Influential movies: a tale of two studies | Letter

A study that named the Wizard of Oz as the world’s most influential film might not be all it seems, according to Ian Christie

The Italian study of influential films (How the movies followed the yellow brick road, 30 November) apparently used the online movie database IMDb to arrive at a global ranking of relative “influence”.

I wonder if the authors knew a study of British films’ “cultural impact” commissioned by the UK Film Council and the British Film Institute 10 years ago, in which we also started with IMDb data, but explored different ways of measuring how films achieve “extended impact” in the digital era?

Concluding that Lois Maxwell (Moneypenny in Bond movies) and Carrie Fisher are the “most influential female actors” sounds more like counting mentions than exploring influence, or impact, more systematically.
Ian Christie
Professor of film and media history, Birkbeck College

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