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1-20 of 59 items from 2017   « Prev | Next »


Today in Movie Culture: New 'Alien: Covenant' Prologue, FaceApp Gets a Movie-Themed Parody and More

26 April 2017 11:00 PM, PDT | Movies.com | See recent Movies.com news »

Here are a bunch of little bites to satisfy your hunger for movie culture:   Prologue of the Day: Ahead of the release of Alien: Covenant, here's a new prologue showing what happened to Elizabeth and David after the end of Prometheus (via /Film):   Alternate Ending of the Day: How might Star Wars: The Force Awakens have ended more happily? The Unusual Suspect presents a clever mashup with Raiders of the Lost Ark footage:   Cosplay of the Day: Speaking of Star Wars, awesome Star Wars Celebration cosplay is still coming in, like this trio as high school versions of Han, Leia and Luke doing the Breakfast Club dance (via Fashionably Geek):   Prank of the Day: Also from Star...

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- Christopher Campbell

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18 actors whose characters were cut out of movies in post-production

24 April 2017 1:30 PM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

Simon Brew Apr 28, 2017

The actors whose role in a film was shot, but chopped out of the final cut...

Yep, I know. I’ve read lists like this too, and I know that Eric Stoltz was cut out of Back To The Future. If it’s all well and good, I’ll leave that example out.

See related  Line Of Duty series 4, and the clues hiding in series 1 Line Of Duty series 4: looking for clues in the finale trailer Line Of Duty: creator Jed Mercurio interview Line Of Duty series 4 episode 5 review

What I’ve tried to find here is a mix of reasonably known and less known instances of an actor being cut out of a film after they’ve filmed sequences for it. I’ve also tried to get to the reason they were left out as well.

Whilst all this may still sound like an exercise in clickbait, »

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One Perfect Pod: Presenting Film | itself — A new weekly interview series.

20 April 2017 3:06 PM, PDT | FilmSchoolRejects.com | See recent FilmSchoolRejects news »

This Week: Special effects master Chris Walas, known for ‘The Fly’ and ‘Gremlins.’

You may not recognize his name, but the odds are good you know his work.

Welcome to the first episode of the Film Itself podcast, another new addition to the One Perfect Pod family of shows. The idea for our new show is simple: each week, we’ll be speaking to film fans both inside and outside the industry. Directors, cinematographers, actors, podcast hosts, video essayists, journalists, if they have a passion for film, we want to explore that. For those that may not know, Film Itself was the original name for One Perfect Shot, but in the end, the latter was a better description of what we did (and do). Our new show is an opportunity to dust off that name, a quiet tribute of sorts to the late Roger Ebert (a hero of mine), and give it the spotlight as we talk »

- Geoff Todd

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The Lost City of Z movie review: archaeology was his religion

18 April 2017 2:26 PM, PDT | www.flickfilosopher.com | See recent FlickFilosopher news »

MaryAnn’s quick take… An adventure of the intellect and of the heart with the real-life explorer who inspired Indiana Jones, one more about the journey than the destination. I’m “biast” (pro): love a good adventure; love director James Gray

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

I have not read the source material

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

He was a real-life Indiana Jones. Literally: the Harrison Ford character was based on British explorer Percy Fawcett, one of the last of those intrepid men (always men, of course) to boldly venture into uncharted (by white people, that is) territory in search of knowledge, and to fill in the blank spaces on the maps. A cartographer and archaeologist, he was obsessed with the idea that remnants of a lost dead civilization were hidden in the Amazonian jungles, and he disappeared — along with his traveling companion, »

- MaryAnn Johanson

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The 25 most iconic movie entrances

16 April 2017 12:34 PM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

Robert Keeling Apr 25, 2017

Saluting the movie characters who make an impression, the minute they appear on the screen...

One thing that unites all of cinema’s most iconic characters is that they were able to make a memorable first impression. Whether it’s bursting onto the scene in a flurry of noise or slowly skulking their way into shot, there’s a fine art to ensuring a character makes an instant impact on screen. An iconic entrance is not just about a momentary impact however, it can also emphasise a character’s importance and help to cement their influence over the rest of the movie. 

