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'Kane,' Among Best Screenplays

The Associated Press, August 3, 2001

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Screenwriters have a real love-hate thing going
with "Citizen Kane" and "Casablanca."

An informal survey of Hollywood scribes ranked those two as the best
movie scripts ever but also among the most overrated.

Orson Welles' "Citizen Kane," which he co-wrote with Herman J.
Mankiewicz, was rated the top screenplay in the survey by nonprofit
publishing house Library of America. "Casablanca," written by Julius and
Philip G. Epstein and Howard Koch, was No. 2.

"Citizen Kane" came in second on the list of overrated screenplays, behind
Quentin Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction." "Casablanca" was No. 4 on the
overrated list. All three were Oscar-winning screenplays.

The Library of America sent surveys to 4,500 members of the Writers Guild
of America, the union representing screenwriters. The survey results were
based on about 175 responses.

The publisher is using the results to help decide what to include in an
anthology series of notable movie scripts it plans to start in 2003.

Rounding out the list of best screenplays: 3. "The Godfather"; 4.
"Chinatown"; 5. "All About Eve"; 6. "Some Like It Hot"; 7. "Sunset
Boulevard"; 8. "Annie Hall"; 9. "The Graduate"; 10. "The Godfather, Part

"Citizen Kane" and "Casablanca" likely landed on the most-overrated list
because many writers were reacting against obvious film choices that draw
attention away from lesser-known movies, said Max Rudin, publisher of the
Library of America.

"The motives for the overrated choices are a mixed combination of
contempt bred from familiarity and, I think, envy in some cases," Rudin said.

Other titles on the list of overrated screenplays: "Gone With the Wind,"
"Traffic," "American Beauty," "Titanic," "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial,"
"Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and "It's a Wonderful Life."

The Library of America also used the survey to compile a list of five
underrated screenplays: "Groundhog Day," "Quiz Show," "Aliens," "The
Wizard of Oz
" and "The Best Years of Our Lives."

2001 The Associated Press

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