The Second Golden Age of Hollywood
From the 1930's to the 50's Hollywood was in it's Golden Age for it was producing monster hit after monster hit. Classics like, The Wizard of Oz, Citizen Kane, Casablanca, Gone with the Wind, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Treasure of the Sierra Madre, and 12 Angry Men, came out of that era, plus so many more it would take a long time to list them all. Since then, even though each decade has had it's own set of classics, the term Golden Age of Hollywood is reserved for that time period and that time period only that we haven't used it since.
Well I have a bold statement to make. I believe that there was a second Golden Age of Hollywood and it was the entire decade of the 1990's. Disagree? Lets list a few examples shall we?
Up and coming revolutionary directors: Quentin Tarantino, Kevin Smith, and Paul Thomas Anderson were revitalizing the film industry with new brand movie making that know one had ever seen before. They were raw, they were truthful, and they were unique. Between the three of them you had films like, Clerks, Reservoir, Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Chasing Amy, Boogie Nights, and Magnolia.
Legendary Directors: Then you had the power house of Spielberg and Scorsese. Two legendary directors showing you how it's done in the 90's. Steven Spielberg gave us, Schindler's Lists, Jurassic Park, and Saving Private Ryan. You can even throw Hook in there if you are a nostalgic 90's child, and Martin Scorsese gave us Goodfellas, Cape Fear, and Casino.
The Disney Powerhouse: You didn't have to be a kid to really appreciate what Disney was doing in the 90's. The had just made Beauty in the Beast that was the very first, and only animated film nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars, but they were just getting started when they followed it up with Aladdin and The Lion King which is arguably the best film in their large body of work. They later partnered up with Pixar to bring us the revolutionary computer Animated film, Toy Story which changed animated films forever. Add Tarzan into the mix as well just for fun.
The List goes on: Titanic was a box office juggernaut. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck made a name for themselves with Good WIll Hunting. Tom Hanks was the man with hits like, Apollo 13, Forrest Gump, Philadelphia, and The Green Mile. Winning 2 Academy Awards Back to Back. Mel Gibson gave us, Braveheart. We had a new horror classic in, Silence of the Lambs, which was the first Horror film to win Best Picture. Robin Williams and Jim Carrey were at the height of their hilarity. The Coen Brothers gave us dark comedy at it's finest with Fargo, and The Big Lebowski. The Wachowski Brothers ( now Siblings) blew our minds with, The Matrix. And before his downfall, M. Night Shyamalan touched us with his first major motion picture, The Sixth Sense. You still have Fight Club, Seven, American Beauty, Quiz Show, Dances With Wolves, Unforgiven, and The Shawshank Redemption.
It is possible that the 1990's was actually better than the Golden Age of Hollywood. Not to take away anything from the very first classics that shaped the silver screen into what it is today, but I'm merely saying that all these filmmakers took the best parts of old Hollywood and they have extended it. They made it better. Gave it flare. They perfected it and ran away with it, even though the film industry is ever evolving .
You can decided for yourself what was the better era of Tinseltown. Let us know what you think in the comments below.