Numbers 1 and 2 of our Staff's Top Ten Oliver Stone Scripts

We've finally reached the second and top place finishers in our Oliver Stone countdown.  Most of our staff picks have aligned with Stone's top commercial successes, but a few were unsung classics that were personal favorites.  We began with number 10 as a triple-tie, so it's only appropriate that we end with a tie, or two!

Here is number 2...

It's tie between:

JFK (1991) dir. Oliver Stone.  Starring: Kevin Costner, Tommy Lee Jones, Gary Oldman, Jack Lemmon, Sally Kirland and Jay O. Sanders.  JFK is a historical legal-conspiracy thriller film. It examines the events leading to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and alleged cover-up through the eyes of former New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison (played by Kevin Costner).  Garrison filed charges against New Orleans businessman Clay Shaw (Tommy Lee Jones) for his alleged participation in a conspiracy to assassinate the President, for which Lee Harvey Oswald (Gary Oldman) was found responsible by a government investigation.  The film was adapted by Stone and Zachary Sklar from the books On the Trail of the Assassins by Jim Garrison and Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy by Jim Marrs. Stone described this account as a "counter-myth" to the Warren Commission's "fictional myth."  The film became embroiled in controversy. Upon JFK's theatrical release, many major American newspapers ran editorials accusing Stone of taking liberties with historical facts, including the film's implication that President Lyndon B. Johnson was part of a coup d'état to kill Kennedy. After a slow start at the box office, the film gradually picked up momentum, earning over $205 million in worldwide gross. JFK was nominated for eight Academy Awards (including Best Picture) and won two for Best Cinematography and Best Film Editing. It was the most successful of three films Stone made about the American Presidency, followed later by Nixon with Anthony Hopkins (Staff pick #9) in the title role and W. with Josh Brolin as George W. Bush.  [via Wikipedia]

Scarface (1983) dir. Brian de Palma.  Starring: Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer, Steven Bauer, F. Murray Abraham, and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio.   Scarface is an American crime film and a remake of the 1932 film of the same name. The film tells the story of Cuban refugee Tony Montana (Al Pacino in a career-defining performance) who arrives in 1980s Miami with nothing and rises to become a powerful drug kingpin. Scarface was released on December 9, 1983 and was a box office success, grossing $44 million. Initial critical reception was mixed, with criticism over excessive violence and profanity and graphic drug usage. Some Cuban expatriates in Miami also objected to the film's portrayal of Cubans as criminals and drug traffickers.  In the years that followed, the film has received reappraisal from critics, considered by some to be the best mob film ever made. Screenwriters and directors such as Martin Scorsese have praised the film, which has been referenced extensively in rap music, comic books, and video games.  [via Wikipedia]


And the NFF Staff Number One Oliver Stone script pick is...another tie!

Any Given Sunday (1999) dir. Oliver Stone.  Starring: Al Pacino,  Jamie Foxx, Dennis Quaid, Cameron Diaz, James Woods, LL Cool J, Matthew Modine, Lauren Holly, Lawrence Taylor, Bill Bellamy, Aaron Eckhart, and Charlton Heston.  Any Given Sunday is Oliver Stone's one foray into the sports genre, depicting a fictional professional American football team and the dysfunctional family that owns it. The film features an ensemble cast, including Ann-Margret, Lela Rochon, Marty Wright, and legendary NFL player Jim Brown. It is partly based on the novel On Any Given Sunday by famed NFL defensive end Pat Toomay; the title is derived from a line in the book (also used in the film) that a team can win or lose on "any given Sunday," said by the fictitious coach Tony D'Amato (played by an electric Al Pacino).  Cameo roles also featured many former American football players including Dick Butkus, Y. A. Tittle, Pat Toomay, Warren Moon, Johnny Unitas, Ricky Watters, Emmitt Smith and Terrell Owens, as well as coach Barry Switzer.

Platoon (1986) dir. Oliver Stone.  Starring: Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe, Keith David, Forrest Whittaker, John C. McGinley, and Johnny Depp.  Platoon is the first film of a trilogy of Vietnam War films directed by Stone, followed by Born on the Fourth of July (1989) (staff pick #3) and Heaven & Earth (1993).  Stone wrote the screenplay based upon his experiences as a U.S. infantryman in Vietnam, to counter the vision of the war portrayed in John Wayne's The Green Berets. Platoon was the first Hollywood film to be written and directed by a veteran of the Vietnam War.  Platoon won the Academy Award for Best Picture of 1986; it also won Best Director for Oliver Stone, as well as Best Sound Mixing and Best Film Editing. In 1998, the American Film Institute placed Platoon at #83 in their "AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies" poll.

That's it.  Oliver Stone's Top Ten scripts as determined by NFF Staff.  Below is a recap in pictures; take a look and tell us your favorites on Twitter or Facebook

Signature Program - In Their Shoes…®

Among the highlight events that you can only experience at the Nantucket Film Festival are our Signature Programs.  They bring together our honorees and highlight the heart of the NFF experience--storytelling.

Today, we profile the In Their Shoes…® Signature Program.  These hour-long conversations are always a festival highlight, and grant NFF audiences an in-depth and revealing glimpse into the work of major screenwriters, actors, and other film artists. 

