The 101 Most Influential Coming-of-Age Movies

By Ryan Uytdewilligen | Go to book overview

APPENDIX II. FURTHER WATCHING

This project was begun with a giant master list that I had to slash excruciatingly until I felt I had the best of the best coming-of-age films. This involved very tough decisions because almost every movie has something unique to enjoy. That being said, hundreds of other movies may be someone else’s favorites (or mine for that matter), and there are some of those that also deserve a shout out or a recommendation. If you’re truly passionate about coming-of-age movies like me — you just can’t get enough of the pride and pitfalls of growing up, regardless of era or genre.

It should be mentioned that coming of age is technically not an incorporated genre in the eyes of many critics, film historians, or producers; it simply is one aspect of much bigger genres like drama, romance, or comedy. Coming of age is a theme that can be explored in many different ways — whether it’s dark, light, funny, or even magical. Every human being can relate to that theme which is what makes it universally common and why the world needs these types of movies. They reflect and explore, helping us figure our own problems out and or see what happens if we go down a certain path.

I aimed to select the best for the book — films that reflect the personal struggles of individual characters as they encounter the vast changes that come as we mature, while reflecting in larger terms the entire epochs that they were made in. Of course, there are many more that merit attention and that are much loved.

It took fifty years for the art of film to really find itself and display true-tolife themes. For lovers of classic film, don’t miss The Little Rascal shorts, if you haven’t seen them already. They are funny little pieces of pop culture history that features kids in silent, comical roles. In the 1930s, the war on marijuana took to film, creating the memorable and hilarious cult classic Reefer Madness, an over the top look at the effects of teen drug use. For horror enthusiasts, those “B movies”

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