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15 Screenplay Examples From Each Genre to Download for Free.

Use these script examples to further your screenwriting ability by learning from the best.

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by Script Reader Pro in Best Screenplays to Read
May 25, 2015 86 comments
screenplay examples

15 screenplay examples from each genre for you to download and study.

In this post, we’ve curated just for you three screenplay examples from each of the five major genres: drama, comedy, action/adventure, thriller and horror

Each screenplay example listed below comes in a PDF for easy download and has been carefully chosen by us to represent one of the best examples of a script in that genre.

Study them, absorb their storytelling techniques, soak in how the writer gets you to visualize what’s on the page and apply what you learn to your own screenplays.

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3 drama screenplays.

Boogie Nights.
screenplay by Paul Thomas Anderson.

This script was somewhat controversial… Mark Wahlberg originally didn’t want the role, after seeing how Showgirls had tanked. He changed his mind after reading the screenplay. William H. Macy’s agent didn’t want him to take the part. Macy read the script, loved it, and immediately signed up. Burt Reynolds did the same but later regretted it and fired his agent for recommending the role to him.

screenplay examples
Best Screenplays To Read

Forrest Gump.
screenplay by Eric Roth / based on the novel by Winston Groom.

Whatever you may think of the movie, Roth is one of our generation’s greatest screenwriters and this script doesn’t disappoint. Just take a look at this gem of a line from the opening page: “And we see a Man, sitting on a Bus bench, reach to pick it up. In his forties, he looks like he smells like fish.”

screenplay examples

Best Screenplays To Read

Her.
screenplay by Spike Jonze.

A lonely middle-aged guy falls in love with a Siri-like operating system in the near future. Once Jonze had this great idea, the script must have more or less written itself. Although it is an updated and expanded version of his 2010 short, I’m Here which is also well worth reading/watching.

screenplay examples

Best Screenplays To Read

3 comedy screenplays.

The Disaster Artist.
screenplay by Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber / based on the novel by Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell.

Since their 2009 breakout script, (500) Days of Summer, Neustadter and Weber have focused more on book adaptations and this one is the best of the bunch. The script tells the true story of Greg Sestero’s friendship with the weird and wonderful Tommy Wiseau and their attempts to make it in Hollywood. Anyone who’s writing a script from a novel should compare both for a masterclass in adaptation.

screenplay examples

Best Screenplays To Read

Election.
screenplay by Alexander Payne & Jim Taylor / based on the novel by Rex Pickett.

Behind Sideways this is probably Payne and Taylor’s greatest screenplay. Writing comedy is all about making your protagonist make the wrong choices due to their flaw, which is something lead character, Jim, does over and over while battling his antagonist, Tracy Flick. One of the very best comedy screenplay examples you’ll find.

screenplay examples

Best Screenplays To Read

The Way, Way Back.
screenplay by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash.

This fantastic comedy/drama script made it onto the Black List six years before being released as a movie in 2013. The inspiration behind the whole script came from an incident in real life—a conversation writer, Jim Rash, had with his own stepfather as portrayed in that soul-crushing opening scene.

screenplay examples
Best Screenplays To Read

screenplay examples

3 action/adventure screenplay examples.

300.
screenplay by Michael Gordon, Zack Snyder and Kurt Johnstad.

Many aspiring screenwriters get stuck wondering how to write a fight scene. Well, here’s the answer. With a body-count of 585, there’s much to learn in this script on how to write action sequences, hand-to-hand combat and epic battle scenes. A must-read for any budding Action/Adventure writers out there.

screenplay examples

Best Screenplays To Read

Aliens.
screenplay by James Cameron.

The sequel that took Alien into action/adventure territory and away from its horror beginnings. Walter Hill only contributed to the story on this one, not the screenplay, so it’s missing his vertical writing style. It’s essential reading if you want to master self-contained action sequences.

screenplay examples

Best Screenplays To Read

Inglorious Basterds.
screenplay by Quentin Tarantino.