This year our In Their Shoes…® participants are: Compass Rose Award recipient, celebrated actress of film and television, Molly Shannon, hosted by Michael Ian Black.  Molly and Ian's conversation will be held Saturday, June 25th at Dreamland Main and you can buy tickets here.

Also participating is Oliver Stone, the Oscar®-winning recipient of this year's Screenwriters Tribute, hosted by Eugene Jarecki. Oliver and Eugene's conversation will be held Sunday, June 26th, also at Dreamland Main and tickets are available here.

Our Staff's Top Ten Oliver Stone Scripts -- #4 and #3

It's the penultimate post of our Oliver Stone-as-scribe countdown.  Here's what our staff liked the fourth and third best.

Our #4 pick...

Midnight Express (1978) dir. Alan Parker.  Midnight Express is a 1978 American-British prison drama film directed by Alan Parker, starring Brad Davis, Irene Miracle, Bo Hopkins, Paolo Bonacelli, Paul L. Smith, Randy Quaid, Norbert Weisser, Peter Jeffrey and John Hurt. It is based on Billy Hayes' 1977 non-fiction book Midnight Express and was adapted into the screenplay by Oliver Stone.  Hayes was a young American student sent to a Turkish prison for trying to smuggle hashish out of Turkey.  [via Wikipedia]

And coming in at #3....

Born on the Fourth of July (1989) dir. Oliver Stone.  Born on the Fourth of July is war drama film adaptation of the best-selling autobiography of the same name by Vietnam War veteran Ron Kovic.  Tom Cruise plays Ron Kovic, in a performance that earned him his first Academy Award nomination. Oliver Stone (himself a Vietnam veteran) co-wrote the screenplay with Kovic, and also produced and directed the film. Stone wanted to film the movie in Vietnam, but because relations between the United States and Vietnam had not yet been normalized, it was instead filmed in the Philippines. The film is considered part of Stone's "trilogy" of films about the Vietnam War—following Platoon (1986) and preceding Heaven & Earth (1993).  Born on the Fourth of July was nominated for eight Academy Awards and won two, for Best Director and Best Film Editing; it also won four Golden Globe Awards and a Directors Guild of America Award. 

Our Staff's Top Ten Oliver Stone Scripts -- # 6 and #5

We've reached the midway point of our countdown, numbers 6 and 5.  You won't be surprised that they are two of Oliver Stone's most popular films.  

Our #6 pick...

Natural Born Killers (1994) dir. Oliver Stone.  Natural Born Killers tells the story of two victims of traumatic childhoods, Mallory Knox (Juliette Lewis) and Mickey Knox (Woody Harrelson), who became lovers and mass murderers, and are irresponsibly glorified by the mass media.  The film is based on an original screenplay by Quentin Tarantino that was heavily revised by writer David Veloz, associate producer Richard Rutowski, and director Stone. Tarantino received story credit. Notorious for its violent content and inspiring "copycat" crimes, the film was named the eighth most controversial film of all time by Entertainment Weekly in 2006. [via Wikipedia]

And, the # 5 pick, bringing us to the halfway point...

Wall Street (1987) dir. Oliver Stone.  Wall Street tells the story of Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen), a young stockbroker who becomes involved with Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas), a wealthy, unscrupulous corporate raider.  Stone made the film as a tribute to his father, Lou Stone, a stockbroker during the Great Depression. The character of Gekko is said to be a composite of several people, including Owen Morrisey, Dennis Levine, Ivan Boesky, Carl Icahn, Asher Edelman, Michael Ovitz, Michael Milken, and Stone himself. The character of Sir Lawrence Wildman, meanwhile, was modeled on the prominent British financier and corporate raider Sir James Goldsmith.   The film was well received among major film critics. Douglas won the Academy Award for Best Actor, and the film has come to be seen as the archetypal portrayal of 1980s excess, with Douglas' character memorably declaring that "greed is good." Stone and Douglas reunited for a sequel titled Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, which was released theatrically on September 24, 2010. [via Wikipedia]

As always, we'd love to hear back from you on your favorite Oliver Stone scripts and what you think of ours.  Ping us on Twitter or Facebook.

Our Staff's Top Ten Oliver Stone Scripts -- # 8 and #7

This week we continue a countdown of our Staff's favorite Oliver Stone scripts with numbers 8 and 7. 

Coming in at #8...

Talk Radio (1988) dir. Oliver Stone.  Starring:  Eric Bogosian, Ellen Greene, and Leslie Hope.  The film was based on the play by Bogosian and Tad Savinar.  Portions of the film and play were based on the assassination of radio host Alan Berg in 1984 and the book Talked to Death: The Life and Murder of Alan Berg by Stephen Singular.  Bogosian plays "Barry Champlain," a Jewish radio personality in Dallas, Texas, with a caustic sense of humor and a knack for cutting people down with his controversial politically liberal views.  Champlain's contentious dynamic with the public reaches a boiling point and yields a tragic end. [via Wikipedia].

And #7 is...

