Rachel M. Johnson is a lover of all things pop culture. She's been writing about music and entertainment online for over two years.
The 1990s were a fun and experimental time in cinema that brought forth a wide array of classic and blockbuster films. From Jurassic Park to The Matrix, The Lion King to Pretty Woman, the decade was full of hit movies. Let's take a look at some fantastic facts about 90s films.
1. In Jurassic Park (1993), director Steven Spielberg wanted the audience to first see the T. Rex from inside the SUVs so they would feel like they're experiencing it right there with the characters and feeling their fear.
2. Will Smith was approached to play Neo in The Matrix (1999), but turned down the role in order to star in Wild Wild West (1999). He later admitted that, at the time, he was "not mature enough as an actor" and that if given the role, he "would have messed it up." Smith had no regrets and said that "Keanu was brilliant as Neo."
3. The cost to construct the Titanic back in 1910 to 1912 was $7.5 million, which was equivalent to about $120 to $150 million in 1997 dollars. The film itself cost $200 million to make and has since grossed a whopping $2.187 billion.
4. In Fight Club (1999), Helena Bonham Carter based her performance of Marla Singer on Judy Garland in the later stages of her life. To help her get into that mindset, director David Fincher would often call her Judy on set.
5. Quentin Tarantino wrote the role of Jules in Pulp Fiction (1994) specifically for Samuel L. Jackson, however, it was almost given to Paul Calderon after a great audition. When Jackson heard this, he flew to Los Angeles and auditioned again to secure the role. Calderon was then cast as Paul.
6. Animators for The Lion King (1994) were so impressed by Jeremy Irons's performance that they worked his features into Scar's face.
7. Tom Hanks was not the original choice to play the lead in Forrest Gump. John Travolta was initially offered the role, but ultimately passed (a decision he has since said he regrets). Bill Murray, Chevy Chase and Sean Penn also were considered for the role but turned it down.
8. A lot of the Dude's clothes in The Big Lebowski (1998) were Jeff Bridge's own clothes, including his Jellies sandals, which he still owns and uses to this day.
9. All the principal actors in Saving Private Ryan (1998), except for Matt Damon, underwent several days of grueling army training. Damon was spared so that the other actors would resent him and would convey that feeling in their performances.
10. Will Smith didn't believe it was actually Steven Spielberg on the other end of the line when the executive producer first called to talk to him about joining Men in Black (1997).
11. The Sandlot (1993) director David Mickey Evans had one clear instruction for Chauncey Leopardi (Squints) during the pool scene kiss with Wendy Pefferocorn: "Keep your tongue in your mouth."
12. According to screenwriter Nicholas Pileggi, some mobsters were actually hired as extras for Goodfellas (1990) to lend authenticity to scenes. The mobsters gave fake Social Security numbers to Warner Brothers, and it is unknown how they received their paychecks.
13. In The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), Chris Sarandon was cast as Jack Skellington because his speaking voice matched the singing voice of Danny Elfman.
14. The necklace Vivian wears to the opera in Pretty Woman (1990) really cost $250,000. When filming, a security man from the jewelry store equipped with a gun was constantly standing behind director Garry Marshall.
15. Robin Williams would often give fake answers to people who asked him what the title Jumanji (1995) meant. "I tell them it's an island in the Caribbean. Book your travel there early."
16. Bill Crystal was originally offered the role of Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story (1995), but declined. Upon seeing the finished product, he said the decision was the biggest mistake of his career. Upon hearing this, director John Lasseter telephoned Crystal to offer him the role of Mike Wazowksi in Monsters, Inc. (2001).
17. The scene in Sleepless in Seattle (1993) between Tom Hanks and Victor Garber crying over the movie The Dirty Dozen (1967) was completely improvised during the take.
18. The three leads in The Blair Witch Project (1999) believed the legend was real during filming, though of course, they knew the film was going to be fake. Only after the film's release did they discover that the entire mythology was made up by the creators.
19. Writer and director Nancy Meyers handpicked Linsday Lohan to play the dual role of twins Annie and Hallie in The Parent Trap (1998), and even phoned the Lohan household herself to tell the actress. It was her first film ever.
20. In Good Will Hunting (1997), the lines in the scene when Sean talks about his late wife's farting antics were ad-libbed by Robin Williams. That is why Matt Damon was laughing so hard and if you watch closely, you can see the camera shaking slightly, possibly due to the cameraman laughing as well.
21. Steven Spielberg forwent a salary for Schindler's List (1993), calling it "blood money", and believed the film would flop. With a budget of $22 million, it would go on to gross $321.1 million and won seven Oscars, including Best Director.
22. Robin Williams' own son did not recognize him in his Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) outfit until he started speaking.
23. In Matilda (1996), the picture of Miss Honey's father, Magnus, is actually a portrait of Roald Dahl, the author of the book Matilda, upon which the film is based.
24. During the filming of Hocus Pocus (1993), Sarah Jessica Parker (Sarah Sanderson) found that being the in the flying broom harness was so comfortable that instead of being lowered back down between takes, she read a copy of the New York Times and remained suspended in the air.
25. Brendan Fraser (Rick) nearly died during the scene when his character is hanged in The Mummy (1999). Rachel Weisz (Evie) recalled, "He [Fraser] stopped breathing and had to be resuscitated."
26. Jodie Foster claims that during the first meeting between Lecter and Starling in The Silence of the Lambs (1991), Sir Anthony Hopkins' mocking of her southern accent was improvised on the spot. Foster's horrified reaction was genuine, as she felt personally attacked during the exchange. She later thanked Hopkins for generating such an honest reaction.
27. Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes did not initially get along on the set of Romeo + Juliet (1996). Danes accused DiCaprio of being immature, while DiCaprio felt Danes was uptight.
28. While filming the "Bohemian Rhapsody" scene in Wayne's World (1992), both Mike Meyers and Dana Carvey developed severe pain in their necks from all the head banging.
29. The Mask (1994) director Chuck Russell revealed that a lot of money was saved on special effects after Jim Carrey was cast. Carrey's body movements were so flexible and cartoonish that they didn't see the need to enhance them digitally.
30. Alicia Silverstone (Cher) actually did not know how to correctly pronounce "Haitians" in the classroom scene in Clueless (1995). Director Amy Heckerling told the crew not to correct her because she liked it so much and wanted it to be in the film.
© 2019 Rachel M Johnson
Rachel M Johnson (author) on August 16, 2019:
Hi James, thank you so much! I’m glad you enjoyed it.
James A Watkins from Chicago on August 16, 2019:
Thank you for your excellent report on a decade that surely saw many marvelous movies that I thoroughly enjoyed.
Rachel M Johnson (author) on August 15, 2019:
Hi Jacqueline, I agree! I like to know just a little to keep the fun of the mystery intact.
Jacqueline G Rozell on August 15, 2019:
Sometimes it's fun and interesting what goes on behind the scenes... and sometimes it's best to keep the mystery. These facts were fun.
Rachel M Johnson (author) on August 14, 2019:
Hi Jacqueline, I’m glad you enjoyed the different movie facts!
Jacqueline G Rozell on August 14, 2019:
All good and great movies... as was The Dirty Dozen. Just watched it again two weeks ago in a bout of nostalgia.