18 votes

Which movies had a major influence in your formative years?

I can mention many movies that influenced me in major ways.

  • Stand By Me made me realize the importance of friendship
  • High Fidelity helped me understand romance is not entirely about passion. It's also about respect, love, and care. There's value in something that's simply "good", and "good" is not something to brush off.
  • Goonies and Godfather showed that, when shit hits the fan, family is everything.
  • Manhattan taught me love is nothing without courage
  • A Bronx Tale taught me that our parent figures can be imperfect and even downright criminal, but this doesn't mean they don't love us.

Ant the list goes on...

48 comments

  1. momentmaker
    Link
    The Matrix - 3 layers deep in meaning/parable :)

    The Matrix - 3 layers deep in meaning/parable :)

    6 votes
  2. [2]
    hamstergeddon
    Link
    Bicentennial Man put the fear of mortality in me at the young age of 12 or so. I'd never considered my own mortality or my parents', but I did after seeing that movie. That was the first and only...

    Bicentennial Man put the fear of mortality in me at the young age of 12 or so. I'd never considered my own mortality or my parents', but I did after seeing that movie. That was the first and only time I ever saw that movie.

    5 votes
    1. mrbig
      Link Parent
      When this movie came out I was at the exact age where people start thinking Robing Williams is "lame". I have since grown past that phase, but never went back for this movie. It is Asimov, after...

      When this movie came out I was at the exact age where people start thinking Robing Williams is "lame". I have since grown past that phase, but never went back for this movie. It is Asimov, after all. I kinda have to watch it now.

      3 votes
  3. [2]
    insegnamante
    Link
    Star Wars, A New Hope (before any of us knew it was called A New Hope). Darth Vader was the scariest thing, the embodiment of evil, and there was rampant speculation among my friends about which...

    Star Wars, A New Hope (before any of us knew it was called A New Hope). Darth Vader was the scariest thing, the embodiment of evil, and there was rampant speculation among my friends about which button on his chest would "turn him off". X-wings were awesome, Tie fighters sucked, and when the Death Star blew up, good triumphed over evil! Han returning to help save the day made him the best buddy ever, and the Millenium Falcon was the only star ship anyone ever wanted. I can hum every note of the Star Wars Cantina song, and Han shot first (though nobody even thought about it at the time). I thought long and hard about how light sabers could work in real life. I wanted one so badly!

    5 votes
    1. mrbig
      Link Parent
      I'm a second-generation fan, watched the whole thing on VHS with my father, and latter when they re-released the films, on the movie theater. I envy those that saw Star Wars become Star Wars. It...

      I'm a second-generation fan, watched the whole thing on VHS with my father, and latter when they re-released the films, on the movie theater. I envy those that saw Star Wars become Star Wars. It must have been mind-blowing.

      2 votes
  4. [3]
    Autoxidation
    (edited )
    Link
    I saw the first Jurassic Park when I was about 5 years old. The movie both amazed and terrified me, leading to a lifelong obsession with dinosaurs and well... All of my nightmares or any type of...

    I saw the first Jurassic Park when I was about 5 years old. The movie both amazed and terrified me, leading to a lifelong obsession with dinosaurs and well... All of my nightmares or any type of scary dream I had as a kid revolved around getting eaten by either a T-Rex or a Velociraptor.

    Funnily enough, I saw Alien when I was around the same age and it didn't have near the effect on me that Jurassic Park did.

    5 votes
    1. mrbig
      Link Parent
      I was much older when Jurassic Park came out. Besides being a top-notch Spielberg action movie, the visual and mechanical effects were unparalleled at the time. I was thrilled.

      I was much older when Jurassic Park came out. Besides being a top-notch Spielberg action movie, the visual and mechanical effects were unparalleled at the time. I was thrilled.

      2 votes
    2. elcuello
      Link Parent
      Oh boy...you're lucky. To this day I still have bad dreams about this movie. That and god damn Chucky.

      I saw Alien when I was around the same age

      Oh boy...you're lucky. To this day I still have bad dreams about this movie. That and god damn Chucky.

