The Weekly Discussion: The 40s in Cinema!

It’s that time again. For nine weeks now I have been polling you on the most influential film director of the various decades of the 20th century. Last week the poll was about the period of 1900-1909. The winner of that poll, with 6 votes, was Georges Méliès. This week’s poll is the last one before the big one… who was the most influential film director of the WHOLE TWENTIETH CENTURY, where the nominees will be the winners of all the prior polls.

This week’s poll, however, is about the roaring forties!

Thanks for voting. Also, while we’re here, I thought I’d issue the results of a poll I wrote last week: What is the furthest you are willing to travel to see one film? The winning result was 30 minutes to an hour, with six votes, followed closely by One Hour, with five.

Thanks for voting in this week’s poll again, and I look forward to issuing the final poll this time next week.


About Tyler

Patient observer of all things film and music, from Béla Tarr to Boards of Canada. Foul mouthed and clinging to the edge of sanity.

Posted on September 5, 2011, in Filmmakers, Movies and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. I voted for Welles. I only voted for him as I know his work more than the others and I have just been reading about him and his use of Long Takes and deep focus. Which I always think is pretty cool.

    Sorry if it isn’t a high brow enough reason

  2. Wow, Tyler!

    Talk about a tough poll.

    Take seven of the Ten Most Wanted directors of the 1940s and ask who was the most influential?

    Ford, Hawks, Curtiz and Wyler certainly had a style all their own. Memorable and unique unto themselves. With films that can pointed to as great examples (‘The Searchers’, The Big Sleep’, Casablanca’, ‘Ben-Hur’) of their talents.

    Influence narrows the field to two. Billy Wilder and Orson Welles.

    Wilder has a longer and more robust body (‘Double Indemnity’, ‘Sunset Blvd’, ‘The Apartment’) of work. While Welles’ ‘Citizen Kane’ and ‘Touch Of Evil’ are remembered, questioned and dissected for flowing, flawless tracking shots, odd, unique camera angles and getting the most from then unknown and his established stable of actors.

    I’m going with Welles.

  3. Orson. Runner up is the director who influenced Orson, John Ford. Both, in their own way, thought about movies as a spectacle and changed film editing forever.

  4. as it’s 1940’s and CK came out in 1941 to change cinema forever it had to be Welles. and yes the others were all influential i am not sure that any of them combined had as much influence as that one film on the industry.

    on the viewing public however i’d probably swing to Wilder except his major movies didn’t hit until the 50’s. Therefore John Ford with 10 features and many wartime propaganda docs to his name would win that one.

    • It can be hard to separate the most influential directors from the ones we enjoyed the most, I know. But as always, there is emphasis on the word ‘influential.’

  5. Welles is sort of the obvious choice but I voted with my heart, which says John Huston.

  6. Also, as much as I really love Wilder, he was so much better in the 50’s, IMO.

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