Released 20 years ago on March 7, 1997, the film adaptation of Stern’s memoir took the No. 1 spot at the box office the weekend it opened, eclipsing Disney’s PG-rated family film “Jungle 2 Jungle,” which debuted at the same time. The total box office gross only ended up at $41 million, but it went on to become a cult favorite on TV and video.
The culmination of a challenging development process that originally saw Oscar-winning director John G. Avildsen (“Rocky”) attached, the film’s early delays were primarily centered on story issues. Stern,