      1 vote
  5. [3]
    envy
    Link
    Jaws. When I swim in the deep blue ocean alone, I still get that creepy, tingly feeling.

    Jaws. When I swim in the deep blue ocean alone, I still get that creepy, tingly feeling.

    3 votes
    1. [2]
      mrbig
      Link Parent
      I bet you're a great swimmer!

      I bet you're a great swimmer!

      1 vote
      1. envy
        Link Parent
        I should be afraid of dislocating shoulders, rip tides, heart attacks... anything but apex predators who will only take an inadvertent nibble.

        I should be afraid of dislocating shoulders, rip tides, heart attacks... anything but apex predators who will only take an inadvertent nibble.

        2 votes
  6. [9]
    Loire
    (edited )
    Link
    Heh, I always feel a little vapid when this topic comes up... Crazy, Stupid, Love hit me when I was in my early 20's. Ryan Gosling's character's fashion sense and general demeanor had a large...

    Heh, I always feel a little vapid when this topic comes up...

    • Crazy, Stupid, Love hit me when I was in my early 20's. Ryan Gosling's character's fashion sense and general demeanor had a large impact on me that effects my character to this day. I have even had a number of the suits he wears replicated for my own use.
    3 votes
    1. [7]
      mrbig
      Link Parent
      On another note, and with all due respect, but isn't Ryan Gosling's character in this movie kind of a douchebag?

      On another note, and with all due respect, but isn't Ryan Gosling's character in this movie kind of a douchebag?

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        TheJorro
        Link Parent
        He starts that way, but his whole character arc is about growing past that when he discovers real love.

        He starts that way, but his whole character arc is about growing past that when he discovers real love.

        2 votes
        1. mrbig
          Link Parent
          Ah, okay. Gotta finish this movie. I'm not gay, but not gonna lie, that dude is pleasant to the eyes.

          Ah, okay. Gotta finish this movie. I'm not gay, but not gonna lie, that dude is pleasant to the eyes.

          2 votes
      2. [4]
        Loire
        Link Parent
        It really depends on your view of men who sleep with a lot of women. The character is confident in himself, rightfully so, and confident in his abilities. He knows he's attractive and doesn't beat...

        It really depends on your view of men who sleep with a lot of women.

        The character is confident in himself, rightfully so, and confident in his abilities. He knows he's attractive and doesn't beat around the bush about what he wants. When he is picking up women he does so with a relative amount of respect, there is still some teasing involved but it never devolves into the red pill style negging ("My friend thinks you are way too pretty to be interesting, and I think that's hogwash.") And when he does finally meet "the one" he settles down instantly.

        With the exception of the fact that he doesn't seem to have a job, he expects the best of himself and pushes himself to excel. He dresses perfectly, he's at peak physical condition, he's intelligent, witty, charismatic, and surprisingly loyal (think the climax where, despite Cal telling him to fuck off, he still punches out David Lindhagen in defence of his friend, and then later approaches the depressed and still combative Cal to try and get him to reconnect with his family).

        To be honest the only point in the movie where he was being a douche is when he's slapping Cal around while Miyagi'ing him and that was supposed to be some man-to-man tough love done for comedic effect.

        1. [3]
          mrbig
          Link Parent
          I watched about half this movie a year ago, so my impression is just that. As long as he has enough money to sustain himself, what's the big deal? Is he some kind of predator or gigolo?

          I watched about half this movie a year ago, so my impression is just that.

          With the exception of the fact that he doesn't seem to have a job

          As long as he has enough money to sustain himself, what's the big deal? Is he some kind of predator or gigolo?

          1. [2]
            Loire
            Link Parent
            I believe the character inherited a fortune from his dead father. It's not a big deal, it's just not a realistic lifestyle to idolize.

            I believe the character inherited a fortune from his dead father. It's not a big deal, it's just not a realistic lifestyle to idolize.

