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‘Wizard of Oz’ is most influential movie of all, not ‘Star Wars,’ study says. Here’s why

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Move on over with your lightsaber, Luke Skywalker.

Dorothy Gale of Kansas and her little dog, too, rule this movie ranking.

“The Wizard of Oz” has bested “Star Wars” and other classics, including “Psycho” and “Citizen Kane,” as the most influential motion picture of all time in a new study that ranked the movies according to science, not sentiment.

Researchers at the University of Turin in Italy created an “influence score” for 47,000 films listed on IMDB, Internet Movie Database, according to a press release describing the study.

“The score was based on how much each film had been referenced by subsequent films,” said the release. “The authors found that the top 20 most influential films were all produced before 1980 and mostly in the United States.”

Researchers also defined influence by how many spin-offs each movie inspired, The Telegraph, a British newspaper, reported.

“We propose an alternative method to box office takings — which are affected by factors beyond the quality of the film such as advertising and distribution — and reviews, which are ultimately subjective, for analyzing the success of a film.” lead author, Livio Bioglio, said in the release.

“We have developed an algorithm that uses references between movies as a measure for success, and which can also be used to evaluate the career of directors, actors and actresses, by considering their participation in top-scoring movies.”

They found that “The Wizard of Oz,” for instance, has been referenced nearly 3,000 times in other movies and TV shows, Yahoo reported, including the use of the movie’s iconic song, “Over the Rainbow,” and Dorothy’s famous line — “I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”

It’s also been remade many times, from The Wiz in 1978, to a Tom and Jerry version in 2011,” Yahoo wrote.

The researchers applied the same algorithm to actors and ranked Samuel L. Jackson, Clint Eastwood and Tom Cruise as the top three most influential.

“The authors noticed a strong gender bias towards male actors; the only female in the top ten was Lois Maxwell, who played the recurring role of Miss Moneypenny in the James Bond franchise,” researchers said in their press release.

Here’s the list of most influential films named by the study, according to Yahoo.

  1. “The Wizard of Oz” (1939)

  2. “Star Wars” (1977)

  3. “Psycho” (1960)

  4. “King Kong” (19330

  5. “2001: A Space Odyssey” (1968)

  6. “Metropolis” (1927)

  7. “Citizen Kane” (1941)

  8. “The Birth of a Nation” (1915)

  9. “Frankenstein” (1931)

  10. “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” (1937)

  11. “Casablanca” (1942)

  12. “Dracula” (1931)

  13. “The Godfather” (1972)

  14. “Jaws” (1975)

  15. “Nosferatu” (1922)

  16. The Searchers (1956)

  17. “Cabiria” (1914)

  18. “Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” (1964)

  19. “Gone With the Wind” (1939)

  20. “Battleship Potemkin” (1925)

“The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” lives on in movies, a museum and now a new adaptation by the KC Ballet.

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