7 Most Successful Films That Shaped American Cinema

Gone with the Wind (1939)

Victor Fleming directed this film which set new benchmarks in theatrical storytelling quality while succeeding at the box office. American cinema has always considered it an icon, looking at how it portrayed the Civil War era as well as post-war Reconstruction period.

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Citizen Kane (1941)

Directed by Orson Welles, this film changed how people write stories and shoot movies using deep focus, low-angle shots and its non-linear style.

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Psycho (1960)

Alfred Hitchcock directed this psychological thriller that is considered to have changed the world of horror films and suspense; hence the phrase “redefined horror films and suspense”. Its famous plot twists combined with its unforgettable shower scene are the reasons why this particular style became so inimitable.

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Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)

George Lucas directed this film which in a way that revolutionized the science fiction genre and pioneered special effects technology. The success it went on to achieve led to the creation and popularization of a massive franchise.

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The Godfather (1972)

With its complex characters, powerful storytelling, and emphasis on the Italian-American mafia, Francis Ford Coppola directed this film that has set a new bar for crimes movies. Many films and TV shows that came afterwards have borrowed from it.

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Jaws (1975)

Steven Spielberg directed this film and it is also credited with creating the summer blockbuster phenomenon. New benchmarks for thriller films were set by its suspenseful storytelling and effective use of music.

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Pulp Fiction (1994)

This film, made by Quentin Tarantino, brought new life into independent film and presented an unconventional narrative approach through non-sequential spatial arrangement of scenes, varied colloquial language, and an admixture of terror and laughs. Present-day cinema owes a lot to it.

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