New Research Suggests “The Wizard Of Oz” Is Cinema’s Most Influential Film Ever

Follow the yellow brick road is advice that is well known across the planet, and now The Wizard of Oz has been crowned the most influential film – ever.

The Wizard of Oz, Film,

Over 47,000 films across 26 genres have been analysed by a group of researchers in Italy to finalise the results.

New research has shown that a tornado didn’t simply carry Dorothy and Toto away to the land of Oz, but that the film industry felt itself hit by a tornado upon the film’s release. The Wizard of Oz, a groundbreaking film in its own right, made sure cinema was never quite the same again.

In how much the film has inspired and been referenced within the film industry, The Wizard of Oz, named one of the top 25 films to make you happy by Top 10 Films, is outstripping other contenders. The researchers used IMDB as a research method to uncover the times films were referenced across the board.

This does mean that the results are biased towards Western cinema, with the majority of films researched being produced in the United States.

Discounting short films, adult films and those with no link or reference to other movies, the researchers used a combination of four mathematical approaches to explore connections between the films.

Dr Livio Bioglio, co-author of the study, and professor at the University of Turin, expressed: “It is exactly the purpose of our research on most significant movies: to find the ones that are important from an historic point of view.”

The results were presented in the Applied Network Science journal, and revealed the top 20 most influential films of all time to be as follows:

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 to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
19. Gone with the Wind (1939)
20. Battleship Potemkin (1925)

Each film was created before 1980, which is perhaps unsurprising as older films have had much longer periods of time to leave their stamp on the film world, and of course the list is subjective to change over the upcoming years.

A variety of insights showed that India, Japan and the US tended to creat films without input from other nations. While Belgium and France often collaborated on cinema.

Research also showed that different countries peaked in influential films at varying times, with most of Italy’s most influential films coming in the 1960s and Germany’s in the 1930s.

In other research, Alfred Hitchcock has been crowned the most influential director with Steven Spielberg in second place. The two most influential male actors were Samuel L Jackson and Tom Cruise, while the two actresses were Lois Maxwell and Carrie Fisher.

About the Author
Leah is a former student of film, media and culture studies and English literature at the University of Huddersfield. When not in uni or writing for magazines she is pulling pints in the local pub, drinking an excessive amount of tea or reading up on the latest philosophical theories.

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