Time and again, art has and continues to influence artists even outside of this discipline. In this list are five movies which, whether partially or in full, have been inspired by paintings from some of the most influential artists in history.
Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” x Edward Hopper’s “House by the Railroad”
The Bates House on the infamous Hitchcock film “Psycho” (1960) is arguably one of the most iconic images in film history, built at a backlot at the Universal Studios prior to filming. Designed by art directors Joseph Hurley and Robert Clatworthy, the ominous house was said to have been modeled after Edward Hopper’s work “House by the Railroad” (1925).
Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis” x Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s “The Tower of Babel”
As a whole, the sci-fi classic “Metropolis” (1927) drew influences from various things such as the New York skyscrapers, Art Deco movement, and the Bible – to create its futuristic cityscape. Perhaps one of the key inspirations here was the Tower of Babel, from which the tower seen in the movie was clearly modeled from based on a painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1563). Aside from this, the story of the Tower of Babel was also referenced in a couple of dialogues in the movie.
Guillermo del Toro’s “Pan’s Labyrinth” x Francisco Goya’s “Saturn Devouring His Son”
“Saturn Devouring His Son” (1823) is one of the most unsettling works of art that you could ever see – very much like the scenes featuring the Pale Man in the movie “Pan’s Labyrinth” (2006) by Guillermo del Toro! In an interview, del Toro himself confirmed that the particular scene above “comes straight from Goya’s painting of Saturn devouring his son.”
William Friedkin’s “The Exorcist” x René Magritte’s “The Empire of Lights”
Just like the Bates House, this scene from “The Exorcist” (1973) where Father Merrin arrives at the MacNeil house is among the most famous in movie history. Also appearing in posters and other promotional materials for the movie, this image echoes the Magritte painting “The Empire of Lights” (1953-1954) from which it was also inspired.
Lars von Trier’s “Melancholia” x John Everett Millais’ “Ophelia”
One of the most remembered scenes from “Melancholia” (2011) is that of the severely-depressed Justine floating downstream, in her wedding gown and holding her bouquet. This image was said to be inspired by Millais’ painting “Ophelia” (1851-1852). Not only are these two visually-similar; the women depicted in these works of art were both troubled.
This list was based on Flavorwire’s The Famous Artworks That Inspired 15 Films. Further information were also sourced from Psycho Movies, Metropolis (1927 film) on Wikipedia, Mental Floss, and Ophelia on Wikipedia .
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