Whatever you do, don’t follow the method Tarantino adopted while writing this script. It took him over a decade to squeeze this thing out. As he admitted, he became “too precious about the page,” convinced the script was his magnum opus. As a famous writer/director, Tarantino could afford to write like this. Aspiring writers, of course, are much better off adopting a much more disciplined, even machine-like approach.

screenplay examples

Best Screenplays To Read

3 thriller screenplays.

Flightplan.
screenplay by Peter Dowling, Larry Cohen, Terry Hayes and Billy Ray.

Writing a limited location, self-contained thriller script is often advised as a way to break into the industry. That’s exactly what Dowling did with this spin on the classic “loved one suddenly goes missing” tale, found in movies such as The Lady Vanishes, Frantic, and The Vanishing.

screenplay examples

Best Screenplays To Read

Pulp Fiction.
screenplay by Quentin Tarantino and Roger Avary.

“It is impossible to tell where the Young Woman is from or how old she is; everything she does contradicts something she did. The boy and girl sit in a booth. Their dialogue is to be said in a rapid-pace ‘HIS GIRL FRIDAY’ fashion.” If you haven’t already read what is perhaps the most celebrated screenplay of the modern era, you’re in for a treat.

screenplay examples

Best Screenplays To Read

Shutter Island.
screenplay by Laeta Kalogridis / based on the novel by Dennis Lehane.

When talking about Shutter Island, Kalogridis really extolls the virtues of outlining. “I started this extensive outlining process when I was working for Jim Cameron… I found once I’d done it, it was hugely helpful. It’s almost like doing an abbreviated first draft.” We agree. Especially for a twisty thriller like this in which every beat and reversal must be meticulously tracked.

screenplay examples

Best Screenplays To Read

3 horror screenplays.

Let Me In.
screenplay by Matt Reeves / based on the novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist.

As a writer, it’s important to have a strong emotional connection to your work and screenwriter, Matt Reeves, had just that with this modern vampire tale. As he said in an interview, “I wrote Lindqvist and told him that it wasn’t just that I was drawn to the story because it was a brilliant genre story—which it is—but also because of the personal aspect of it. It really reminds me of my childhood.”

screenplay examples

Best Screenplays To Read

A Quiet Place.
screenplay by Scott Beck and Bryan Woods. 

This script was written by childhood friends/co-writing team, Bryan Woods and Scott Beck, and was their third major project together. After being named as one of the top 10 scripts of the year on Tracking Board’s 2017 Hit List, it was purchased by Paramount and rewritten with John Krasinski.

screenplay examples

Best Screenplays To Read

Us.
screenplay by Jordan Peele

While writing this script, Peele wanted to make sure people weren’t confused by the genre, as they had been with his previous movie, Get Out, and write a full-on horror film. Hence, inspiration came from old and new classics of the genre, such as The Shining, The Sixth Sense, Let the Right One In, The Babadook and It Follows.

screenplay examples

Best Screenplays To Read

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Screenplay examples: conclusion. 

You may also have heard that reading screenplays is one of the best ways to learn how to write. It’s true. Don’t just check out these screenplay examples and then leave it. Keep reading as many scripts as you can.

Start with our list of the 50 best screenplays to read and aim to read at least one new script a week. After just a couple of months, you’ll already have a much greater command of the craft of screenwriting than before you started.

screenplay examples

Enjoyed this post? Read more screenplay examples…

50 of the Best Screenplays to Read and Download in Every Genre

50 of the Best TV Scripts to Download and Study to Improve Your Writing

20 Best Comedy Scripts to Read and Download For Free

[© Photo credits: Pexels / Unsplash]

86 Comments
  1. Gloria says:

    Thanks for sharing these screenplay sample, I pray it helps me

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Thank you for dropping by 🙂 Hope you get a lot out of them.

