The Wizard of Oz is the most influential movie of all time

Why you really SHOULD follow the yellow brick road! The Wizard of Oz is the most influential movie of all time ahead of Star Wars and Psycho, claim scientists

  • The Wizard of Oz, starring Judy Garland, is the most influential movie of all time
  • Star Wars and Psycho came in second and third place, respectively 
  • 47,000 films were included in the study and judged based on their influence
  • Samuel L. Jackson, Clint Eastwood and Tom Cruise were the top three actors

By Joe Pinkstone For Mailonline

Published: 20:03 EST, 29 November 2018 | Updated: 20:07 EST, 29 November 2018

A heartless tin man, a pair of dazzling red shoes and the yellow brick road all helped the 1939 musical masterpiece The Wizard of Oz, starring Judy Garland, the most influential movie of all time. 

Famous for the munchkins, its early use of colour, and timeless songs such as Over The Rainbow, the movie came top out of almost 47,000 films. 

It took the crown and cult classics Star Wars and Psycho came in second and third, respectively. 

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The Wizard of Oz (1939), starring Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale and Ray Bolger as Hunk
The Wizard of Oz (1939), starring Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale and Ray Bolger as Hunk

The Wizard of Oz (1939), starring Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale and Ray Bolger as Hunk

Famous for the munchkins, its early use of colour, and timeless songs such as Over The Rainbow, Wizard of Oz (pictured) came top out of almost 47,000 films
Famous for the munchkins, its early use of colour, and timeless songs such as Over The Rainbow, Wizard of Oz (pictured) came top out of almost 47,000 films

Famous for the munchkins, its early use of colour, and timeless songs such as Over The Rainbow, Wizard of Oz (pictured) came top out of almost 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 which 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 advertising and distribution, and reviews, which are ultimately 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 instead of movies, Samuel L. Jackson, Clint Eastwood and Tom Cruise were ranked the top three.

WHAT ARE THE TOP 20 FILMS OF ALL TIME ACCORDING TO SCIENCE?

1. The Wizard of Oz (1939) 

2. Star Wars (1977) 

3. Psycho (1960) 

4. King Kong (1933) 

5. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)  

6. Metropolis (1927) 

7. Citizen Kane (1941) 

8. The Birth of a Nation (1915) 

9. Frankenstein (1931)

10. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) 

11. Casablanca (1942) 

12. Dracula (1931) 

13. The Godfather (1972) 

14. Jaws (1975) 

15. Nosferatu, eine Symphonie... (1922) 

16. The Searchers (1956) 

17. Cabiria (1914) 

18. Dr. Strangelove or: How I...(1964) 

19. Gone with the Wind (1939)

20. Battleship Potemkin (1925)

Applying the algorithm to actors instead of movies, Samuel L. Jackson, Clint Eastwood and Tom Cruise were ranked the top three. Star Wars (pictured) was ranked as the second most influential movie of all time 
Applying the algorithm to actors instead of movies, Samuel L. Jackson, Clint Eastwood and Tom Cruise were ranked the top three. Star Wars (pictured) was ranked as the second most influential movie of all time 

Applying the algorithm to actors instead of movies, Samuel L. Jackson, Clint Eastwood and Tom Cruise were ranked the top three. Star Wars (pictured) was ranked as the second most influential movie of all time 

Mark Hamill, Alec Guinness, Harrison Ford in Star Wars Episode IV - A New Hope - 1977
Mark Hamill, Alec Guinness, Harrison Ford in Star Wars Episode IV - A New Hope - 1977

Mark Hamill, Alec Guinness, Harrison Ford in Star Wars Episode IV - A New Hope - 1977

The only female in the top 10 was Lois Maxwell, who played the recurring role of Miss Moneypenny in James Bond films.

Dr Bioglio said: 'The scores of top-ranked actresses tend to be lower compared to their male colleagues.

'The only exceptions were musical movies, where results show moderate gender equality, and movies produced in Sweden, where actresses ranked better compared to actors.'

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.

The Wizard Of Oz is based on L. Frank Baum's children's book The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz, published in 1900.

Janet Leigh in Psycho which was released in 1960, directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Janet Leigh in Psycho which was released in 1960, directed by Alfred Hitchcock

Janet Leigh in Psycho which was released in 1960, directed by Alfred Hitchcock

WHAT ARE THE TOP 20 MOST INFLUENTIAL ACTORS AND ACTRESSES OF ALL TIME ACCORDING TO SCIENCE? 

Actors 

 1. Jackson, Samuel L

2 Eastwood, Clint 

3 Cruise, Tom

4 Schwarzenegger, A

5 Wayne, John

6 Dafoe, Willem

7 Willis, Bruce

8 Price, Vincent

9 Llewelyn, Desmond 

10 Bond, Ward 

11 De Niro, Robert 

12 Nicholson, Jack 

13 Connery, Sean

14 Ford, Harrison

15 Trejo, Danny

16 Lee, Christopher 

17 Coltrane, Robbie 

18 Depp, Johnny

19 Buscemi, Steve

20 Stewart, James 

 Actresses 

 1. Maxwell, Lois

2. Fisher, Carrie

3. O'Sullivan, M.

4. Berry, Halle

5. Barrymore, D

6. Shaye, Lin

7. Diaz, Cameron

8. Moore, Julianne

9. Dunaway, Faye

10. Grant, Beth

11. Curtis, Jamie Lee

12. Weaver, Sigourney

13. Christie, Julie

14. Crawford, Joan

15. Smith, Maggie

16. Bay, Frances

17. Trainor, Mary Ellen

18. Leachman, Cloris

19. Dench, Judi

20. Portman, Natalie

Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (pictured) was revealed to be the third most influential film of all time by the study which treated movies as nodes in a network and measured how connected they were to other influential films
Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (pictured) was revealed to be the third most influential film of all time by the study which treated movies as nodes in a network and measured how connected they were to other influential films

Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (pictured) was revealed to be the third most influential film of all time by the study which treated movies as nodes in a network and measured how connected they were to other influential films

The results showed that the top 20 most influential films were all produced before 1980, mostly in the US. This incuded 2001: A Space Odyssey which was released in 1968  
The results showed that the top 20 most influential films were all produced before 1980, mostly in the US. This incuded 2001: A Space Odyssey which was released in 1968  

The results showed that the top 20 most influential films were all produced before 1980, mostly in the US. This incuded 2001: A Space Odyssey which was released in 1968  

It features Dorothy, played by Judy Garland, an ordinary Kansas girl who is spirited away to the magical Land of Oz by a tornado.

Setting off on the Yellow Brick Road to find the Wizard of Oz, she befriends a scarecrow in search of a brain, a tin man looking for a heart, and a cowardly lion in need of courage.

Dr Bioglio added: 'The idea of using network analysis for ranking films is not completely new, but to our knowledge this is the first study that uses these techniques to also rank personalities involved in film production.'

The team say that their method could be used for research in the arts and by film historians.

But they said that the results can only be applied to Western cinema as the data on IMDb are strongly biased towards films produced in Western countries.

King Kong, the 1933 version ranked in fourth place, just before 2001: A Space Odyssey 
King Kong, the 1933 version ranked in fourth place, just before 2001: A Space Odyssey 

King Kong, the 1933 version ranked in fourth place, just before 2001: A Space Odyssey 

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