Professor Firstdraft’s GOODTIME SCRIPTORIUM

Dispatches from the far reaches of the WGF.

Screenplay 101: PATTON

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Today’s WGA 101 script is 1970′s PATTON - Screen Story and Screenplay by Francis Ford Coppola and Edmund H. North. Based on “A Soldier’s Story” by Omar H. Bradley and “Patton: Ordeal and Triumph” by Ladislas Farago. These pages are from the Feb. 1, 1969 draft.

And do you really need to ask which scene we picked?

PATTON
At ease, men. I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.

The first three pages of the script are nothing but character description and one long, long, long speech. But it’s a great speech, right? So if you’re starting your own script with a huge monologue, ask yourself: Is it as good as the one in PATTON?

Patton_1969Feb1_1 Patton_1969Feb1_2 Patton_1969Feb1_3

Here’s the deal: Throughout 2014, we’re posting pages from every script on the WGA’s list of the 101 Greatest Screenplays, as chosen by Guild membership, because we have every one in our library. Sure, we have other scripts that didn’t make it onto the list, either because they didn’t make the cut or because they were produced after the list was generated (presumably SHARKNADO, which we totally have a copy of, is only in the latter category).