Monday, April 13, 2009

Fifteen Most Influential

Turner Classics Movies isn't a movie network given to understatement. It has now declared "The Fifteen Most Influential Films of All Time."

"All Time" takes in a lot of real estate, and I'm sure some misguided souls will quibble over the selection. But happily, Snow White and the seven Dwarfs is on TCM's list, along with the other usual suspects ...

Hitchcock has one entry, and John Ford has two -- both Westerns.

Less happily, the sample of Ford in the linked story is a colorized version of the flick. Yeowch.

I know that Turner was big on colorizing black-and-white features several years back, but I'm sure we can agree doing that is reprehensible. (It's almost like retrofitting films with 3-D stereoscope after 2-D production.)


Anonymous said...

For those of you wondering what those fifteen are, here's the list:

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
Roshomon 1950
The Searchers 1956
Breathless 1959
Psycho 1960
Star Wars 1977

Give me about ten minutes and I can come with 15 more that belong on such a list and probably replacing at least seven on this list. The Godfather comes to mind immediately. King Kong? My Darling Clementine? Seven Samurai? Maybe even Airplane! And something by Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin?

Steve Hulett said...

Damn. I forgot to link.

Which I will do now.

Anonymous said...

To be fair, the list is titled "most influential films of all time", not "greatest" and it's a pretty good one to make from that standpoint. A solid case can be made for all the titles that each individually had a huge effect on other films which came afterward.

I'd argue moreover that both Chaplin's and Keaton's best work influenced nobody else; their work was so personal and individual that their resumes stand by themselves. Frven The Marx Brothers too were so unique that it's pretty impossible to point to a lot of films that clearly followed in their footsteps.

The same uniqueness would apply imho to Godfather I and II; they're genius but stand alone and apart from the rest.

My beef would be that there's no noir here. There are many films-The Maltese Falcon, for instance-that could be posited as starting the entire noir genre and giving it a style and perameters. OTOH I guess it could be argued that Citizen Kane fills that gap.

But doesn't it just make you want to see all these films again? And want to work on something great yourself besides?

robiscus said...

its a very good list. I'm glad Godard's "breathless" is on there.

Anonymous said...

This list is shit. Why is "Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins" not on the list?

Total bullshit list.

Jeff Massie said...

Why is "Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins" not on the list?Because The Man kept us from seeing "Remo Williams: The Adventure Continues".

Anonymous said...

Although I don't consider myself a Charlie Chaplin fan, I must admit he was a very influential man in the history of cinema. Maybe on of the top 5.

As far as this list is concerned, Chaplin had no one film to be credited so. His series of short films changed the direction of silent pictures, but that direction was underway by the time he was doing features.

Though I love Keaton, he wasn't nearly so influential.

r said...

I guess they posted the reasons why these particular five are considered very influential. Some of these are obvious though.

I mean, Star Wars is a retelling of Kurosawa's "Hidden Fortress". I was struck by how close the story and characters are. Maybe Lucas should have continued to borrow from other directors for the last three movies.


r said...

meant "fifteen" instead of five...


Anonymous said...

"As far as this list is concerned, Chaplin had no one film to be credited so. His series of short films changed the direction of silent pictures, but that direction was underway by the time he was doing features"

Well, how did he "change the direction of silent pictures"?

I love Chaplin, but again, he did his own thing and it was so totally unique to himself that I don't see any influence whatsoever. Name how and in what ways if you disagree.
He was "Chaplin", Charlie, the Little Tramp.
He was HUGE. He was one of the most famous people in the world. But he didn't cause other people or films to emulate him. They couldn't. He kept his genius to himself and I can't see a single "influence" on other silents that derives from Chaplin. To say others used "pathos" or some such is like saying they used drama or dogs, too, so that doesn't wash.

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