name 5 movies that changed your life ...

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Richard--W, Jan 27, 2006.

  1. Richard--W

    Richard--W Banned

    Jun 20, 2004
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    ... besides Star Wars.
    Star Wars and sequels are not eligible for this discussion because they will take over if admitted.

    Mine are --

    2001: A Space Odyssey
    Dr. No
    Bonnie & Clyde
    Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid
    North By Northwest
    The Searchers
  2. Tino

    Tino Lead Actor

    Apr 19, 1999
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    Metro NYC
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    Sorry, I can't name ONE movie that "changed my life".

    How did those films "change your life"?
  3. David Jay

    David Jay Stunt Coordinator

    Apr 3, 2004
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    I don't know about life-changing films...I've never had a film change my life, per se, but I do know of a few films that have completely changed the way that I look at cinema in general.

    When I was on the verge of teenage-dom, my Aunt rented a bunch of movies, among which were SE7EN and A Clockwork Orange. Before these two movies, I simply thought of movies as mindless entertainment. In SE7EN, I saw a great use of artistry and style in the aid of storytelling, which blew me away. Clockwork impressed me in the same way, but its message and tone were so unlike anything that I'd ever seen before.

    A while later, I rented Fight Club when I got my first DVD player (which was a PS2) and it had a pretty big effect on me, and on my life. It was the first time it felt like a big-budget movie with hundreds of people working on it, marketed towards millions of people, truly spoke to me, alone, as a person. Time and experience have dulled the impact, but the impact is still there, nonetheless.

    One of my first experiences with foreign film was The Seventh Seal, which I bought blindly. My first viewing was strange, because it was an entirely different way of filmmaking than I was used to seeing, so it kind of confused me. I gave the commentary by Peter Cowie a listen and it really opened my eyes. For the first time, I saw film as a legitimate art form, where a person was free to express themselves and explore the ideas and themes that mattered most in their life.

    I'd seen a couple Tarkovsky films before The Mirror, but that was the one that really floored me and changed my perception as to what a film could be and what it could achieve. If you look at it from a certain viewpoint, it's an entirely unremarkable film in which nothing really happens and a lot of the rules of cinema are broken. But somehow, as per usual, Tarkovsky creates such an incredible, immersive atmosphere and the effect that it has on me is staggering.
  4. dana martin

    dana martin Cinematographer

    Oct 28, 2003
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    Norfolk, VA
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    Dana Martin
    Richard , great topic and each one for me have differing reasons
    To Kill a Mockingbird - my father passed away when i was seven, and i saw this on tv shortly after, this is one of my favorite films because of it, here is this good man, and that is what i have tried to be wit my own kids because of this role model

    King Kong (1933) around age nine i realize that there is so much more that just people talking, here is the whole new world that opened my eyes

    Spartacus - age twelve, what makes a man, a man, what are you willing to sacrifice so that people will have a better life, and at this age on, i was hooked on Kubrick, every frame is perfect.

    Superman:The Movie - age 15, You will believe a man can fly

    Raiders of the Lost Ark - age 18 , this is when i found what obsession is, not Star Wars, this to this date is the only movie that i have gone for 34 consecutive nights to see at a theater, my girlfriend at the time was so sick of it she dumped me.

    its a shame to limit it to 5 because i have one more and that would be my first foreign film, that opened my eyes to the would outside the states
  5. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

    May 19, 2002
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    I’d be interested in how Star Wars changed anyone’s life (with the possible exception of those few who were inspired to become directors/writers/producers/etc. after having seen it initially.

    I don’t really think that any movie changed my life, but a few have changed how I viewed or considered movies.

    Stalag 17 was the first movie I saw that made me realize that movies could be more than entertainment.

    Shoot the Piano Player opened the [/i]New Wave[/i] to me and began a life-long love of non-Hollywood movies.

    The Sky Above, The Mud Below began my love of documentaries.

    The Seven Samurai was the movie that began my interest in Japanese movies.

    Bringing Up Baby was the movie that made me realize that comedies could be as great as dramas.

