Thursday 25 April 2019

'Wizard of Oz' named most influential film ever

Classic: ‘The Wizard of Oz’. Photo: PA
Classic: ‘The Wizard of Oz’. Photo: PA

John von Radowitz

The classic 1939 musical 'The Wizard Of Oz', starring Judy Garland, is the most influential movie of all time, a study has found.

Famous for the munchkins, its early use of colour, and timeless songs such as 'Over The Rainbow', the movie beat nearest rivals 'Star Wars' and 'Psycho' in a league table of 47,000 films.

Researchers at the University of Turin in Italy calculated an "influence score" for films listed in the internet movie database (IMDb).

Each movie was placed in order according to how often it was referenced by a later film. The results showed that the top 20 most influential films were all produced before 1980, mostly in the US.

A computer programme was used that treated movies as nodes in a network and measured how connected they were to other influential films.

Lead researcher Dr Livio Bioglio said: "We propose an alternative method to box office takings, which are affected by factors beyond the quality of the film such as distribution, and reviews, which are subjective, for analysing the success of a film. We have developed an algorithm that uses references between movies as a measure for success, and which can also be used to evaluate the career of directors, actors and actresses, by considering their participation in top-scoring movies."

Applying the algorithm to actors, Samuel L Jackson, Clint Eastwood and Tom Cruise were ranked the top three. The only woman in the top 10 was Lois Maxwell, who played the recurring role of Miss Moneypenny in 'James Bond' films.

The researchers, whose findings are reported in the journal 'Applied Network Science', cautioned that IMDb data was strongly biased towards films produced in western countries.

Irish Independent

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