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Somewhere, and Nine Great Movies That Were Way Longer Than Their Scripts

‪As you probably know, in traditional screenplay format, one page of script equals one minute of screen time. But it doesn’t always work out that way, especially with certain directors — of which Sofia Coppola is one. Her films tend to be quiet — at least, dialogue-wise — and her latest, Somewhere, is no exception. Her initial screenplay for Lost in Translation was reportedly not really a screenplay at all, but a short “scriptment” featuring bits of dialogue, thoughts, and pictures. And last week, she told us that Somewhere's script was only 48 pages long. So that got us thinking: What other films had screenplays that were significantly shorter than the final films? To be fair, there are a lot of films that could be on this list, but weren’t. Some mumblecore films shoot without scripts at all. Transformers 2 reportedly went into production without a screenplay because of the writers’ strike (gee, we’d never have guessed). And did Mel Brooks's Silent Movie even have a script? But we’ve looked far and wide and come up with this list of our favorite features made from significantly shorter scripts, ranked according to their page:minute ratios (a unit we’re calling the “Sofia”).‬

Photo: Photo by Merrick Morton — © 2010 Focus Features