See related  Westworld episode 10 review: The Bicameral Mind Westworld episode 9 review: The Well-Tempered Clavier

There are any number of contributory factors that can be blended together in order to make an entrance truly memorable. These include the accompanying music, the choice of camera shot, the »

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The Top 5 Movie Explorers

15 April 2017 5:00 AM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

Henry Bevan with his top five movie explorers…

After debuting to generally positive response in the UK, director James Gray’s absorbing, thought-provoking, and fascinating  The Lost City of Z is opening in the United States.

The film follows the exploits of the real-life explorer Percy Fawcett, played by Charlie Hunnam, leading up to his famous disappearance in 1925. The mysterious circumstances surrounding his disappearance have turned Fawcett into a figure almost as mythological as the city he was looking for.

His “myth” has impacted culture and he has inspired the creation of many fictional explorers. Inspired by the film’s Us release, here are the Top 5 Movie Explorers.

5) Milo Thatch – Atlantis: The Lost Empire

If there is one hallmark of many movie explorers it is that they must be obsessed with finding a lost city. Milo Thatch from Disney’s underrated Atlantis: The Lost Empire has been searching for Atlantis his whole life. »

- Henry Bevan

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12 Movies to Watch After You See ‘The Fate of the Furious’

14 April 2017 10:00 AM, PDT | FilmSchoolRejects.com | See recent FilmSchoolRejects news »

Assorted recommendations inspired by the multifarious sequel.Sorry, Marky Mark, but you’ve already got a car-based franchise.

By the time you’re done watching The Fate of the Furious, you’re likely to have forgotten some of its distinctly differing parts. The sequel begins as one thing then becomes another and another and another, delivering a thrilling mix of action sequences that don’t quite fit together as a fluid and cohesive whole.

I was reminded of a number of dissimilar movies while watching the eighth Fast and the Furious installment, so this week’s list of recommendations could be an even more mixed assortment than usual. But I have no interest in prescribing bad-tasting medicine like The Game Plan in response to Dwayne Johnson’s soccer dad scene. I’m also ignoring Jason Statham’s cheeky insult reminding Johnson and us all of his dumb Hercules movie.

Instead of going with the usual chronological trip »

- Christopher Campbell

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Producer Frank Marshall Recalls Carb-Loading, Marathon-Running Days

14 April 2017 6:03 AM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Though it won't do Jurassic Park business at the box office, Frank Marshall is just as proud of his new film, the Matt Damon-narrated doc Boston, which chronicles the world-renowned Boston Marathon. After all, the tentpole producer has some history with 120-year-old race.

While shooting the Indiana Jones installment Raiders of the Lost Ark in London in 1980, Marshall skipped out to run the Boston Marathon and set a personal best. Back in those days, a runner had to run the 26 miles in two hours and 50 minutes in order to qualify (today, it's three hours and five minutes).

"So »

- Tatiana Siegel

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Review: ‘The Void’ is a Surreal Hybrid of ‘The Thing’ and ‘Hellraiser’

6 April 2017 9:29 AM, PDT | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

I was recently comparing directorial culture today with that of the 80s and 90s, referencing how new technology has allowed a disintegration of the old school “pay your dues” mentality. Forty years ago you had artists working their way up under the tutelage of established directors through the more niche technical departments. See James Cameron (matte painter on Escape from New York) and Joe Johnston (visual effects on Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark) as examples. I’m not saying this type of mailroom intern to studio executive evolution isn’t still possible or relevant, just that young filmmakers can currently make a calling card film like the $750,000 budgeted Safety Not Guaranteed and find themselves helming a $150 million blockbuster like Jurassic World in only three years.

Is that talent? Luck? A bit of both, surely. But I still admire the idea of learning before jumping, earning the big »

- Jared Mobarak

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'Five Came Back': The True Story of How Hollywood Helped Win World War II

1 April 2017 6:34 AM, PDT | Rollingstone.com | See recent Rolling Stone news »

Several years ago, Mark Harris began feeling a little self-conscious about a gap in his film-history knowledge. As a journalist for Entertainment Weekly, New York Magazine and the late, lamented Web site Grantland, among others, he'd covered the waterfront of contemporary moviemaking. As an author, his book Pictures at a Revolution dissected the moment in the late 1960s when the last gasp of the Golden Age studio system gave way to what become known as "New Hollywood." Ask him about the works of legends like, say, John Ford and Frank Capra, »

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Harrison Ford's Deleted E.T. Cameo Details Revealed

30 March 2017 4:56 PM, PDT | MovieWeb | See recent MovieWeb news »

Even some of the biggest fans of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial aren't aware of Harrison Ford's cameo. And for good reason, as it was cut from the finished movie. But now the true story behind this legendary missing footage is being told by those who were there, and it all comes courtesy of Entertainment Weekly and their annual reunion issue.

