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

Ranker Film
Updated February 11, 2020 1.9k votes 379 voters 3.1k 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!
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list ordered by
1
Eric Roth is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Age 73 from New York City, New York
Forrest Gump, 1995
2
James Ivory is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Age 90 from Berkeley, California, United States of America

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)
Age 76 from Area code 313, Metro Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan, Contiguous United States, Detroit, United States of America, United States, with Territories, Continental United States
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)
Age 86 from New York City, New York
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)
Age 59 from Paddington, London, United Kingdom
Sense and Sensibility, 1996
6
Steven Zaillian is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Age 66 from Fresno, California
Schindler's List, 1994
7
Aaron Sorkin is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Age 57 from Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States of America
The Social Network, 2011
8
Ted Tally is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Age 66 from Winston-Salem, North Carolina
9
Horton Foote is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Dec. at 93 (1916-2009) from Wharton, Texas, United States of America
To Kill a Mockingbird, 1963
10
Peter Shaffer is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Age 92 from Liverpool, United Kingdom
Amadeus, 1985
11
Larry McMurtry is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Age 82 from Archer City, Texas, United States of America
Brokeback Mountain, 2006
12
Philip G. Epstein is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Age Died at 43 (1909-1952) from New York City, New York
Casablanca, 1944
13
Pierre Boulle is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Dec. at 82 (1912-1994) from Avignon, France
The Bridge on the River Kwai, 1958
14
Joel Coen is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Age 64 from St. Louis Park, Minnesota, United States of America
No Country for Old Men, 2008
15
William Monahan is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Age 58 from Dorchester, Boston, Massachusetts
The Departed, 2007
16
Brian Helgeland is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Age 58 from Providence, Rhode Island
L.A. Confidential, 1998
17
William Goldman is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Age 87 from Highland Park, Illinois
All the President's Men, 1977
18
Waldo Salt is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Dec. at 73 (1914-1987) from Chicago, Illinois
Midnight Cowboy, 1970
19
John Ridley is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Age 53 from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States of America
12 Years a Slave, 2014
20
Sidney Howard is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Dec. at 48 (1891-1939) from Oakland, California
Gone with the Wind, 1940
21
Billy Bob Thornton is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Age 63 from USA, Hot Springs, Arkansas
Sling Blade, 1997
22
Ring Lardner Jr. is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
MASH, 1971
23
John Huston is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Dec. at 81 (1906-1987) from Nevada, Missouri, United States of America
The Treasure of the Sierre Madre, 1949
24
Ruth Prawer Jhabvala is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Dec. at 86 (1927-2013) from Cologne, Germany
A Room with a View, 1987; Howards End, 1993
25
James L. Brooks is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
James L. Brooks Age 78 from New York City, New York-White Plains-Wayne, NY-NJ Metropolitan Division, Area code 917, Contiguous United States, New York, United States of America, United States, with Territories, Brooklyn, Continental United States