Most Influential Movie Ever Made

A bunch of nerds in Italy put their big brains together to determine the most influential movie of all time, and the answer might surprise you. According to their findings, the 1939 The Wizard of Oz is the most influential film ever made, while Star Wars is second. The study also ranked directors and actors, and came up with some unexpected results. More on the most influential movie ever made below.

In a report appearing in the journal Applied Network Science, a team of researchers broke down the all-time most influential film, actor, director and more. How did they arrive at these results? I’ll let them tell you themselves, since they’re smarter than I am:

Our objective is to measure the success of a movie by accounting how much it has influenced other movies produced after its release, from both the artistic and the economic point of view. We apply our method on a subset of the IMDb (Internet Movie Database) citation network consisting of around 47,000 international movies, and we derive a list of films that can be considered milestones in the history of cinema. For each movie we also collect data on its year of release, genres and countries of production, to analyze trends and patterns in the film industry according to such features. We also collect data on 20,000 directors and almost 400,000 performers (actors and actresses), and we use the network of references and our score of movies for evaluating their career, and for ranking them.

The researches also add that since the IMDb dataset used is “highly biased toward European and North American movies and personalities, our findings can be considered relevant principally for Western culture.”

So what were the results? As mentioned above, the most influential movie of all time is – somehow – The Wizard of Oz. I’m not sure if I buy that, but who am I to question very intelligent Italians? Here’s the full top 10:

1. The Wizard of Oz

2. Star Wars

3. Psycho

4. King Kong

5. 2001: A Space Odyssey 

6. Metropolis

7. Citizen Kane

8. The Birth of a Nation

9. Frankenstein 

10. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Films weren’t the only thing studied. The researchers also looked at the people who make the films. The most influential filmmaker of all time? George Cukor, who partially helmed Gone With the Wind (uncredited), The Philadelphia Story, and more. Number 2: Victor Flemming, who also helmed Gone With the Wind (and received the credit), as well as The Wizard of OzAlfred Hitchcock came in at number 3. Mervyn LeRoy number 5, and Steven Spielberg at 5.

And what about performers? Who is the most influential actor of all time? Hold onto your butts: it’s Samuel L. Jackson. Jackson has a ton of credits to his name, which might explain his high ranking. Or it might just be because everyone wants to be Samuel L. Jackson.

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