GalleyCat has a short but very nice write-up on the two novelists who were nominated for Academy Awards this year, both in the adapted screenplay category. Nick Hornby (first photo) wrote the screenplay for ‘Brooklyn’ based on a novel by Colm Tóibín, and Emma Donoghue (second photo) wrote the screenplay for ‘Room’ based on her own novel.
Wikipedia has some interesting trivia regarding this Oscar category. Mario Puzo, for instance, is the only author whose work has resulted in two wins. And Emma Thompson (who won for her adaptation of Jane Austen’s ‘Sense and Sensibility’) is the only winner in this category who has won for acting as well.
I remember John Irving’s win for ‘The Cider House Rules.’ He is an adopted Canadian and lives in Toronto. His win was big news! And Donoghue, an Irish-Canadian, will likely get similar props for her well-deserved nomination.
So what other authors have won this highest film honour for adapting their own work for the screen? Not as many as you might think! Many adapted screenplays are written by screenwriters, not by authors. And of the 16 author-winners Wikipedia lists, just six of them were novelists. Here are the winners for best adapted screenplay who won for adapting their own work:
– 1938: George Bernard Shaw shared the award for ‘Pygmalion’ based on his play.
– 1955: Paddy Chayefsky for ‘Marty’ based on his teleplay.
– 1957: Pierre Boulle for ‘Bridge on the River Kwai’ based on his novel.
– 1961: Abby Man for ‘Judgement at Nuremberg’ based on his teleplay.
– 1966: Robert Bolt for ‘A Man for All Seasons’ based on his play.
– 1968: James Goldman for ‘The Lion in Winter’ based on his play.
– 1972: Mario Puzo shared the award for ‘The Godfather’ based on his novel.
– 1973: William Peter Blatty for ‘The Exorcist’ based on his novel.
– 1974: Mario Puzo shared the award for ‘The Godfather Part 2’ based on his novel.
– 1981: Ernest Thompson for ‘On Golden Pond’ based on his play.
– 1984: Peter Shaffer for ‘Amadeus’ based on his play.
– 1988: Christopher Hampton for ‘Dangerous Liaisons’ based on his play.
– 1989: Alfred Uhry for ‘Driving Miss Daisy’ based on his play.
– 1990: Michael Blake for ‘Dances with Wolves’ based on his novel.
– 1996: Billy Bob Thornton for ‘Sling Blade’ adapted from his short film.
– 1999: John Irving for ‘The Cider House Rules’ based on his novel.
Hornsby photo credit: Joe Mabel. CC licensed.
Donoghue photo credit: Katrina Afonso. CC licensed.