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DAJK

"Generational" Classic Movies

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I was originally going to do this as a post in the CCT, but I thought it might be interesting to have an entire topic dedicated to it. I'm not sure what sub-forum exactly this should be placed it, so I'll put it here for now by default and if the mods think it should be elsewhere, they can definitely move it accordingly :)

 

So, generational classics? In everyday discussion if someone says "classic movie", thoughts immediately go to old (maybe black and white) movies of Hollywood's Golden Age, starring Clark Gable or Charlton Heston. The thing is, while those films are certainly highly regarded, and do have their place in Hollywood history, they aren't widely viewed anymore outside of film circles or older audiences who remember them from their youth. While they may be classics in their own right, they haven't transcended generations, and therefore aren't something I'd consider a generational classic.

 

A generational classic (while the boundaries of a "generation" are up for debate, I'll go with 20-25 years or so for the sake of this post) is that extremely rare movie that, I guess, only comes "once in a generation" that transcends its own generation to be viewed by people for years and decades to come. For my crieteria, I think they also have to be able to transcend genres and demographics. So for example, while Mean Girls may be considered a recent "classic" among high schoolers, it doesn't play nearly as widely beyond that demographic. Or while (and you may disagree with me on this) Lord of the Rings is certainly a classic among film crowds and "geek" culture (I would argue predominantly male but that is up for debate) I do not believe it has quite reached that level of universality than the films I am going to mention.

 

So what are examples of what (I think) are generational classics? While this (short) list is certainly very Western and Hollywood-centric, I would argue that the following few films were defining moments in their respective generations, have transcended their genre limitations, and have continued to have a lasting cultural impact:

- Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (still watched by pretty much every child today despite being over 80 years old)

- Wizard of Oz (for the same reasons as Snow White. I was originally going to pick between the two, but I just decided to include both)

- The original Star Wars trilogy (the geek movie that transcended geek movie limitations. Seen, or at least known by pretty much everyone, and has had more of a cultural impact and an impact on Hollywood than pretty much any other movie(s))

- Titanic (definitely THE movie of the 90s/2000s 'generation'. Was seen by virtually everyone when it came out, and it still seen by pretty much everyone. While the romance may make it more popular with women, I have been hard pressed to find anyone (guy or girl or otherwise) who hasn't seen this movie)

 

So I guess the question after this is, what will be the next generational movie (say, from the 2010s/2020s)? Or are generational movies like this still possible? Do you guys disagree with my choices? Any others I should have included? I really am interested in the possible discussion here. 

Edited by DAJK
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11 minutes ago, DAJK said:

I was originally going to do this as a post in the CCT, but I thought it might be interesting to have an entire topic dedicated to it. I'm not sure what sub-forum exactly this should be placed it, so I'll put it here for now by default and if the mods think it should be elsewhere, they can definitely move it accordingly :)

 

So, generational classics? In everyday discussion if someone says "classic movie", thoughts immediately go to old (maybe black and white) movies of Hollywood's Golden Age, starring Clark Gable or Charlton Heston. The thing is, while those films are certainly highly regarded, and do have their place in Hollywood history, they aren't widely viewed anymore outside of film circles or older audiences who remember them from their youth. While they may be classics in their own right, they haven't transcended generations, and therefore aren't something I'd consider a generational classic.

 

A generational classic (while the boundaries of a "generation" are up for debate, I'll go with 20-25 years or so for the sake of this post) is that extremely rare movie that, I guess, only comes "once in a generation" that transcends its own generation to be viewed by people for years and decades to come. For my crieteria, I think they also have to be able to transcend genres and demographics. So for example, while Mean Girls may be considered a recent "classic" among high schoolers, it doesn't play nearly as widely beyond that demographic. Or while (and you may disagree with me on this) Lord of the Rings is certainly a classic among film crowds and "geek" culture (I would argue predominantly male but that is up for debate) I do not believe it has quite reached that level of universality than the films I am going to mention.

 

So what are examples of what (I think) are generational classics? While this (short) list is certainly very Western and Hollywood-centric, I would argue that the following few films were defining moments in their respective generations, have transcended their genre limitations, and have continued to have a lasting cultural impact:

- Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (still watched by pretty much every child today despite being over 80 years old)

- Wizard of Oz (for the same reasons as Snow White. I was originally going to pick between the two, but I just decided to include both)

- The original Star Wars trilogy (the geek movie that transcended geek movie limitations. Seen, or at least known by pretty much everyone, and has had more of a cultural impact and an impact on Hollywood than pretty much any other movie(s))

- Titanic (definitely THE movie of the 90s/2000s 'generation'. Was seen by virtually everyone when it came out, and it still seen by pretty much everyone. While the romance may make it more popular with women, I have been hard pressed to find anyone (guy or girl or otherwise) who hasn't seen this movie)

 

So I guess the question after this is, what will be the next generational movie (say, from the 2010s/2020s)? Or are generational movies like this still possible? Do you guys disagree with my choices? Any others I should have included? I really am interested in the possible discussion here. 

