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Film: A Guide to Resources: Finding
Screenplays

A selection of reference sources and databases useful for the study of motion pictures.

Film Scripts

Finding Film Scripts in the Library Catalog

Not all screenplays are commercially published and it may not be possible to locate the script for a particular film, but we do have some in the collection. The most obvious way to locate these is to search by the title for the film either by Title or All Fields. If we have the published screenplay you should see a catalog record for it. Some screenplays -- such as those by Noel Coward or Woody Allen -- may be published together in single author collections. Others may appear in edited anthologies, through these are rarer. The Library of Congress subject heading for screenplays is MOTION PICTURE PLAYS. If a film script has been published commercially and it is not in the CU Library collection, we may be able to obtain a copy through interlibrary loan. Check WorldCat to see if it is held by another library.


Finding Film Scripts Online

Various internet sites, while not comprehensive (or, perhaps, strictly legal), provide film scripts in a variety of forms. Be aware that there can be many versions of a script: spec scripts, multiple drafts, revisions, shooting scripts, continuity scripts, and transcripts made directly from the finished film. The list below links to some of the more reliable sites for freely accessible screenplays. For more information on finding screenplays, see the UCLA Library's Film and Television Subject Guide. Note that scripts for non-English language films are especially difficult to find online, though a few may appear among sites listed here:

BBC Script Library
Includes PDF format for scripts of BBC radio, television, and film productions. Adobe Acrobat needed for display.

The Daily Script
"a collection of movie scripts and screenplays to serve as a resource for writers and actors and those who simply enjoy reading movie scripts. The movie scripts are presented in proper script format (for the most part) and where possible, multiple drafts are presented." (site)

Drew's Script-O-Rama
Movie scripts online; includes drafts, transcriptions of dialog, etc.

Internet Movie Script Database
NOTE: You don't need to download the Bamboo pdf software to read or copy a script. Click on the "Read [title] Script" link below the movie description. From there you can save the script as an HTML file, of Select All and copy the text into Word, etc. Most scripts are for films released in the past 25 years. This site does carry a lot of advertising.

Joblo's Movie Screenplays
Includes more than 1300 film scripts in varying versions (second draft, final shooting draft, etc.). Titles can be browsed alphabetically. Search box searches Google, not limited to the site itself.

Movie Scripts and Screenplays
A wide selection of scripts, many in HTML format, some requiring Adobe Acrobat to display. Includes multiple versions for some titles (e.g., more than ten versions of Alien 3).

The Screenplay Database
Contains 400+ screenplays in pdf format.

The Script Lab
"Screenplays are only made available to download by The Script Lab when they are done so by their copyright holders and available free of charge." (site) Include scripts for many films released from 2012-2015.

Simply Scripts
A database of hundreds of downloadable scripts, movie scripts, screenplays, and transcripts of current, classic and maybe a few soon-to-be-released movies, television, anime, unproduced and radio shows.


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