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Movies that had an influence on me

Updated on June 29, 2014

How movies affected the way I see things.

We do not always put much credit to how a movie might affect us, or how it might change our attitude, but I sat down once and started really looking at this subject and was surprised by my own responses. With this information about myself, I started asking people about their experiences with movies and television and how it might guided them, and found that I was not the only one that experienced this.

So I decided to pick some of the movies and shows that I can remember, and how they guided my attitudes and made me react to certain things. Sometimes the effect was barely noticeable and sometimes it was much more apparent.

Image credit to: By Salvatore Vuono, published on 23 December 2009,

Doctor Zhivago

The 1965 movie, not that newer piece of tripe.

This was the first movie of it's kind that I truly enjoyed. It was a romance and a history lesson through a piece of literary fiction that was brought to the silver screen.

I will start by admitting that I never read the book, which I regret. Just so that is out of the way. And when I first watched this movie, it was under duress, as I mother was doing everything she could to instill some culture in me, so I was made to sit and watch this. Obviously, at the time, I did not like it, but over the years I watched it a couple more times and fell in love with it. The characters, the story, the pain that was conveyed, the struggle. It all resonated with something in my heart and stayed there.

If you have not seen this movie, then you absolutely must. It has an all-star cast, for it's time, of Omar Sharif, Rod Steiger and Sir Alec Guinness.

My big take-away from this, as a youth, was that Romances do not have to be sappy or silly or show T&A to be great.

Interested in one of the movies mentioned?

I recommend all the movies I have listed here. Please look below and see if you might like to purchase one of them through Amazon.

2001: A Spacy Oddessy

While I was not old enough to see this when it made it's debut on the big screen, it was a movie that enchanted me at a very young age. Not just for it ground-breaking special effects, which stand the test of time to this day, but for the storyline and the characters.

To me, the movie was something of a cross between philosophy and science-fiction with a little bit of "You had better watch out" mixed in. It was also the first movie of it's kind I had a chance to see AFTER I discovered that I liked to write, and gave me an example of how you can tell a story within a certain genre and not have to adhere to JUST that style. This is a movie where Clark and Kubrick beautifully told a tale that was fantasy, poetic and cautionary in the messages it told about our possible future.

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai: Across the 8th Dimension

This one is my guilty secret.

To date, I have watch this moving well over 400 times and, prior to the DVD release, wore out two VHS tapes of it.

There is no emotional, spiritual or intrinsic value to this movie other than the fact that it is just fun to watch. You get to see a side of actors that they might not show these days, now that they have made a name for themselves and are Hollywood "A-Listers".

The takeaway from this movie is something that I think kids of all ages should learn, and that is that if you want to grow up and be something, just follow your imagination. You might become a Brain Surgeon, Physicist, Martial arts expert and Rock Band leader. Who knows? Not that I did any of that, but the movie is great, albeit a bit of a cult classic.

Five People you Meet in Heaven

While I am going to add this movie, I need to point out that the book was SO MUCH BETTER. But the movie does stand on it's own and is still able to carry the message that the book did, though with some elements missing.

I know that this type of movie and book are becoming less fashionable nowadays with the strong push towards making everything religion-free, but I am still a believer and have to say that while I cannot tell you I believe that we will meet people in this manner when we die, it does open up an internal dialogue about how we affect those that we meet as we pass through this life.

It let you know that when you live, your life it not just about you. You and everything you do has an affect on others, and then another group after that. I guess you could almost imagine it like a pyramid starting out with you at the tip, and everyone that you affect and who, in turn, effects others, along the way, spreading out from that tip.

Even if you are an Atheist, I would suggest you watch it, because you cannot deny that all your actions have some consequences with those around you.

Schindler's List

It is impossible for me to create a list like this without this movie on it.

Being a Jew and having been raised in an area where antisemitism is something that I was exposed to at an early age, I have a personal interest in movies like this.

This is a different movie than others, though, that focus more on the plight of those persecuted by the Nazis, in that this one focus on the fact that there were people there that were trying to help them. It carries a message that when things are going bad, as in this case, there are sometimes people that are willing and trying to help, even if they cannot help EVERYONE, the fact that they are trying can sometimes be enough.

Watching this will give almost anyone a feeling that no matter what, things can get better and there are people out there that care.

Paper Clips

Keeping on the topic of the Holocaust, I would like to offer this gem... and I do mean a gem.

Part of the philosophy behind preventing something like the Holocaust from happening again is to educate the masses and make sure people understand that this DID happen and it was not just the Jews that were affected. This movie is set in a small town school and around a teacher and small group of children in her classroom and what happens when she sets out to put the sheer loss as a result of the Holocaust into perspective that they will understand.

The result is a fantastic movie about discovery on the parts of the children and the things they learn, people they meet and education that they gain through the process. This movie gives me hope. The fact that children are learning and understanding the circumstances that created the conditions that lead to the Holocaust and the hate behind it, and then they are doing something to teach others... yes, this makes me feel a sense of optimism for the future generations.

I am sure that I cannot be the only one out there that has a movie list like this, so please do share, tell me what that movie is. Or just comment on one of the ones I listed.

Tell me if you have any movies that have inspired or moved you.

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    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 

      4 years ago from Arkansas USA

      There are a couple of these that I haven't heard of, including Paper Clips. That one sounds quite interesting. Nice list of movies!


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