Writers The Greatest Writer Characters in Film  

Ranker Film
679 votes 243 voters 4.4k 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
40 8
Jack Torrance is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
The Shining

2
33 9
Raoul Duke is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

3
19 5
Paul Sheldon is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Misery

4
16 4
Nick Carraway is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
The Great Gatsby, The Great Gatsby, The Great Gatsby

5
19 7
Carl Bernstein is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
All the President's Men

6
23 11
Virginia Woolf is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
The Hours

7
20 9
Charlie Kaufman is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Adaptation

8
12 4
Margot Tenenbaum is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
The Royal Tenenbaums

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

10
14 8
Mort Rainey is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Secret Window

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

12
9 5
Andrea Sachs is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
The Devil Wears Prada

13
16 13
T.S. Garp is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
T.S. Garp The World According to Garp

14
11 8
Paul Varjak is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Breakfast at Tiffany's

15
10 8
Eli Cash is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
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
6 4
Eugenia 'Skeeter' Phelan is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film

18
15 14
Gil is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Gil Midnight in Paris

19
6 5
Ed Wood is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Tom Islava added Ed Wood

20
5 4
Joan Wilder is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Romancing the Stone

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

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
My Left Foot

24
5 6
Jesse Wallace is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
Jesse Wallace Before Sunset, Before Midnight, Before Sunrise

25
5 6
Holly Martins is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Writer Characters in Film
The Third Man