An algorithm has pulled back the curtain to reveal The Wizard of Oz as the most influential film of all time.
Researchers in Italy developed a computer that would measure which film was the most referenced by the film industry.
The research team at the University of Turin analysed more than 47,000 films using the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) as its source, and found that the 1939 film starring Judy Garland and her ruby slippers, topped the list.
It was followed by the original Star Wars film and Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho.
The researchers said: “The success of a film is usually measured through its box office revenue or through the opinion of professional critics; such measures, however, may be influenced by external factors, such as advertisements or trends, and are not able to capture the impact of a film over time.”
They added that their method challenges the idea that “the best movies are simply the ones that sell more, like any other product".
The Wizard of Oz was a groundbreaking film at the time of its release, using techniques and styles not seen before.
Many of the characters and elements of the film - including the cowardly lion Dorothy's dog Toto, the yellow brick road and the Wicked Witch of the West - have seeped into popular culture, influencing everything from songs to fashion.
Most influential films of all time
- The Wizard of Oz (1939)
- Star Wars (1977)
- Psycho (1960)
- King Kong (1933)
- 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
- Metropolis (1927)
- Citizen Kane (1941)
- The Birth of a Nation (1915)
- Frankenstein (1931)
- Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
- Casablanca (1942)
- Dracula (1931)
- The Godfather (1972)
- Jaws (1975)
- Nosferatu (1922)
- The Searchers (1956)
- Cabiria (1914)
- Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
- Gone With the Wind (1939)
- Battleship Potemkin (1925)
University of Turin/Internet Movie Database
Alfred Hitchcock was found to be the most influential director, with Steven Spielberg in second place. Scarface director Brian De Palma came in third.
The computer generated chart also rated actors, but awarded points depending on how influential the film they were involved was compared to others released in the same year. They also discounted films made before 2010.
Samuel L. Jackson came out as the top male actor, ahead of Tom Cruise, while James Bond's original Miss Moneypenny, Lois Maxwell, headed up the female actor category. Carrie Fisher came in at second.