33. Victim (1961)
Influential, how? CInema comes out of the closet.
Closeted star Dirk Bogarde gave his idol image a kick in the crotch by taking the role of a barrister with gay yearnings.
Brave, bolshy and poetic, it opened the door to everything from Boys In The Band to Brokeback Mountain.
Money shot: Bogarde’s angry, agonised confession to his wife: “I wanted him! Do you understand? I wanted him!”
34. Blood Feast (1963)
Influential, how? Horror goes splatter.
Drive-in quickie Blood Feast's story about a cannibal Egyptian caterer broke messy new ground: no one had ever spilt so much claret, faked human organs by using sheep offal or chopped up so many actresses (actually hard-up strippers) before.
“It’s like a Walt Whitman poem,” claimed director Herschell Gordon Lewis. “It’s no good, but it’s the first of its type, and therefore deserves a certain position.”
Money shot: A woman’s tongue being ripped out of her bloody gob.
35. The Battle Of Algiers (1966)
Influential, how? 'Based on real-life events...'
It's hard to believe that no newsreel footage was used in Gillo Pontecorvo’s blistering docu-drama.
Shot on the same streets where, only a few years earlier, Algerian nationalists and French colonialists had battled it out, The Battle Of Algiers set the bar challengingly high for every docu-drama that followed.
Money shot: Algerian women descending from the Casbah to bomb a French cafe.
36. The Graduate (1967)
Influential, how? Average schmoes could be leading men.
The casting of Hoffman changed Hollywood’s idea of what a 'movie star' could be. Even Hoffman took some convincing he was the man for the job.
Making an arse of himself at the audition and bringing an uncomfortable tension to his scenes, Hoffman left miserable but director Nichols was sold.
Hoffman picked up an Oscar nom for Best Actor for his misery, and casting logic was never the same again. Tom Hanks, Bill Murray, Tobey Maguire, Steve Carell, Michael Cera and Shia LaBeouf are just a few of Hollywood’s unconventional leads who’ve benefited from the Benjamin Braddock Effect.
Money shot: “Are you trying to seduce me, Mrs Robinson?”
For an extended look at The Graduate, see this feature in the latest issue of Total Film Magazine.