TCM, which is 15 years old this month, have published a list of the Most Influential Classic Movies.
Normally I’m a little sceptical about these kinds of lists, but this one is pretty hard to argue with.
- The Birth of a Nation (1915)
- Battleship Potemkin (1925)
- Metropolis (1927)
- 42nd Street (1933)
- It Happened One Night (1934)
- Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
- Gone with the Wind (1939)
- Stagecoach (1939)
- Citizen Kane (1941)
- The Bicycle Thief (1947)
- Rashomon (1950)
- The Searchers (1956)
- Breathless (1959)
- Psycho (1960)
- Star Wars (1977)
I think a more challenging exercise might be to list films over the last 30 years that will have a similar status in future.
Off the top of my head I’d go for:
- Halloween (helped kick start 80s boogeyman horror)
- Blade Runner (influenced the look of pop culture)
- Die Hard (the template for many action blockbusters)
- Sex Lies and Videotape (began the Sundance indie movement)
- Pulp Fiction (led to many, inferior, crime imitators)
- Toy Story (the dawn of CGI animation in the modern era)
- The Matrix (a massive influence on action films over the last decade, despite the inferior sequels)
But what about the last decade?
> Original post at TCM
> Total Film on influential movies
> Wikipedia on film in the 2000s