You might think to yourself, where could Harrison Ford have shown up in E.T.? Was he Dee Wallace Stone's unseen Halloween date? Was he part of the research team? No. He was supposed to be part of the iconic frog escape that comes midway through the movie. Alas, his role in this scene has gone unseen for over thirty years.

The scene itself is notable for including a cameo from future Baywatch babe Erika Eleniak, whom Elliot gets to kiss. But when it came time to shoot the scene, »

- MovieWeb

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Interview: Director Tom McGrath is Boss of ‘The Boss Baby’

29 March 2017 1:43 PM, PDT | HollywoodChicago.com | See recent HollywoodChicago.com news »

Chicago – In one of the most natural pieces of voice casting in cartoon history, Alec Baldwin portrays the title character in Dreamworks Animation’s “The Boss Baby.” The director is animation veteran Tom McGrath (“Madagascar”), and the producer is Ramsey Ann Naito, and they were both in Chicago to promote the film.

The Boss Baby” is fast, loose, funny and full of heart. Based on a children’s book by Marla Frazee, the animated version combines baby brother jealousy with Mad Men-era business self help, in a crazy visual landscape. Alec Baldwin is at his “30 Rock” best as the Boss Baby, delivering lines like the parody of his famous movie quote, “cookies are for closers.” There are many layers in the film, but mostly it is a hilarious metaphor on how families adjust when new siblings are added to the mix.

Alec Baldwin is the Voice of ‘The Boss Baby, »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Comic Book Review – The X-Files #12

29 March 2017 2:30 AM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

Tony Black reviews The X-Files #12…

“Skinner,” Part 1 (of 2): Assistant Director Walter Skinner finally gets the spotlight! When a face from the past resurfaces, Skinner must confront painful memories of the Vietnam War in his effort to keep a dark secret from being exposed.

See Also: Check out a preview of The X-Files #12 here

Skinner. The title says it all as a pronouncement this issue of The X-Files is all about Fox Mulder & Dana Scully’s FBI boss, the nebulous Assistant Director who is mostly friend but occasionally skirts into ever so slight foe territory. Joe Harris takes the brave move here of removing our two legendary agents entirely from proceedings and in this first of a two-parter not only squaring the focus centrally on Walter, but setting the majority of his story in the past. He takes a cue from a famous monologue Skinner delivers in the episode ‘One »

- Tony Black

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Here’s Your First Look At Alicia Vikander In Tomb Raider

27 March 2017 9:43 AM, PDT | We Got This Covered | See recent We Got This Covered news »

See Full Gallery Here

After some set pics made their way online not too long ago, we now have our very first look at Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft in the upcoming Tomb Raider adaptation. Based on the popular video game series of the same name, the film also stars Dominic West and Walton Goggins, and has Roar Uthaug behind the camera.

The movie will apparently mine inspiration from Crystal Dynamics’ series reboot, which drew much praise back when it released in 2013. While exact plot details remain under wraps for now, Goggins (who’s on board to play the villain) recently teased that it’ll be a bit like Raiders of the Lost Ark – a comparison which makes sense. Until we learn a little bit more about the film though, we’ll remain skeptical of it.