            2 votes
            1. mrbig
              Link Parent
              If I have gotten a fortune from my father, I wouldn't work a day in my life. I mean, I would do a bunch of cool, productive stuff. But work, as in 9 to 5? Not a single day.

              If I have gotten a fortune from my father, I wouldn't work a day in my life.

              I mean, I would do a bunch of cool, productive stuff. But work, as in 9 to 5? Not a single day.

    2. mrbig
      Link Parent
      That's interesting. Unfortunately, we don't wear suits in the tropics.

      That's interesting.

      Unfortunately, we don't wear suits in the tropics.

  7. [4]
    ThatFanficGuy
    Link
    JCVD. I fucking cried because of the last scene. It took me by surprise, made me think a bit harder about the choices I'm making. If a film can do that, it's a damn good film.

    JCVD. I fucking cried because of the last scene.

    It took me by surprise, made me think a bit harder about the choices I'm making. If a film can do that, it's a damn good film.

    3 votes
    1. [3]
      mrbig
      Link Parent
      Watched it a while ago. THAT SCENE was personal an cathartic, it was like seeing an old friend open up about his troubles. But here in Brazil Jean Claude Van Damme will always be remembered as the...

      Watched it a while ago. THAT SCENE was personal an cathartic, it was like seeing an old friend open up about his troubles.

      But here in Brazil Jean Claude Van Damme will always be remembered as the guy who had a full-blown erection on a live on TV show.

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        ThatFanficGuy
        Link Parent
        Glad to see people are still reduced to caricatures of themselves because of that one thing they did that harmed nobody.

        But here in Brazil Jean Claude Van Damme will always be remembered as the guy who had a full-blown erection on a live on TV show.

        Glad to see people are still reduced to caricatures of themselves because of that one thing they did that harmed nobody.

        1. mrbig
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          That's a joke, dude, and one he would gladly laugh along... I love Jean Claude. He's all the things he has done, including (but no limited to) this one.

          That's a joke, dude, and one he would gladly laugh along...

          I love Jean Claude. He's all the things he has done, including (but no limited to) this one.

          2 votes
  8. [6]
    Douglas
    (edited )
    Link
    Life is Beautiful taught me the strength of comedy, even in the darkest of times. I think of that ending at least once a month, and I haven't seen the full movie in probably a decade. 4 Months, 3...
    • Life is Beautiful taught me the strength of comedy, even in the darkest of times. I think of that ending at least once a month, and I haven't seen the full movie in probably a decade.
    • 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days gave me a small, but intimate and powerful glimpse into the horrors of being a woman in an oppressive society (and removed any question as to whether or not abortion should be legal-- since we're talking formative years, I recall this being a major part in my pro-choice opinion)
    • Chasing Amy taught me to ignore my partner's sexual history and to not feel insecure about it, and that-- if they and I are in a relationship-- I need to trust and accept that I am what they are looking for right now (I fully recognize that is a "duh" message, but it really hit me in high school-- also fully aware that movie probably hasn't aged well)
    • No Country for Old Men showed me how frightening it is that chaos can come for you at any moment, that it won't make any sense when it does, and to be OK with that as best you can, because trying to make sense of it won't get you anywhere.
    2 votes
    1. [5]
      mrbig
      Link Parent
      I'd say that ignoring my partners sexual history greatly contributes to not feeling insecure about it. I do not subscribe to the notion that everything must be said. Sadly, I only learned this...

      taught me to ignore my partner's sexual history and to not feel insecure about it

      I'd say that ignoring my partners sexual history greatly contributes to not feeling insecure about it. I do not subscribe to the notion that everything must be said.

      Sadly, I only learned this years after watching the movie.

      And Life is Beautiful taught me a lot about courtship too: instead of trying to be some alpha-male caricature, always be true to yourself and use your strengths to your benefit!

      2 votes
      1. [4]
        ThatFanficGuy
        Link Parent
        What makes you not want to subscribe to what, on the surface, looks like a recipe for deep honesty?

        I do not subscribe to the notion that everything must be said.

