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John’s Classic Films List | Screenwriting Resource

Updated: 11 hours ago



One of the best ways to learn about screenwriting is to read screenplays and watch films. What better way to learn the history of film than by watching the many classics that created the trends and tropes we know today? Knowing the history is important for the business side of screenwriting as well. If a producer asks you if your film is in the vein of Casablanca, you’ll want to know what they’re talking about and be able to give an accurate answer.


Professor John Warren has a list of the classic films he suggests up-and-coming screenwriters watch (and read) to learn the important history of story, and we’ve got a handy dandy list for you to check off one by one! The next time you’re planning a movie night, pick out one of these classics and let us know what you thought about it at the Young Screenwriters Discord!



Hungry for more screenwriting education? Young Screenwriters has a range of courses for every writer on each step of their journey! Get started with our FREE Writing the Short and Writing the Scene courses to learn the basics. 


When you’re ready to take the next step, sign up for Writing the Feature and learn NYU Professor John Warren’s complete writing process, including generating powerful film ideas, forming dynamic character arcs, creating beat sheets and outlines, and finishing that screenplay with proper formatting and a plan for what’s next. Writing the Feature is the perfect way to work on that screenplay from start to finish, and our Discord community will lift you up every step of the way!


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