Vikander is tremendous talent, to be sure, and Tomb Raider is a great property for adaptation, »

- Mark Cassidy

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The true stories behind Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Movie

23 March 2017 2:00 AM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

Luke Owen sits down to interview some of the people behind Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Movie to find the stories behind the film…

Part way through the filming of the first season of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, producers Haim Saban and Shuki Levy found themselves in a quandary. The show was pulling in huge ratings and the merchandise was flying off the shelves to the point where they’d made over $1 billion in their first year, but three of its stars felt they were being underpaid for what they were doing. Austin St. John (The Red Ranger), Walter Jones (The Black Ranger) and Thuy Trang (The Yellow Ranger) felt their non-union contracts for several movies and forty more episodes were unfair, and as a result left the show to be replaced with stock footage and stunt doubles while their characters left to attend the World Peace Conference. “I »

- Luke Owen

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Rogue One Director Gareth Edwards Discusses The Han Solo Film

20 March 2017 6:50 PM, PDT | LRMonline.com | See recent LRM Online news »

Disney's yearly Star Wars releases are off to a fantastic start with The Force Awakens in 2015 and Rogue One, the first "Star Wars Story," just last Christmas. Though Star Wars: Episode VIII, now known as The Last Jedi, arrives December 15, 2017, the Untitled Han Solo: A Star Wars Story will not be far behind as it is currently slated for May 25, 2018. 

The film already has a stellar cast including Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo, Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian, Emilia Clark, and Woody Harrelson. Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are directing, hot of the 21 Jump St. franchise and The Lego Movie. The script is written by Lawewnce Kasdan and his son, Jon Kasdan, the former known for writing The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and even The Force Awakens. What sounded like a really risky and "groan-worthy" project when it was announced is therefore shaping up nicely »

- Nick Doll

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Disney Cosplay Film is Humongous Hit

20 March 2017 10:06 AM, PDT | FilmSchoolRejects.com | See recent FilmSchoolRejects news »

Beauty and the Beast’ maintains today’s biggest box office trend.

“It was Beauty and the Beast killed the beast…at the box office.” — paraphrasing fictional character Carl Denham (Robert Armstrong/Dudley Moore/Jack Black) seems appropriate on the occasion of Disney’s latest remake crushing the competition over the weekend. Both Logan and The Belko Experiment ran ads telling people to see “the beast” instead of “the beauty,” though that campaign would have made the most sense for Kong: Skull Island given King Kong is the source of that quote above. Well, Beauty and the Beast made more than three times as much as all those movies put together in its debut. Moviegoers overwhelmingly preferred the beauty.

Today is the rare Monday morning where a hit really does look like history. The spin and hype about Beauty and the Beast being a big deal is deserved. Taking in a $175m domestic gross, the »

- Christopher Campbell

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28 Best Drunk Scenes in Film

17 March 2017 2:46 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, arguably the biggest drinking holiday of the year, we looked at some of the best drunk moments to grace the silver screen. From Humphrey Bogart’s classic, heartbreaking “of all the gin joints” speech in “Casablanca,” to the utterly ridiculous scene in “Team America” when the puppets spew their guts up, here are the 28 best drunk scenes on film.

Leaving Las Vegas” — Booze Run

Although not a traditional “drunk scene,” the opening scene of “Leaving Las Vegas” — which sees Nicolas Cage’s Ben Sanderson dancing through a liquor aisle piling his cart sky high with booze — is as good a prelude to this list as any.

Arthur” — Introducing Princess Gloria

Dudley Moore’s Arthur spends the majority of the film tipping back drinks, but his introduction of “Princess Gloria” to his aunt and uncle at a restaurant — and his insistence that Rhode Island could »

- Jacob Bryant

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What Happened to the Women Directors in Hollywood? Part 4: 1984–1999

17 March 2017 2:02 PM, PDT | Women and Hollywood | See recent Women and Hollywood news »

Mississippi Masala

by Carrie Rickey

This five-part Truthdig series by Carrie Rickey is published in partnership with Women and Hollywood. The series considers the historic accomplishments of women behind the camera, how they got marginalized, and how they are fighting for equal employment. Specifically, this series asks, why do females make up between 33 and 50 percent of film-school graduates but account for only seven percent of working directors? What happened to the women directors in Hollywood?

While female filmmakers waited for Judge Pamela Rymer to hand down a decision in the 1983 Directors Guild class-action suit against Warner Brothers and Columbia Pictures, alleging discrimination for not hiring women and ethnic minorities represented by the guild, there were positive signs of change in Hollywood.