    And somewhat outside of the list, a double feature of The Virgin Spring and Wild Strawberries made me realize that a double dose of Bergman was not a good first date. Actually perhaps this last example is an example of movies changing my life. [​IMG]
  6. Josh.C

    Josh.C Second Unit

    Dec 20, 2005
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    **In no particular order**

    1. Forrest Gump- saw this movie when I was a teenager, and it really affected the way I looked at people with physical or mental handicaps. It showed me that there is often more than meets the eye. Forrest was a great example of what it meant to have unconditional love

    2. Saving Private Ryan- I will never forget the silence in the theater after the end of this movie. It was one of the most reverent things I've ever experienced. I truly felt like everyone present was thinking the same thing I was, "how did those guys even have the courage to get off the boat". Amazing what brave men did for our country, and it is often forgotten

    3. Braveheart- This is my favorite movie of all time, so it has to have a spot on this thread. I have Scottish/Irish routes so it meant alot to me, with that heritage. I loved the passion of William Wallace as shown in the film. It was truly inspiring for me. The scene where William Wallace rallies the troops to stay and fight ("Sons and Daughters of Scotland.....") sends tingles through me even to this day.

    4. The Natural- "The Natural" is my favorite Sports movie. Rudy, Hoosiers, and Field of Dreams are close seconds and could also be on this list. The story of Roy Hobbs discovering his incredible talent to play the game of Baseball (Yes, I LOVE BASEBALL), and then after making some mistakes, almost missing his opportunity to do the thing he loved the most, is an incredible story. I think this is one of the greatest scores ever created, and if you haven't heard it, please do yourself a favor and get it. This movie taught me that it is never too late to go after your dreams

    5. The Passion of The Christ- This movie is about the life of a man I base my life around. As a Christian, it is all to easy to just coast through life, and punch our cards. If you believe in God and Jesus Christ, there is no way this movie didn't inspire you to be better. I don't know how many times I teared up in this movie, after seeing in horrible reality, what my savior went through for me. Truly a masterpiece!

    Great thread topic Richard.
  7. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Lead Actor

    Aug 6, 2001
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    Northern Virginia
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    Chuck Mayer
    Tino brings up an interesting point, so I'll throw on ther movies that made a difference for me, and try to explain how they did it. As a movie fan, movies are a big part of my "free time". I love books as well, and spent a good chunk of my youth on those books without pictures and with (comics). But movies are a fairly new medium of storytelling. Moving pictures, sound, specific lighting, effects,'s really a pretty special artform. We can poo-poo Star Wars to keep this list reasonable (and I understand why), but it's a formative part of my youth and early moviegoing years. It (ANH) would be on my list if it were allowed.

    1) Aliens. Having been weaned on mostly PG fare, and being a young boy, the narrative relentlessness of Aliens makes it the film that made me truly appreciate (not mindless love, as a child does) film as a piece of entertainment. It was the first film I *obsessed* over. My mother held my hand during the scary parts (for HER) and almost crushed it. Much of what I still seek out in film land can be traced back to this particular film.

    2) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Interesting choice you might say. It's not really the movie itself that did it, but the summer it was released and how I saw it. It was my first "opening day" film. I had just finished 9th grade, and was about to move. It was the summer of 1989, familiar to most here: Lethal Weapon 2, Batman, Star Trek 5. I waited in line 1.5 hours to see it, and had a blast WITH THE AUDIENCE, both with the trailers and the film itself. It was a magical experience, and I became a fan of opening weekend, summer blockbusters, and the like. More importantly, it was a swan song for the SW/IJ/ET (Lucasian/Spielbergian) films of my youth. I was hitting puberty and my tastes were changing. Little did I know they'd change again several times.

    3) Titanic. We covered my first obsession, now for my biggest! The movie itself didn't "change my life" (none of these did), but it did have a pretty profound effect on me. It sits atop my Top 20 list rather comfortably now.

    4) Glory. My first serious, adult, war movie drama. I did not see it in theaters, but watched it on video (I was in 10th grade). It was profoundly moving and sincere, and I'll never forget how I felt at it's end. I also fell in love with movie music because of Glory.

    5) Moulin Rouge. Simply as a paradigm shift. This spot was tough because I had films I thought I'd include, but they didn't feel right. The first 4 were easy to chime off, but this one was a tough pick (see below). But in the end, this film meant more to me as an experience an shaper than the films I left off. You never know what is going to mean something to you, stick with you, and become a part of you. Moulin Rouge did. It's a benchmark film, in that I always want to know how people feel about it.

