1991 didn’t give us too many great films, but we got a few. Of those few my favorites for 1991 are…
10. Drop Dead Fred: Elizabeth Cronin (Phoebe Cates) returns to live at home with her mother after losing her money, car, job and husband.
In her room, she finds a jack-in-the-box, which held her imaginary friend, Drop Dead Fred, (Rik Mayall) captive since she was a child.
Unlike Elizabeth who is wholesome, sweet, and innocent, Fred is a troublemaker that often causes problems for Elizabeth. Of course, since Drop Dead Fred is imaginary, Elizabeth is actually the one creating havoc for herself. We learn that Fred exists to serve as an outlet for Elizabeth whose mother was abusive and demanding.
A funny, yet comedic look at life and how one deals with the issues of life.
9. Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead: This farce is totally unbelievable, but I loved this movie and it’s one of my all time favorites and one of my top 100. Sue Ellen Crandell is a young high school student who is forced to stay at home while her mother goes “abroad” . Sue Ellen (Christina Applegate) soon takes matters into her own hands when the babysitter winds up dead.
8. For the Boys: Tells the story of an 1940s actress/singer (Bette Midler) who teams with another entertainer (James Caan) to entertain American troops during WWII. The film traces her life through 50 years. Bette Midler was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance. The film is a tear-jerker but at the same time a funny and light story. Bette Midler is phenomenal as Dixie Leanord.
7. JFK : Oliver Stone seemed somewhat obsessed with historical fictional drama in the 1990’s, but this film based part on true events tries to correlate those events with the connection and conspiracy to assassinate President John F. Kennedy. Once you watch this film, with some of the biggest named stars of the 1980’s and 90’s you almost believe that it is all fact. Some of the best performances were by Kevin Costner, Joe Pesci and Tommy Lee Jones.
6. Backdraft: A movie about firemen? It’s more than that, it’s a movie about brother’s, and how lives are so intertwined, even if we really don’t like one another. It also gives meaning to the old line that blood is thicker than water. Kurt Russell in one of his best performances on film plays Bull, the captain of the firehouse, and older brother of William Baldwin’s character, the new rookie cadet. The cinematography is great and the fire scenes are so real you almost feel hot watching this great, and well acted film.
5. The Doors; Jim Morrison was one of the most colorful characters of the 1960’s. His life and his rise to stardom and his demise at this own hands are brought to film in yet another Oliver Stone film. Val Kilmer plays a very real likeness to the famed rocker, yet some of his supporting actors fall short. Overall a good film and a great look into the life of one of America’s most enchanting entertainers.
4. My Own Private Idaho: Two young boys on the streets, one claims he is straight, the other accepts that he is gay. One dreams of finding his mother, the other dreams of having the one that he loves accept him and return the love. River Phoenix is stirring and emotional as a young gay hustler who falls in love with his friend played by Keanu Reeves. A definite unrequited love story.
3. Silence of the Lambs: One of the most terrifying performances on film by Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster. It is still one of the most terrifying films to have ever been produced. Beautifully directed, acted, scored and adapted, this is a true work of excellence. Winner of the top Oscars, Silence of the Lambs is a true modern day classic film.
2. Fried Green Tomatoes: Jessica Tandy as the story teller, of Fannie Flagg’s #1 bestseller adapted into a beautiful and moving film of how ones life can change another’s. As Jessica Tandy tells the story of her younger days, her new friend Kathy Bates becomes a strong and independent woman by realizing her potential. The film is funny yet moving, and with the great acting ability of Tandy, Bates and Mary Stuart Masterson, it is one for every film library.
1. Beauty & the Beast; By far one of the best Disney animated films ever produced. It takes the beautiful old story of Beauty & the Beast and gives it a whole new face and a whole new song. If an animated movie should have ever won the Academy Award for best film, this should have been it.