 

4 minutes ago, CoolEric258 said:

Freddy Got Fingered

The ying and yang of BoxOfficeTheory culture and dynamic.

Edited by Lucas
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I dont really understand what you are asking @DAJK A film that only comes around once a generation? Well Wizard of Oz and Snow White were only two years apart.

 

The Marvel CU / Avengers are i would say the "defining" movies of the current / past 10 years

but not 100% sure what youre asking.

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3 minutes ago, Brainbug said:

The defining movie of this decade is Jurassic World. A total masterpiece loved by everyone who has a sense of fun.

one of the biggest influential movies post-2000 would have to be Spider-Man, the influence it's had on pop culture is way bigger than any avengers / lotr / modern SW / anything else.

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13 minutes ago, Avatree said:

I dont really understand what you are asking @DAJK A film that only comes around once a generation? Well Wizard of Oz and Snow White were only two years apart.

 

The Marvel CU / Avengers are i would say the "defining" movies of the current / past 10 years

but not 100% sure what youre asking.

Yes, generally I would say a "once in a generation movie", but I just had trouble deciding which had more impact (Oz vs Snow). So it isn't a clearly-defined structure per-se but I think the overall notion is simple. 

 

And yea, you could definitely say the MCU movies are the "defining" movies of today. I included the OT in my list, treating them as one single movie (all though I could have just as easily gone with A New Hope for continuity's sake of choosing just 1 film). 

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18 minutes ago, DAJK said:

Yes, generally I would say a "once in a generation movie", but I just had trouble deciding which had more impact (Oz vs Snow). So it isn't a clearly-defined structure per-se but I think the overall notion is simple. 

What make it strange for the 1939 Oz, it was the same year of the biggest movie ever and the most loved movie ever, you also have It's a wonderful life is just in 1946 not so far away.

 

I think this is a good way to start:

https://theharrispoll.com/it-may-have-premiered-75-years-ago-but-it-would-appear-that-wind-has-still-got-legs-when-asked-to-name-their-favorite-movie-of-all-time-the-septuagenarian-civil-war-epic-gone-with-the-wind-is-ameri/

 

2014 ranking in right column.

 

 

2008

Gone with the Wind

1

1

Star Wars

2

2

Titanic

 

3

The Godfather

9

4

Lord of the Rings

4

5

The Sound of Music

5

6

Dirty Dancing

 

7

Wizard of Oz

6

8

It’s a Wonderful Life

 

9

E.T.

 

10

 

 

All of those above are good candidate, specially those who made the list both in 2008 and 2014  or very high like Titanic.

 

The Matrix could feel like one of the late 90s with Titanic, red pill and many other cultural element from it are long lived.

 

Some not showing in 2014 that were there in 2008 like Casablanca and Forest Gump are not bad pick either.

Edited by Barnack
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Just a few that come to mind if you're doing it by decade

 

1930s - Gone With The Wind, Wizard of Oz

1940s - Casablanca, Citizen Kane, The Best Years of Our Lives

1950s - Singing in the Rain, North By Northwest

1960s - The Graduate, Easy Rider, Bonnie & Clyde

1970s - The Godfather, Apocalypse Now

1980s - Spielberg and Lucas

1990s - Matrix, Pulp Fiction, Disney Animation

2000s - Mean Girls, Pirates of the Carribean, Lord of the Rings

2010s - Marvel Cinematic Universe

 

If you're doing it by generations, when I think of

 

- the Greatest Generation, I think about ACTORS more than the movies.  Hepburn.  Grant.  Crosby.  Grant.  Bogie & Bacall.  JUUUDDDY. 

- the Baby Boomers, I think more about the counter-culture films and the New Hollywood Cinema.

- the GenX, again, it's all Spielberg and Lucas

 

I am also interested in how gender affects this.  Cause as a girl (oh my god, i know right, girls!), my childhood was Alan Menken films.  

 

 

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21 minutes ago, captainwondyful said:

I am also interested in how gender affects this. 

