101 Greatest Screenplays of the 21st Century (*so far)

“They were raised on small, poor ranches in opposite corners of the state.” So begins Annie Proulx’s 1997 New Yorker short story, set in Montana, about modern-day cowboy lovers Jack Twist and Ennis del Mar. In an interview with the American Film Institute, co-screenwriter Diana Ossana—who, with Larry McMurtry, won the 2006 Writers Guild Award for Adapted Screenplay—recalled reading Proulx’s story in the middle of the night and again the next morning. She cried both times, and then showed the piece to McMurtry, suggesting they adapt it. “It’s the only time he’s agreed with me without an argument,” Ossana said. He said, ‘Sure.’”