The Doors (1991) dir. Oliver Stone.  Starring: Val Kilmer, Meg Ryan, Kyle MacLachlan, and Kathleen Quinlann.  The film portrays Morrison as the larger-than-life icon of 1960s rock and roll, counterculture, and the drug-using free love hippie lifestyle. But the depiction goes beyond the iconic: his alcoholism, interest in the spiritual plane and hallucinogenic drugs, and, particularly, his growing obsession with death are threads which weave in and out of the film.  [via Wikipedia].

Tell us your favorites and what you think of ours by talking back on our Facebook and Twitter pages, and stay tuned for next week's titles.

Our Staff Count Down Their Top 10 Oliver Stone Scripts

This year Oliver Stone will be the recipient of NFF's highest honor, the Screenwriter's Tribute Award, for his outstanding work as a film scribe.  As we prepare for the June event, our staff got to thinking about our favorite films that Stone has written, and we've come up with a top ten, as determined by an incredibly scientific poll.  We'll reveal the countdown over the next few weeks in pairs.

Here's # 10 ....

It's a triple tie!  Tied for 10th place are:

Evita (1996) dir. Alan Parker. Starring: Madonna, Antonio Banderas and Jonathan Pryce.  In a cinema in Buenos Aires on July 26, 1952, a film is interrupted when the news breaks of the death of Eva Perón, Argentina's first lady, at the age of 33. The nation goes into public mourning. Ché (Antonio Banderas), a member of the public, marvels at the spectacle and promises to show how Eva did "nothing, for years." The rest of the film follows Eva Duarte de Perón (Madonna) from her humble beginnings as an illegitimate child of a lower class woman to her rise to become First Lady and Spiritual Leader of the Nation of Argentina, with Ché assuming many different guises throughout Eva's story [via Wikipedia].

Savages (2012) dir. Oliver Stone.  Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Taylor Kitsch, Blake Lively, Salma Hayek, and Benicio Tel Toro.  Savages is a crime thriller film directed by Oliver Stone. It is based on the novel of the same name by Don Winslow.  The film follows two successful marijuana-dealing friends: Chon (Taylor Kitsch), a former Navy SEAL, and Ben (Aaron Johnson), a UC Berkley graduate who must fight back against the Baja Cartel, run by Elena La Reina (Salma Hayek) and her enforcer Lado (Benicio del Toro), who have kidnapped their girlfriend O (Blake Lively) in order to push them out of the business [via Wikipedia].

Nixon (1995) dir. Oliver Stone. Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Joan Allen, Powers Booth, Ed Harris, Bob Hoskins and E.G. Marshall. Nixon depicts the political and personal life of United States President Richard Nixon (Anthony Hopkins).  The film portrays Nixon as a complex and, in many respects, admirable, though deeply flawed, person.  This was Stone's second of three films about the American presidency; made four years after JFK, which depicted the climate surrounding the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and followed thirteen years later by W., the story of George W. Bush [via Wikipedia].

And #9...

Salvador (1986) dir. Oliver Stone.  Starring: James Woods, James Belushi, Michael Murphy.  Salvador tells the story of an American ex-IPN journalist and one-time author of the 1972 book "The Flower of the Dragon: The Breakdown of the U.S. Army in Vietnam, covering the Salvadoran Civil War who becomes entangled with both leftist guerrillas and the right wing military while trying to rescue his native girlfriend and her children [via Wikipedia].

What are your favorite Oliver Stone scripts??  Do you agree with ours??  Talk back to us on Facebook or Twitter, and stay tuned next week for #'s 7 and 8.


Oliver Stone

Oliver Stone

The Nantucket Film Festival will honor Academy Award®-winning screenwriter and director, Oliver Stone, with the 2016 Screenwriters Tribute Award. The award will celebrate Stone’s extraordinary career, whose achievements span both fiction and documentary features, as well as television.  

Stone is an award-winning screenwriter, director, and producer. With a career spanning over 40 years he has written and directed over 20 full-length feature films, including some of the most influential and iconic films of the last decades.  Stone has also written screenplays for films including MIDNIGHT EXPRESS (for which he won his first Academy Award), SCARFACE, and CONAN THE BARBARIAN.

The Screenwriters Tribute is the crown jewel of the festival, and recognizes and raises the visibility of outstanding screenwriters in the entertainment industry. Previous awardees include luminaries such as Aaron Sorkin, David O. Russell, Judd Apatow, Nancy Meyers and Barry Levinson.

Seth Meyers

Seth Meyers

Comedian and writer Seth Meyers, host of NBC's late-night talk show LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS, will host the 2016 Screenwriters Tribute. Meyers was formerly a head writer for SNL and also hosted the show's news parody segment WEEKEND UPDATE. In 2014, Meyers was host of the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards, and is also the co-creator, co-writer and executive producer of the IFC mockumentary TV series  DOCUMENTARY NOW!.

The Nantucket Film Festival's most esteemed awards recognize writers and filmmakers from film and television for their significant contributions to the art of storytelling.  These honors are presented annually on Saturday evening of the film festival at a gala celebration.  This year's Tribute will take place on Saturday, June 25th at the the 'Sconset Casino.