02 January 2019

The 12 Most Influential
Movies of All Time

The 12 Most Influential Movies of All Time
The 12 Most Influential Movies of All Time, by Barbara Krasner, is a guide to a dozen milestone films, arranged chronologically, with two pages devoted to each title. As the book is aimed at children, the twelve films are also child-friendly. (Don't expect to find Psycho, The Godfather, or Taxi Driver here.)

Even accounting for the young target audience, three Disney titles (Snow White, Toy Story, and Frozen) - a quarter of the entire list - seems excessive. Also, there are no foreign-language entries. An appendix lists five additional films: Titanic (the James Cameron version), the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Avatar, and two more Disney titles (Who Framed Roger Rabbit and The Little Mermaid). The bibliography has just two entries: 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die and (surprise, surprise) a Disney book.

Again, this is a children's book, so we shouldn't expect a scholarly tome, though there are plenty of factual errors. The Great Train Robbery has fourteen scenes, not "14 separate shots." Snow White was not "the first full-length animated movie." The Wizard of Oz's prologue is sepia, not "black-and-white film." Citizen Kane is not a "movie with no special effects". Three prop sharks, not one, were used in the making of Jaws. The book's glossary also contains some mistakes: confusingly, it defines a 'shot' as "frames in a movie" and 'footage' as "a specific section of a movie's film."

The twelve influential movies are as follows:
  • The Great Train Robbery
  • King Kong
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  • Gone with the Wind
  • The Wizard of Oz
  • Citizen Kane
  • Singin' in the Rain
  • Jaws
  • Star Wars
  • Jurassic Park
  • Frozen