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

Charlie Wachtel and David Rabinowitz were next to nowhere as screenwriters when they stumbled across a copy of memoir titled Black Klansman by Ron Stallworth, via Police and Fire Publishing. Stallworth was the first Black detective to join the Colorado Springs Police Department, but that wasn’t the part of his story that made both writers immediately say, “this should be a movie!” In what seems more like a Key & Peele skit than real life, the book recounted how Stallworth infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan for nearly a year, even earning a membership certificate sent by none other than Grand Wizard David Duke. The story made for Spike Lee’s best movie in years, winning multiple accolades, including an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for Wachtel and Rabinowitz.

READ: BlacKkKlansman reorients the mainstream to Spike Lee’s cinematic point of view.