“Forrest Gump” continued its award season stampede March 19 when the Writers Guild of America gave scripter Eric Roth its award for best screenplay based on material previously produced or published.
Richard Curtis picked up the award for a script written directly for the screen for “Four Weddings and a Funeral.”
The winners were presented the awards at a dinner at the Beverly Hilton, and at a separate ceremony in Gotham, celebrating the 47th annual WGA awards.
“Forrest Gump” has already nabbed the Directors Guild of America award for helmer Robert Zemeckis, and with the WGA feather, the pic continues its favored-son status as Oscar’s biggest contender.
Roth’s screenplay beat out those for “Quiz Show,” “Little Women,” “The Madness of King George” and “The Shawshank Redemption.”
Curtis’ “Four Weddings” screenplay topped original efforts for “The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert,” “Bullets Over Broadway,” “Ed Wood” and “Heavenly Creatures.”
Among TV winners, NBC dominated by taking four of the top awards: best episodic drama (“Homicide: Life on the Street,” “Bop Gun” episode, written by David Simon and David Mills, with story by Tom Fontana); episodic comedy (“Seinfeld” seg “The Mango,” written by Lawrence Levy and Larry David, with story by Levy); original longform program (“Witness to the Execution,” teleplay by Thomas Baum, story by Baum, Keith Pierce, Priscilla Prestwidge); and adapted longform program (“A Family Torn Apart,” teleplay by Matthew Bombeck, based on the book by Leslie Walker).
In the special WGA East honors, the Ian McLellan Hunter Award for lifetime achievement went to scripter and director Robert Benton. The Evelyn F. Burkey Award was presented posthumously to screen and TV writer Dennis Potter, and the Richard B. Jablow Award for service to the Guild went to scribe Albert Ruben. American U. grad student Meredith L. Lefforge took the John Merriman Memorial student honor.