The Master (2012)

Rather than a standard film review, we’ve been compiling a visual glossary of likely inspirations in Paul Thomas Anderson’s 2012 film The Master. Huge props go to Fandor, A Bittersweet Life and various others for compiling similar versions of this over the years. We’ll periodically update this article with new additions as we find them, so hit the comments at the bottom if you think you’ve spotted another visual cue.

Opening shot of The Lady from Shanghai (1947) — dir. Orson Welles
Opening shot of The Master

The Steel Helmet (1951) — dir. Samuel Fuller
The Master (2012)
The Steel Helmet (1951) — dir. Samuel Fuller
The Master (2012)
The Lady from Shanghai (1947) — dir. Orson Welles
The Master (2012)
Let There Be Light (1946) — dir. John Huston / The Master (2012). Paul Thomas Anderson also took several lines of dialogue from Huston’s postwar reentry film. Collage via A Bittersweet Life.
The Passenger (1975) — dir. Michelangelo Antonini
The Master (2012)
Stan Carlisle (Tyrone Power) “accidentally” poisons a quasi-father figure with bad moonshine in Nightmare Alley (1947) — dir. Edmund Goulding
Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix) “accidentally” poisons a quasi-father figure with bad moonshine in The Master (2012)
An Introduction to Scientology (1966)
The Master (2012)
The Lady from Shanghai (1947) — dir. Orson Welles
The Master (2012)
The Lady from Shanghai (1947) — dir. Orson Welles
The Master (2012)
Melvin and Howard (1980) — dir. Jonathan Demme
The Master (2012)
Melvin and Howard (1980)
The Master (2012)

We’re looking to expand this glossary, so check back periodically and hit the comments if you have other potential visual influences on The Master.

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