263 Movies About Writers & The Writing Life Curated by Christina Katz

by @thewritermama on August 18, 2012 · 14 comments

Every year for the past three years, I update this list of movies about writers and the writing life.

I use a few guidelines to help me get the job done. Here they are:

Selection parameters:

  • A main character in the film must be a writer. No ensembles in this list unless writing is central to the storyline.
  • Only cinema movies are included. No TV movies.
  • Only print journalism. No broadcast journalism in this list. Screenwriting and TV writing are both represented. Bloggers are included.
  • Biographies or biopics about writers are listed. No documentaries are included.
  • No academics as central characters, unless the character is a novelist or some other type of writer.
  • Diaries are included, if the diary is part of the central part of the story.
  • If a film is about a writer but is obscure or very unknown it may have been intentionally excluded.
  • Films are listed in chronological order by release year.
  • If a movie was re-released, then it is listed by its most recent release date.
  • Do you see any movies missing that should be added? Suggestions for films to add are always welcome in the comments section.

Thanks for your input!

1. Barrets of Wimpole St. (1934)
2. It Happened One Night (1934)
3. His Girl Friday (1940)
4. The Philadelphia Story (1940)
5. Foreign Correspondent (1940)
6. Woman of the Year (1942)
7. Old Acquaintance (1943)
8. The Adventures of Mark Twain (1944)
9. It Happened Tomorrow (1944)
10. The Lost Weekend (1945)
11. Christmas in Connecticut (1945)
12. The Story of G.I. Joe (1945)
13. I Remember Mama (1948)
14. Call Northside 777 (1948)
15. The Third Man (1949)
16. In a Lonely Place (1950)
17. Sunset Boulevard (1950)
18. Orpheus (1950)
19. Ace in the Hole (1951)
20. Hans Christian Andersen (1952)
21. A Face In The Crowd (1957)
22. Some Came Running (1958)
23. Teacher’s Pet (1958)
24. The Diary of Anne Frank (1959)
25. La Dolce Vita (1960)
26. Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
27. Through A Glass Darkly (1961)
28. The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (1962)
29. Jules and Jim (1962)
30. 8 ½ (1963)
31. Youngblood Hawke (1964)
32. Color of Pomegranates (1968)
33. The Odd Couple (1968)
34. Man of La Mancha (1972)
35. Sleuth (1972)
36. The Way We Were (1973)
37. Front Page (1974, originally 1931)
38. All the Presidents Men (1976)
39. The Front (1976)
40. Julia (1977)
41. Superman (1978)
42. Stevie (1978)
43. My Brilliant Career (1979)
44. Heart Beat (1980)
45. Seems Like Old Times (1980)
46. The Shining (1980)
47. Somewhere in Time (1980)
48. Reds (1981)
49. Rich & Famous (1981)
50. Priest of Love (1981)
51. The World According to Garp (1982)
52. Deathtrap (1982)
53. Author! Author! (1982)
54. My Favorite Year (1982)
55. Missing (1982)
56. Sophie’s Choice (1982)
57. The Year of Living Dangerously (1982)
58. Cross Creek (1983)
59. American Dreamer (1984)
60. Romancing The Stone (1984)
61. Irreconcilable Differences (1984)
62. Just One of the Guys (1985)
63. Out of Africa (1985)
64. Mishima: A Life in 4 Chapters (1985)
65. Heartburn (1986)
66. Stand By Me (1986)
67. Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)
68. 84 Charing Cross Road (1986)
69. The Singing Detective (1986)
70. Throw Mama From the Train (1987)
71. Barfly (1987)
72. Waiting for the Moon (1987)
73. Prick Up Your Ears (1987)
74. Best Seller (1987)
75. Rowing With the Wind (1988)
76. Funny Farm (1988)
77. The Accidental Tourist (1988)
78. Da (1988)
79. Her Alibi (1989)
80. My Left Foot (1989)
81. Beautiful Dreamers (1990)
82. An Angel at My Table (1990)
83. Henry and June (1990)
84. Misery (1990)
85. Closetland (1991)
86. Impromptu (1991)
87. Barton Fink (1991)
88. Naked Lunch (1991)
89. Hedd Wynn (1992)
90. The Player (1992)
91. Basic Instinct (1992)
92. Sleepless in Seattle (1993)
93. The Pelican Brief (1993)
94. So I Married An Ax Murderer (1993)
95. The Dark Half (1993)
96. Shadowlands (1993)
97. Poetic Justice (1993)
98. The Paper (1994)
99. Bullets Over Broadway (1994)
100. Paperback Romance (1994)
101. Tom & Viv (1994)
102. Little Women (1994)
103. Il Postino: The Postman (1994)
104. Mrs. Parker & The Vicious Circle (1994)
105. Delta of Venus (1995)
106. Total Eclipse (1995)
107. The Flower of My Secret (1995)
108. Leaving Las Vegas (1995)
109. Carrington (1995)
