1. Exiting The Factory (1895)
Influential, how? Cinema arrives!
Citizen Kane. Top Gun. The Hottie & The Nottie. The common thread? They’re all descendents of cine-pioneer Louis Lumière’s La Sortie Des Usines Lumière - no less than the first motion picture ever made.
Fifty seconds long, it captures in real time workers spilling from the gates of Lyon’s Lumiere Factory.
A precursor to everything, it particularly anticipates the work of George Lucas: there are three versions in existence – you can tell ’em apart by the number of horses (one, two or none).
Money shot: The bit where men enter the factory. Plot hole!
2. L'assassination Du Duc De Guise (1908)
Influential, how? First movie with a score.
A notorious event in French history, a 15-minute costume drama directed by André Calmettes – and, to provide the first ever specially composed orchestral movie score, the 73-year-old doyen of composers, Camille Saint-Saëns.
Money shot: De Guise is stabbed by thugs as Saint-Saëns’ music rises to a frenzy.
3. Gertie The Dinosaur (1914)
Influential, how? Movies get animated.
"The two most important people in animation are Winsor McCay and Walt Disney," said legendary Warner Bros. animation director Chuck Jones. "I'm not sure who should go first."
Put it this way: Walt was just eight when McCay's lovable dinosaur called Gertie was born. Mickey, Bugs and Nemo are evolution's children...
Money Shot: Check it out on YouTube and pick your own...
Influential, how? Movies get big.
Even in our CG age of copy’n’paste armies, Cabiria is staggering. Shot across six months, the three-hour Italian silent set the benchmark for epic filmmaking.
DW Griffith saw it a year after he made The Birth Of A Nation - which suddenly didn’t seem so big and clever.
Money shot: Innovative camera-dollies over huge sets, dubbed “Cabiria movements”.