When a Proceedings editor called and asked me to write an article on what he called Marine Corps "cult movies," my first thought was, "Is there some epidemic of Marines continually watching Little Shop of Horrors or The Rocky Horror Picture Show that has impacted the combat readiness of the Corps?"
Ask someone to name a favorite cult movie and it is 1,000 times more likely they will answer Attack of the Killer Tomatoes than Zulu. Yet my charge was to delve into those movies, like Zulu, that Marines might watch over and over for their motivational, instructive, and entertainment value, but which were not about the Marine Corps. Hence, those popular epics such as Sands of Iwo Jima (1949), Battle Cry (1955), and Full Metal Jacket (1987) were off the table.
Maybe cult movie is the wrong term, but arguing with an editor who is convinced he knows what he's talking about is rarely a productive enterprise. So we'll call them cult movies, but the guy was talking about films that teach, inspire, and otherwise captivate Marines.