10 Essential Screenplays Every Aspiring Screenwriter Must Read

9. Annie Hall (1977) - Woody Allen/Marshall Brickman

Annie-Hall-woody-allen-17905510-1280-854Annie Hall is often regarded as the best movie of Woody Allen's long career. Here's a movie that took the director's unique sense of humour and gave over to a real, human story that everybody could relate to - a lost relationship, fondly recalled. The screenplay is undoubtably a defining work in the romantic comedy genre, and one which has inspired countless copycats, including When Harry Met Sally, and the recent 500 Days of Summer. The structure of the screenplay doesn't much conform to any standards applied to the screenwriting area, and that's likely because Woody Allen never wrote his screenplay to fit around one. Which proves, of course, that there truly is no established way to right a script "correctly" - something that's likely to prove both comforting and frustrating for any aspiring writers trying to nail such a thing. Allen grips you from the start, though, with the brilliant, unique opening monologue, where his character, Alvy Singer, talks right at you. This brings you straight into the world of the story and has you instantly sympathising with his situation. This script is crammed with inspired tricks like this one, but that's not what makes it truly great - it's that Allen understands that a good story is what makes for a good structure, and not the other way around. You can read Woody Allen and Marshall Brickman's screenplay for Annie Hallhere.

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