Perfect Illusion

Movie geek site Den of Geek has compiled a very interesting and informative list of the Top 50 movie special effects. 49 out of the 50 are accompanied by a Youtube-clip.

For a rather average consumer like me, some of the choices are very interesting because they focus on things like colour-matching and lighting within the effect shot - things you would normally not even notice.

The list doesn´t focus on iconic SFX shots (no "Matrix"). To qualify, a shot had to be "either a) exceptionally convincing, b) ground-breaking or c) an exmeplary execution of an oft-used technique. Only one shot was allowed per film.".

At first 50 scenes seem rather plenty, but since even the earliest motion pictures made use of special effects there are many omissions which are up for discussion.

I think that early (French) cinema is a bit under exposed. "La voyage dans la lune" by Georges Méliès was made in 1902 and used split screens and stop-motion in the first ever science-fiction film.

I also think that the work of Jean Cocteau should have been included too. From "Le sang d´un poéte" (1930), "La belle et la bete" (1946) to "La Testament d´Orphee" (1960) he created the most astonishing worlds with simple, cheap and imaginative trickery. Even Hitchcock was so impressed that he asked Cocteau about his secrets.

Hitchcock himself is featured with two shots that I would not even have considered because they are so flawless that only specialists notice their influence. I would have gone for his more obvious, famous effects in "Vertigo" and "Rear Window" which probably explains why I didn´t do a list like this.

Of course there is also a Worst SFX list.

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