What do such movies as The Hours, Shakespeare in Love, Empire of the Sun, Wag the Dog and The Untouchables have in common? Here’s a hint: their authors are David Hare (The Hours), Tom Stoppard (Shakespeare in Love and Empire of the Sun) and David Mamet (Wag the Dog and The Untouchables). Still stumped? Each of these movies—and we’re talking about some very good films—was written by a playwright. OK. So a few good playwrights needed to make some extra cash, and they turned to the much more lucrative film industry to finance house payments and upscale vacations. That may be true, but what if I told you that they’re all better screenwriters because they write plays?