Film director Martin Scorsese has teamed up with Steven Spielberg and Universal Studios to help preserve some early American motion pictures which exist only on (highly unstable) nitrate-based film.
In this article Scorsese talks about films that have influenced him; his big three: On the Waterfront; Citizen Kane; and Shadows.
This non-working filmmaker, if I were a working filmmaker, too would pick Orson Welles' Kane and John Cassevetes' Shadows as two that have influenced me. Mr Scorsese's picks got me thinking:
Battle of Britain (1969)
The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933)
Der Schweigende Stern (1960)
Bicycle Thieves (1948)
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Dr. Strangelove (1964)
There are more, no doubt.
Television I grew up with would also be a big influence: a later post.