        What makes you not want to subscribe to what, on the surface, looks like a recipe for deep honesty?

        1 vote
        1. [3]
          mrbig
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          Look, I'm neither Protestant nor Anglo-Saxon. I'm Latino. For me, "deep honesty" sounds like a recipe for disaster. Being faithful, honest, frank and respectful is of the utmost importance, but...

          Look, I'm neither Protestant nor Anglo-Saxon. I'm Latino. For me, "deep honesty" sounds like a recipe for disaster. Being faithful, honest, frank and respectful is of the utmost importance, but veneration for the truth at all costs is not part of my culture. We must omit many things, and lie on many occasions. That's an integral part of life, and I discussed this on Tildes before.

          On the case at hand: some things must be told, some should be omitted. I certainly want to know about all long relationships my partner had, but I don't need detailed descriptions of how, when and where she used to fuck, nor do I want to know about every one-night-stand she ever had. I don't need those mental images fueling my neurosis (and we are all neurotics. Freud was right about that). I also don't want to fuel my partners' neurosis with details of my numerous conquests. It's not like it's forbidden or taboo: it's just unnecessary. If something is particularly important for me or my partner, disclosing it is the correct course of action. But there's no point in providing a detailed narrative of all our sexual exploits. I know my failings and limitations, and I know most people have similar issues. Thinking we're just a bunch of super-hip people that can healthily deal with every bit of information about our partners is vain and unrealistic. We're all broken and insecure, so maybe, just maybe, I don't need to know how many times my girlfriend was fucked in the ass.

          1 vote
          1. [2]
            ThatFanficGuy
            Link Parent
            Understood. Thank you for elaborating. Apologies if the question or finding the answer brought up bad mental images in your mind.

            Understood. Thank you for elaborating. Apologies if the question or finding the answer brought up bad mental images in your mind.

            1 vote
            1. mrbig
              (edited )
              Link Parent
              It did not bring any bad mental images, and there is no need to apologize. It's all good. Cheers!

              It did not bring any bad mental images, and there is no need to apologize. It's all good. Cheers!

              1 vote
  9. doobled
    Link
    Fight Club! Of course. 8)

    Fight Club! Of course. 8)

    2 votes
  10. joplin
    Link
    OK, I have to post this just because it's funny. This was not the movie that had the most influence on me as a kid, but I was probably about 5 when it came out. I really enjoyed Xanadu with Olivia...

    OK, I have to post this just because it's funny. This was not the movie that had the most influence on me as a kid, but I was probably about 5 when it came out. I really enjoyed Xanadu with Olivia Newton John. I think it was mainly the cheesy special effects at the beginning where they're skating around Venice beach with these light trails following behind them. I loved eye candy. (And of course, that meant I really liked Star Wars, too.) Now I work in visual effects for a living, so I guess it had some sort of effect on me!

    Sadly, the movies that actually had the most formative effect on me were probably for the worse. The John Hughes films from the 80s, for example, taught me that to get someone to love you, you need to annoy the crap out of them until they finally give in. Things like that.

    2 votes
  11. [2]
    Akir
    Link
    Frankly I don't remember movies having much of an affect on my childhood. I can actually name a lot more affective movies that I have seen recently than I can remember from my childhood. Books,...

    Frankly I don't remember movies having much of an affect on my childhood. I can actually name a lot more affective movies that I have seen recently than I can remember from my childhood. Books, music, video games, and TV were much more affective during my childhood.

    I think the first book to actually make me cry was this odd Scholastic published book called [something something] and the Lunch Ladies from H.E.L.L. It was about a group of friends who were pranksters trying to rebel against a vendor the school had hired to handle their lunch services. Well, anyways, the main character was emotionally attached to had either died or just moved away, and I could really relate because it reminded me about my mother moving away after my parents were divorced. It gave me a vocabulary to better understand what I was feeling at the time.

