Friday, April 18, 2008

most influential movies and TV

Over at Maverick Philosopher a few weeks ago, I was asked for a list of what I thought everyone should watch in order to understand popular American culture. I'm probably not the best person to make such a list, but I do see a lot of TV and movies, and I tend to catch allusions when I hear them, so I'm not the worst either.

These aren't shows that I personally enjoy or even think are good; rather they are shows that seems to have effected popular culture by giving us canonical characters, events, and situations to refer to, or just memorable phrases. I've tried hard to not just choose the best example of a genre. For exmaple I've left off great westerns like "Unforgiven" because I can't think of how it has effected popular culture outside the discussion of westerns and I've left off great T.V. shows like "W.K.R.P in Cincinnati" because it seems to be mostly (and sadly) forgotten.

Here's the list:

Western movies:
Rio Bravo
High Noon
Shane
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Comedy movies:
The Three Stooges movies
the Marx Brothers's movies
Mary Poppins
Ghost Busters

Dramatic movies:
The Sound of Music
Gone with the Wind
Casablanca
The Maltese Falcon
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
Rocky and Rocky II
Fatal Attraction
The Wizard of Oz
Dracula (the original movie)
Frankenstein (the original movie)

Action movies:
Godzilla (the original movie)
Zoro
King Kong (the original movie)
The Wizard of Oz
One Million Years B.C.
Planet of the Apes
Ben-Hur
The three original Star Wars movies
Raiders of the Lost Ark
E.T.
Jaws
The Terminator
Dirty Harry
Jurassic Park
Mad Max Beyond Thunder Dome
James Bond movies
First Blood and Rambo
Bridge over the River Kwai
The Matrix

Chrismas movies:
It's a Wonderful Life
A Christmas Carol (various movies, which are better known than the book)
A Christmas Story

Animated T.V.:
Warner Brothers shorts (Bugs Bunny and friends. Many of these were originally shown in the big screen but they became well-known through Saturday-morning T.V.)
Charlie Brown specials
The Simpsons
South Park

Western T.V.:
Kung Fu
Bonanza

Comedy T.V.:
I Love Lucy
The Andy Griffeth Show
Batman
All in the Family
Gillighan's Island
I Dream of Jeanie
The Adam's Family
The Mary Tyler More Show
The Brady Brunch
Cheers
Seinfeld

Drama T.V.:
Dallas

Action T.V.:
The Twilight Zone (T.V. series)
Lost In Space (T.V. series)
Colombo
Star Trek
Mission Impossible

Variety Shows:
The Tonight Show with Johny Carson
The David Letterman Show
Saturday Night Live

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