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The 15 most influential ‘classic’ films of all time (according to TCM)

Turner Classic Movies, as part of their 15th anniversary celebration (really, that’s all??), has published their choices for the fifteen most influential “classic” films of all time.

In chronological order, here’s that list:

1. THE BIRTH OF A NATION (1915)
2. BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN (1925)
3. METROPOLIS (1927)
4. 42ND STREET (1933)
5. IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (1934)
6. SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS (1937)
7. GONE WITH THE WIND (1939)
8. STAGECOACH (1939)
9. CITIZEN KANE (1941)
10. THE BICYCLE THIEF (1947)
11. RASHOMON (1950)
12. THE SEARCHERS (1956)
13. BREATHLESS (1959)
14. PSYCHO (1960)
15. STAR WARS (1977)

Hard to argue with most of these choices, although surely there are any number of foreign films that could have been included. Bergman’s The Seventh Seal and Rosselini’s 8 1/2, for example. I realize, of course, that The Bicycle Thief and Breathless are foreign films (and two of all my all time favorites, at that).

And what of Asian cinema? Only the one Kirosawa? Ozu perhaps??

As for American films: The Godfather could surely be considered one of the most influential films of all time, as could films like Rules of the Game, Singin’ In the Rain, Casablanca and Vertigo.

Naturally, there will be great debate over such a list. Is it even a realistic endeavor? I would argue that it’s an exercise in futility.

What do you think? What films do you think they’ve left out?

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2 thoughts on “The 15 most influential ‘classic’ films of all time (according to TCM)

    • Well, seeing as how they didn’t clearly define their terms, you have the right to define them as you wish.

      That is, all of the above? I would think it would have to be related to later films primarily.

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