    It's tough to leave a few off. Fellowship of the Ring, Fight Club, Passion of the Christ, Braveheart...they all mattered to me quite a bit, for different reasons. But I like my list. It's not a top 5 favorite list (IJIII isn't even NEAR that list), but I like what I ended up with.

    The Brokeback discussion got me thinking. Films can't change lives or thought-processes. That sort of change only comes internally, from personal introspection. Films CAN crack paradigms, though. Only YOU can prevent forest fires, and all that [​IMG]

    Take care,
  8. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

    Jun 3, 1999
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    Can't really say anyone here has truly revealed life-changing aspects of films. However, that little movie by Stanley Kubrick I keep talking about certainly affected the way I see the world and how I view the ascendence of humankind. So it played a direct role on my own attitudes.

    Meanwhile, a question: This looks to me like a poll and I am tempted to move the thread to Polls. However, that's usually the sentence of death for a thread.
  9. willyTass

    willyTass Second Unit

    Sep 9, 2005
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    any 5 movies from Tera Patrick
  10. rich_d

    rich_d Cinematographer

    Oct 21, 2001
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    Spin on the most influential films threads ... I noticed that the O.P. listed six films though. [​IMG]

    Actually one film has changed my life

    1. Mulholland Dr.

    My journey down the rabbit hole that is Mulholland Dr. opened my eyes (if you will) to films. The change to my life is that I'm now writing a book about films (which will cover many of the films listed in this thread).

    2. Amarcord

    Sure 8 1/2 is far better Fellini, but it was this film that showed me the beauty of films beyond Hollywood.

    3. Mary Poppins

    Coldplay lyrics "When I was a young boy I tried to listen. And I wanna feel like that" sorta sums it up for me. I guess that is what Mary Poppins keeps in me ... still a sense of childhood wonder.

    4. Chinatown

    Took me past the happy endings avalanche of films.

    5. A Clockwork Orange

    Film that proved I wasn't in Kansas anymore.
  11. David Rogers

    David Rogers Supporting Actor

    May 15, 2000
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    * Toy Story - I feel the term "friend" is thrown around way too casually in our culture. Friend should mean something more than just a reference to someone you know. Toy Story touches me so deeply because it illustrates the value and power of friendship, and shows what is impossible for a loner becomes possible for friends working together. Perception is a large part of reality, and if you try hard enough, you can occasionally mold reality to match perception.

    * Contact - a story of faith, faith in all things needing such investment. Faith in one's self, faith in one's society, faith in one's fellows, faith in one's beliefs, and faith in the power of belief. Listening to the signal is a chilling moment, as is seeing the Great Machine as it's built and used. Recorded static indeed. The world contrives endlessly to deny us opportunity to break from our perceptions and limitations; and Contact is a story about finding it within yourself to go on even when all others laugh and obstruct you.

    * Raiders of the Lost Ark - If for no other reason, because it introduced me to Steven Spielberg, whom I consider the greatest director ever. In a lesser director's hands, a movie like Raiders is reduced to a hokey laugh fest. In Spielberg's hands, you not only begin to believe in the Ark, but you are as enraged with the outcome as Jones is at the end. Plus it's just a rip roaring ride. This is the Star Wars pick; this and Star Wars share the same notch of life changement for me. Basically, I didn't know movies like this could BE like this before RotLA and SW hit. I compare all other action adventures to these two, always.

    * Titanic - This movie is still as touching as it was the first time I watched it. Many tear-jerker films lose their effectiveness as I continue to rewatch them; not Titanic. It makes the list because everytime I put it in, I'm overcome with strong emotions for Jack and Rose. Watching their relationship, powered only by pure love against interventions of materialism and caste society, spin out unknowning of the looming disaster is endlessly fascinating and moving. When the ship begins to sink, the horror is always fresh. I have not yet been able to watch old Rose say "I don't even have a picture of him. He exists only in my memory" or look at the pictures on her bedside table without breaking down. Though it's such a hard message to realise within your own life, it resonates strongly. Never let go.

