From the Archives: The Original Black List? – American Film Institute


From the Archives: The Original Black List?

Since December 2004, the Black List has tallied “the most liked” unproduced Hollywood screenplays of the year as voted for by producers, financiers and other Hollywood insiders. An entertainment industry staple, the List has gone on to boost careers, help get films made and even become a predictor for the Oscars©.

Back in 1979, a pre-Black List American Film™ magazine started identifying “the greatest movies never made” with a series of lists that were published over the course of several years.

This is how an article from a December 1983 issue describes the cult classic A PRINCESS BRIDE – four years before it was released.

“If the script works on screen like it plays on paper, it could be a pip – a hipster’s fairy tale disarmingly brassy enough to con the video generation and the ‘Late Show’ buffs in one fell swoop. If (perish the thought) it should fall into villainous hands, it could wind up another TIME BANDITS – a mean-spirited fantasy for folks who really don’t believe in magic.”

Thankfully, that script (part of that year’s favorite unproduced screenplays list) landed in the non-villainous hands of director Rob Reiner.

Today’s latest announcement from the Black List makes it the perfect time to revisit the old American Film™ picks. The 1983 article below features the scripts highlighted that year and also puts a spotlight on how Hollywood has changed and how it’s remained the same. In addition to THE PRINCESS BRIDE, the other screenplays from that year that would eventually make it to the big screen are AT CLOSE RANGE, JACOB’S LADDER and TOTAL RECALL.

Step back in time and have a read.

AF_1983_p44 AF_1983_p45 AF_1983_p47 AF_1983_p48 AF_1983_p49 AF_1983_p50

Comments (3)

Robin B Forman

Pardon my ignorance how does a a scripted
film production by an unknown get shifted around after being sent to a 21st century producer. It appears this practice of a new screen play based on imagination and history combined end up in the wrong place but at the right time???
—————————————————————Maybe I got my wires crossed about the topic of being “black listed” could you please c

Do you offer film production courses on line?

Sincerely, Robin Forman

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