Turner Classic Movies (TCM) has just released their official list of top 15 most influential classic films of all time, the latest element in the network’s 15th anniversary celebration and the launching point for a new feature at TCM.com in which the network says it will post a fresh list of movie favorites each day (although it actually looks like it is only going to be a weekly feature). The feature will be called TCM Dailies and will usually highlight five films, with a constantly changing theme. The lists will run from serious to silly, such as TCM’s favorite car-chase movies, best slap scenes and top sequels.
Perhaps the most unfortunate thing is that TCM will just be listing the films and not necessarily showing them. This would have been even bigger news had I been able to tell you the 15 films featured will be shown on TCM over the course of the next 15 days, but since they won’t I have included Buy Now links so you can get yourself a copy along with the short commentary on each film as provided by TCM.
Of the 15 films listed I have seen 12 of them having not yet caught The Birth of a Nation, 42nd Street or John Ford’s Stagecoach. However, I just happened to have watch Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless this past Saturday and rushed out to Barnes and Noble on Sunday afternoon to pick up my very own version. I am going to watch it one more time and do a little write-up on it for you guys — it a matter of minutes it became an instant favorite I suggest everyone check out.
Other than that, of the other 12 movies I have seen I own many of them and will own a copy of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs once Disney releases the Blu-ray edition this coming October. Battleship Potemkin is one I plan on picking up and actually added to my Amazon cart while putting this piece together and I am going to wait on a new edition of Metropolis in hopes the newly found footage will soon make its way to a new DVD copy. It Happened One Night is another great film I hope to own for myself one day, but that too I am going to wait on until a better DVD edition is available.
In assembling the list, many films fell just short of making the cut. TCM looked at everything from silent pictures to modern movies. “There was only a little shouting involved in our debates,” Charlie Tabesh, senior vice president of programming for TCM, said. “For example, we talked about including Pulp Fiction, a hugely influential independent film.” TCM also considered choices like Goldfinger, a 1964 movie that helped cement James Bond as film franchise that has endured for nearly 50 years.
So, without further delay, here are TCM’s 15 most influential classic films, listed in chronological order:
If you want more on each film listed, TCM has longer commentary right here.