Cult Classics

What makes a classic? (Movie, book, song, or otherwise) It’s hard to say and I suspect there is no one thing. Possibly even no measurable thing.

A couple of different movies have made me think about this lately. I recently re-watched Tron (the original) with my boyo, and then last night we watched Ghostbusters. (I have a confession to make… I’m a bad child of the 80’s. It took me until NOW to see Ghostbusters for the first time.)

Both are classics. Whether you like them or not, I personally think that they’re undeniably classic movies. (Along with The Princess Bride, among others.) But what MAKES them classics? That’s the question, and it’s one I don’t really have an answer to.

I actually think that different things contribute to the making of a Cult Classic, and there’s no one formula. For instance, one of the huge things about The Princess Bride is its quotability. Even those people who don’t know WHY they know the quotes often are familiar with the sayings.

But Tron… well, it doesn’t have the same quote-recognition. I think in this case it was more that the movie went beyond anything we were familiar with. It took something we were on the cutting edge of (computers and the ‘net) and created such a vivid imagery for that world that it stuck. Even if the movie didn’t do that well, it’s lasted all these years (at least among some of us) as a piece of our cultural heritage.

At any rate, it’s also possible that location has a bunch to do with cult classics. It’s possible that Tron is a classic for me and my friends because we’re located in the Silicon Valley. It’s hard to say. But, thanks to the wonder of the Internet, I can ask you. What movies are cult classics for you? And why do you love them?


3 thoughts on “Cult Classics

  1. The Princess Bride, absolutely. Amelie. Better Off Dead. The Matrix (only the original, of course).

    Um. The why… Well, Better Off Dead was so offbeat, and it definitely had quotability going for it, too. (“I want my two dollars!”)

    Amelie was just… amazing. The soundtrack’s a delight and the movie just makes me happy to watch.

    The Matrix – again, amazing for its time. And definitely quotability, too. 🙂

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