Entertainment

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

Ranker Film
1.7k votes 366 voters 2.9k views 82 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
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
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
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
Bo Goldman is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Television producer, Screenwriter, Playwright
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, 1976
5
Emma Thompson is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Comedian, Film Producer, Screenwriter
Sense and Sensibility, 1996
6
Aaron Sorkin is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Television producer, Screenwriter, Actor
The Social Network, 2011
7
Peter Shaffer is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Screenwriter, Author, Playwright
Amadeus, 1985
8
Horton Foote is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Film Producer, Screenwriter, Actor
To Kill a Mockingbird, 1963
9
Ted Tally is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Screenwriter, Writer, Playwright
10
Steven Zaillian is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Film Producer, Screenwriter, Film Editor
Schindler's List, 1994
11
William Monahan is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Journalist, Novelist, Film Producer
The Departed, 2007
12
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
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
Ring Lardner Jr. is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
MASH, 1971
15
Waldo Salt is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Screenwriter
Midnight Cowboy, 1970
16
Pierre Boulle is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Screenwriter, Author
The Bridge on the River Kwai, 1958
17
Philip G. Epstein is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Screenwriter, Writer
Casablanca, 1944
18
Ruth Prawer Jhabvala is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Novelist, Screenwriter, Writer
A Room with a View, 1987; Howards End, 1993
19
John Huston is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Film Producer, Screenwriter, Actor
The Treasure of the Sierre Madre, 1949
20
Billy Bob Thornton is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Musician, Singer-songwriter, Screenwriter
Sling Blade, 1997
21
James L. Brooks is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
James L. Brooks
Television producer, Film Producer, Screenwriter
22
Alexander Payne is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Television producer, Film Producer, Screenwriter
Sideways, 2005; The Descendants, 2012
23
Sidney Howard is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Screenwriter, Playwright
Gone with the Wind, 1940
24
John Ridley is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Television producer, Film Producer, Screenwriter
12 Years a Slave, 2014
25
William Goldman is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Novelist, Screenwriter, Author
All the President's Men, 1977