Timeline of Greatest Film
Milestones and Turning Points
in Film History


The Year 1993

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 1993
Year
Event and Significance
1993
Steven Spielberg's influential blockbuster Jurassic Park (1993) was released, and became the top-grossing (domestic) film of the year, at $357 million. It easily surpassed the # 2 film, Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) at $219 million, and # 3 film The Fugitive (1993) at $184 million. It was noted for its full-motion, computer-generated (CGI) dinosaurs created at George Lucas' ILM facility. The dinosaurs were very realistically-rendered and seamlessly integrated within live-action sequences. There were 14 minutes of dinosaur footage in the movie, with only four of those minutes generated by computers. DTS Digital Sound also made its theatrical debut in the film. It won all three of its Academy Awards nominations: Best Visual Effects, Best Sound, and Best Sound Editing.
1993
Steven Spielberg's black and white Holocaust drama Schindler's List (1993) became a Best Picture winner in 1994 (with a total of seven Oscars from its twelve nominations), and it brought Spielberg his first long-sought-after Best Director Oscar award (presented in 1994). Its dramatic recreation of the events of the Nazi Holocaust demonstrated the power of the medium to influence audiences and capture the reality of past history. Its documentary authenticity vividly re-created a dark, frightening period during World War II, when Jews in Nazi-occupied Krakow were first dispossessed of their businesses and homes, then placed in ghettos and forced labor camps in Plaszow, and finally resettled in concentration camps for execution.
1993
The ground-breaking, historically-significant film Philadelphia (1993) from Jonathan Demme, starring straight actors Tom Hanks (who won his first Best Actor Oscar) and Antonio Banderas as gay lovers, was the first major studio (big-budget) film to confront the AIDS issue from a societal, medical, and political point of view. Hanks' character was an AIDS-afflicted lawyer who contracted the disease and was forced to sue his law firm over job discrimination - he was ably defended by a black lawyer (Denzel Washington). During Hanks' Oscar acceptance speech, he paid homage to his high school gay teacher Rawley Farnsworth - the situation was later used as the basis for the comedy In & Out (1997) in which a passionate Oscar winner during his acceptance speech inadvertently outed a teacher.
1993
Pioneering silent-comedy producer Hal Roach, known for the teaming of the duo Laurel and Hardy, and the Our Gang series, died at the age of 101.
1993
VCRs were still owned by 77% of TV households.
1993
Super Mario Bros. (1993) was the first live-action, feature-length movie based upon a video game.
1993
Grace Kelly was the first female actress to appear solo on a postage stamp (jointly issued by the US Postal Service in Hollywood and the Principality of Monaco). The Grace Kelly stamps depicted Kelly's portrait taken from a publicity poster for the movie Country Girl (1954), for which Kelly was awarded a Best-Actress Oscar. [Note: In 1982, the Postal Service had also earlier issued a commemorative stamp bearing the portraits of John, Ethel and Lionel Barrymore. Ethel became the first actress, not appearing solo however, on a US postage stamp.]
1993
28 year-old actor Brandon Lee, son of Bruce Lee, was killed in 1993 during the filming of Alex Proyas' The Crow (1994) in Wilmington, N.C., by a prop gun that fired part of a dummy bullet instead of a blank. The film was completed by rewriting the plot, using a body double, and by 'digitally-painting' Lee's face onto another actor.
1993
Underground film director David Blair's low-budget, surrealistic cult film-documentary Wax, Or the Discovery of Television Among the Bees (1991), became the first film to be transmitted over the Internet in May of 1993, at the rate of two frames per second. As it was played on a VCR, it was fed into a computer that converted it into digital form and transmitted it to the Internet for broadcast. It was also the first independent feature film to have been edited on a digital, non-linear system.
1993
Belgium-born British actress Audrey Hepburn died at the age of 63. She won an Academy Award as Best Actress (her sole win) for her charming role in Roman Holiday (1953), and was also nominated four other times for the same award for Sabrina (1954), The Nun's Story (1959), Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961), and Wait Until Dark (1967). She also appeared in Charade (1963) and in the screen version of My Fair Lady (1964), replacing Julie Andrews from the Broadway stage, and having her voice dubbed by Marni Nixon.
1993
The average movie ticket price was $4.14, and box-office receipts totaled $5.15 billion. There were 469 new releases. The number of movie screens was 25,750 (850 were in drive-ins).
1993
In 1993, Walt Disney Studio Entertainment bought Miramax Films for about $80 million - now considered a bargain-basement price. Miramax soon acquired a reputation for releasing underdog, independent, adult-oriented or arthouse films that won an astonishing number of Academy Awards (and nominations). Miramax's (under the Weinsteins) first Best Picture Oscar was for The English Patient (1996), soon followed by another one for Shakespeare in Love (1998), and a third for the financially-successful Chicago (2002).
