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Rick's place atop all-time greats

Writers Guild members select the 101 greatest screenplays. Coming in first is `Casablanca.'

April 07, 2006|John Horn | Times Staff Writer

Hollywood screenwriters should know a good movie script when they see one, and "Casablanca" has been crowned the best screenplay ever.

The members of the Writers Guild of America voted Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein and Howard Koch's "Casablanca" into the top spot of the guild's 101 greatest screenplays.

In a tally announced Thursday, Francis Ford Coppola's collaborations with Mario Puzo on the first two "Godfather" scripts were both voted into the top 10 -- although "Godfather III" somehow didn't make the cut.

Among living screenwriters, Woody Allen tied with Coppola (who also was honored for his work on "Patton" and "Apocalypse Now") for the most mentions with four: "Hannah and Her Sisters" (No. 95), "Crimes and Misdemeanors" (No. 57), "Manhattan" (No. 54) and "Annie Hall" (No. 6).

Charlie Kaufman ("Adaptation," "Being John Malkovich" and "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind") and William Goldman ("Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," "All the President's Men" and "The Princess Bride") each earned three recognitions.

Neither the script for "Crash" nor "Brokeback Mountain," which won this year's WGA and Academy Award screenplay awards, landed on the list.

The guild, which has branches on both coasts and 9,500 film and television writer members, voted its top 10 screenplays in this order:

1. "Casablanca"

2. "The Godfather"

3. "Chinatown"

4. "Citizen Kane"

5. "All About Eve"

6. "Annie Hall"

7. "Sunset Boulevard"

8. "Network"

9. "Some Like It Hot"

10. "The Godfather II"

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