Behind the Screen: The 20 Most Influential Movies of All Time

It’s no secret that movies are influential.  From snappy catch phrases – “I’ll be back!” – to fashion (think Diane Keaton in “Annie Hall”), they have an important part in our lives.  Heck, you’re reading this on a website that was created by two people who share a love of the film “Jaws.”  No “Jaws”…no Media Mikes! Recently, researchers at the University of Turin in Italy conducted a study of over 47,000 films to see which had the biggest influence on its audiences.   Their list was based, in part, on how many times a film has been referenced in other films, as well as how many spin-offs it expired. 

Surprisingly (to me anyway), the study determined that the most influential film of all time is 1939’s “The Wizard of Oz,”.which has been referenced over 3,000 times in other films and television programs.  Most of those references were either the use of the Oscar-winning song, “Over the Rainbow,” or the inclusion of Dorothy’s famous line, “I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”  The film has also inspired several other films, including “The Wiz” (1978) and “Return to Oz” (1985). 

Here, according to the study, are the (20) most influential films of all time: 

1.  THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939)

2.  STAR WARS (1977)

3.  PSYCHO (1960)

4.  KING KONG  (1933)

5.  2001:  A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968)

6.  METROPOLIS (1927)

7.  CITIZEN KANE (1941)

8.  THE BIRTH OF A NATION (1915)

9.  FRANKENSTEIN  (1931)

10.  SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS (1937) 

11.  CASABLANCA  (1942)

12.  DRACULA  (1931)

13.  THE GODFATHER (1972)

14.  JAWS  (1975)

15.  NOSFERATU  (1922)

16.  THE SEARCHERS  (1956)

17.  CABIRIA  (1914)

18.  DR. STRANGELOVE or:  HOW I LEARNED HOW TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BOMB  (1964)

19.  GONE WITH THE WIND  (1939)

20.  BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN  (1925)

If you have a film that has influenced you in some way, please let us know below.

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