Classic films that belong in the Core

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At the University of Dallas, we pride ourselves in the amount of classic literature we read, and we welcome exhibitions of visual arts and music with open arms.

A major influence in culture that is often glossed over is the art of film.

Films are often discounted as inferior forms of entertainment, but certain films have had an enormous effect on filmmaking and popular culture.

While most individuals are acquainted with the image of Audrey Hepburn in black Givenchy in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” or the image of Marylin Monroe’s billowing skirt in “The Seven Year Itch,” there is more to classic films than the glamour of old Hollywood. The following are four films that have had large impacts on modern culture and filmmaking.

Citizen Kane:

“Critics have hailed [‘Citizen Kane’] for decades as ‘the greatest American movie ever made,’ ” according to “The Holywood Reporter.”

This black-and-white 1941 film is listed first on the American Film Institute’s list of 100 greatest American movies.

To top that, it was also listed in the Vatican’s Best Films List for its artistic value.

Today, however, many have never heard of the movie.

The film follows the mysterious life of Charles Foster Kane, a newspaper tycoon whose last word before death was “rosebud.”

The fictional character of Kane resembled the real newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst, resulting in a legal battle over whether the movie was a case of libel.

Schindler’s List:

Rated ninth on the American Film Institute’s top movie list and recommended in the Vatican’s Best Films list for its values is “Schindler’s List.”

The film is directed by film genius Steven Spielberg, who made it right after another classic movie, “Jurassic Park.”

He was inspired by the isolation he felt due to being Jewish, and by the book “Schindler’s List,” written by Thomas Keneally.

The movie was the first of its kind to take on the heavy subject of the Holocaust, and Spielberg attempted to tell this story with grace in a three-hour black-and-white masterpiece.

Modern Times:

This is a Charlie Chaplin film recommended on the Vatican’s Best Films List for its artistic value and is just one of the Charlie Chaplin films featured on the American Film Institute’s list of 100 best movies.

This 1936 film is a silent black-and-white film that follows the story of an assembly man worker in the Depression, and, like many UD students, Chaplin’s character uses humor to pave his way through the hard work.

The film may not be the most exciting at first to modern audiences, but Charlie Chaplin has an uncanny ability to charm audiences beyond the wall of silence in his films.

In fact, though sound films were being made at the time, Chaplin was concerned that if his character “began to speak in English he would become incomprehensible to a large part of his international audience,” according to “Charlie Chaplin Official.”

Ironically, Chaplin believed that sound movies would never catch on.

Psycho:

 Arguably the most well known horror movie ever made is Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 “Psycho.”

“Psycho” is listed as 18th on the American Film Institute’s top 100 films.

“[Psycho] single-handedly ushered in an era of inferior screen ‘slashers’ films,” according to AMC Filmsite. “[It reveals themes] through repeated uses of motifs, such as birds, eyes, hands, and mirrors.”

It also introduced one of the most famous scenes in film history, the “shower scene” in which Hitchcock has a main character brutally murdered — you guessed it — Íin a shower.

 

 

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