    Probably the most affective media for me growing up was TV, and I was really heavily influenced by Sailor Moon. It seems almost mainstream today, but it was almost like a miracle at the time to see shows with those kinds of messages on TV in the US. It was a TV show that was fiercely and unapologetically feminist in nature, where all of the role models are empowered females. And even with the Bowdlerized US releases, there was a lot of queer messaging still coming across. All the while there are strong themes of the importance of friendship, acceptance, forgiveness, and dedication to one's principles.

    There is another TV show that was really affective to me as well, and that is Queer as Folk. That show basically acted like the father I should have had. It warned me about all of the sadness in the world and it also went out of it's way to show me that I still had a future. It said that not only did I have a future, I could do anything and even had more freedom than straight people to decide who I am and how I want to live my life.

    Today I love performance art of all kinds because of how powerful it is. People often make decisions based on their feelings, and art is the only way we can change those feelings. Unlike still forms of art, it draws your attention and forces it's ideas through. You can teach someone a lesson who doesn't want to hear it, and you may learn something without even consciously understanding it.

    2 votes
    1. ibis
      Link Parent
      I adored Sailor Moon when I was young as well. An action/fantasy show with more than one woman on the team was a treat. It seems like something we take for granted now, but I also really...

      I adored Sailor Moon when I was young as well. An action/fantasy show with more than one woman on the team was a treat.

      It seems like something we take for granted now, but I also really appreciate that the girls in that TV show were so funny. I feel like the typical 90's recipe for humour was goofy men with sensible women rolling their eyes nearby. Maybe the trope originally cropped up with good intentions to combat the bimbo stereotype, I don't know. But its ubiquitousness kind of resulted in this feeling that women aren't fun and are held to a higher standard than the men around them.

      2 votes
  12. [6]
    scrambo
    Link
    Oh man, I haven't thought about these movies in a couple of years! The Quest for Camelot was the first movie I remember laughing til I hurt over. I was super young, so it was of course a whole...

    Oh man, I haven't thought about these movies in a couple of years!

    The Quest for Camelot was the first movie I remember laughing til I hurt over. I was super young, so it was of course a whole bunch of goofy humor, and I sucked that up as a kid.

    Jurassic Park was terrifying but also gave me my love for dinosaurs. Until late in High School whenever I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I said "Paleontologist".

    The Sandlot Is one of the only sports based movies i've enjoyed. And really, I'd say that's because it was less about baseball and more about the kids.

    Then Star Wars: Attack of the Clones and Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers introduced me to fantasy / sci-fi during middle-school and I've been hooked ever since.

    1 vote
    1. [5]
      mrbig
      Link Parent
      You know, the second George Lucas trilogy gets way more hate than it deserves. Those are solid movies. The original trilogy is also EXTREMELY flawed, but everyone looks at them with nostalgic lens.

      You know, the second George Lucas trilogy gets way more hate than it deserves. Those are solid movies. The original trilogy is also EXTREMELY flawed, but everyone looks at them with nostalgic lens.

      1 vote
      1. [4]
        scrambo
        Link Parent
        And especially back then when I didn't have any context about previous star wars movies, and was an impressionable young kid?? It was this amazing experience, totally enjoyable all the way...

        And especially back then when I didn't have any context about previous star wars movies, and was an impressionable young kid?? It was this amazing experience, totally enjoyable all the way through. I've grown up so it's lost a little of its luster, but I think i'd still enjoy watching them now

        1 vote
        1. [3]
          mrbig
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          Look: I, II and III are good movies in their own right. Are they flawed? Yes, but lot's of great movies are. The sin of this trilogy was being released in a time when the original three where...

          Look: I, II and III are good movies in their own right. Are they flawed? Yes, but lot's of great movies are. The sin of this trilogy was being released in a time when the original three where still fresh in the hearts of millions of fans. It would be universally hated - period. The movies have little to do with it.

