Movie script examples: Learn how to write

In this post, we will examine script examples of 4 movies so that you can see how various situations were written by different screenwriters. Besides, you can have an idea of how to write what you have in mind. Screenplays that we will use in this post are 12 Angry Men (1957), Annie Hall (1977), The Tree of Life (2011), and Inside Llewyn Davis (2013).

Opening Credits

FADE IN:
White credits dissolve in and out on black screen. No sound.

FADE OUT:

Credits.

Annie Hall (1977)

Opening Sentences

EXT. N.Y. COURT OF GENERAL SESSIONS – DAY
A large, imposing building, gray, impressive as a background for the comings and goings of a number of ordinary people on an ordinary day.

12 Angry Men (1957)

FADE IN:

Abrupt medium close-up of Alvy Singer doing a comedy monologue.

Annie Hall (1977)

EXT. O’BRIEN HOUSE
An ordinary house in central Texas. A neighborhood at the edge of town.

The Tree of Life (2011)

Movie script examples
A still from Annie Hall (1977).

Character Descriptions

Three children – brothers – are playing in the back yard. The eldest, 11, is JACK. RL is two years younger, and STEVE is 6.

The Tree of Life (2011)

Hard cut to a singer accompanying himself on guitar, performing “I’ve Been All Around This World.” He is Llevvyn Davis.

Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)

Sound

Exalting music alternates with long stretches of peaceful sound; wind and waves and summer crickets.

The Tree of Life (2011)

Costume

Alvy Singer wearing a crumbled sports jacket and tieless shirt; the background is stark.

Annie Hall (1977)

Place

A very hot summer afternoon. It is a large, drab, bare room in need of painting, with three windows in the back wall through which can be seen in the New York skyline. Off the jury room is a washroom, with a lavatory beyond. A large, scarred table with twelve chairs around it. A bench stands against the wall and there are several extra chairs and a small table in the room, plus a water-cooler, with paper cups and a wastebasket and an electric fan over the bench and a clock over the cooler and row of hooks for coats, with a shelf over it. There are pencils, pads, and ashtrays on the table. At night the room is lit by fluorescent lighting with the switch next to the door.

12 Angry Men (1957)

The camera bolds on a quiet New York City street; the buildings, brownstones. It’s a warm day-people sit on front stoops, window boxes are planted.

Annie Hall (1977)

Movie script examples
A still from 12 Angry Men (1957).

Text on the screen

Title Card:

New York City, 1961

Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)

A title card reads: “TEXAS, 1956”

The Tree of Life (2011)

Sign

They pass a theater, the marquee announcing “House of Exorcism Messiah of Evil. Rated R. Starts at 7:15.”

Annie Hall (1977)

Movie script examples
A still from Inside Llewyn Davis (2013).

Ending Sentences

Alvy and Annie shake hands and kiss each other friendly like. Annie crosses the street, Alvy watching her go. Then he turns and slowly walks down the street off-screen.

Annie Hall (1977)

A stranger, smiling.

A threshold.

A star.

The Tree of Life (2011)

Ending Credits

DISSOLVES INTO:

Black Background:

Credits popping on and off in white.

Annie Hall (1977)

In this post you can find more detailed movie script examples: Screenplay examples: Practical scriptwriting

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