In 1984, for the first time that almost anyone could remember, one needed two hands to count the number of feature films by women released in the U.S. market. One was Diane Kurys’ “Entre Nous” (1983), nominated for best foreign film at the Academy Awards in April 1984, making Kurys the second female director whose film was so honored.

Between 1950 and 1980, the number of movies directed by women in the Directors Guild of America (DGA) totaled 14. From 1984 to 1985 there were 12.

In 1984 many women were making their second features. Among them were Gillian Armstrong’s period drama “Mrs. Soffel,” Amy Heckerling’s gangster comedy “Johnny Dangerously,” Penelope Spheeris’ teenage-runaway saga “Suburbia,” and Amy Holden Jones’ romantic drama “Love Letters.” Martha Coolidge, beloved for “Valley Girl,” her 1983 debut, was on her third feature, “National Lampoon’s Joy of Sex.” With more women behind the movie camera in the United States than any time since the ’teens, it seemed that Hollywood was reopening the studio gates to women. Their movies featured women in lead roles.

The wave of optimism crested in 1985. Argentine director Maria Luisa Bemberg’s historical romance “Camila” (1984) was in contention for best foreign film. Susan Seidelman, an Nyu film-school grad who made a splash in 1983 with the indie “Smithereens,” released “Desperately Seeking Susan,” starring “It Girl” Rosanna Arquette and Madonna, cast when the latter was a relative unknown. It was a runaway hit. Heckerling and Spheeris each released third features, respectively “National Lampoon’s European Vacation” and “The Boys Next Door.” Coolidge released her fourth: “Real Genius,” a genuinely funny nerd comedy with a fully developed female character — and special effects.

Then came the crash.

In August 1985 Judge Rymer handed down her decision. While the class-action case was important and viable, Rymer ruled, she had to disqualify the DGA from leading the class due to a conflict of interest. White male members also competing for directing jobs dominated the guild, she said. Thus the DGA was in no position to represent the interests of its women and ethnic minority members. Out of exhaustion and lack of money, the Original Six, the group of female filmmakers that had first spurred the DGA to initiate the suit, did not pursue it any further.

As the DGA suit played out during the early 1980s, Hollywood’s business model was in flux. Studios abandoned the one-size-fits-all strategy of advertising a movie in general-interest publications and embraced segmented marketing — that is, making and marketing movies to a specific demographic. Fewer dollars were spent advertising movies in mainstream newspapers and more were spent on ads that ran during TV shows young males were said to watch. More and more, movies starred predominantly men and boys. Because actors had higher-profile roles, they could command higher salaries than actresses.

By dividing the market into sectors, studios divided the audience and the culture. Boys see movies about boys. Older people see movies about older people. Women see movies about women. Those in different demographics no longer watch the same stories.

In 1980, four of the 10 top box office stars were women: Sally Field, Jane Fonda, Sissy Spacek, and Barbra Streisand. In 1990 there was only one: Julia Roberts. According to 1990 statistics from the Screen Actors Guild, not only were actresses underpaid, but they were also “undercast”: 14 percent of the leading roles, and only 29 percent of all roles, went to women.

The “Indiana Jones” trilogy made in the 1980s reflected the progressively diminishing role of females in film during a decade when male action/adventures dominated the multiplex. In “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981), the character Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen) plays Indy’s helpmate. In “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” (1984), the Willie Scott character (Kate Capshaw) is helpless. And in “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” archeologist Elsa Schneider (Alison Doody) is the enemy.

Despite such trends, the late 1980s and 1990s proved to be boom years for female directors in Hollywood and Indiewood, as independent film is known. In 1987, Kathryn Bigelow, a onetime sculptor and graduate of Columbia University’s film program, made her second feature, the “vampire Western” “Near Dark.” And though Elaine May’s studio film “Ishtar” was almost universally panned upon release, it earned belated respect. Richard Brody of The New Yorker correctly described it as “an unjustly derided masterwork.” In 1987, six percent of films were directed by women, higher than at any time since 1916.

