Film Scripts Based on Mental Disorders

Borderline Personality Disorder, OCD, Bipolar Disorder and depression are among the many psychological disorders that have gained notoriety in films over the past few decades. The concept of a warped mind that sees the world in a much different way from the mainstream is something that intrigues people from all walks of life. Individualism is shown in its true dark form and for a few moments, an audience is able to comprehend what it’s like to see through a “crazy” person’s mind.

Many of the best psychological disorder films were written by people who actually had the disorder. This adds realism and definition to the characters and makes it likeable by many audiences. However, some disorders (such as schizophrenia) can be so debilitating that it’s difficult to find a person who can write a story representing their experience.

So in these cases, writers are given a challenge to try to experience something they know nothing about using only clinical definitions and second-hand accounts from doctors or family members. But when an interesting perspective is found, it opens a path that allows many people to experience a different state of mind as well.

Below is a list of some of the best film scripts based on a person with a mental disorder. From these scripts, a writer will be able to see how disorders are characterized by people with experience and those without. By taking note of the methods used in writing these scripts, a person will be better prepared to show the perspective of someone or something that they had never experienced in their lives; yet do so in a way that is believable.

For those who have suffered with a disorder, these scripts show how to use scenes and dialogue to help people understand what it feels like to live with that disorder.


  1. (2003) Identity Script
  2. (2002) May Script [Transcript]
  3. (2001) Donnie Darko Script
  4. (2001) A Beautiful Mind Script [Transcript]
  5. (1999) Fight Club Script
  6. (1999) Girl, Interrupted Script [Transcript]
  7. (1997) As Good As It Gets Script
  8. (1993) What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? Script [Transcript]
  9. (1988) Rain Man Script  [Transcript]

Classic Novel Adaptation Scripts

It should come to no surprise that many of the greatest films of our day have been inspired, or directly taken, from the pages of novels. Writers such as Stephen King and J.R.R. Tolkien have been able to reach new audiences through the help of creative film makers and script writers.

The fact is that many people do not have the time to read. A good novel can often run from 300 to 1000 pages (depending on the author), and can take some time in order to finish. Even for the most avid reader, there is never enough time to read all the books in the world and that is where film makers come in.

One of the biggest problems related to transforming a book into a movie is the issue of accurately following the storyline while maintaining the same emotions that a person gets when reading the book. This is a difficult task and requires a person of great emotional intelligence and technical skill in order to complete.

Below is a list of some of the best (and worst) adaptations of novels. Whether they are good or bad depends on the viewer. However, there are some elements that make them generally enjoyable and worthy of being a major motion picture. What are those elements, you ask? Well, I will leave you to find that out as you compare some of these screenplays to the classic novels that inspired them.

Once you find out the answers, you will be on your way to being able to accurately adapt a novel that you cherish. And who knows? One day your screenplay might be the one chosen for a major motion picture adaptation. Good luck!

  1. The Godfather Script
  2. The Shawshank Redemption Script
  3. Schindler’s List Script
  4. The Hunt for Red October [Transcript]
  5. The Princess Bride [Transcript]
  6. Wuthering Heights [Transcript]
  7. Scarface Script
  8. GoodFellas [Transcript]
  9. No Country For Old Men Script
  10. Girl, Interrupted [Transcript]