Film Scripts with Great Dialogue

Dialogues are just one of the many mechanisms that can move the plot forward. For some screenwriters though, it doesn’t seem to be a resource, but their chief weapon. While Quentin Tarantino may have become the ultimate modern reference, many other authors have also forged a reputation as masters of dialogue.

Aaron Sorkin has compared dialogue to music. There is indeed a rhythmic nature in the way his characters interact: from courtroom battles to rapid-fire Harvard computing chatter, Sorkin enjoys taking his characters to the limit not by physical, but argumentative exhaustion.

Always proud of his origins, Kevin Smith often uses real life friends as direct models for his characters. The Star Wars exchange in Clerks is both hilarious and genuine: Smith wasn’t afraid of driving the plot with the same kind of conversations he’d have with his own buddies- expletives and pop culture references included.

Which brings us to Richard Linklater, who inspired Smith to start his career. Watching Slacker or the Before trilogy, one might feel that those conversations are going nowhere. But they’re slowly, cleverly taking us to the next point.

Conversations are dynamic, and so are film dialogues, which are as diverse as the minds that crafted them. They can introduce us to the main conflict (Glengarry Glenn Ross), read a character’s thoughts for us (Juno, Fight Club), make outlaws be likable (Point Break, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid) or just captivate us through absency (enjoy The Artist and There Will Be Blood’s brilliant opening!).

Some other examples of films with great dialogues are:

(1942) Casablanca 

(1949) The Third Man

(1972) The Godfather

(1974) Chinatown

(1976) Taxi Driver

(1979) Manhattan 

(1985) The Breakfast Club 

(1989) Do The Right Thing

(1991) The Silence of the Lambs

(1994) Pulp Fiction

(1996) Fargo  

(1997) Chasing Amy

(1997) As Good as it Gets  

(1999) American Beauty

(2006) Little Miss Sunshine

(2011) Moneyball 

Cop Out

Year:2010
Director:Kevin Smith
Written by:Mark Cullen (Writer), Robb Cullen (Writer)

Script Synopsis:Officers Jimmy Monroe and Paul Hodges have their weapons drawn on a gun-wielding killer. They agree to shoot on three. But, wait, does that mean 1…2… shoot or 1…2…3… then shoot? Punches hit hard and laughs hit harder (or is it the other way ’round?) when action star Bruce Willis and ace comic Tracy Morgan pair as bickering-but-got-your-back Brooklyn buddy cops. Kevin Smith (Clerks, Chasing Amy) directs the gritty, goofball goings-on as the guys hunt for a stolen 1952 mint condition baseball card (Jimmy needs it to fund his daughter’s wedding), a hunt plunging them into a gunslinging war with a deadly drug ring. Batter up, fans. The boys are ready to take you out to the ol’ brawl game!
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Zack and Miri Make a Porno

Year:2008
Director:Kevin Smith
Written by:Kevin Smith (Writer)

Script Synopsis:Lifelong platonic friends Zack and Miri look to solve their respective cash-flow problems by making an adult film together. As the cameras roll, however, the duo begin to sense that they may have more feelings for each other than they previously thought.
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Mallrats

Year:1995
Director:Kevin Smith
Written by:Kevin Smith (Writer)

Script Synopsis:Both dumped by their girlfriends, two best friends seek refuge in the local mall.
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Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back

Year:2001
Director:Kevin Smith
Written by:Kevin Smith (Screenplay)

Script Synopsis:When Jay and Silent Bob learn that their comic-book alter egos, Bluntman and Chronic, have been sold to Hollywood as part of a big-screen movie that leaves them out of any royalties, the pair travels to Tinseltown to sabotage the production.
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Jersey Girl

Year:2004
Director:Kevin Smith
Written by:Kevin Smith (Screenplay)

Script Synopsis:Ollie Trinke is a young, suave music publicist who seems to have it all, with a new wife and a baby on the way. But life deals him a bum hand when he's suddenly faced with single fatherhood, a defunct career and having to move in with his father. To bounce back, it takes a new love and the courage instilled in him by his daughter.
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Dogma

Year:1999
Director:Kevin Smith
Written by:Kevin Smith (Writer)

Script Synopsis:The latest battle in the eternal war between Good and Evil has come to New Jersey in the late, late 20th Century. Angels, demons, apostles and prophets (of a sort) walk among the cynics and innocents of America and duke it out for the fate of humankind.
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Clerks

Year:1994
Director:Kevin Smith
Written by:Kevin Smith (Screenplay)

Script Synopsis:Convenience and video store clerks Dante and Randal are sharp-witted, potty-mouthed and bored out of their minds. So in between needling customers, the counter jockeys play hockey on the roof, visit a funeral home and deal with their love lives.
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Clerks 2

Year:2006
Director:Kevin Smith
Written by:Kevin Smith (Screenplay)

Script Synopsis:A calamity at Dante and Randall's shops sends them looking for new horizons - but they ultimately settle at Mooby's, a fictional Disney-McDonald's-style fast-food empire.
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Chasing Amy

Year:1997
Director:Kevin Smith
Written by:Kevin Smith (Screenplay)

Script Synopsis:Holden and Banky are comic book artists. Everything is going good for them until they meet Alyssa, also a comic book artist. Holden falls for her, but his hopes are crushed when he finds out she's a lesbian.
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