by Brandon Metcalfe on March 24, 2024

in Extras

There are many films that are highly regarded by both film industry professionals and audiences. These films are frequently listed as some of the best movies in history and referenced in popular culture.

But what makes a film a classic? Which films are considered to be the best classic movies of all time?

Which recent films will probably be considered classics in a couple of decades?

In this article, we will discuss what makes a movie a classic film. We will also list some movies that are now considered classics, from a famous casino film to a legendary thriller.

What makes a film a classic?

Film is a subjective art form. Some people will love a movie while others will hate it.

In other words, what some consider to be a classic might not be seen as one by others. Each culture tends to have its own list of classic films.

Some English classics or American classics might not be listed as classics in China.

That being said, most film industry professionals agree that certain films are classics. They agree because these films have positively impacted or revolutionized the film industry in one way or another.

For example, some films are considered classics because they used original narrative techniques or developed revolutionary filmmaking tools and equipment.

Some films are considered classics because they impacted an entire generation and had a major influence on the popular culture of their time.

Some of these might include films that broke global box-office records.

For example, Titanic (1997) is considered a classic and a ‘cult film’ by many people.

It remains a widely popular movie with many people quoting lines from it and recreating some of its most iconic scenes.

Many industry professionals also view Titanic as a classic because of the revolutionary filmmaking technology that James Cameron developed specifically for it.

But what other films are considered timeless classics? Why are they famous?

What are some new films that will most likely earn this status?

Best classic movies of all time

Here are some of the films that are considered classics. They are listed in chronological order.

  • Singin’ in the Rain (1952, dir. Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly)

Singin’ in the Rain is considered to be the greatest musical film of all time. This romantic comedy explores the transition from silent films to talking pictures in the Hollywood of the late 1920s.

The Singin’ in the Rain song and dance scene have become iconic both inside and outside of the film industry. The song has been sampled by several musicians and is therefore prevalent in the music industry as well as the film one.

  • Psycho (1960, dir. Alfred Hitchcock)

Psycho is considered by many to be Hitchcock’s best and most influential film. It follows a secretary who goes on the run after stealing money from her employer’s client.

The film becomes a thriller and horror film after the secretary checks into a small motel.

Psycho is considered a classic thanks to its impeccable camerawork, mysterious and eerie atmosphere, tone-perfect musical score, and iconic shower scene.

  • Casino (1995, dir. Martin Scorsese)

Casino is a film directed by one of the greatest living filmmakers, Martin Scorsese.

It focuses on two friends, a casino executive and a mafia enforcer, who compete over a gambling empire.

It is considered a classic because of its nuanced exploration of the Italian mafia and its influence on Las Vegas’ casino industry.

The actors’ performances have also been praised as well as the film’s editing, production design and directing style.

Which films will become classics in the future?

There are many modern films that could become classics.

Some of them might be box-office flops that were just too ahead of their time. These films might earn the status of ‘classic movie’ when they are rediscovered by future generations.

For the time being, we can probably and safely assume that Oppenheimer will become a future movie classic. The film has won a total of seven Academy Awards and earned over $950 million USD at the global box office.

It will probably become a classic because of its cinematic achievements, critical and box-office successes, overall popularity and because of its social and political commentaries.

The film centers around a pivotal and defining moment in the history of mankind, the creation of the nuclear bomb.

Many classic movies focus on a historical or pivotal moment in history.

They are seen as classics partly because they reflect the generational fears, traumas, and social or political issues of their time.

Oppenheimer ticks those boxes.

Final thoughts

Obviously, there are many more classic films out there like Citizen Kane (1941) and Casablanca (1942). Our list could only include some of them, but we hope it inspires you to go watch them.

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