What Was The Greatest Summer of All Time? 1993

1993 – One of these things is not like the others

The top heavy summer
but the top is really heavy

If you do a search and read articles about the best summer ever 1993 is a year that comes up. The reason it comes up is because of the top 6 films of that summer. They are (in order of box office):

  • Jurassic Park – a technical marvel that moved swiftly and appealed to everyone it was the very definition of what a summer blockbuster should be.
  • The Fugitive – the train crash at the beginning, on a big screen, was one of the great WOW moments of movies and the film was terrific, I mean, who didn’t like The Fugitive?
  • The Firm – Grisham’s books are all the same basic plot so when you ask people what their favorite was they almost always say the first one they read, which for most people was The Firm – and as the first movie based on one of those books it had the feel of freshness that none of its successors had (“same plot” problem again).
  • Sleepless in Seattle – Nora Ephron taught a generation of people what love was – not sure if what she taught was right but man did she teach it.
  • In The Line of Fire – a lot of chase movies this summer. Being chased by dinosaurs, being chased by Marshals, being chased by mobsters, being chased by a crazy, desperate, single woman and now chasing an assassin hell bent on killing the President.
  • Cliffhanger – and let’s not forget chasing and being chased by John Lithgow using an accent that no human being can place and chewing up scenery with less subtlety than he did in Buckaroo Banzai.
That is a strong top six so I can see why ’93 is put on the greatest summer of movies short list, however the truth is ’93 is like Roosevelt on Mount Rushmore. It’s to that it wasn’t great, but when you stack it up to the others it really doesn’t belong. Let me show you what I mean. Here are the 7th thru 20th biggest movies of the summer of 1993:
Arnold’s first real bomb
  • Free Willy – what is there to be said
  • Dave – I thought Charles Grodin was funny, but I almost always think he is funny
  • Rising Sun – the “other” Michael Creighton movie adaptation of the summer didn’t do quite as well as Jurassic Park
  • Rookie of the Year – never could decide if this was worse or if I hated Angels in the Outfield more
  • Dennis the Menace – I just know I hated this more than either of them
  • Last Action Hero – Arnold’s first real bomb
  • Made in America – the Ted/Whoopi movie that also introduced us to Will Smith the actor as opposed to Will Smith the rapper
  • Hocus Pocus – unwatchable
  • What’s Love Got To Do With It – Lawrence Fishburn was great as Ike Turner, not sure if it was a great movie
  • Hot Shots! Part Deux – other than the “I loved you in Wall Street” scene I don’t remember one other thing about this movie
  • Son in Law – Pauley Shore need I say more (I am a poet and you did not know it)
  • Sliver – if you are going to sell me on sex give me sex and don’t make a voyeur a hero, its just creepy
  • Robin Hood: Men in Tights – someday I will make a list of the greatest mysteries of hollywood and near the top of it will be “how did the genius that brought us The Producers and Young Frankenstein and Blazing Saddles and High Anxiety make this movie?” I love ya Mel, but this movie is awful
  • Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story – A bio-pic about someone as cool and talented as Bruce Lee is really impossible. It would be like doing the Carrey Grant story, even if you got George Clooney to star he would still pale in comparison to Carrey Grant.
That is a dreadful list of movies. The closest it comes to having any kind of classic (even a cult one) is What’s Love Got To Do With It and that is a film that is remembered for the two lead performances much more than the movie itself. As a year for comparison in 1989 Do The Right Thing was the #20 movie.
I bent a bit to pressure and included this as a candidate, but truthfully it has no chance of being crowned the best. Love the top six, but even there I’m not sure I see a true classic that will stand the test of time.