Timeline of Greatest Film
Milestones and Turning Points
in Film History


The Year 1992

Timeline of Greatest Film History Milestones and Turning Points
(by decade and year)
Introduction | Pre-1900s | 1900s | 1910s | 1920s | 1930s | 1940s | 1950s
1960s | 1970s | 1980s | 1990s | 2000s | 2010s
1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999

The Year 1992
Year
Event and Significance
1992
Americans spent $12 billion to buy or rent video tapes, compared to just $4.9 billion on box office ticket sales. 76 percent of all US homes had VCRs.
1992
The first film released in Dolby Stereo Digital sound was Tim Burton's sequel to the original 1989 film, Batman Returns.
1992
The mediocre film The Bodyguard (1992) was significant for its superstar Whitney Houston (in her first major acting role) and the soundtrack - including her rendition of the 1974 Dolly Parton hit song: "I Will Always Love You"; the song sold 17 million copies and became the #1 all time Grammy-winning film soundtrack (replacing Saturday Night Fever).
1992
Disney's Aladdin (1992), budgeted at $28 million, became the highest-grossing (domestic) film of the year, at $217.3 million. It was one of Disney's first movies to gross more overseas (at $286.7 million) than it did domestically (neither Beauty and the Beast (1991) nor The Little Mermaid (1989) did so). It won two Oscars (from five nominations), Best Original Score (Alan Menken) and Best Original Song ("A Whole New World"). This was the first major animated film that was advertised as having a major movie star (Robin Williams as the voice of the Genie) providing one of the character's voices - a predominant trend ever since. The animated feature film engendered considerable controversy for its pro-Western portrayal of Aladdin and Jasmine (always unveiled and in skimpy costumes) - the first non-white princess, the fact that turbaned characters were bald, and all the villainous characters were Arab caricatures.
1992
Basic Instinct (1992) was released - a suspenseful, cat-and-mouse erotic thriller with psychosexual overtones. Its director-writer team of Paul Verhoeven (known for earlier films Robocop (1987) and Total Recall (1990) and then Showgirls (1995)) and Joe Eszterhas (known for Jagged Edge (1985)) created this exploitative, soft-porn, excessive, controversial film with a negative portrayal of lesbianism, violence, initial X-rating, and voyeuristic, sensational, gratuitous sex. Womens' groups called the film misogynistic, and gay-rights groups in San Francisco called it stereotypically-homophobic and gay-bashing. Star Sharon Stone's career as a sex goddess was also revived by the film's interrogation scene in which as bisexual homicide suspect Catherine Trammel, she uncrossed and re-crossed her legs while wearing a short white mini-dress (without panties). [The former model had first acted in a small part in Woody Allen's Stardust Memories (1980), and in a slightly larger role in Irreconcilable Differences (1984). She also appeared in minor films such as King Solomon's Mines (1985) and Action Jackson (1988), but her major breakthrough was opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in Total Recall (1990). Later came a Golden Globe-nominated part in Casino (1995), but the remainder of her filmography consisted of flops or smaller roles.]
1992
Writer/director Leslie Harris' authentic, low-budget independent film - an emotional coming-of-age drama titled Just Another Girl on the I.R.T. (1992) - was shot in only a few weeks. It was one of the first honest portraits of urban black female teenagers - it was also about sexual ignorance and unplanned pregnancy. The film won first-time director Leslie Harris a Special Jury Prize at the 1993 Sundance Film Festival.
1992
The Lawnmower Man (1992), a breakthrough film with eight minutes of ground-breaking special effects, introduced Virtual Reality to films. It was one of the first films to record a human actor's movements in a sensor-covered body suit - a technique called Body Motion Capture. [The technique was later perfected in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002), for the CGI character of Gollum.]
1992
12 year-old Macaulay Culkin was paid $8 million to star in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992), the largest paycheck for a child star. The film was the second highest-grossing (domestic) film of the year, at $173.6 million.
1992
Former Southern California video-store clerk Quentin Tarantino released his debut feature film (as both director and screenwriter), the bloody crime drama Reservoir Dogs (1992) - an influential independent and cult film.
1992
American actor Anthony Perkins died at the age of 60, of AIDS - his most memorable role was as mother-crazed Norman Bates in Hitchcock's Psycho (1960) (and he also appeared in three sequels). During his entire film career beginning in 1953 (and lasting until 1992), he was Oscar-nominated only once for his role in Friendly Persuasion (1956).
1992
Director Robert Altman's acclaimed The Player (1992) was a character-intensive satire on contemporary Tinseltown morality and its wheeling and dealing, starring Tim Robbins as a smooth Hollywood studio executive.
1992
Indian auteur film director Satyajit Ray died at age of 70. His most notable films included his first film Pather Panchali (1955) about village life. Combined with Aparajito (1956) and The World of Apu (1959) (aka Apur Sansar), the three films completed his brilliant 'Apu Trilogy', bringing Indian films to worldwide attention.
1992
Miramax (run by Bob and Harvey Weinstein before they cofounded The Weinstein Company in 2005) began an unbroken, eleven-year streak lasting from 1992 until 2002, of Best Picture-nominated films each year, beginning with the Irish/British film sleeper hit, writer/director Neil Jordan's The Crying Game (1992). It was the longest streak for any company since the Academy limited the Best Picture nominees to five films in 1944.
1992
In Miramax's advertising campaign for The Crying Game (1992), it pressured its audiences and critics to not reveal the film's transgender plot twist, although a hint was given when Jaye Davidson (as girlfriend Dil) received a Best Supporting Actor award.
1992
Director Spike Lee's biopic Malcolm X (1992) of the controversial African-American leader was the first non-documentary production (and first US film) that was given permission to film in Mecca, the holy Islamic city. Lee's second-unit (all Muslims) did the filming, since non-Muslims were prohibited from entering the city.
1992
Actor Sylvester Stallone received a record number of consecutive nominations and wins for the Worst Actor Golden Raspberry (Razzie) Award, from 1984 to 1992. He was nominated nine consecutive times for Worst Actor, winning four times (for Rhinestone (1984), Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985), Rambo III (1988), and Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot (1992)). In 1990, he was honored as the Worst Actor of the Decade, for Cobra (1986), Lock Up (1989), Over the Top (1987), Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985), Rambo III (1988), Rocky IV (1985), Rhinestone (1984) and Tango & Cash (1989).
1992
In the year 1993, Razzie Awards were given to: 'Worst Supporting Actor' Tom Selleck for Christopher Columbus: The Discovery (1992), and 'Worst Actress' (and 'Worst Picture') to Melanie Griffith for Shining Through (1993).
1992
German and American film star Marlene Dietrich died at the age of 90 of kidney failure. Her breakthrough film was in the role of Lola Lola in The Blue Angel (1930, Germ.), beginning a long-standing relationship with director Josef von Sternberg in six more films (from 1930 to 1935), including Morocco (1930), Dishonored (1931), Shanghai Express (1932), Blonde Venus (1932), The Scarlet Empress (1934), and The Devil Is a Woman (1935). Her first US film was Morocco (1930), for which she received her sole Oscar nomination. Other memorable films included Destry Rides Again (1939), The Spoilers (1942), A Foreign Affair (1948), Witness for the Prosecution (1957), Rancho Notorious (1952), and Touch of Evil (1958).


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