
12 Years a Slave, 2014
16
13 9
Pierre Boulle is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Screenwriter, Author
17
12 8
Waldo Salt is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Screenwriter
Midnight Cowboy, 1970
18
14 11
William Goldman is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Novelist, Screenwriter, Author
All the President's Men, 1977
19
11 8
Alexander Payne is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Television producer, Film Producer, Screenwriter
Sideways, 2005; The Descendants, 2012
20
11 8
Ring Lardner Jr. is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
MASH, 1971
21
9 6
Ruth Prawer Jhabvala is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Novelist, Screenwriter, Writer
A Room with a View, 1987; Howards End, 1993
22
13 11
Joel Coen is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Television producer, Film Producer, Screenwriter
No Country for Old Men, 2008
23
12 10
Chris Terrio is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Screenwriter, Film Editor, Film Director
Argo, 2013
24
9 7
James L. Brooks is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Television producer, Film Producer, Screenwriter
25
12 11
Sidney Howard is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Screenwriter, Playwright
Gone with the Wind, 1940