There's a debate raging at The Verge, and we need your help. One of The Verge's video producers, Nathan Cykiert, thinks 1994 was the best year in film, whereas reporter Arielle Duhaime-Ross is adamant that 1993 was the most epic year of all. It's a close call — one year had Mrs. Doubtfire and Jurassic Park, while the other featured The Lion King and Shawshank Redemption — but it's not so close that a web-wide poll can't settle the argument once and for all. Hear their cases and vote below!
By Arielle Duhaime-Ross
When in doubt, turn to 1993. It was, by far, the best year in film. John Williams redefined the musical score in Schindler’s List that year and Spielberg won his first Oscar for Best Director. Tom Hanks delivered what is arguably one of his most powerful performances in Philadelphia and Bruce Springsteen’s song for the movie still makes us cry. Harrison Ford made our hearts leap as he jumped off the ledge of a storm drain into raging water in The Fugitive. And Willy the whale made countless children weep as he, too, took the most important leap of his life in the name of freedom. It was a golden year in film. But 1993 didn’t just bring us the action and drama we were craving — it also brought the funny.
That year, we got to see Whoopi Goldberg struggle up a deserted corridor after her students glued her butt to a chair. We smoked up and dissected the patriarchy underlying Gilligan’s Island in Dazed and Confused. We heard the Chicago Cubs’ pitching coach, Brickma, explain the concept of "hot ice" to a confused rookie named Henry Rowengartner. And we giggled as Jack Skellington tried to get the inhabitants of Halloween Town to do Christmas right.
Clearly, 1993 had everything a kid, teenager, or adult could ever ask for — even Robin Williams in drag. Heck, if it wasn’t for The Sandlot, an entire generation of kids would never have known that Babe Ruth was also nicknamed "The Great Bambino." For that alone, we should be thankful.
By Nathan Cykiert
There’s no arguing that 1994 was the best year for film. While it may have not had the strongest start (then again, what year does?), the second half of the year truly blossomed into an eclectic mix of highway bus chases, mobster musicals, and a pregnant Arnold Schwarzenegger. 1994 brought so much diversity to theaters with the perfect balance of genres. On one hand, 90’s kids were gifted The Lion King, Angels in the Outfield, and The Little Rascals to name a few, while blockbusters like True Lies and Speed have gone on to become quintessential action films. Even the award winners have stood the test of time and continue to play weekly on cable television (Side note - The Shawshank Redemption was robbed at the Oscars when Forrest Gump won best picture).
And then there’s Jim Carrey. There was no greater comedic actor in the 1990’s than Jim Carrey and this was the year he became a megastar. While not exactly a critical darling, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective has become one of Carrey’s most notable characters and kicked off his hat trick year in film. The Mask followed in July and also introduced audiences to 22-year-old Cameron Diaz. Carrey finished off the year with Dumb and Dumber which is hands down one of the funniest films of all time.
Simply put, 1994 had something for everyone. Did I mention pregnant Arnold Schwarzenegger already?
Ed. Note: Nathan somehow didn't mention the best film to come out of Hollywood in 1994: Pulp Fiction. He will be dealt with. Harshly. - Dieter