The percentage dropped in 1988, but that was a watershed year for female filmmakers. “Big,” a comedy from Penny Marshall (co-written by Anne Spielberg), was universally acclaimed. It was the first movie directed by a woman that surpassed $100 million at the box office. With the romantic comedy “Crossing Delancey,” Joan Micklin Silver returned to making big-screen fare, and her modest hit was well received. Also in 1988, Silver’s daughter, Marisa, made her second feature, “Permanent Record,” about teen suicide. “Salaam, Bombay!”, the first feature from Mira Nair, the India-born, Harvard-educated documentarian, was a best foreign film Oscar nominee.

The following year, “Look Who’s Talking” from Amy Heckerling likewise surpassed the $100 million mark for box office sales in the U.S. and made nearly $300 million worldwide. For the most part, though, heads of studios regarded Marshall’s and Heckerling’s box-office smashes as flukes. Two heads of production told me in 1991 that “movies by women don’t make money.” Nevertheless, it turned out to be a exceptional year for the quality and range of releases from women. And it shaped up to be a year when movies by female filmmakers did make serious money.

Some of the highlights of 1991: Julie Dash’s “Daughters of the Dust,” an evocative portrait of generations of Gullah women off the South Carolina coast circa 1901; Jodie Foster’s “Little Man Tate,” about a child prodigy emotionally torn between his mother and a psychologist for gifted children; and Mira Nair’s “Mississippi Masala,” a sexy romance about a South Asian woman born in Uganda (played by then-newcomer Sarita Choudhry) in love with an African-American man (Denzel Washington). Both Kathryn Bigelow’s action film “Point Break” and Barbra Streisand’s psychological study “Prince of Tides” examined the emotional costs to men who struggle to prove their masculinity. Bigelow’s movie grossed $83 million and Streisand’s $110 million. (Adjusted for inflation, that’s $148 million and $196 million in today’s dollars.)

Not only can female filmmakers make movies that show a different side of men, but they also make movies that show different aspects of women. Penny Marshall’s “A League of Their Own” (1992), about the All-American Girls Baseball Leagues during World War II, celebrates the athleticism (rather than the sexuality) of the female body. Nora Ephron’s “This is My Life,” her 1992 directorial debut about a single mom whose choice of comedy career affects her daughters, shows that career and motherhood need not be in conflict. Like Ephron’s film, Allison Anders’ “Gas Food Lodging” (also 1992) explores what happens when the children of single moms reconnect with biological fathers. Male directors were, and are not, making movies like these.

During the 1990s, almost every year brought a new evergreen made by a female filmmaker. In 1993 there were two. One was Jane Campion’s “The Piano,” a haunting allegory about a mute woman that struck a chord internationally. It earned $62 million at the box office and multiple Oscar nominations, including one for best director, making Campion the third woman to be cited in this category. The other was Nora Ephron’s “Sleepless in Seattle,” the comedic romance between two people who don’t meet in person until the last scene, which scored a $227 million box office.

“Sleepless” additionally introduced the questionable concept of the “chick flick” to a broader audience. This is a non-genre that has come to be defined as any movie that, according to the term’s proponents, women want to see and that men think they don’t want to watch — or any movie directed by a woman. The division between “chick flick” and its corollary, the “dick flick,” is a perhaps unintended consequence of target marketing, implying that movies represent a gender-linked proposition.

Almost overnight, the perception was created that movies predominantly featuring women, or “women’s interests,” or directed by women would shrivel the manhood of the male moviegoer. In 1994 the head of a major studio told me, without irony or shame, that “Women on the screen means no men in the audience.” When I asked him for data to back up his claim, he said he had it, but it was proprietary.

Despite such signs of cultural and corporate sexism, the 1990s were a good time to be a female filmmaker. In 1994, Gillian Armstrong’s “Little Women” was immediately embraced as a classic. Newcomer Darnell Martin’s “I Like it Like That,” an urban comedy about a working mother juggling job, marriage, and parenthood, earned positive reviews. And Rose Troche’s “Go Fish,” the first indie comedy about girl-on-girl courtship, marked a milestone for the burgeoning genre.

The following year, 16 films by women were in U.S. release, setting another record for that era. Many of them were comedies. There was Amy Heckerling’s “Clueless,” a droll version of Jane Austen’s “Emma” set at a Beverly Hills high school. There is Betty Thomas’ “The Brady Bunch Movie,” in which the former actress sets the characters of the 1970s TV hit in the 1990s to great comic effect. Distinctly not a comedy was Kathryn Bigelow’s “Strange Days,” a science-fiction thriller about sex crimes, which lost money but became a cult favorite. At the 1996 Oscar ceremony, with “Antonia’s Line,” Dutch filmmaker Marleen Gorris became the first female filmmaker to direct the award-winning foreign film.

