The Results Are In! The Most Influential Filmmaker of the 20th Century As Voted By You!

Almost exactly one month ago, I issued a poll asking you who you thought the most influential filmmaker of the 20th century was. I listed ten directors, who I had come up with from ten previous polls over the course of ten previous weeks for each of the ten decades. The directors were: Georges Melies, D.W. Griffith, Sergei Eisenstein, Frank Capra, Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, Jean-Luc Godard, Stanley Kubrick, Martin Scorsese, and Quentin Tarantino. The results are as followed, counting down from the person with the least votes, to the winner, who had 22 votes.

In last place, the only person with no votes, is Sergei Eisenstein. Now, I find this incredible. If I had allowed myself to vote, he would’ve gotten my vote 100%. I truly believe he is the most influential filmmaker of the last century, but it seems you all disagree with me, which is fine.

With one vote is Frank Capra, who undoubtedly had an effect on cinema but I can’t say it was that much.

With two votes is Georges Melies, who probably deserves more but in all fairness not many people have heard of him, which is sad.

With four votes each comes Jean-Luc Godard and D.W. Griffith. Griffith would’ve gotten more if not for his blatant racism, and many people find Godard’s style annoying and distracting, so it’s understandable that they didn’t get much.

The next three contenders all had a tie of five votes each: Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese and Orson Welles. I’m glad Tarantino didn’t win, because most of work is influenced by people before him, so it would be unfair if he won. Scorsese got, I think, the right amount of votes. If I had to guess who would take the top spot, I would’ve guessed Welles, but he was beaten by two people!

In second place, with 13 votes, is Stanley Kubrick. Kubrick’s influence has stretched far and wide, most notably in 1968 with 2001: A Space Odyssey, which paved the way for hundreds of sci-fi epics, including Tarkovsky’s Solaris, Lucas’s Star Wars and way too many alternate-universe space TV series’.

And the grand winner, with 22 votes, an astonishing landslide, is… ALFRED HITCHCOCK! Congrats Hitch, you deservingly take out the top spot after a month of voting. We’ve had nothing but great things said about you from commenters, so you’ve won First Place!

Thanks everyone for voting and passing the poll around to others. This has been a fun experiment and I’m glad we got a decent amount of votes in. What’re your thoughts on the winner and the other placegetters? Does anyone else share my love for the cruelly snubbed Eisenstein? Leave a comment below!

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Posted on October 10, 2011, in Blog-Related News, Filmmakers, Movies and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. Who’s this Alfred Hitchcock guy?

    Where the fuck is visionary Michael Bay?

  2. I’d argue Kurosawa and F.W. Murnau deserved to be considered as well. Although a lot of people probably aren’t familiar with their films (which is also probably why Eisenstein got ignored). One person I’m really surprised wasn’t included was Steven Spielberg – the man INVENTED the summer blockbuster, and would have gotten my vote hands down.

    In the end I voted for Kubrick. But it’s hard to disagree that Hitchcock is a deserving winner

    • When I originally polled people on each individual decade, Hitchcock beat Kurosawa for the 50s which is why he’s not on this list. Murnau was in the poll for the 20s, I believe, but was beaten by Eisenstein. Spielberg was in the 70s poll, I think. All three are undeniably influential.

      • haha tom thats why i voted for spielberg initially i think. but well, i hate spielberg. i knew hitchcock was gonna win because the entire world knows three film makers. whenever i tell people i want to direct movies they say “oh like stephen spielberg” or “oh like alfred hitchcock” and i say “no, more like quentin tarantino” (cos i know they know who he is) and they say “oh yeah, he’s much more modern.”

        i voted for melies anyway. without him the smashing pumpkins wouldnt have had the music video.

        • Interesting story there. If I ever made a movie it would be very much in the style of Michael Haneke. Screw Tarantino and Hitchcock, I want my movies to be as disturbing and inaccessible as possible. Which is probably why they’re better left unmade.

          Glad to see Melies getting some deserved love.

  3. I better rent me some Hitchcock films, see what all the fuss is about! :P

    • You haven’t seen any Hitchcock? You’re joking, right? Everyone’s seen PSYCHO.

      • For some reason, I can never get through Psycho. Something just repels me from it. The first time I tried, I watched 30 minutes before turning it off. The second time, only 5 minutes. It isn’t a boring or bad film, but I just can’t get through it for some reason. Although I do love other Hitchcock films like Vertigo and Rear Window.

      • I’m afraid I haven’t, Tyler! It’s on my rental list so hopefully that will soon be corrected..!

    • I can sort of understand. The movie’s kind of slow until the shower scene. I definitely recommend you just skip the first 30 minutes and watch from there, since you’ve already seen them anyway.

      • Well, I watched the 30 minutes several years ago anyway. The 5 minute attempt was a few months ago. I guess I’ll try again another time. Thanks for the help though.

  1. Pingback: Duke & The Movies :: featured :: With A Little Help From My Friends

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