Oscar: Best Original Screenplay–What You Need to Know

Oscar: Best Original Screenplay–What You Need to Know

The Best Original Screenplay Oscar honors scripts not based upon previously published material.

It was created in 1940 as a separate writing award from the Best Story Oscar.

In 1957, the two categories were combined to honor only the screenplay.

Woody Allen has the most nominations in this category with 16, and the most awards with 3 (for Annie Hall, Hannah and Her Sisters, and Midnight in Paris).

Paddy Chayefsky has also won three screenwriting Oscars: two for Original Screenplay (The Hospital and Network) and one for Adapted Screenplay (Marty).

Woody Allen also holds the record as the oldest winner (age 76) for Midnight in Paris.

Ben Affleck is the youngest winner (25) for Good Will Hunting, co-written with Matt Damon (27).

Richard Schweizer was the first to win for a foreign-language film, Marie-Louise.

Other winners for a non-English screenplay include Albert Lamorisse, Pietro Germi, Claude Lelouch, Pedro Almodóvar, Bong Joon-ho and Han Jin-won.

Lamorisse is additionally the only person to win or even be nominated for Best Original Screenplay for a short film (The Red Balloon, 1956).

First Woman

Muriel Box (The Seventh Veil) was the first woman to win in this category; she shared the award with her husband, Sydney Box.

The Boxes are also the first of two married couples to win in this category; Earl W. Wallace and Pamela Wallace (Witness) are the others.

In 1996, Joel Coen and Ethan Coen became the only siblings to win in this category (for Fargo).

Francis Ford Coppola (Patton, 1970) and Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation, 2003) are the only father-daughter pair to win.

Preston Sturges was nominated for two different films in the same year (1944): Hail the Conquering Hero and The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek.

Oliver Stone achieved the same distinction in 1986, for Platoon and Salvador.

Maurice Richlin and Stanley Shapiro were nominated in 1959 for both Operation Petticoat and Pillow Talk and won for the latter.

Jordan Peele became the first and only African-American to win in this category for 2017’s Get Out.

Bong Joon-ho and Han Jin-won became the first Asian writers to win either Screenplay award, for 2019’s Parasite.