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Back the curtain: Wizard of Oz called the most influential movie | Film

When a tornado brought Dorothy out to a witch country and spoke bird screeches, it was not just Oz that…

When a tornado brought Dorothy out to a witch country and spoke bird screeches, it was not just Oz that she and her companions ended up stormy: new research suggests that the world of movies was never the same either.

Scientists in Italy have declared Wizard of Oz the most influential movie ever made, surpassing others in how much it has been inspired and referenced in the film industry.

The research group came to its conclusion after analyzing more than 47,000 films over 26 genres, using references noted in the IMDb online movie database. The authors note that the database is biased against films from the west, with the majority produced in the United States.

The team did not consider short films, adult movies, and those who had no link or reference to other movies. They used a combination of four different mathematical approaches to investigate the connections between movies, taking into account factors such as the number of references that a movie received and whether the films referring to it were very influential.

The results were presented in the Applied Network Science journal, revealing that the 20 most influential films were made before the 1

980s – perhaps worrying, bearing in mind that older movies have had a longer time to make a mark – with Star Wars and Psycho who handle respective and third place. Other highlights include Citizen Kane, Metropolis, Casablanca, Dr Strangelove and Battleship Potemkin.

“It is precisely the purpose of our research on most significant films: to find those important from an historical point of view” Dr Livio Bioglio, co-author of the study, from the University of Turin.

Among other insights, the team found that countries such as India, Japan and the United States tended to produce films without input from other nations, while Belgium and France seemed to collaborate often.

In addition, they found that different countries had the greatest influence on different occasions: the most influential films produced in Italy gathered around the 1960s, while in Germany there were 1930’s films packing the biggest punch.

The team designed a separate approach for ranking actors and directors to get around bias against older movies. The team gave points to individuals depending on how influential a movie they were involved in compared with other films released the same year. Only movies released before 2010 were considered, as most movies after that date have not yet made a mark on other movies.

The result places Alfred Hitchcock at the top of the list of directors, with Steven Spielberg in second place and Top two male actors were Samuel L Jackson and Tom Cruise. Lois Maxwell, who played Miss Moneypenny in many of the Bond films, and Carrie Fisher were the most influential female actors.

The analysis also explored additional findings. “We noticed, for example, that Japanese monster films – the so-called kaiju like Godzilla – released in the 50’s, have a major impact on Western cinema,” says Bioglio.

The 20 Most Influential Movies Ever Made

1. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
2. Star Wars (1977)
3. Psycho (1960)
4. King Kong (1933)
5. 2001: A Space Dodyssey (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. Käkar (1975)
15. Nosferatu (1922)
16 (1964)
18. Cabiria (1914)
18. Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Loving The Bomb (1964)
19. Away With The Wind (1939)
20. Battleship Potemkin (1925)

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