    * Phenomenon - A simple and powerful story, this story always moves me when I watch it. A simple man, suddenly bitten by the bug of learning and growth, of life change, deals with the changes of those around him in reaction to his own change. Rather than welcoming George's newly realised knowledges and abilities, almost everyone in his life responds instead with hostility and derision; they fear and distrust him for the abilities they recognise as beyond their own. This story always serves to remind me (as if it's forgettable) that people are inherently self interested, often to the point of cruelty, and that being right is unfortunately not enough. And it also reminds me that even when everyone's against you, sometimes you can still manage to change the world even if it costs you everything.
  12. Tim_C

    Tim_C Stunt Coordinator

    Apr 25, 2004
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    These films didn't change my life, but they helped me appreciate film as an art and also increased my appreciation of other artforms (especially literature.) They are, overall, the films that showed me that cinema can be so much more than passive entertainment.

    The Fellowship of the Ring - It completely blew me away the first time I saw it (on release day, and many times afterwards.) No other film had impressed me as much. The combination of music and story and everything else just worked perfectly in my eyes. I began to seek out films that could possibly match this one, and soon enough found myself in the classics section at Blockbuster, picking up the next film on this list.

    Casablanca - It didn't become one of my favorite movies upon first viewing - I didn't fully appreciate the brilliant dialogue and beautiful romance, but I liked it enough to start seeking out other classic films.

    The Man Who Knew Too Much - A brief phone conversation with my sister who was attending college at the time introduced me to this film and to Hitchcock in general. She told me that she had watched an excerpt from the film in a humanities class and that it was "really exciting." I had heard of Hitchcock, though I had always associated him with violent horror movies. I checked this out and loved it, and soon watched "North by Northwest" and "Rear Window" and "Psycho," among many others. I was amazed by how different each film was, but how each had the standard Hitchcockian trademarks, helping me realize the influence a great director has on all of his films. Hitchcock is now my favorite director and "Vertigo" is my favorite film.

    Metropolis - This and "The Crowd" were my first silent films. Other than the Chaplin films (which I watched and fell in love with later,) they were the only two silent films at the local Blockbuster and I fell in love with both. As a huge fan of science fiction "Metropolis" especially shocked me by how modern and exciting it felt. Though I now like "The Crowd" just a bit more, this remains one of my favorite of all films.

    The 400 Blows - One of my first foreign films and the first that I completely fell in love with. I watched it at a time when I was facing some "domestic problems," and it connected with me in a way very few films have since. It also introduced me to Truffaut, and subsequently to many other great world directors.

    There are several other films ("Solaris," "2001: A Space Odyssey, "The Battleship Potemkin," "Patton") that helped pave the way to my current appreciation of cinema, but I think these five were the most "essential" to me.
  13. Bradley Newton

    Bradley Newton Stunt Coordinator

    Nov 14, 2005
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    Jaws when I was seven years old. It was the first time I remember realizing the power that movies had to move you, to scare you, and to amaze. When the head popped out of the sunken fishing boat I must have jumped 10 feet out of my theater seat. Then I started laughing because of the post-fright adrenaline rush. I remember looking at my brother and he was laughing too. It was a roller-coaster ride. And I have loved movies ever since.
  14. Fred Bang

    Fred Bang Stunt Coordinator

    May 7, 2000
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    The only movie that kinda rescue me from a downish moment in my life is LOST IN TRANSLATION. Not sure why, though, but I really connected with that movie.

    There are instead characters that had such an effect on me that I actually started talking like them for a while:

    Elliot Taylor
    Marty McFly
    John MacLane
    Indiana Jones
    Han Solo (I know, no Star Wars)
    The Terminator (how annoying I was)
  15. Larry Sutliff

    Larry Sutliff Cinematographer

    Jun 17, 2000
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    I don't know if a movie ever changed my life, but the five that made me into a film lover forever at a relatively early age are
  16. Ivan Lindenfeld

    Ivan Lindenfeld Second Unit

    Apr 23, 2000
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    1. 2010: The Year we Make Contact - A flawed film, admittedly. The theme of "Not only are we not alone but the aliens are benevolent" resonated with me for the first time. I was turning 14 in a few days and had not seen Close Encounters yet, although I did rent 2001 before seeing it. I had read 2001 and 2010, however. I think I really felt I had my own worldview for the first time in my life which was different than my parent's. And I had hope.

