Oscar Winning Writers in the 1980s
We took a look at the Oscar winning writers in the 1990s recently. Now we are taking a look at the people who won Oscars in the writing categories in the 1980s.
Adapted (the work it is adapted from in parentheses):
1980* — Ordinary People – Alvin Sargent (1976 novel, same name by Judith Guest)
1981 — On Golden Pond – Ernest Thompson ( 1979 play, same name, same author)
1982 — Missing – Costa-Gavras & Donald Stewart (1978 book The Execution of Charles Horman: An American Sacrifice by Thomas Hauser)
1983* — Terms Of Endearment – James L. Brooks (1975 novel, same name by Larry McMurtry)
1984* — Amadeus – Peter Shaffer (1979 play, same name, same author)
1985* — Out Of Africa – Kurt Luedtke (1937 memoir, same name by Isak Dinesen; 1977 book Silence Will Speak by Errol Trzebinski; 1982 book Isak Dinesen: The Life of a Storyteller by Judith Thurman)
1986 — A Room With A View – Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (1908 novel, same name by E. M. Forster)
1987* — The Last Emperor – Mark Peploe & Bernardo Bertolucci (1967 autobiography, From Emperor to Citizen: The Autobiography of Aisin-Gioro Pu Yi by Henry Pu Yi)
1988 — Dangerous Liaisons – Christopher Hampton (1985 play, Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Christopher Hampton from 1782 novel, same name by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos)
1989* — Driving Miss Daisy – Alfred Uhry (1987 play, same name by Alfred Uhry)
And the 1980s Oscars for Original Screenplays went to:
1980 — Melvin and Howard – Bo Goldman
1981* — Chariots of Fire – Colin Welland
1982* — Gandhi -John Briley
1983 — Tender Mercies – Horton Foote
1984 — Places in the Heart – Robert Benton
1985 — Witness – William Kelley, Earl Wallace (story/screenplay), Pamela Wallace (story)
1986 — Hannah and Her Sisters – Woody Allen
1987 — Moonstruck – John Patrick Shanley
1988* — Rain Man – Ronald Bass (screenplay), Barry Morrow (story/screenplay)
1989 — Dead Poets Society – Tom Schulman
The asterisk shows the films that also won Best Picture. Oliver Stone’s “Platoon” was the Best Picture in 1986.
Now how bad do you really need to know the writers’ names in terms of competing on Jeopardy!? The answer is not that bad. Horton Foote, for example, has only been in 3 Jeopardy clues over 9 years! All 3 Triple Stumpers. The first clue, way back in 2001, mentioned him by name and Robert Duvall but nobody knew it. Then in 2006, nobody knew this one in “National Medal of Arts Recipients”: This Texas playwright also wrote the screenplays for “To Kill a Mockingbird” & “Tender Mercies”. Foote won Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar in 1962 for “Mockingbird” — and Robert Duvall was in that one, too. The last clue on Foote was in 2009 (the year he died) when nobody knew the title town for the play that earned Foote the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. 3 clues — obviously, you’re not going to bomb on Jeopardy! if you don’t know who Horton Foote is.
Still the adapted screenplay lists are useful in giving you a quick glance at the source(s) for notable films. The books and plays come up more frequently.