“Star Wars” crowned as the most influential visual effects film

Posted by Wolfgang Gruener

Los Angeles (CA) – The Visual Effects Society has ranked 50 movies that have had the most impact on the movie industry over a period of more than 100 years. Star Wars was chosen as the most influential visual effects film of all time.

The top-50 includes titles from 1902 (A trip to the moon, rank #13) all the way to 2006 (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, #23), each one that was considered most significant for its time and influencing visual effects that followed.   

At least from a statistics perspective, the society considers the 1980s as the most significant period of visual effects: 12 1980s movies were voted into the listed, followed by the 1990s (9) and the 1950s (7). Least influential periods were the 1900s (1), the 1940s (1) and the 1930 (2).

The original Star Wars movie from 1977 is considered as the most influential visual effects film, followed by Blade Runner (1982) and The Matrix (1999). While many movies made the list multiple times because of sequels (Star Wars, Alien, Terminator, Lord of the Rings), King Kong is the only movie on the list where both two versions (#7 and #38) of one film made the ranking.

Some may argue whether some movies really belong to the list and why certain movies were not chosen. One interesting choice is The War of the Worlds from 1953, while the special effects loaded War of the Worlds version from 2005 did not make. Also, Trekkies will be disappointed: Not a single Star Trek movie is listed.

Here is the complete list:

1. Star Wars (1977)
2. Blade Runner (1982)
3. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) (tie)
3. The Matrix (1999) (tie)
5. Jurassic Park (1993)
6. Tron (1982)
7. King Kong (1933)
8. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
9. Alien (1979)
10. The Abyss (1989)
11. The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
12. Metropolis (1927)
13. A Trip to the Moon (1902)
14. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
15. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
16. Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
17. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
18. Titanic (1997)
19. Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
20. Jason and the Argonauts (1963) (tie)
20. E.T. the Extraterrestrial (1982) (tie)
22. Toy Story (1995)
23. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006)
24. The Ten Commandments (1956)
25. The War of the Worlds (1953) (tie)
25. Forrest Gump (1994) (tie)
25. Citizen Kane (1941) (tie)
25. The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad (1958) (tie)
25. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954) (tie)
30. The Terminator (1984)
31. Aliens (1986)
32. Mary Poppins (1964)
33. Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
34. Forbidden Planet (1956)
35. Babe (1995)
36. The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) (tie)
36. Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) (tie)
38. King Kong (2005)
39. Planet of the Apes (1968)
40. Fantastic Voyage (1966)
41. Jaws (1975) (tie)
41. Ghostbusters (1984) (tie)
43. Sin City (2005)
44. Superman: The Movie (1978)
45. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
46. The Lost World (1925) (tie)
46. Return of the Jedi (1983) (tie)
48. What Dreams May Come (1998)
49. An American Werewolf in London (1981)
50. Darby O'Gill and the Little People (1958) (tie)
50. The Fifth Element (1997) (tie)

The list was presented as part of the of the 2007 VES Festival of Visual Effects, which will take place the weekend of June 7-10 at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills.