Best Writing (Adapted) – 1978

aionOfficial Nominations: Midnight Express. Bloodbrothers. California Suite. Heaven Can Wait. Same Time Next Year.

A certain winner for me in Midnight Express, with Oliver Stone switching up some key scenes from the book but retaining the core terror of a brutal penal system. Neil Simon is beloved by The Academy – less so by me – but it was inevitable his California Suite would see a nomination. Heaven Can Wait seemed like another obvious choice, and perhaps could feel aggrieved to not be the winner, while Bloodbrothers is your offbeat family drama of the year, except that it’s not very offbeat or interesting. Finally, Same Time Next Year is another Robert Mulligan directed movie in the category but given that it’s another romantic comedy it doesn’t do anything for me personally.

My Winner: Midnight Express

Midnight Express by Billy Hayes

My Nominations: Midnight Express. The Boys From Brazil. The Invasion Of The Bodysnatchers. Superman. Watership Down.

Only my Winner makes it over for my personal list. The Boys From Brazil sees Ira Levin’s novel condensed into a tense thriller which poses some interesting questions over the nature of good and evil, while Invasion of The Bodysnatchers erases the Communist subtext of the 1950s adaptation and instead transported to film to the liberal San Francisco and argues, with its relentless descent towards a twist ending, that nobody is safe from being trapped by conformity. While there had been Superhero movies before, it was 1978’s Superman which laid the groundwork for everything else which has come since – the tone, the spectacle, the origin story. The work out into the Screenplay pays off – the first half split into Krypton’s destruction and Kent’s upbringing, and the second into the unveiling of Superman and his nemesis. Few comic movies made since don’t owe this, at the script, a heavy debt. Finally, Watership Down is an impressively faithful adaptation of a dark story concerning the war and survival of a group of rabbits – much of the mythology of the novel is abandoned to make a more simple story which kids can be traumatized by.

My Winner: Invasion Of The Body Snatchers

Let us know your winner in the comments!

One thought on “Best Writing (Adapted) – 1978

  1. John Charet July 30, 2020 / 4:35 am

    I too would choose Invasion of the Body Snatchers 🙂 Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂

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