Entertainment

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

Ranker Film
2.8k votes 507 voters 5k views 72 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 Original Screenplay - but which Best Original Screenplay winners are the best?

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences didn't make the distinction between Best Original Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay until the 13th year of the ceremony. So the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay didn't come about until 1940.

Of the screenwriters who have won in this category, who is the greatest? Do you think that honor belongs to Callie Khouri (Thelma and Louise), Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained), Woody Allen (Hannah and Her Sisters, Midnight in Paris)? 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 Original Screenplay Academy Award winners below!
list ordered by
1
Quentin Tarantino is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Best Writing (Original Screenplay)
Television director, Film Producer, Screenwriter
Django Unchained, 2013
2
Joel Coen is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Best Writing (Original Screenplay)
Television producer, Film Producer, Screenwriter
Fargo, 1997
3
Charlie Kaufman is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Best Writing (Original Screenplay)
Television producer, Film Producer, Screenwriter
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, 2005
4
Matt Damon is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Best Writing (Original Screenplay)
Spokesperson, Television producer, Film Producer
Good Will Hunting, 1998
5
Orson Welles is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Best Writing (Original Screenplay)
Television director, Television producer, Film Producer
Citizen Kane, 1942
6
Jordan Peele is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Best Writing (Original Screenplay)
Comedian, Television producer, Musician

Get Out, 2018

7
Sofia Coppola is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Best Writing (Original Screenplay)
Television producer, Film Producer, Screenwriter
Lost in Translation, 2004
8
Michael Arndt is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Best Writing (Original Screenplay)
Screenwriter
Little Miss Sunshine, 2007
9
Spike Jonze is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Best Writing (Original Screenplay)
Film Producer, Screenwriter, Cinematographer
Her, 2014
10
William Goldman is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Best Writing (Original Screenplay)
Novelist, Screenwriter, Author
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, 1970
11
Alan Ball is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Best Writing (Original Screenplay)
Television director, Television producer, Film Producer
American Beauty, 2000
12
Robert Towne is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Best Writing (Original Screenplay)
Screenwriter, Actor, Film Director
Chinatown, 1975
13
Paddy Chayefsky is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Best Writing (Original Screenplay)
Novelist, Film Producer, Screenwriter
The Hospital, 1972; Network, 1977
14
Woody Allen is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Best Writing (Original Screenplay)
Film Score Composer, Comedian, Musician
Hannah and Her Sisters, 1987; Midnight in Paris, 2012
15
Christopher McQuarrie is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Best Writing (Original Screenplay)
Songwriter, Television producer, Film Producer
The Usual Suspects, 1996
16
Alejandro Gonzále... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Best Writing (Original Screenplay)
Film Score Composer, Film Producer, Screenwriter
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), 2015
17
Mel Brooks is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Best Writing (Original Screenplay)
Television producer, Theatrical producer, Film Producer
The Producers, 1969
18
Cameron Crowe is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Best Writing (Original Screenplay)
Editor, Journalist, Film Producer
Almost Famous, 2001
19
I. A. L. Diamond is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Best Writing (Original Screenplay)
Film Producer, Screenwriter, Writer
The Apartment, 1961
20
Billy Wilder is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Best Writing (Original Screenplay)
Journalist, Film Producer, Screenwriter
Sunset Blvd., 1951
21
Frank Pierson is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Best Writing (Original Screenplay)
Television director, Television producer, Screenwriter
Dog Day Afternoon, 1976
22
Tom Schulman is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Best Writing (Original Screenplay)
Television producer, Film Producer, Screenwriter
Dead Poets Society, 1990
23
Budd Schulberg is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Best Writing (Original Screenplay)
Journalist, Television producer, Novelist
On the Waterfront, 1955
24
Bong Joon-ho is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Best Writing (Original Screenplay)
Screenwriter, Actor, Film Director

Parasite, 2019

25
Barry Morrow is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Best Writing (Original Screenplay)
Film Producer, Screenwriter
Rain Man, 1989