But apart from Bigelow and Mimi Leder, a director of episodic television who in 1997 directed “The Peacemaker” and in 1998 “Deep Impact,” female filmmakers were not making action films. For the most part women made comedies and human stories, movies with no explosions in the opening scene. Veteran filmmaker Martha Coolidge spoke for many women when she noted that the scripts the studios sent her were for comedies or family dramas. “About 90 percent of what comes my way are ten different kinds of breast cancer stories, ten kinds of divorce stories, and ten kinds of women-taking-care-of-their-fathers stories,” she said. “I do those. I care about those deeply. But one does want to do more.”

Female filmmakers were typecast in the way many actors and actresses have been, for the most part pigeonholed in family drama and comedy genres. For example, in 1997 actress Kasi Lemmons made her directorial debut with “Eve’s Bayou,” a haunting family drama, and Betty Thomas returned with the Howard Stern biopic “Private Parts.” In 1998, Ephron returned with the romantic comedy “You’ve Got Mail.” Nancy Meyers, a long-time screenwriter, made her directorial debut with the family-friendly comedy “The Parent Trap,” and Brenda Chapman, a Disney animator, was one of three directors on “Prince of Egypt,” the animated story of Moses.

In 1999, three female filmmakers made rookie features unlike anything in American movies. Two were romantic dramas about teenage sexuality, the other an imaginative Shakespeare adaptation. Sofia Coppola’s “The Virgin Suicides,” based on the novel by Jeffrey Eugenides, looked at how boys look at girls, subversively turning the female gaze on the male gaze. Kimberly Peirce’s “Boys Don’t Cry” dramatized the life story of Teena Brandon, who changed her name and gender to become Brandon Teena and fell victim to a hate crime.

Julie Taymor, the theater director who created “The Lion King” on stage, made her movie debut with “Titus,” an anachronistic version of the Shakespeare history play “Titus Andronicus,” underscoring its parallels to Italy under Mussolini.

At the end of the decade — and century — of the 11,000 filmmakers working both in television and film included in the Directors Guild of America, about 2,300 were women. While women made up 21 percent of the membership, they comprised only 9 percent of the filmmakers working in movies.

Most, including Martha Lauzen, a professor at San Diego State University and the head of the Center for the Study of Women in Film and Television, naturally assumed that in the new century the needle would move toward 50/50.

In addition to writing film reviews and essays for Truthdig, Carrie Rickey has been a film critic at The Philadelphia Inquirer and Village Voice, and an art critic at Artforum and Art in America. Rickey has taught at various institutions, including School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Pennsylvania, and has appeared frequently on NPR’s “Talk of the Nation,” MSNBC, and CNN.

What Happened to the Women Directors in Hollywood? Part 4: 1984–1999 was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »

- Women and Hollywood

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Island Life: Revisiting ‘Lilo & Stitch’ After ‘Moana’

17 March 2017 4:52 AM, PDT | FilmSchoolRejects.com | See recent FilmSchoolRejects news »

‘Lilo & Stitch’ deserves better.

Lilo & Stitch is the “Barb” of Disney movies. Yes, Atlantis: The Lost Empire and Treasure Planet exist. However, neither of those films have seen as much success and then sunk back into Disney-relative obscurity quite like Lilo & Stitch. The film was a full-fledged franchise in its heyday spawning multiple television series, two direct-to-video sequels, a Kingdom Hearts cameo, and its own video game. To be fair, Disney did have a reference to Lilo & Stitch in Moana — early on, Moana helps a baby turtle make its way into the ocean by obscuring it from birds under a palm frond. A solid “save the cat” moment that creates a presumption of goodness and a sly reference to Lilo & Stitch. Stitch, in a post-credit image, is seen shadowing a turtle and its child in the same way. It’s a fun little throwback to Disney’s first foray into depicting Polynesian culture.

Lilo »

- Francesca Fau

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