IMDb Polls

Poll: 10 Movies, 10 Storytelling Milestones

In the beginning, movies took their inspiration from the classic Greek Tragedy structure: one plot, characters driving the narrative, three acts, unity of time, setting and action etc. But progressively, some ingenuous filmmakers embraced the cinematic medium with more creativity, changing forever the way stories would be told.

The question is: in your opinion, which of these 10 influential movies was the most groundbreaking in the field of storytelling?

Discuss here

Make Your Choice

  1. Vote!

    The Great Train Robbery (1903)

    As a former cameraman, director Edwin S. Porter had an 'eye for action' and understood first, the importance of editing, angles, shots... and more than anything: leaving a final impact on viewers. Indeed, the last shot of the outlaw shooting at the audience can only be interpreted as a free artistic license, sealing the fate of Cinema as the ultimate art-form of mass-entertainment.
  2. Vote!

    The Birth of a Nation (1915)

    If technical greatness doesn't redeem the film from its controversial content, the controversy can't cancel out the revolutionary achievement either. For its 3-hour ambitious epic structure, its pioneering use of parallel editing and its narrative spanning many decades of action and characterization, "The Birth of Nation" simply marks the birth of modern Cinema, with D.W. Griffith as the undisputed father.
  3. Vote!

    Un Chien Andalou (1929)

    The eye-moment breaks the ultimate taboo by depicting the most repulsive thing ever for a viewer, yet that eye slicing is liberation, it challenges our faculties to watch a film, inviting us to change our perspective and to look at a reality that goes beyond reality. The reolutionary and iconoclast Luis Bunuel paved the way for a new surrealistic and symbolic form of expression, highlighting Cinema's innate yearning for dream-like (or nightmarish) escapism.
  4. Vote!

    Citizen Kane (1941)

    There have been movies beginning with the ending before, but Orson Welles transcended the informative value of ellipses and flashbacks. Through his personal take on non-linear narrative, never has a character study (literally) challenged the viewers' comprehension and appreciation in such an exciting and fascinating way.
  5. Vote!

    Rashômon (1950)

    With a simple story told from four different perspectives, Akira Kurosawa created the 'unreliable narrator' concept: the point is not to know the truth, but to read between its many versions and understand through them the deceptive nature of the camera as the flawed expression of human subjectivity, and to trust our personal vision.
  6. Vote!

    The Seventh Seal (1957)

    is it the backbone of a colossal oeuvre about the meaning of existence or a 'pretentious' work? Actually, Ingmar Bergman never pretended to bring a satisfying answer, only a cinematic journey whose first and penultimate shots, (parodied countless times) translated for the first time men's moral and intellectual torments into a cinematic language.
  7. Vote!

    Breathless (1960)

    What characterizes Jean-Luc Godard's film is a total rejection of any form of authority, a freedom of style and a cool detachment through the main character, the relative absence of plot, and so many unusual uses of "jump cuts". The film becomes an area of constant creativity devoid of any storytelling or aesthetic rules, "no rules" becomes the rule.
  8. Vote!

    8½ (1963)

    Federico Fellini isn't a showman but a ringleader, the center of his own universe, and the movie becomes the chronicle of a creative, intellectually and emotionally challenging, process, whose final result is the film itself... or something artistically faithful to his vision.
  9. Vote!

    The Battle of Algiers (1966)

    For a long time, cinema distanced itself from reality, until Gillo Pontecorvo understood the force of the footage look and used documentary-like realism and unknown faces with minimal dialogues, to put the story in history. Fiction can benefit from realism and that would even apply to comedy with the mockumentary genre.
  10. Vote!

    Pulp Fiction (1994)

    One golden rule in screenwriting is that whatever you put, must be related to the story, well, Quentin Tarantino threw that rule away, the characters are more important than the story, and what they say, as random, irrelevant and pointless as it sounds, is more important than what they are, because it's all about fun and entertainment, and you know what? At the end, it's this very randomness and unpredictability of things (isn't life the same anyway?) that make us care for the characters, and ultimately the story.

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