Entertainment

The Greatest Writer Characters in Film 

Ranker Film
Updated October 13, 2018 880 votes 262 voters 5k views 43 items

List Rules Vote up the most memorable movie characters who were novelists, screenwriters, playwrights, etc.

"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy." That single typed line helped solidify The Shining as a horror movie classic, and ensured that its unhinged author Jack Torrance numbers among the greatest writer characters in film history. Novelists, playwrights, poets, and other writer characters seem to be particularly inspiring to screenwriters, perhaps due to their shared creative connection. Some of these fictional writers are neurotic intellectuals, while other writers in films use booze and drugs to fuel their creativity. A few of these fictional writers were even inspired by real-life artists.

Who takes the title as the greatest writer character of all time? The aforementioned Jack Torrance is a strong contender, but don't forget about iconic figures like unlucky screenwriter Joe Gillis from Sunset Boulevard. The fictionalized version of Charlie Kaufman in Adaptation is another one of the best writer characters from the movies – Nicholas Cage was even nominated for an Oscar for the role. The character of Barton Fink struggled to write screenplays in the 1991 film of the same name, and journalist Raoul Duke went on a psychedelic journey in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

It's up to you to decide which fictional author deserves top honors. Vote up the most memorable writer characters, and vote down the ones that don't quite make the cut. Make sure to add in any missing characters, too.
list ordered by
1
Jack Torrance is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
2
Raoul Duke is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Johnny Depp in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
3
Paul Sheldon is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
James Caan in Misery
4
Virginia Woolf is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
5
Nick Carraway is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
6
Carl Bernstein is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
7
Charlie Kaufman is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Nicolas Cage in Adaptation
8
Truman Capote is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
9
Margot Tenenbaum is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Gwyneth Paltrow in The Royal Tenenbaums
10
Mort Rainey is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Johnny Depp in Secret Window
11
T.S. Garp is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
T.S. Garp Robin Williams in The World According to Garp
12
Bob Woodward is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
13
Gil is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Gil Owen Wilson in Midnight in Paris
14
Ed Wood is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Tom Islava added Johnny Depp in Ed Wood
15
Marty is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Marty Colin Farrell in Seven Psychopaths
16
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart ... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Tom Islava added Tom Hulce in Amadeus
17
Paul Varjak is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
George Peppard in Breakfast at Tiffany's
18
Eli Cash is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Owen Wilson in The Royal Tenenbaums
19
Eugenia 'Skeeter' Phelan... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Emma Stone in The Help
20
Andrea Sachs is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada
21
Christy Brown is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
22
Joe Gillis is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
William Holden in Sunset Boulevard
23
Felix Unger is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Tom Islava added
24
Oscar Madison is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Tom Islava added
25
Barton Fink is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
John Turturro in Barton Fink