Best Writing – Adapted – 1981

Official Nominations: On Golden Pond. The French Lieutenant’s Woman. Pennies From Heaven. Prince Of The City. Ragtime.

I’m generally wary of screenplays where the author adapts their own work and when it’s Oscar bait – you can almost taste the win before filming even begins. And Lo, On Golden Pond picked up the win. You can’t go wrong with Harold Pinter – picking up a nom for The French Lieutenant’s Woman. Pennies From Heaven has no business being here, and Ragtime was never going to win up against the others. There’s only one interesting choice here – Prince Of The City – but it suffers because it’s basically a remake of Serpico with Lumet attempting to right his perceived wrongs from the earlier film.

My Winner: The French Lieutenant’s Woman

My Nominations: The French Lieutenant’s Woman. Das Boot. Christiane F. Clash Of The Titans. The Entity.

Only one makes it over from the Official list, joining Das Boot which condenses much of the novel’s character detail and anti-war sentiment into a terse and tense thriller. Christiane F is one of the more hard-hitting films of its type with a story and dialogue which dispenses thrills and frills in favour of realism. Clash Of The Titans is fun from start to finish and packs in plenty of quotable one-liners and speeches, while The Entity produces a compelling story of a woman supposedly under attack from a vicious paranormal figure and effectively under attack from medical and behavioural experts.

My Winner: Das Boot

Let us know in the comments which movie is your winner!

4 thoughts on “Best Writing – Adapted – 1981

  1. John Charet March 4, 2022 / 3:37 am

    I would go with either Das Boot or The Entity 🙂 Question though, what is it about Pennies from Heaven that makes you say it had no business being nominated? I will admit that the 1978 BBC miniseries (also penned by the late great Dennis Potter) is superior, but as an American adaptation, this version is very good 🙂 Also, If you have not checked out any of Dennis Potter’s other work, please do because he certainly ranks as one of the many great dramatists of all-time 🙂 Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂

    • carlosnightman March 7, 2022 / 11:04 am

      It’s been a while since I wrote this post, but with respect to Pennies From Heaven I can only imagine I got the Release year wrong and must have thought it came out in 1980 and therefore shouldn’t have been nominated.
      I don’t think I ever saw the BBC miniseries, but I do remember watching Lipstick On Your Collar when it was on Channel 4 in the UK 🙂

      • John Charet March 7, 2022 / 11:10 pm

        I loved Lipstick On Your Collar – I also had a crush on the love interests of the two lead male characters 🙂 Lipstick On Your Collar is my third favorite Dennis Potter work (and I have many) after The Singing Detective and Brimstone and Treacle 🙂

      • carlosnightman March 21, 2022 / 3:47 pm

        Ha ha, it did feel somewhat uncomfortable watching this with my mum at the time…

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