5/22/2017

Movies That Have Become Cultural Touchstones

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Was recently appalled to discover that my sons had never seen Bull Durham!! Seriously - have you ever tried watching a baseball game without quoting Bull Durham at least once?  It may actually be impossible.

This got me thinking about other "cultural touchstone" movies my sons may have missed - not necessarily the movies that show up on API's Top 100 lists, but those movies that are so universal, people quote/reference them without any need for explanation or clarification. The kind of movies that inevitably show up on The Simpsons, or that are employed as insta-metaphors, like "Animal House."

I asked my friends to nominate movies they believe all in this category. Below is the admittedly eclectic list we came up with - what have we missed?

  1. A Few Good Men
  2. A League of their Own
  3. Airplane!
  4. Alien
  5. Amadeus
  6. Animal House
  7. Apocalypse Now
  8. Army of Darkness
  9. Back to the Future
  10. Big
  11. Big Lebowski
  12. Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure
  13. Blade Runner
  14. Blazing Saddles
  15. Blues Brothers
  16. Breakfast Club
  17. Broadcast News
  18. Bull Durham
  19. Caddyshack
  20. Casablanca
  21. Castaway
  22. Chinatown
  23. Christmas Story
  24. Citizen Kane
  25. Clerks
  26. Cool Hand Luke
  27. Dead Poets Society
  28. Deer Hunter
  29. Die Hard movies
  30. Dirty Dancing
  31. Dirty Harry
  32. Dr. Strangelove
  33. Elf
  34. E.T.
  35. Fargo
  36. Fast Times at Ridgmont High
  37. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
  38. Field of Dreams
  39. Fight Club
  40. Forest Gump
  41. Green Berets
  42. Ghostbusters
  43. Gladiator
  44. Godfather movies
  45. Gone with the Wind
  46. Good Fellas
  47. Good Will Hunting
  48. Goonies
  49. Groundhog Day
  50. Harry Potter movies
  51. Indiana Jones movies
  52. It’s a Wonderful Life
  53. Jaws
  54. Jerry Maguire
  55. Jurassic Park
  56. Karate Kid
  57. Lion King
  58. Lord of the Rings movies
  59. Mad Max movies
  60. Matrix
  61. Monte Python & the Holy Grail
  62. Napoleon Dynamite
  63. National Lampoon’s Vacation
  64. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
  65. Office Space
  66. Planet of the Apes
  67. Point Break
  68. Predator
  69. Pretty in Pink
  70. Pretty Woman
  71. Princess Bride
  72. Psycho
  73. Pulp Fiction
  74. Rain Man
  75. Rear Window
  76. Rebel Without a Cause
  77. Risky Business
  78. Rocky movies
  79. Saving Private Ryan
  80. Scarface
  81. Shawshank Redemption
  82. Shining
  83. Silence of the Lambs
  84. Sixth Sense
  85. Sleepless in Seattle
  86. Some Like it Hot
  87. Sophie’s Choice
  88. Sound of Music
  89. Speed
  90. Star Wars movies
  91. Sunset Boulevard
  92. Super Troopers
  93. Ten Commandments
  94. Terminator movies
  95. This is Spinal Tap
  96. Titanic
  97. To Kill a Mockingbird
  98. Top Gun
  99. Toy Story movies
  100. Usual Suspects
  101. Wall Street
  102. War Games
  103. West Side Story
  104. When Harry Met Sally
  105. Wizard of Oz
  106. Young Frankenstein

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