13. The Jazz Singer (1927)
Influential, how? Movies get mouthy.
Let’s clear this up. The Jazz Singer wasn’t the first ‘talkie’. But it was the first feature-length Hollywood talkie, in which spoken dialogue was meshed into the drama.
Audiences went mad-crazy as jazz megastar Al Jolson broke into song, ad-libbing with his old mum at the piano.
It wasn’t much: a song and a few lines of dialogue. But it was enough to change cinema forever.
Money shot: “Wait a minute, wait a minute… You ain’t heard nothin’ yet!”
14. Metropolis (1927)
Influential, how? Welcome to the future.
The Fifth Element’s New York, Blade Runner’s LA, Batman’s Gotham... The city of the future was first built here.
Metropolis’ shadow looms over every decade and every genre: from Bride Of Frankenstein’s lab to Dr Strangelove’s mechanical hand and even David Fincher’s music videos.
Metallic femme fatale Maria warned us about the machine-men who would appear in Westworld, The Terminator and The Matrix.
Money shot: Mad-scientist Rotwang runs through darkened catacombs, swinging his light like, well, a sabre. George Lucas takes note.
15. Un Chien Andalou (1929)
Influential, how? Surrealism opens eyes.
Not the first surrealist movie (that honour belongs to René Clair’s 1924 Entr’acte) but the first to make a major impact.
Right from the opening shot of an eyeball being sliced by a razor, Buñuel and Dali aimed to shock – and succeeded.
Thereafter, surrealist imagery tinged pretty much every movie dream-sequence.
Money shot: Gotta be that eyeball.
16. All Quiet On The Western Front (1930)
Influential, how? Hollywood goes to war.
Banned by the Nazis, loved by pacifists, this early ‘war is hell’ classic captured the tragedy of the trenches and proved that there really is no honour in dying for one's country.
“Here is war as it is - butchery,” wrote Variety.
Money shot: A dying man reaches for a butterfly fluttering over barbed wire.