10 Movies That Revolutionized American Film Culture

5. A Fistful of Dollars


Western films have always had a romanticized tint about them, with cowboys and horseback riding becoming nominal in fiction about the old west. No other star has come close to embodying these ideals better than Clint Eastwood, who solidified himself as a symbol through his collaborations with Sergio Leone as the Man With No Name in the Dollars Trilogy.

Beginning this series was A Fistful of Dollars. Despite not being considered the best, it still set-up the outline from which all consequent westerns (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Midnight Cowboy, Wild Bunch, Deliverance, etc….) borrowed from.


4. The Godfather

The Godfather

Like westerns, gangster films have acquired a romantic aspect to them, though this is perhaps more accurate than many think. The idea of gangs having bloody wars on the streets and buying out politicians/law enforcement certainly has a historical context to it.

Regardless, few films have come close to exemplifying this story than Francis Ford Coppola’s epic The Godfather. With Marlon Brandon leading a cast of all stars as the Don of a mafia family, The Godfather has only been surpassed by its successor; The Godfather Part II.


3. The Exorcist


It would be completely wrong to ignore how influential the horror genre has become in American cinema. Though many films have attempted to be unique in creating the smart, scary thrills sought by moviegoers, most have ended up being either generic or campy.

To be fair, it is certainly hard to live up to the phenomenon that was The Exorcist. Considered monumental and groundbreaking in the horror genre, The Exorcist paved the way for plenty of lackluster sequels/spinoffs, with its success only being met by few films.


2. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope


I don’t think any words need to be said about Episode IV’s cultural impact (or Star Wars as it was released back then). Not only was it was a technological achievement, but it inspired many mainstream directors, including James Cameron, to work in the film industry and continues to be significant to this very day at such events as Comic-Con. Heck, it even has an entire day dedicated to it; May 4th (get it? May the Fourth be with you!)


1. X-Men


If you were to ask anyone what genre is the most successful these days, chances are the majority will tell you superhero. Indeed, with nearly every superhero film grossing hundreds of millions (with two even acquiring over a billion), one would definitely have to agree with the statement.

And we have Bryan Singer to thank for all this. The 2000 success of Singer’s X-Men film, based on the popular Marvel Comics group of the same name, not only proved that such movies were box office gold, but were also really popular among fans/non-fans a like. X-Men started a cultural push that resulted in Sony’s Spider-Man film series, New Line Cinema’s Blade series, and of course Marvel/Disney’s Cinematic Universe. It’s important to never forget where it all began though.

Author Bio: Red Stewart is big fan of the entertainment industry, with insights into film, television, and video games for starters. Despite growing up in the 21st century’s era of modernization, he prefers many retro era ideas over the current trends found in many of today’s media. Personally he’s an introvert who loves reading as much as gaming.