The Ten Most Influential Films
10. Toy Story (1995)
Toy Story was the first full-length CG animated feature film which went on to be a huge success. It spawned the recent Pixar empire (and arguably the death of Disney) and ushered in a whole new era of animated films, giving us such modern classics as Shrek, Finding Nemo, and WallE.
CG animation will only grow larger as the years go on, and Toy Story may only grow in influence as the Snow White of CG animation.
9. Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
Bonnie and Clyde set a whole new standard of what was acceptable to be seen or heard in a film. This was the beginning of Hollywood’s dark golden era, where violence would take center stage in the films of Coppola and Scorsese. Bonnie and Clyde showed that, if done right, even violence, sexuality and vulgarity can be art when put up on the screen.
8. King Kong (1933)
Ask almost any film-maker out there what movies made them want to make movies themselves, and King Kong may possibly be on each list. This film was a true landmark for the adventure that movies could provide. It also took special effects to a new level and legitimized the monster movie. This film turns generations of kids into movie lovers and for that it take s a spot on this list.
7. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1938)
Hollywood’s first animated feature film. Snow White made animation popular and kicked off an entirely new medium for stories to be told at the movies. It also set up Disney’s dominance in the animation business for decades, allowing it to be one of thee biggest empires of modern time.
6. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Not many movies can claim to have captured the imagination of as many people as The Wizard of Oz. The true magic of film-making was seen on a level it had never been experienced before this movie came out. This is a landmark family film which changed what people believed movies could do.
On a more technical note, this was also the first movie shown on network television. That’s not why it has this position on the list, but its worth noting regardless.
5. Star Wars (1977)
When that Star Destroyer came roaring down from the top of the screen and over the head of the audience, the face of cinema was changed forever. Star Wars was a huge turning point for the movie industry, and not only for its revolutionary effects, sound and musical score and the fact that it created possibly the biggest movie franchise to date with legions of fans. Star Wars changed the direction of the ‘dark’ 60’s and 70’s realist films and brought a new wave of fun and adventure to the theater.
4. The Jazz Singer (1927)
There has been no bigger turning point in film history than the introduction of the ‘talkie’. When sound was introduced, it completely changed the nature of movies.
From what I hear, the Jazz Singer was a mediocre movie and actually only had a line or two of dialogue, but none the less it was the first film with sound, giving it very high significance historically.
3. The Battleship Potemkin (1925)
Sergei Eisenstein’s Soviet celebration film has made some significant contributions to film-making. First of all, it was revolutionary in terms of editing techniques. Potemkin showed how short, quick clips could be put together in the right way so as to tell a fluent story. Editing is one of the biggest components of movie-making and Potemkin is the film which really showed the power in it.
Potemkin also showed the political influence that film can have through promoting the values of the film-makers. In this case it was the Soviet revolution in Russia, starting off an important time period of film propaganda.
2. The Birth of a Nation (1915)
The first epic full-length features which was really the granddaddy of the movie industry. Yes, its racist as all else, but it is what it is, and it doesn’t change the fact that it is one of the most important movies made, simply because it really set up what movies were to become.
1. Citizen Kane (1941)
Often considered by many as the best film of all time, Citizen Kane showed what movie making could be at the height of its art form. Whether you are looking at the technical aspect of cinematography and art direction, or whether you look more at the storytelling, Citizen Kane has set a standard which many, many films aspire to reach to this very day.