fictional characters The Greatest Writer Characters in Film  

Ranker Film
656 votes 235 voters 4.1k 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.

1
37 7
Jack Torrance is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Jack Torrance The Shining

2
32 8
Raoul Duke is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Raoul Duke Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

3
18 5
Paul Sheldon is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Paul Sheldon Misery

4
18 6
Carl Bernstein is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Carl Bernstein All the President's Men

5
14 3
Nick Carraway is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Nick Carraway The Great Gatsby, The Great Gatsby, The Great Gatsby

6
22 11
Virginia Woolf is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Virginia Woolf The Hours

7
18 9
Charlie Kaufman is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Charlie Kaufman Adaptation

8
11 4
Margot Tenenbaum is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Margot Tenenbaum The Royal Tenenbaums

9
12 6
Truman Capote is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Truman Capote Capote

10
13 7
Mort Rainey is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Mort Rainey Secret Window

11
16 10
Bob Woodward is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Bob Woodward All the President's Men

12
11 8
Paul Varjak is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Paul Varjak Breakfast at Tiffany's

13
8 5
Andrea Sachs is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Andrea Sachs The Devil Wears Prada

14
15 13
T.S. Garp is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
T.S. Garp The World According to Garp

The Greatest Novelist Characters in Film

15
10 8
Eli Cash is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Eli Cash The Royal Tenenbaums

16
9 7
Marty is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Marty Seven Psychopaths

17
15 14
Gil is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Gil Midnight in Paris

18
5 4
Eugenia 'Skeeter' Phelan is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film

19
5 4
Joan Wilder is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Joan Wilder Romancing the Stone

20
5 5
Ed Wood is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Tom Islava added Ed Wood Ed Wood

21
5 5
Joe Gillis is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Joe Gillis Sunset Boulevard

The Best and Worst Disney Animated Movies

22
4 4
Andy Farmer is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Andy Farmer Funny Farm

23
10 11
Christy Brown is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Christy Brown My Left Foot

24
5 6
Holly Martins is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Holly Martins The Third Man

25
5 6
Jesse Wallace is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Jesse Wallace Before Sunset, Before Midnight, Before Sunrise

26
4 5
Riggan Thomson is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Tom Islava added Riggan Thomson Birdman

27
3 4
Oscar Madison is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Tom Islava added Oscar Madison The Odd Couple II, The Odd Couple: Together Again, The Odd Couple

28
3 4
Felix Unger is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Tom Islava added Felix Unger The Odd Couple II, The Odd Couple

The Best Movies About Real Writers

29
2 4
Sidney Bruhl is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Sidney Bruhl Deathtrap

30
4 7
Barton Fink is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Barton Fink Barton Fink

31
4 7
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Tom Islava added Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Amadeus

32
3 6
Lance Clayton is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Lance Clayton World's Greatest Dad

33
3 6
Antonio Salieri is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Tom Islava added Antonio Salieri Amadeus

34
2 5
Susan Orlean is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Susan Orlean Adaptation

35
6 10
Jamie Bennett is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Uncle Jamie Love Actually

36
2 6
Prof. Grady Tripp is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Prof. Grady Tripp Wonder Boys

37
2 6
Sarah Morton is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Sarah Morton Swimming Pool

38
1 5
Tabitha is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Tom Islava added Tabitha Birdman

39
1 5
Ira Wright is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Ira Wright Funny People

40
1 5
Henry Chinaski is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
clash1977 added Henry Chinaski Barfly

41
5 10
Alvy Singer is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Alvy Singer Annie Hall

42
2 7
Guy is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Guy Swimming with Sharks

43
1 6
Don Birnam is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Tom Islava added Don Birnam The Lost Weekend