50 Most Influential Films

The movies that changed cinema

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    • chibik

      Aug 19th 2013, 9:30

      Not to deny the feats accomplished by these pioneers, but a lot of the "If It Didn't Exist" sections are based on the (frankly laughable) assumption that, if these movies didn't exist, no one else would have stepped forward and challenged the status quo.

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    • Hadouken76

      Aug 19th 2013, 11:03

      I don't think there is such thing as 'the most influential film' . All classic film-makers (yes including a pre-1997 George Lucas) contributed something unique to the cinematic landscape, it can't be traced back to just one film.

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    • Chufferstud

      Aug 19th 2013, 11:16

      I agree in part @Hadouken76, but I think the most influential films are the ones that broke boundaries with techniques. Orson Welles and Hitchcock are great examples of directors who invented new ways to film. I'm not saying no-one else would have at some point, but they certainly changed and influenced movies going forward.

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    • CharsmatcEngma

      Aug 19th 2013, 11:31

      Hmm, surely the movie that kickstarted the whole Superhero genre was Blade back in '98? It was hugely popular and pretty damn succesful.

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    • EroticFilmSoc

      Aug 19th 2013, 11:34

      No DEEP THROAT? The Film: Linda can't get no satisfaction until an eccentric doctor discovers her anatomical anomaly... Gulp! The Influence: Despite its tiny budget, it became a global phenomenon. It not only made millions - and is still raking it in today - but, even more significantly, made porno 'chic' and acceptable for America's middle classes. For a while every hipster in Manhattan was in line outside the New World Theater to see what all the fuss was about. If It Didn't Exist: Porn would have stayed in its grubby ghetto, at least until some other explicit film broke through. But the Watergate informer would have had a different nickname. And Amanda Seyfried wouldn't have been playing LOVELACE.

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    • EroticFilmSoc

      Aug 19th 2013, 11:40

      @Hadouken76 Yes. As Mark Cousins argued very convincingly in his book and TV series, THE STORY OF FILM: AN ODYSSEY, the development of film is a continuous process, with many milestones mutating what has gone before and taking it off in new artistic and commercial directions. (Though it must be said, that while his study is mind-bogglingly wide ranging, Cousins is far stronger on aesthetic evolution than the part 'non-respectable' genre film playd in progressing the medium.)

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    • jaakkoparkkari

      Aug 19th 2013, 12:49

      Not a single Chaplin film here? What a joke.

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    • apo1978

      Aug 19th 2013, 12:49

      I expected "Goon" to be in there! (Hmmm, that joke has sailed now....)

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    • SimonK

      Aug 19th 2013, 14:42

      In response to jaakkoparkkari, I took the view that Chaplin's innovations came during dozens of shorts: there is no single, iconic movie as with A Trip To The Moon, and by the time of (say) The Gold Rush, his influence had already been made. But you might similarly ask: no Altman? No Woody Allen? No Ozu, Renoir, Fellini or Tarkovsky? This list could have run and run, and Chaplin was one of many casualties!

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    • LSJShez

      Aug 19th 2013, 19:53

      Avatar was pretty groundbreaking effects wise, but what has it influenced? Toy Story deserves all of that type of credit.

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    • Ali1748

      Aug 19th 2013, 21:32

      Fight Club, The Matrix, The Bourne Identity and The Dark Knight

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    • FBKTudor

      Aug 20th 2013, 10:36

      Odd to see X-Men on this list. Surely the first major big-screen adaptation, 1978's Superman the Movie, was more deserving. Also, X-Men was a result of the success of Blade, two summers previously (stateside anyway, as we had to wait until November for the film's release in the UK). Terminator 2 was also hugely influential in its pioneering effects. As for digital effects, where is The Last Starfighter? The Last Starfighter was the first film to use predominantly CGI effects, and this was in 1984. This film's influence is very clear.

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    • zachjansen

      Aug 20th 2013, 18:05

      So no other filmmaker used voce-overs or freeze frames or steadicam before "GoodFellas"? Huh. Who'd've thunk it?

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    • Igrayne

      Aug 24th 2013, 7:31

      Glad to see Psycho at number one although I think most of Hitchcock's films could be considered genre defining. Alot of these films are more overrated than inspiring, The Matrix is not half as clever as people think it is more a rip off of Terminator and Alice in Wonderland, the camera work also is not that originial guys, bullet time I promise you has been used before for example was it not used in Lost in Space in 1998? Toy Story is a completely average animated film and plays the trick of sentimentality and nostalgia instead of true craft and story telling, they are notwhere near as good as people claim, soppy schoolgirl c**p. Lord of the Rings has spawned one thing, the bloody need for trilogies as a method of generating excessive revenue when they are not necessary.

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    • mariescraeyen

      Oct 17th 2013, 15:19

      Is Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory only 50? If this film didn't exist, any of these other movies wouldn't exist too!

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    • thefilmmaker13

      Aug 3rd 2014, 1:46

      Putting Star Wars above 2001 is laughable! There would be no Star Wars without 2001, nor would there be Close Encounters, Blade Runner, Tron, the list goes on. Every director acknowledged it's influence including Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, John Carpenter, James Cameron, Dan O Bannon, Ridley Scott, Woody Allen and so on. It shaped the way movies were made in the 70s, 80s and 90s and things would've turned out very differently had it never existed. The same cannot be said of Star Wars. The only thing that can be said about Star Wars' influence is that it started the rebirth of Science fiction, and was the first film to realize that there was a market for toys and other merchandise to be sold alongside movies. And where the f**k is Saturday Night Fever? The movie that popularised groups doing soundtracks, an album which remains the biggest selling soundtrack of all time with over 46 million copies sold! Try and find a pop band who wrote a popular soundtrack to a film before 1977, and you won't be able to. It all started here with the Bee Gees classic soundtrack. Look at what followed it - Flash Gordon (Queen), Dune (Toto), Tron Legacy (Daft Punk), as well as many rip offs (Flashdance, The Music Machine, Roller Boogie, The Apple, Can't Stop The Music, etc) a successful sequel, and a plethora of dance movies in the 80s to the present day such as Grease, Fame, Dirty Dancing, Strictly Ballroom and Step Up. The trend was also carried on through the soundtracks of popular films like Ghostbusters, Gremlins, The Goonies, Back to the Future, Innerspace

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    • SainterSan

      Oct 20th 2014, 2:40

      Ummm ... nice try but you completely forgot The Exorcist (1973). Just check the Wikipedia entry if you doubt the staggering influence the film had on the Horror genre and popular culture in general. Sorry, but it seems you haven't done your research!

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