9. The Last Laugh (1924)
Influential, how? The first true 'motion' picture.
FW Murnau is remembered for Nosferatu and Sunrise but this is his landmark film, an allegory about a proud hotel porter humiliated in old age.
Murnau dispenses with subtitles and tells the story through a grand visual design and a free-flowing, mobile camera.
Money shot: The camera’s tipsy pan to express the porter’s drunken state.
10. Becky Sharp (1935)
Influential, how? The Dawn Of Colour.
Goodbye, grey... shot on three-strip Technicolor, this adap of Thackeray's Vanity Fair wowed audiences and subtly used colour stock for dramatic effect.
"The greatest achievement in motion pictures since the advent of sound!" claimed the trailers. They weren't exaggerating.
Money shot: A lavish ballroom dancing sequence showcases the Technicolor tech.
11. The Battleship Potemkin (1925)
Influential, how? Meaning through montage.
Deemed a threat to the capitalist order, Eisenstein’s recreation of a 1905 incident in which sailors mutinied against their Czarist officers was banned throughout Europe.
But the film is less important for its radical politics than its radical syntax.
A gifted cartoonist, Eisenstein composed bold, dramatic images, but realised that they assumed far greater power through the rhythm and rhetoric of their juxtaposition.
Eisenstein invented 'montage', and his theories became a foundation of film teaching, with Potemkin a seminal influence on the likes of Hitchcock.
Money shot: The Odessa steps sequence - copied and parodied many times (most famously in De Palma’s The Untouchables)...
12. The Adventures Of Prince Achmed (1926)
Influential, how? The first animated feature pioneer – and still unchallenged reigning queen – of silhouette animation, director Lotte Reiniger beat Disney to the punch by a dozen years or more.
Weaving together stories from the Arabian Nights and adding her own brand of wit and poetry, Reiniger set the template for telling fairy stories in a way that would enchant the kids, while packing in enough sophistication to keep grown-ups entertained.
Everyone from Disney and Chuck Jones to Hanna-Barbera and Pixar owes her a debt.
As for Achmed itself? “A masterpiece!” said Jean Renoir. Who could disagree?
Money shot: The Spirit Battle of Waq Waq: Achmed does valiant battle with monsters and demons.