110. Delores Claiborne (1995)
111. The Pillow Book (1996)
112. The Whole Wide World (1996)
113. Mother (1996)
114. Hamsun (1996)
115. The Disappearance of Garcia Lorca (1996)
116. Welcome to Sarajevo (1997)
117. Deconstructing Harry (1997)
118. Henry Fool (1997)
119. Wilde (1997)
120. Chasing Amy (1997)
121. One True Thing (1998)
122. Shakespeare In Love (1998)
123. A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries (1998)
124. Eternity and a Day (1998)
125. Permanent Midnight (1998)
126. A Murder of Crows (1998)
127. Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)
128. Croupier (1998)
129. Slam (1998)
130. Les Enfants Du Siècle / The Children of the Century (1999)
131. Topsy Turvey (1999)
132. The Passion of Ayn Rand (1999)
133. Snow Falling on Cedars (1999)
134. Never Been Kissed (1999)
135. The Best Man (1999)
136. The End of the Affair (1999, originally 1955)
137. The Muse (1999)
138. True Crime (1999)
139. Bamboozled (2000)
140. Almost Famous (2000)
141. Before Night Falls (2000)
142. Joe Gould’s Secret (2000)
143. Nora (2000)
144. Pandaemonium (2000)
145. Wonder Boys (2000)
146. Finding Forrester (2000)
147. Quills (2000)
148. Isn’t She Great (2000)
149. Pinero (2001)
150. Iris (2001)
151. Moulin Rouge (2001)
152. The Shipping News (2001)
153. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
154. Bridget Jones Diary (2001)
155. Storytelling (2001)
156. Riding in Cars with Boys (2001)
157. How to Kill your Neighbor’s Dog (2001)
158. Moulin Rouge
159. Orange County (2002)
160. Possession (2002)
161. The Hours (2002)
162. Adaptation. (2002)
163. Blue Car (2002)
164. I Capture the Castle (2003)
165. Alex & Emma (2003)
166. Shattered Glass (2003)
167. American Splendor (2003)
168. As Good As It Gets (2003)
169. Sylvia (2003)
170. Cheaper By The Dozen (2003)
171. Something’s Gotta Give (2003)
172. Under the Tuscan Sun (2003)
173. The Swimming Pool (2003)
174. Veronica Guerin (2003)
175. Notre Musique (2004)
176. Before Sunset (2004)
177. Sideways (2004)
178. The Libertine (2004)
179. Finding Neverland (2004)
180. Motorcycle Diaries (2004)
181. Secret Window (2004)
182. The Door in the Floor (2004)
183. La Tigre E La Neve / Tiger and the Snow (2005)
184. The Dying Gaul (2005)
185. The Squid and the Whale (2005)
186. Capote (2005)
187. The Prize-winner of Defiance Ohio (2005)
188. Factotum (2005)
189. Winter Passing (2005)
190. The Night Listener (2006)
191. Stranger Than Fiction (2006)
192. Scoop (2006)
193. The TV Set (2006)
194. The Hoax (2006)
195. Infamous (2006)
196. Half Light (2006)
197. Miss Potter (2006)
198. Ask the Dust (2006)
199. Running with Scissors (2006)
200. Love and other Disasters (2006)
201. Starting Out in the Evening (2007)
202. Martian Child (2007)
203. Slipstream (2007)
204. Freedom Writers (2007)
205. Becoming Jane (2007)
206. A Mighty Heart (2007)
207. Dan in Real Life (2007)
208. Purple Violets (2007)
209. Moliere (2007)
210. In the Land of Women (2007)
211. Zodiac (2007)
212. Music and Lyrics (2007)
213. 1408 (2007)
214. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007)
215. Atonement (2007)
216. 27 Dresses (2007)
217. Roman De Gare (2007)
218. Starting Out In The Evening (2007)
219. Angel (2007)
220. Resurrecting The Champ (2007)
221. Nim’s Island (2008)
222. Marley & Me (2008)
223. The Edge of Love (2008)
224. The Stoning of Soroya M. (2008)
225. Me and Orson Welles (2008)
226. Burn After Reading (2008)
227. Sex & The City: The Movie (2008)
228. Funny People (2009)
229. 500 Days of Summer (2009)
230. Julie & Julia (2009)
231. Gentleman Broncos (2009)
232. Bright Star (2009)
233. The Answer Man (2009)
234. 2012 (2009)
235. Motherhood (2009)
236. Broken Embraces (2009)
237. The Soloist (2009)
238. World’s Greatest Dad (2009)
239. The Last Station (2009)
240. Cole (2009)
241. The Boys are Back (2009)
242. Confessions of a Shopaholic (2009)
243. Spoken Word (2009)
244. Tetro (2009)
245. Cole (2009)
246. State of Play (2009)
247. Nine (2009)
248. The Rum Diary (2010)
249. The Ghost Writer (2010)
250. Howl (2010)
251. Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010)
252. Sex & The City 2 (2010)
253. Eat, Pray, Love (2010)
254. Midnight in Paris (2011)
255. One Day (2011)
256. Limitless (2011)
257. Young Adult (2011)
258. The Help (2011)
259. Anonymous (2011)
260. Ruby Sparks (2012)
261. The Words (2012)
262. Writers (2012)
263. Being Flynn (2012)

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