Most influential movies

WHat movies do you feel have been the most influential on society and the movie industry. I would also like to know why/ how they were influential.

I’ll start with one of my faves, I feel that “The Manturian Candidate” made a huge impact on how movies were made. It took the suspence and confusion to a higher level than had been done before. Hitchcock did a good job in is way, but the presentation of this film made it difficult to guess where it was going and also the filming techniques used helped to intensify the experience.

For any of you who haven’t seen it I highly reccomend it. (If you have a DVD player, I also suggest you rent the DVD version, it has a great director’s commentary.)

To deal with men by force is as impractical as to deal with nature by persuasion.

OK, lemme get me old brain t’ workin’:

The Perils of Pauline (1914)–not the first serial, but the one that was so popular it got the ball rolling.

Cabiria (Italy, 1914?)–one of the first big epics, that inspired US film makers to go beyond 2-reel movies.

The Jazz Singer (1927)–not the first talkie by a long shot (and a really dreadful film), but the first financially successful talkie.

Red Dust, Baby Face, She Done Him Wrong–some early '30s films that helped shock people into a Production Code.

2001 (1968?)–the first of the big budget space operas.

Psycho (1960)–one of the first films to kill a leading character in the beginning of the movie.

Different From the Others (1919)–German film, in favor of equal rights for homosexuals.

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (also German, 1919)–introduced Expressionism to film design.

I’m getting tired now, and I suspect you are, too . . .

Steamboat Willie, 192?, America meets Mickey Mouse…

Influential movies? I understand that to mean movies which had a discernable affect on how later movies were made. Therefore, my choices don’t necessary indicate that I think these movies are especially GOOD (tho’ some are.)

How about:

Airport – spawned a whole series of disaster movies traceable to such winners as “Armageddon”.

Star Wars – renewed the adventure picture

Halloween – Grandaddy of the teen slasher genre

Airplane – founder of the Zucker/Abrams school of slapstick

American Graffiti – Dazed and Confused’s (et al) spiritual father

The Blues Brothers – first in a long line of SNL spinoff movies

That ought do for a start.

BTW, The Manchurian Candidate is a great movie.

For social influence, consider I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang.

This knocked millions of non-southern moviegoers out of their seats. It probably wasn’t the first to be based on a true story, but it was probably the first to have such an impact.

I would think large blockbusters would have had a larger impact on the culture then most of the movies that have been listed on this thread.

The Manchurian candidate was an interesting movie, but I doubt enough people have actually seen it for it to have an influence on society. I would suggest the following have had a significant impact on the culture.

Gone With the Wind
The Godfather
Star Wars
Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind
Forest Gump

I didn’t say The Manturian Candidate was a great social changing movie, but more of a movie that changed the way other directors made their movies.

To deal with men by force is as impractical as to deal with nature by persuasion.

I’m rather fond of King Vidor’s Wings, the winner of the first Academy Award for Best Picture. Not only is it a good film, the flight shots are outstanding.

Forrest Gump?!

What the hell impact did that have on anyone except Tom Hanks?

Jaws was very influential, because it ushered in the era of the ‘summer movie’. Before Jaws the summer was considered to be a movie wasteland. It really changed the whole economic structure of the industry.

“48 Hours” was the first wisecracking misfit cop buddy movie, which spawned a whole new Genre.

“Die Hard” spawned a whole genre itself.

“Halloween” kicked off the teenage slasher movie.

“Citizen Kane” pioneered a whole bunch of moviemaking and camera techniques.

“Pulp Fiction” broke the studio stranglehold on blockbuster movies, allowing the myriad of high-quality independent films we’ve seen since.

Deliverance…wery influential in ‘pop culture’. We get quotes like “you sure got a perty mouth”, and “Squeal!Squeal like a pig!WEEE WEEE…”

Brutal action movie…a must see pic.

“Halloween” might have been the main impetus for the teen-slasher genre; but I think “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” predated it and was one of the first movies to have screaming kids getting chopped up, hung on meathooks, etc…

And wasn’t there a documentary that helped get someone off Death Row? “The Thin Blue Line” I think it was called.

OK, here’s my 2 cents:

  1. Citizen Kane, because of the cinematographic (sp?) novelties;
  2. Nosferatu, 1922 silent movie. Terrifying, even without speech ! Stars Bela Lugosi, IIRC;
  3. The Godfather Trilogy, best epic drama;
  4. Star Wars Trilogy; best special effects/scifi movies.


It Happened One Night nearly ruined the mens t-shirt industry (Because it was the first time a man was seen on screen without a tank top.)

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom: Hating the nasty Nazi’s, annoying french (redundant, I know) and tromping all over exotic places looking spectacular in a fedora. How, I ask you, could you NOT be affected.

Casablanca - was originally meant as a B movie filled with lots of horrid cliches, but then something like the WAR hit close to home and it became a legend.