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Demonstrating the Importance of Directors by Highlighting the Failures of Screenwriters

By Dustin Rowles | Lists | June 21, 2010 |

By Dustin Rowles | Lists | June 21, 2010 |

I attempted a lengthy explanation to describe the point I’m trying to make with the examples below, but my own circular logic eventually short-circuited my brain and I deleted it. So, draw your own conclusions based on the evidence below. The person who explains the point I’m trying to make the best gets cake. I’m not even kidding. I will bake you a goddamn cake and send it to your house. That’s how much this means to me. And I make a mean motherfucking cake, people.

This is officially a Pajiba Contest.

Screenwriters in bold. Directors in parenthesis. Use the headline as a guide. It may also be helpful to know that William Goldman seems to be the exception to the rule I’m trying to demonstrate.

  • Guinevere Turner

    Best Movie: American Pyscho (Mary Harron)

    Worst Movie: Bloodrayne (Uwe Boll)

  • Ted Tally

    Best Movie: Silence of the Lambs (Jonathan Demme)

    Worst Movies: All the Pretty Horses (Billy Bob Thornton), Red Dragon (Bret Ratner), The Juror (Brian Gibson)

  • Andrew Kevin Walker

    Best Movie: Se7en (David Fincher)

    Worst Movies: 8MM (Joel Schumacher), The Wolfman (Joe Johnston)

  • William Goldman

    Best Movies: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (George Roy Hill), The Stepford Wives (Bryan Forbes), All the President’s Men (Alan Pakula) The Princess Bride (Rob Reiner), Heat (Michael Mann)

  • Worst Movies: The Last Action Hero (rewrite) (John McTiernan), The General’s Daughter (Simon West), Dreamcatcher (Lawrence Kasdan)

  • Brian Helgeland

    Best Movies: L.A. Confidential (Curtis Hanson), Mystic River (Clint Eastwood)

    Worst Movies: The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 (remake) (Tony Scott), Robin Hood (2010) (Ridley Scott)

  • Randall Wallace

    Best Movie: Braveheart (Mel Gibson)

    Worst Movie: The Man in the Iron Mask (Randall Wallace), Pearl Harbor (Michael Bay), We Were Soldiers (Randall Wallace)

  • Raynold Gideon

    Best Movies: Stand By Me (Rob Reiner), Starman (John Carpenter)

    Worst Movies: Cutthroat Island (Renny Harlin), Jungle 2 Jungle (John Pasquin) Mr. Brooks (Bruce A. Evans)

  • Akiva Goldsman

    Best Movies: Cinderella Man (Ron Howard), A Beautiful Mind (Ron Howard)

    Worst Movies: Practical Magic (Griffin Dunne), Lost in Space (Stephen Hopkins), Batman Forever (Joel Schumacher)

  • Zak Penn

    Best Movies: X2 (Bryan Singer), The Incredible Hulk (Louis Leterrier)

    Worst Movies: Inspector Gadget (David Kellogg), Elektra (Rob Bowman)

  • David S. Goyer

    Best Movies: Batman Begins (Christopher Nolan), The Dark Knight (Nolan), Dark City (Alex Proyas)

    Worst Movies: Zig Zag (Goyer), Blade Trinity (Goyer), The Unborn (Goyer), Demonic Toys (Peter Manoogian)