1993
Miramax's The Piano (1993, NZ) included young Anna Paquin's breakout role as Flora McGrath (she won Best Supporting Actress at the Academy Awards), Holly Hunter (won Best Actress) and writer/director Jane Campion became the first female director to win the Palme d'Or at Cannes.
1993
In June of 1993, a court ruling denied actor/director/producer/writer Woody Allen custody of his three children with Mia Farrow. Allen was called a "self-absorbed, untrustworthy and insensitive father." Then, in September of 1993, Connecticut State Attorney Frank Maco announced that, while he had "probable cause" to prosecute Allen on charges of sexual molestation of Dylan, he was dropping the case to spare her the trauma of appearing in court. Allen denounced the entire investigation. In October, the New York State Department of Social Services dropped its investigation into the child molestation charge. It concluded "that no credible evidence was found... that the child named in this report has been abused or maltreated."
1993
Director Martha Coolidge's Lost in Yonkers (1993) was the first feature film entirely edited on an Avid Media (or Film) Composer system. This was the first non-linear editing system to allow viewing at a film's required "real-time"-viewing rate of 24 frames per second. By converting film into digital bits, film could now be electronically edited on a computer.
1993
After appearing together in Joe Versus the Volcano (1990), Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan were re-teamed in director Nora Ephron's romantic comedy Sleepless in Seattle (1993) - and later followed up by also appearing in You've Got Mail (1998). However, the two stars shared only about two minutes of screen time. The 1993 film made constant references to Leo McCarey's weepie romantic film An Affair to Remember (1957), a remake of McCarey's own Love Affair (1939). There was an increase in slaes and rentals of the 1957 film, which the characters watched and talked about.
1993
To create the special effects for his own films, James Cameron launched an innovative, state of the art, visual effects digital production studio, called Digital Domain, with partners IBM, character creator Stan Winston, and former ILM chief Scott Ross.
1993
Young Hollywood heartthrob, 23 year-old actor River Phoenix collapsed outside a W. Hollywood nightclub, and died from drug-induced heart failure (a cocaine and morphine overdose). His breakthrough film role was in Stand by Me (1986) based on a novella by Stephen King. He earned an Academy Award nomination for Sidney Lumet's Running on Empty (1988). Phoenix also starred as the young Indy in Spielberg's Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989).
1993
Unknown 23 year-old director Robert Rodriguez filmed the low-budget, Spanish-language action thriller El Mariachi (1992, Mex.) for only $7,000 in about two weeks. The independent film, released by Columbia Pictures in Spanish with subtitles, became an unexpected hit at the Sundance Film Festival in early 1993, went on to gross $2 million, and led to two sequels (Desperado (1995) and Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003)) and other low-budget efforts by other directors (i.e., Clerks (1994)). It was one of the cheapest films ever released by a studio.
1993
Beverly Hills madam-to-the-stars Heidi Fleiss (aka "Hollywood Madam"), responsible for arranging high-class hookers in the early 1990s for high-rolling Hollywood celebrities (i.e., Charlie Sheen, among others), sheiks, and corporate executives, was arrested by the LAPD and charged with narcotics possession (cocaine), pimping and pandering. Police possessed her address book and traveler's checks from a famous actor. In 1997, she was sentenced to about three years in prison for tax evasion (pandering charges were dropped), but served less than two years. In 1995, a BBC investigative documentary titled Heidi Fleiss: Hollywood Madam was released, and in January of 2004, Heidi Fleiss sold her life story to Paramount Pictures for $5 million. The made-for-TV film Call Me: The Rise and Fall of Heidi Fleiss (2004) starred Jamie Lynn-Siegler as Fleiss.
1993
In mid-1993, Disney agreed to change disparaging, racist song lyrics in the opening song "Arabian Nights" of Aladdin (1992), in response to complaints from the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. The original lyric about the film's Arabian setting ("Where they cut off your ears if they don't like your face/It's barbaric, but, hey, it's home") was censored/dubbed out and changed to "Where it's flat and immense and the heat is intense/It's barbaric, but, hey, it's home" for subsequent video releases in 1993 and for the re-released soundtrack.
1993
Actress Kim Basinger was sued by the producers of Boxing Helena (1993) for $8.92 million dollars for breach of contract (for withdrawing from the film) and for acting in bad faith. The suit was brought by the movie's producer, Carl Mazzocone, president of Main Line Pictures, although the case was "reversed in full" in 1994 following an appeal.
1993
Director Andrew Davis' The Fugitive (1993) starred Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones, and was noted for its incredible stunt work in scenes of a train wreck, and its special effects (the plunge into a dam).


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