It does obviously, but not has much has some could think.

 

Men are most likely to list Star Wars as their favorite film, followed by The Godfather and Titanic. Women, meanwhile, name Gone with the Wind Titanic and Dirty Dancing as their top three.

 

Titanic for example got in both men and woman top 3.

 

Group

FIRST CHOICE

SECOND CHOICE

THIRD CHOICE

       

Men

Star Wars

The Godfather

Titanic

Women

Gone with the Wind

Titanic

Dirty Dancing

 

 

Age is a big factor obviously, but you still see a lot of movie making it in 2 or 3 generation, top 3 (not top 20, top 3 that is really high)

 

Millennials (18-37)

Titanic

Lord of the Rings

Star Wars

Gen X (38-49)

Star Wars

Titanic

The Godfather

Baby Boomers (50-68)

Gone with the Wind

Star Wars

Titanic

Matures (69+)

Gone with the Wind

The Sound of Music

The Godfather

 

 

Titanic will become number one overall soon I imagine, has the older generation pass and has a good shot to still be adult American favorite movie in 50 year's, 70 year's after it's release like Gone with the Wind was.

 

Pixar/Shrek must have some special place also.

 

 

Edited by Barnack
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Gone With the Wind is a good one, although I'll be honest I don't know anyone under the age of 40 who's seen it. But it certainly has its impact. Kind of interesting how Titanic and Star Wars are both in 3 categories each. 

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26 minutes ago, DAJK said:

Gone With the Wind is a good one, although I'll be honest I don't know anyone under the age of 40 who's seen it. But it certainly has its impact. Kind of interesting how Titanic and Star Wars are both in 3 categories each. 

GWTW doesn't really age well for a modern audience.  I remember watching it when I was ten and cheering when Rhett told Scarlett he didn't get a damn and walking out.  And that was before I even understood the historical and political subtext of the film.

 

Star Wars is Star Wars, so that doesn't surprise me.  It's also becoming a multi-generational thing where parents are showing it to their kids.

 

Titanic is just such a big, whack film.  It also hit at the perfect time to cross three generations.  Leo was at the PEAK of his hottest for the Gen X and older Millennials, and it had enough historical epicness and romance to get in the older folks.  It also helps when its theme song is literally one of the biggest and best selling records of all time.

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9 minutes ago, captainwondyful said:

GWTW doesn't really age well for a modern audience.  I remember watching it when I was ten and cheering when Rhett told Scarlett he didn't get a damn and walking out. 

The movie still work really well when that sentence take you by surprise (knowing it, you think it would be said in the opposite context) in a bit of devastating way.

 

To have seen it for the first time in 2017 and is maybe my favorite movie watching experience ever absolute extraordinary movie.

 

I think that a movie that aged remarkably well and would play really well in theater with a modern audience, there a reason many theater was still playing it every year until very recently.

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Snow White

Wizard of Oz

Gone with the Wind

It’s a Wonderful Life

Sound of Music

Jaws

Godfather

Star Wars

Alien

Raiders

E.T.

Dirty Dancing

Beauty and the Beast

Aladdin

Lion King

Jurassic Park

Home Alone

Toy Story

Titanic

 

Harder to judge post-2000, but some candidates are Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Pirates, Nemo, Mean Girls, MCU. I’d also argue Elf has solidified itself as a Christmas classic. Christmas Story and Christmas Vacation are pre-2000s Christmas ones I’d call classics as well.

 

But basically these are the films you’d struggle to find people who haven’t seen most of them. May be missing one or two, but this is off the top of my head.

Edited by nick64
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To me its more about which movie or film maker was impactful to other film makers of their time or later living film makers

 

Seven Samurai and Kurosawa in general influenced so many big names of today and the past, I think that might be The movie & The director influencing till today film making a lot

 

To spare time (I am at work, its after midnight...) I did the fast way to collect some examples:


acc IMDb all directors on this list:

https://www.imdb.com/list/ls062219992/

 

not listed there e.g.

John Ford (interchange)

John Sturges see The Magnificent Seven

 

acc to articles.... e.g.

The Usual Suspects was based on / influenced by Rashomon

Mad Max Fury Road / George Miller Seven Samurai again @Telemachos might agree to that? 😉

 

Parts / battle scenes... see The Two Towers + Matrix Reloaded + A Bug's Live + Three Amigos,...

 

Alejandro González Iñárritu took on Ikiru

 

Star Wars / Lucas took a lot from a lot sources, including Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress

 

and so on

 

 

 

 

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