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10 Essential Screenplays Every Aspiring Screenwriter Must Read

2. Back to the Future (1985) - Robert Zemeckis/Bob Gale

url I don't care what anybody says: Back to the Future deserves to be on this list because, as a screenplay, it's a wonder that it actually works. Not because the writing is bad or because it doesn't adhere to a neat structure (it does), but because it's an utter mishmash of movie genres - sci-fi, fantasy, drama, romance, adventure, comedy). The reason that it works? Because Bob Zemeckis and Bob Gale absolutely nailed the tone of the movie in the script stages. Tone isn't generally something that a lot of writers consider whilst writing their scripts, because tone seems more like something that would make itself apparent during the film production stages, when you have a director on board etc. But screenplays (especially speculative screenplays) desperately need to show that their in possession of an original tone - you're selling your original voice, after all. As a drama, a comedy, a sci-fi movie, a romance, Back to the Future is airtight in absolutely every way, though. One of its greatest accomplishments in the way that the writers make the movie's heavy exposition - often the most difficult dialogue variations to write - genuinely enjoyable to listen to. For that aspect alone, Back to the Future is essential reading for aspiring writers everywhere. You can read Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale's screenplay for Back to the Future here.
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All-round pop culture obsessive.