    2. Contact: Some similar themes to 2010, benevolent aliens, but it extends the concept on a personal level. I think this movie is just about pitch perfect. The science is interesting, the effects excellent, the story is not too technobabbly. It was one of my first DVD's and I started a really bad, wonderful DVD buying spree with this title. [​IMG]

    3. The Battleship Potemkin - I was shown this in film class in college. It shifted my perspective from awe to respectful wonder when watching new movies with exciting set pieces, cinematography, effects and production design. Why not awe? Because it has all been done before. In nineteen - freaking twenty-five. 1925. To use a modern example, it actually made me look for the composition of the scene (the cliff, the bats, the sunset) instead of just at the CGI ape.

    4. The Man In The Moon (1991)- I don't care if you are telling a story in script, long book form, short story, comic panels, this one teaches how to tell and unfold a story. Every damn bit of it is honest, and I didn't find a moment of cloying or maudlin. This is one I want my girls to see, but the subject matter forces me (a reasonable dad) to wait until they are 15ish. This film is modern and beautiful.

    5. Casablanca - That damn film teacher made me watch this one, too. [​IMG] On any day that I have "nothing to do" this will entertain. Any day. And I had the pleasure of interviewing Julie (Julius) Epstein in college on the phone for a campus magazine. If I ever get to make a movie, this film will be looped on set all day long. The greatest thing to me about Casablanca is that the script stands alone as art. I guess it's imperfect, too, but I can't see the flaws, I am too in love.

    Great topic. It's really about film love, isn't it?
  17. Raiders of the Lost Ark - Both Star Wars and The Wizard of Oz were the first films that I thought of as being "magical", but it wasn't until Indy that I really got carried away with a film. (And when Temple of Doom rolled around, I really went overboard!) As a result, it's probably the key film that caused me to go from passive viewer to film lover.

    I'm not sure I can narrow it to five, but I would probably also add:

    The James Bond Series

    I discovered these films right after my family had to move to a new city. I credit 007 for teaching me how to escape into my own private film world.

    (In hindsight, it probably wasn't so good initially, as suddenly I was not only the new kid in school, but I was also the weird kid that thought his shoe was issued by Q Branch- or some similar nonsense. [​IMG] )

    I had virtually the exact same experience with this film on opening night, and have been trying to recreate it ever since. I vividly remember the crowd going NUTS throughout the film- so much so, that you often couldn't hear the dialogue. There was also thunderous applause for each action sequence (ie. flagpole on the motorcycle sequence).

    A midnight showing of Star Trek VI was probably the next great experience, but it wasn't quite up there with Indy.
  18. Brandon_T

    Brandon_T Screenwriter

    Oct 3, 2000
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    Not sure that I have 5. But I have three off the top of my head, only 1 truly changed my life, the other two are for other reasons.

    Little Shop of Horrors The version with Rick Morranis. I was 12 years old and my house had just burned down. I lost everything I had, all my Star Wars toys, all my family memories, my Sparky Anderson baseball, everything. I was about as sad as 12 year olds can be. Some friends just showed up a couple days later with some new clothes and took me to see this movie that had just come out in the theaters. It made me laugh and think of happier times. To this day I love this movie and it holds a special place in my heart. This is the only movie to truly change my life at the time.

    Braveheart Courage and Love, this movie taught me alot, both about cinematography and things more important.

    Godfather This movie changed what I thought were good movies and made them crap.
  19. Daniel-M

    Daniel-M Second Unit

    Mar 9, 2005
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    There is only one movie that changed my life, Goldfinger
  20. MikeRS

    MikeRS Screenwriter

    Jul 17, 2002
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    Check out this guy

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    I can only think of some "first moments" as memorable snapshots in my moviegoing. No film has ever actually changed my life (Well, Maybe SW [​IMG] )

    Young Frankenstein - First film I saw alone in a theater (during it's re-release). That was BIG.

    Raiders Of The Lost Ark - First Spielberg in a theater (although I was obsessed with Jaws even before I actually saw it). Haven't missed a film by him since.

    Aliens - First R-Rated film on my own. Haven't missed a Cameron film since.

    Hannah And Her Sisters - First Woody Allen film in a theater. I don't know why, but this experience stays with me.

    Last Temptation Of Christ - First Scorsese in a theater. Haven't missed one since (including "New York Stories")

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