The Script: Does the Narrative’s Nature Matter?

Dean Keith Simonton

in Great Flicks

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199752034
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199894857 | DOI:
The Script: Does the Narrative’s Nature Matter?

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What characteristics of the screenplay provide the best predictors of greatness? The answer to this question is sought in the following script attributes: the genre, the runtime, MPAA ratings, sex and violence, sequels and remakes, true stories and biopics, and various kinds of adaptations. These script characteristics were examined with respect to financial performance, movie awards, and critical evaluations. One striking finding is that graphic sexual content neither sells tickets nor impresses critics. Because all of the script characteristics represent obvious features, discussion turns to the possibility of using content analysis to tease out the more subtle attributes of great screenplays. The chapter then switches gears by looking at the creators who actually write the film scripts.

Keywords: screenplay; genre; runtime; MPAA ratings; sex; violence; sequels; biopics; adaptations

Chapter.  15437 words. 

Subjects: Social Psychology

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