10 Groundbreaking Films That Are Actually Terrible

This is probably not what ‘bad influence’ is supposed to mean.

20th Century Fox

When something’s pioneering, hugely influential, perhaps even trailblazing, people tend to put it on a pedestal. They’re not always wrong to do so - after all, influential, gamechanging movies are bound to be classics of their genre, right?

Well, no. The only maxim in Hollywood that’s ever been proven 100% true 100% of the time is screenwriting legend William Goldman’s motto: nobody knows anything. No one in the movie industry has any clue what’s going to work and what isn’t, and they never have: so which means that when something does work, it tends to get slavishly copied until everyone’s sick of it.

So sometimes ‘hugely influential’ is just shorthand for ‘hugely commercially successful’ - and you can’t ever guarantee that a movie’s success is going to be inextricably linked to its quality.

However, in other cases these monumental films of the past simply haven't weathered well. Perhaps events since their release have coloured the way we look at them and the attitudes that gave birth to them. Perhaps they’ve lost a lot of their lustre in the intervening years - or perhaps, stripped of the weight of so much accrued cultural baggage and held up on their own, they were never especially good films to begin with.

Here are ten examples - ten influential but terrible movies that inspired, and continue to inspire the moviemakers that followed it despite their shortcomings. Time to make burgers out of those sacred cows...

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Professional writer, punk werewolf and nesting place for starfish. Obsessed with squid, spirals and story. I publish short weird fiction online at desincarne.com, and tweet nonsense under the name Jack The Bodiless. You can follow me all you like, just don't touch my stuff.