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 

Boyhood Script

Year:2014
Director:Richard Linklater
Written by:Richard Linklater (Writer)

Script Synopsis:The film tells a story of a divorced couple trying to raise their young son. The story follows the boy for twelve years, from first grade at age 6 through 12th grade at age 17-18, and examines his relationship with his parents as he grows.
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Waking Life Script

Year:2001
Director:Richard Linklater
Written by:Richard Linklater (Screenplay)

Script Synopsis:Waking Life is about a young man in a persistent lucid dream-like state. The film follows its protagonist as he initially observes and later participates in philosophical discussions that weave together issues like reality, free will, our relationships with others, and the meaning of life.
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Bernie Script

Year:2011
Director:Richard Linklater
Written by:Skip Hollandsworth (Screenplay), Richard Linklater (Screenplay)

Script Synopsis:In this true story in the tiny, rural town of Carthage, TX, assistant funeral director Bernie Tiede was one of the town's most beloved residents. Everyone loved and appreciated Bernie, and it came as no surprise when he befriended Marjorie Nugent, an affluent widow who was as well known for her sour attitude as her fortune. Until that day news came that Marjorie Nugent had been dead for some time, and Bernie Tiede was being charged with the murder.
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The School Of Rock Script

Year:2003
Director:Richard Linklater
Written by:Mike White (Screenplay)

Script Synopsis:Fired from his band and hard up for cash, guitarist and vocalist Dewey Finn finagles his way into a job as a fourth-grade substitute teacher at a private school, where he secretly begins teaching his students the finer points of rock 'n' roll. The school's hard-nosed principal is rightly suspicious of Finn's activities. But Finn's roommate remains in the dark about what he's doing.
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Before Midnight Script

Year:2013
Director:Richard Linklater
Written by:Richard Linklater (Writer), Julie Delpy (Writer), Ethan Hawke (Writer), Richard Linklater (Characters), Kim Krizan (Characters)

Script Synopsis:We meet Jesse and Celine nine years on in Greece. Almost two decades have passed since their first meeting on that train bound for Vienna.
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Dazed And Confused Script

Year:1993
Director:Richard Linklater
Written by:Richard Linklater (Screenplay)

Script Synopsis:A look at some Texas teens on their last day of school in 1976, centering on student Randall Floyd, who moves easily among stoners, jocks and geeks. Floyd is a star athlete, but he also likes smoking weed, which presents a conundrum when his football coach demands he sign a "no drugs" pledge.
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Before Sunrise Script

Year:1995
Director:Richard Linklater
Written by:Richard Linklater (Screenplay), Kim Krizan (Screenplay)

Script Synopsis:A dialogue marathon of a film, this fairytale love story of an American boy and French girl. During a day and a night together in Vienna their two hearts collide.
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The Newton Boys Script

Year:1998
Director:Richard Linklater
Written by:Richard Linklater (Screenplay), Claude Stanush (Screenplay), Clark Walker (Screenplay)

Script Synopsis:Four Newton brothers are a poor farmer family in the 1920s. The oldest of them, Willis, one day realizes that there's no future in the fields and offers his brothers to become a bank robbers. Soon the family agrees. They become very famous robbers, and five years later execute the greatest train robbery in American history.
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Before Sunset

Year:2004
Director:Richard Linklater
Written by:Richard Linklater (Screenplay), Ethan Hawke (Screenplay), Julie Delpy (Screenplay), Kim Krizan (Characters), Richard Linklater (Characters), Richard Linklater (Story), Kim Krizan (Story)

Script Synopsis:Nine years ago two strangers met by chance and spent a night in Vienna that ended before sunrise. They are about to meet for the first time since. Now they have one afternoon to find out if they belong together.
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