  2. AuMa says:

    I ABSOLUTELY ADORE YOU FOR PUTTING OUT THESE MASTERPIECES!
    ONE LOVE, SIR&LADY 🙂

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      You’re welcome, thank you!

  3. Linda says:

    Thanks for sharing these samples.. I will read all of the scripts and I believe it would be of great help to me. Cheers

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Thanks Linda – happy reading!

  4. Stephen Ik Ndukwe says:

    This is very great, I appreciate

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Thanks, Stephen!

  5. Chandrajit Lahiri says:

    Awesome! I was overwhelmed with joy! Was looking for something like this for long! Guess this was my serendipitous discovery while trying to get something else today!

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Thanks for reaching out, Chandrajit – glad you found us!

  6. Sri Charan says:

    Wow dude thank you It means a lot it really helped me to do screen play thank you very much

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Thanks for reaching out, Sri!

  7. Anastasia Benjamin says:

    This was really awesome……I’ll forever be grateful I came across this site…… THANKS!

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Glad you found us, Anastasia!

  8. Sir Roelof Twijnstra says:

    Very help full as teaching tool for screen acting students. Dont see the film but create the character as you prepare it. I use Ivana Chubuck ” The power of the actor” and with these scripts and her 12 steps of preparation students can do an amazing exercise in preparation and finally shoot a conflict or crisis scene.

  9. Abel kahsai says:

    It is helpful.thank you

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Good to hear – thanks, Abel!

  10. Jean says:

    Very helpful, thank you!

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      You’re welcome, Jean!

  11. Maya says:

    Hi guys,
    Great page and loads of helpful stuff.
    Is there any chance we could see the final draft of the screenplay before shooting the film and the same one afterward, with side notes and all the things that changed during the shooting of the film? It doesn’t matter which one.
    Also if you have good examples of animated movies screenplays, please share.TY

    1. parviz farshidmehr says:

      Hi dear sirs/madam Hereby inform you that i am educated in dramatic art school in Tehran Iran and have been writer of TV Screen play for short documentary films and now i like to know that can i cooperate with you ? in case of your agree i will send on of works to you your reply will be appreciated tanks and best regards parviz farshidmehr

  12. FB says:

    Great job. I didn’t find this site by chance. I really did a lot of searching for the right scripts as comperative working paper. Thanks so much for the scripts

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      You’re welcome, thanks!

  13. Monica Wokojance says:

    Hey Guys! I’m looking for an animation script. Can you help me? Thank you!!!

  14. J. says:

    I’ve always had ideas for movies and stories, but never really considered putting them to paper until I stumbled on this site! If you have any tips for very beginners, please share.

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Welcome aboard, J! Your best starting point are these posts in our How to Write a Screenplay section.

  15. Kelley Josic says:

    I really liked this post thank you for these scripts.

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      You’re welcome, Kelley 🙂

  16. Kari says:

    Start small with writing short scripts . Use examples to get you started and make you inspired …

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Good advice, Kari.

  17. felica casrera says:

    This is great!

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Thanks, Felica!

  18. Gavin Johns says:

    What’s up with this list? No Scorsese no tarantino no Michael Mann… .

  19. Matty says:

    Love these screenplay examples it will really help me in my undertsanding how to write.

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      That’s great to hear, Matty!

  20. Agbenortoh Stephen says:

    I think i’ve got the one and best site

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Thanks, Agbenortoh!

  21. Clarence says:

    I was suggested this blog by a writer friend of mine. It’s wonderful! Thanks!|

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Glad you found us, Clarence!

  22. Joaquin M says:

    Good write-up on your writing tactics. Keep writing!|

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Thanks for the shoutout!

  23. Lori Heiken says:

    My writing partner and I stumbled over here and are glad we did. Lots of reading to catch up on!

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Welcome aboard, Lori!

  24. tim says:

    wow! such an amazing advice and samples thanks alot.

    kindly advice on where we can sell our scripts and
    earn a living

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Thanks a lot, Tim. Have you seen this post on how to sell a screenplay?