          If you rewatch the original trilogy without nostalgic lenses, you'll see that they're deeply flawed movies. When you eliminate the merits of creating the universe and pioneering an entirely new subculture, they're not such a great movies. There's lots of silly stuff that doesn't work, the fighting is farcical and the editing is just plain boring. It takes ages for something to actually happen, and in between those scenes we get bombarded with loads of uninteresting drivel. And this is not something that you can attribute to the time period: Godfather was released 5 years prior and has none of these issues. Jaws came out two in 1975 , and its rhythm is terse, tense and easy to follow. 1977s Star Wars, on the other hand, feels like an old car that stalls every 15 minutes.

          1. [2]
            Sand
            Link Parent
            It's funny how nobody can praise the prequels without bringing up how the original movies are "just as flawed" or whatever.

            It's funny how nobody can praise the prequels without bringing up how the original movies are "just as flawed" or whatever.

            1. mrbig
              Link Parent
              That is because the hate on the prequels is largely a consequence of a nostalgic appreciation of the originals. Also: the fact that an argument is frequently posited says nothing about its...

              That is because the hate on the prequels is largely a consequence of a nostalgic appreciation of the originals.

              Also: the fact that an argument is frequently posited says nothing about its soundness ;)

  13. [4]
    Eylrid
    Link
    Pete's Dragon taught me about snake oil medicine. Oddly enough Mac and Me made me fall in love with windmills.

    Pete's Dragon taught me about snake oil medicine. Oddly enough Mac and Me made me fall in love with windmills.

    1 vote
    1. [3]
      cfabbro
      Link Parent
      I just watched Pete's Dragon a few days ago with my 5yo nephew and he loved it. He had never seen it before, and it was one of my favorites as a kid, so when I saw it on Disney+ I had to give it a...

      I just watched Pete's Dragon a few days ago with my 5yo nephew and he loved it. He had never seen it before, and it was one of my favorites as a kid, so when I saw it on Disney+ I had to give it a watch with him. :) It's a really underappreciated Disney Classic, IMO... same with Bedknobs & Broomsticks, another of my favorites.

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        Eylrid
        Link Parent
        Portobello Road, Portobello Road, Street where the riches of ages are stowed

        Portobello Road, Portobello Road, Street where the riches of ages are stowed

        1 vote
  14. [2]
    cardigan
    Link
    On Halloween when I was in the sixth grade, I saw The Rocky Horror Picture Show on television. For a while after that I watched a VHS copy of it almost every day. I don't watch it to laugh at it....

    On Halloween when I was in the sixth grade, I saw The Rocky Horror Picture Show on television. For a while after that I watched a VHS copy of it almost every day. I don't watch it to laugh at it. I credit it with teaching me that you can be anything that you want to be, that you can at any moment change your identity down to the core, that you can willfully repudiate any quality you were given at birth. "Don't dream it, be it."

    The movie Phantasm was absolutely essential to my emotional and artistic development. I first saw it at around the same time, in a television marathon of the series when I had the flu. Its elliptical editing and dreamlike, self-contradictory narrative made a profound impression on me.

    1 vote
    1. mrbig
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I saw this movie on television at dawn. It was hysterical and I never forgot it. It is, to this day, one of the most magical movie experiences of my life.

      The Rocky Horror Picture Show

      I saw this movie on television at dawn. It was hysterical and I never forgot it. It is, to this day, one of the most magical movie experiences of my life.

      1 vote
  15. Chowdhury
    Link
    Port Arthur, devastation of war no matter how necessary it is, that war should be avoided at all costs.A few men in uniform in the name of serving GOD & the Nation do things that does not heal or...

    Port Arthur, devastation of war no matter how necessary it is, that war should be avoided at all costs.A few men in uniform in the name of serving GOD & the Nation do things that does not heal or get fixed in a life time.

    Sunflower,how people in love fall poles apart because, again, of war.

  16. elcuello
    Link
    The morality in 90s American TV shows showed me why I love being where I'm from. I wasn't stupid and knew it wasn't all representative and real but deep down you could see it came from a real...

    The morality in 90s American TV shows showed me why I love being where I'm from. I wasn't stupid and knew it wasn't all representative and real but deep down you could see it came from a real place and that honestly scared me.