John Milius Film Scripts

 

John Milius is a true Hollywood legend; a rare screenwriter whose notoriety is due not only to his work, but his flamboyant, eccentric personality, which inspired the Coen Brothers to create the character of Walter in The Big Lebowski.

Milius’ story is an atypical one since the beginning. As a teenager, he was a mixture of a delinquent and an avid reader who at one point tried to enlist the Marines. Feeling devastated after his rejection, he decided to study film at the USC after discovering Kurosawa’s films. College would mark the beginning of a long friendship with George Lucas.

Like many other screenwriters, he had to write several low-profile screenplays before truly earning a reputation, a process in which his colourful personality proved to be more than helpful –he requested a gun as part of the payment for rewriting Dirty Harry, and claimed that the iconic “I love the smell of Napalm by the morning” line came to him in a dream. Robert Shaw’s famous Indianapolis speech in Jaws was also originally written by Milius.

There are endless anecdotes about this unique screenwriter who defines himself as a “Zen Anarchist” and a sort of Hollywood deviant. After serious financial difficulties in the early 2000’s, his career relived when he found a niche in TV screenwriting and co-created the HBO series Rome.  

List of John Milius Scripts:

(1971) Dirty Harry (uncredited)

(1972) Jeremiah Jonson

(1972) The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean

(1973) Dillinger

(1973) Magnum Force

(1975) The Wind and the Lion

(1978) Big Wednesday

(1979) Apocalypse Now

(1979) 1941

(1982) Conan the Barbarian

(1984) Red Dawn

(1987) Extreme Prejudice (story)

(1989) Farewell to the King

(1991) Flight of the Intruder

(1994) Clear and Present Danger 

1941 Script

1941 poster thumbnail
Year:1979
Director:Steven Spielberg
Written by:John Milius (Screenplay), Robert Zemeckis (Writer)

Script Synopsis:It's been six days since the attack on Pearl Harbor. Panic grips California, supposedly the next target of the Japanese forces. Everywhere in California, people are suffering from war nerves. Chaos erupts all over the state. An Army Air Corps Captain, a civilian with a deranged sense of Nationalism, civilian defenders, and a Motor Pool crew all end up chasing a Japanese sub planning to attack LA.
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Extreme Prejudice Script

Extreme Prejudice poster thumbnail
Year:1987
Director:Walter Hill
Written by:John Milius (Story), Fred Rexer (Story), Harry Kleiner (Screenplay), Deric Washburn (Screenplay)

Script Synopsis:A Texas Ranger and a ruthless narcotics kingpin - they were childhood friends, now they are adversaries...
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Flight Of The Intruder Script

Flight Of The Intruder poster thumbnail
Year:1991
Director:John Milius

Script Synopsis:U.S. Navy pilot Lt. Jake Grafton and his bombardier buddy, Lt. Cmdr. Virgil Cole, are two soldiers embedded in the Vietnam War growing frustrated by the military's constraints on their missions. Despite the best efforts of their commanding officer, Cmdr. Frank Camparelli, to re-engage them, this disillusioned pair decide to take the war effort into their own hands with an explosive battle plan that could well get them court-martialed.
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Conan the Barbarian (1982)

Conan the Barbarian (1982) poster thumbnail
Year:1982
Director:John Milius
Written by:John Milius (Screenplay), Oliver Stone (Screenplay), Edward Summer (Story), Robert E. Howard (Story)

Script Synopsis:A film adaptation of the classic sword and sorcery hero, Conan the Barbarian. A horde of rampaging warriors massacre the parents of young Conan and enslave the young child for years on The Wheel of Pain. As the sole survivor of the childhood massacre, Conan is released from slavery and taught the ancient arts of fighting. Transforming himself into a killing machine, Conan travels into the wilderness to seek vengeance on Thulsa Doom, the man responsible for killing his family. In the wilderness, Conan takes up with the thieves Valeria and Subotai. The group comes upon King Osric, who wants the trio of warriors to help rescue his daughter who has joined Doom in the hills.
*5449

The Wind and the Lion

The Wind and the Lion poster thumbnail
Year:1975
Director:John Milius
Written by:John Milius (Writer)

Script Synopsis:At the beginning of the 20th century an American woman is abducted in Morocco by Berbers, and the attempts to free her range from diplomatic pressure to military intervention.
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Red Dawn

Red Dawn poster thumbnail
Year:1984
Director:John Milius
Written by:John Milius (Screenplay), Kevin Reynolds (Screenplay), Kevin Reynolds (Story)

Script Synopsis:It is the dawn of World War III. In mid-western America, a group of teenagers band together to defend their town—and their country—from invading Soviet forces.
*5052

Dillinger

Dillinger poster thumbnail
Year:1973
Director:John Milius
Written by:John Milius (Writer)

Script Synopsis:The life of American public enemy number one who was shot by the police in 1934. After a shoot-out kills five FBI agents in Kansas City the Bureau target John Dillinger as one of the men to hunt down. Waiting for him to break Federal law they sort out several other mobsters, while Dillinger's bank robbing exploits make him something of a folk hero. Escaping from jail he finds Pretty Boy Floyd and Baby Face Nelson have joined the gang and pretty soon he is Public Enemy Number One. Now the G-men really are after him.
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Jeremiah Johnson

Jeremiah Johnson poster thumbnail
Year:1972
Director:Sydney Pollack
Written by:Vardis Fisher (Novel), John Milius (Screenplay), Edward Anhalt (Screenplay), David Rayfiel (Screenplay)

Script Synopsis:A mountain man who wishes to live the life of a hermit becomes the unwilling object of a long vendetta by Indians when he proves to be the match of their warriors in one-to-one combat on the early frontier.
5019

The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean

The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean poster thumbnail
Year:1972
Director:John Huston
Written by:John Milius (Writer)

Script Synopsis:Outlaw and self-appointed lawmaker, Judge Roy Bean, rules over an empty stretch of the West that gradually grows, under his iron fist, into a thriving town, while dispensing his his own quirky brand of frontier justice upon strangers passing by.
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