Best Writing (Adapted): 1965

Official Nominations: Dr. Zhivago. Ship Of Fools. A Thousand Fools. Cat Ballou. The Collector.

This year’s nominees roughly echo the nominees for Best Picture, with Zhivago, Ship Of Fools, and A Thousand Clowns getting double pokes. Robert Bolt’s Zhivago picked up the official win and it is difficult to argue against this considering the scope of Pasternak’s novel and the monumental success of the film. Herb Gardener successfully adapted his own play (A Thousand Clowns) and retains the charm, humour, and tragedy for the big screen. Walter Newman and Frank Pierson bring an interesting, deranged twist on Roy Chanslor’s serious The Ballad Of Cat Ballou, largely turning the film into a completely standalone piece. Mann and Kohn’s adaptation of the dark John Fowles novel, The Collector, almost suffered from a changed ending until Wyler stepped in and insisted on keeper the more authentic, original conclusion, although unfortunately other scenes were cut. Abby Mann’s adaptation of the Porter novel downsizes the scope and loses much of the obvious Nazi themes among others topics, but is a largely faithful retelling of a story of uncertainty, searching, and disappointment.

My Winner: The Collector.


My Nominations: The Collector. Cat Ballou. The Ipcress File. Thunderball.

I’m adding The Ipcress File and Thunderball to my list. Thunderball may not be a highlight in the Bond series, but have a look at the mess that is Never Say Never Again, and be thankful that McClory, Whittingham, and Fleming wrote a decent screenplay. The Ipcress File is a mostly faithful adaptation of the Deighton novel, though there is more humour on screen than on the page.

My Winner: The Collector


What is your pick as the best Adapted Screenplay of 1965? Let us know in the comments!

2 thoughts on “Best Writing (Adapted): 1965

  1. John Charet December 16, 2015 / 8:40 pm

    Another great blog post as usual 🙂 Speaking of Doctor Zhivago, which is a great film (I am a big David Lean fan), have you ever seen Robert Altman’s masterful revisionist western McCabe & Mrs. Miller? I did and I loved it. In fact, I consider it to be in my personal top 10 of the greatest films ever made. Speaking of James Bond, I have six favorite James Bond films of all-time

    1. Goldfinger (1964) (* * * * out of * * * *)
    2. Skyfall (2012) (* * * * out of * * * *)
    3. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) (* * * * out of * * * *)
    4. From Russia With Love (1963) (* * * 1/2 out of * * * *)
    5. Dr. No (1962) (* * * 1/2 out of * * * *)
    6. Casino Royale (2006) (* * * 1/2 out of * * * *)

    Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂

    • carlosnightman December 16, 2015 / 10:46 pm

      No, I haven’t seen it, I’ll have to keep an eye out on Netflix and TV. I’m planning to do more Bond posts in the future, I don’t think there’s any I don’t like. Even Moonraker. Thanks!

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