What makes a classic differ from an old movie?

People often mistake age for value.

An old car is not valuable only because it’s old otherwise Cuba would have millions of dollars driving around on its streets. An old book that has tens of thousands of copies circulating is just an old book, not a classic collectors would kill to have. The same goes for movies: being old alone doesn’t add too much to their value. They need to have elements that make them stand out of the crowd, elements that make them unique among all the other movies created around the same time of the year. Let’s take a look at a handful of classics, and on what makes them stand out as “classics” from the crowd.

 

The best of their genre

Remember Psycho? It was a masterpiece of the psychological horror genre, and it’s remembered as such. Its scares made the audience jump in their seats, its plot twists made them anxious and uncertain. The movie is credited as being the earliest slasher film ever created – while I’m not sure being called the ancestor of “Scream”, “I Know What you Did Last Summer” and other similar “masterpieces” truly honours Hitchcock’s genius.

Genre-creating movies are not always remembered as such. Sometimes the movies that represent the peak of the genre – like Star Wars and space opera, Alien and sci-fi/horror – get distinguished with the “classic” label.

 

Adaptations and remakes

Classics are often used as sources of inspiration for more modern – and usually less valuable – works. How many classics were remade, rebooted, re-thought, and re-imagined over the last decade? Remember 2010’s Wolfman, which was a flop, or the above-mentioned Psycho’s remake in 1998, which was bashed by critics and moviegoers alike.

Classics often serve as an inspiration for more modern works, like video games – and sometimes these pop up in places you wouldn’t even expect. The Wintingo Casino has a series of slot machines inspired by classic Universal horror movies like Frankenstein, The Invisible Man or Creature from the Black Lagoon. Once you redeem your Wintingo online casino bonus, you can give them a try yourself – and while you’re at it, you can also try one of the Wintingo’s award-winning adaptations of another cult classic, Aliens. Old and modern-day classics often serve as a source of inspiration for slot machine makers. Luckily, they reach out to the originals for inspiration – see the Wintingo’s “Terminator 2” and “Jurassic Park” themed slot machines for an example.

 

Legacy

Classics are remembered, quoted, and copied – their effect on popular culture makes them stand out. Think of Psycho’s shower scene, which was adapted and spoofed countless times in the history of moviemaking. Think of the Bogie’s last words in Casablanca (“I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship”), and how many times it provided comic relief in movies and TV shows. Think of Rhett’s words in Gone With the Wind – “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn” or Darth Vader’s famous “No, I am your father”, and of how many times they are misquoted online and in real life. These movies and lines have a widespread impact on popular culture – this is one of the signs that the movies where they first appeared are classics, and will be remembered by generations to come.