  25. Levitnia says:

    GREAT STUFF! You’re the best Scriptreader Pro!

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Thanks for the shout out!

  26. Una says:

    Do you have Boyhood screenplay by Cameron Crow?

  27. Moggy says:

    Your posts are fantastic and this one is no exception. I’ mgoing to download all these scripts and get reading.

  28. Abaeze says:

    I am looking for the script to If Beales St Could Talk? Where can I find it?

  29. Jill says:

    Awesome! Ɗo you have any helpful hints for aspiring writers besides “read screenplays”?

  30. Shonda says:

    Just finished Bridesmaids its like watching the movie again and I feel I’m learning so much. Thanks guys!

  31. Gonza shamim says:

    So grateful for your platform guys , i think you have made my dream come true for sure ….. Thanks for your help indeed

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      You’re welcome – cheers!

  32. Melodee Wheatly says:

    Great selection of screenplay examples. Thank you for taking the time to put this together.

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      You’re more than welcome, Melodee.

  33. Ernest says:

    I love this. Will be back to purchase your covereage package.

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Sounds good, Ernest. Let us know if you have any questions.

  34. Ghufran says:

    I find it hard to read scripts. No meaning of feeling to me.

  35. Harrison says:

    Is there any way I can get these scripts sent to my Gmail? I can’t download here at work.

  36. Leo says:

    I am living in Tulsa and Hollywood seems very far away but I will stick to it and read these scripts and get better every day.

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Sounds good – best of luck, Leo.

  37. Fary Kiss says:

    I never think that there’s any other area of study most interesting to me like screenwriting and directing. It’s a passion I keep in mind, but I actually did not kick start writing screenplay myself, which is the biggest challenge I have now. I’m from Nigeria. I want to learn to become one of the sort after in screenwriting and directing . Please I need every help from you. Cheers!

  38. Tanebite says:

    This is so great…l liked it big time.. Thank you so much you guys.

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Thanks a lot!

  39. Madison says:

    How did you find these script examples?

  40. Cynthia says:

    Cindy

    I’m grateful for this site. I want to know if you buy scripts.

  41. Glen Daniels says:

    Thanks for sharing. Bookmarked your page for future screenwriting tips and resources like these.

  42. Amber says:

    I checked on the web for more information about the topic and you guys nailed it. Great examples!

  43. Cat says:

    Excellent post, thanks guys.

  44. Andrea says:

    Big thumbs up. Great advice.

  45. Val says:

    So glad I found this site. You guys really know your stuff when it comes to screenwriting.

  46. Screenwriter Sam says:

    Great post -thanks for the scripts!

  47. Erin Gama says:

    Nice work. Thanks for the screenplays I will download them all and get to work 🙂

  48. Harvey says:

    Great – thanks for the links fellas.

  49. Darlene says:

    Thanks ScriptWriterPro, what a great post.

  50. Sarah says:

    The Conjuring screenplay is not the screenplay for the conjuring. Just thought I would let you know in case you didn’t.

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Not sure what you mean – it’s the right script.

  51. Omar says:

    You could definitely see your enthusiasm in the work you write. I hope for even more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to share their insider tips.

  52. Jinlianka says:

    Hello where I can sell my script? I have synopsis too and they ready to sell.

  53. Nick says:

    I would like to write for this site about screenwriting. Please contact me I’m hoping to contribute.

    1. Lydia says:

      Am looking for an example of a love story script

  54. Fran Swinson says:

    It is actually almost impossible to write a good script without readings screenplays. Good job SRP.

  55. Trevor Roman says:

    Hi

    Do you format screenplays and how much is it?

    1. SRP says:

      Hi Trevor – yes we do. You can find out about the service here: https://www.scriptreaderpro.com/proofreading-and-formatting-service/

  56. Kristine says:

    Thanks for sharing these screenplay samples! I will read all of the scripts you suggested in my genre. Cheers!

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