Facts About '90s Movies Fans Should Know

Jordan Claes
Wooderson, Donnie, Pink, and Mitch Kramer standing outside the pool hall in 'Dazed And Confused'.
Universal Pictures | Universal Pictures

There isn't much that I claim to be an expert on, save for these few things: Batman comic books, Rock n' Roll history — and '90s cinema.

As a child of the '90s, I had the privilege of experiencing this incredible era of filmmaking firsthand and over the years, it's become my obsession.

If anyone knows anything about '90s movies, I assure you it's me. This is why I've carefully curated a list of facts that all fans of '90s movies should know.

Steven Spielberg made the cast of 'Saving Private Ryan' attend a 10-day BootCamp.

Tom Hanks in 'Saving Private Ryan'.
DreamWorks Pictures | DreamWorks Pictures

Well, almost everybody. Matt Damon was noticeably absent, but this was done purposefully. Spielberg wanted the rest of the cast to have a real-life resentment toward Damon, that would inevitably trickle down into their performance.

Mel Gibson almost died on the set of 'Braveheart'.

Mel Gibson with his face painted blue, surveying the battlefield in 'Braveheart'.
Paramount Pictures | Paramount Pictures

Mel's horse was supposed to rear up and fling him backward, but the animal started to fall backward unexpectedly. At the very last minute, Mel's stunt double pulled him out of the way — thus saving him from being crushed to death.

Tom Hanks didn't take a salary for 'Forrest Gump'.

Forrest sitting on a park bench in 'Forrest Gump'.
Paramount Pictures | Paramount Pictures

Instead, the Oscar-winning actor opted to receive a portion of the film's earnings. Forrest Gump was a huge success and brought in over $677 million, netting Hanks an estimated $65 million.

The English Mastiff who played Hercules in 'The Sand Lot' was absolutely massive.

Hercules licking Scotty/Smalls' face in 'The Sand Lot'.

At times in the film, Hercules is made to appear gigantic, similar to Clifford the Big Red Dog. In real life, he wasn't that far off the mark — weighing in at over 200 lbs.

Freddie Prinze Jr. and Sarah Michelle Gellar owe their marriage to 'I Know What You Did Last Summer'.

The cast of 'I Know What You Did Last Summer' in the car, after they've killed Ben
Columbia Pictures | Columbia Pictures

Three years after filming wrapped, Freddie and Sarah were supposed to meet a mutual friend for dinner, but they canceled at the last minute. The former co-stars decided to go out just the two of them to catch up, and began dating shortly afterward.

'The Shawshank Redemption' was a box office bomb.

Tim Robbins feeling the rain in 'The Shawshank Redemption'.

The film barely managed to rake in $16 million against a budget of $25 million before being pulled from theaters. However, it is now revered as one of the best movies ever made.

Edward Norton really did punch Brad Pitt in the ear in 'Fight Club'.

The script called for Ed to throw a faux punch. At the last minute, director David Fincher pulled Norton aside and instructed him to actually punch Brad. Norton didn't know what to do, so he hit him in the ear.

Chris Farley and David Spade got into an actual fight on the set of 'Tommy Boy'.

David Spade and Chris Farley singing in the car in 'Tommy Boy'.

What's even funnier is that the co-stars were fighting over Rob Lowe! The story goes that David and Rob went out for a drink one night, without inviting Chris. As payback, Farley stomped on David's hand and threw him down a set of stairs.

Keanu Reeves wasn't the first choice to portray Neo in 'The Matrix'.

The part of Neo was actually offered to Will Smith by the Wachowskis on a silver platter. However, Smith found their amateur-style pitch distasteful and passed in order to appear in Wild Wild West.

Anthony Hopkins appears on-screen in 'The Silence Of The Lambs' for 16 minutes.

Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter saying "All good things to those who wait" in The Silence Of The Lambs'.

What's even more impressive is that 16 minutes is all it took for Anthony to bring home the Academy Award for "Best Actor in a Leading Role" that year.

'Good Will Hunting' might never have been made were it not for Kevin Smith.

Robin Williams and Matt Damon sitting on a bench in 'Good Will Hunting'.
Miramax | Miramax

At the time, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon were two completely unknown actors and no studio would touch them. Affleck turned to his Mallrats director, Kevin Smith, for help and Kevin personally delivered the screenplay to Miramax.

'Scream' was inspired by true events.

Ghostface shaking his head in 'Scream'.

In 1990, a man named Danny Rolling (dubbed "The Gainesville Ripper") killed five college students within a four-day span. The horrific and heinous nature of his crimes would eventually inspire the screenplay "The Woodsboro Murders," which was later adapted by Wes Craven into Scream.

Bob Barker wanted to fight in 'Happy Gilmore'.

Bob Barker had two stipulations that had to be met before he'd agree to appear in the film. The first was that he wanted the writers to make it so that he would win the fight, and secondly — no stuntmen could be used for the scene.

The part of Edward in 'Edward Scissorhands' almost went to another A-list actor.

Edward rapidly cutting a dog's hair in 'Edward Scissorhands'.
Giphy | Tech Noir

Johnny Depp wasn't director Tim Burton's first choice, nor was he the actor the studio envisioned in the role. In the beginning, the studio insisted that Burton meet with Tom Cruise.

Absolutely nobody wanted Jeff Daniels to do 'Dumb And Dumber'.

Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels riding the scooter in 'Dumb And Dumber'.
New Line Cinema | New Line Cinema

Jeff was an actor, not a comedian, and he was warned by his agents that Jim Carrey would mop the proverbial floor with him. Daniels said that Carrey was the reason he was hired in the first place, as well as the reason why he wasn't fired later on.

'The Lion King' marked an import departure for Disney studios.

Rafiki raising Simba into the air in 'The Lion King'.
Giphy | Walt Disney Records

The Lion King was Disney's first 100% original screenplay. Up until that point, all of their previous feature films had been based, at least in part, on classic fairytales.

Michelle Pfeiffer really did use the bullwhip in 'Batman Returns'.

Not only did Michelle stand in for the scene herself, but she managed to knock off all four of the mannequins' heads in one take. Indiana Jones, eat your heart out.

'Pulp Fiction' gave plenty of [expletive].

John Travolta as Vincent Vega looking around the room in 'Pulp Fiction'.

Quentin Tarantino's masterpiece is often revered as one of the director's best films, but it's also one of his most profane. From start to finish, the f-word is said 267 times throughout. Go ahead, count it.

Jim Carrey wanted to star in 'The Truman Show' more than any other film he'd appeared in.

The final scene in 'The Truman Show' where Truman says his catchphrase.
Giphy | Laff

At the time, Jim Carrey was one of the most popular actors in Hollywood and commanded $20 million per picture. He settled on a 40% pay cut ($12 million) because he wanted to stretch his wings as an actor.

Have you ever noticed the patch of white hair on Hayley Joel Osment and Donnie Wahlberg's heads in 'The Sixth Sense'?

hayley joel Osmont saying "I see dead people" in 'The Sixth Sense'.

It's not a mere coincidence that the two "spirit spotters" in the film share this physical attribute. According to director M. Night Shyamalan, every character who sees ghosts in the film has this trait.

Matthew McConaughey got his audition for 'Dazed And Confused' after a chance run-in with casting legend, Don Phillips.

Don was drinking at the same bar that Matthew happened to wander into. The two got to talking (and drinking) and were eventually thrown out. Back at Don's hotel, he told McConaughey about a little movie he was working on, with an up-and-coming director named Richard Linklater.