As soon as the line between mainstream and art house came into focus, it blurred again. Studios snapped up indie companies; indie companies acted like studios. In between, a new power arose (DreamWorks), a new box office champ took hold (Titanic), new technology emerged (Phantom Menace), and a new audience ruled (teens). So were the ’90s when movies grew up or dumbed down? When studio conglomerates became monolithic or when indies took over? We’ll leave that judgment to the next millennium — and to you.
Boyz In The Hood brings tragedy home: July 12, 1991
Director John Singleton sent a shock wave through the country with his semiautobiographical tale of life on the mean streets of South Central L.A. Audiences mobbed theaters, and Hollywood dubbed the frank yet compassionate storyteller a visionary. The 23-year-old cocksure USC film-school grad emerged as the first African American and the youngest person ever nominated for the Best Director Oscar. ”I’ll never forget my shining moment,” says Singleton, describing the film’s climactic scene in which Doughboy, played by Ice Cube, takes his brother’s dead body home to their mother. ”Steven Spielberg told me that was his favorite scene. He said, ‘You don’t want to be in that room.’ And I was like, ‘Wow!”’ Rank 66
Pretty Woman gets her man: March 23, 1990
It’s the film that turned Julia Roberts into the most beloved smiling sweetheart since Annette Funicello. But it almost didn’t turn out that way. The original story, a dark drama, had drug dealers chasing a kinky hooker; and at the end, she and Edward part. After extensive rewrites, director Garry Marshall still wasn’t sure how the story should unfold. ”Garry shot the scenes three ways — sad, straight, and happy,” says screenwriter J.F. Lawton. ”In the editing room, he decided to go with happy.” There was equal spontaneity on the set. When Richard Gere snapped the jewelry box on Roberts’ hand, ”he was improvising,” Lawton says, ”and Julia didn’t know, so her laugh was real.” Rank 76
Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis hit the gas in Thelma & Louise: May 24, 1991
The climactic scene wasn’t just Butch and Sundance redux. Depending on whom you ask, it was either (a) the culmination of a brilliant feminist manifesto; (b) a disturbing glorification of suicide; (c) a metaphor for the fate of working-class women; or (d) a way-cool ending. Sarandon remembers that the controversial scene of take-no-bull liberation was shot very quickly: ”The sun was going down, we were losing the light, and we didn’t have time to do more than one or two takes. So I said I’ll just grab [Davis], give her a kiss, then floor the car. It was kind of a last-minute, improvised decision.” Talk about sailing into the sunset. Rank 51
Starling meets Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs: Feb. 14, 1991
Americans have always harbored a secret love affair with serial killers. So it’s a tad ironic that we got our first glimpse of Anthony Hopkins’ cat-and-mouse courtship of Jodie Foster’s FBI trainee when The Silence of the Lambs opened on Valentine’s Day. The suitor liked his liver with fava beans and a nice Chianti; the object of his twisted affection clutched a handbag that showed a little taste despite her cheap shoes — it was love at first fright. Silence became only the third film in history to sweep the top four Oscars. ”Where villains grab audiences are in scenes of seduction,” agrees costar Scott Glenn. ”It doesn’t have to be sexual — it’s as archetypal as the snake in the Garden of Eden. And we feel kind of uncomfortable because we’re so attracted to it.” Rank 57
Sharon Stone is cross-examined in Basic Instinct: March 20, 1992
It was the double cross of the century, revealing a space to launch a thousand lips…all talking about the comely newcomer. When Stone’s femme fatale uncrossed her legs during an interrogation, she went where few actresses had gone before—straight to Hollywood’s A list. Later, Stone claimed that director Paul Verhoeven’s actions were below the belt, and that he had failed to inform her where the camera would be focused (he denied this). Whatever. Instinct grossed $117 million. Says screenwriter Joe Eszterhas, “It’s possible to be successful commercially and go outside the ever-prevalent formulas.” The moment did, at least, explore new frontiers. Rank 98
“Keep the Secret!” The Crying Game seals our lips: Nov. 25, 1992
It became a party game: Say “The Crying Game” and watch half the room cover their ears. After director Neil Jordan uncovered what Jaye Davidson was hiding, Miramax catapulted the tiny movie all the way to the Oscars with a shrewd campaign that had the studio begging the media not to ruin the surprise. “The toughest was Walter Isaacson at TIME,” says Miramax’s Harvey Weinstein. “He wanted to give it away. He said ‘Everybody knows!’ So he revealed the secret in an anagram.” Take the first letter of each paragraph of Richard Corliss’ 1993 article and you get “SHE IS A HE.” Rank 89
Schindler’s List is set free: Dec. 15, 1993
No one thought Steven Spielberg could make it. Except for Steven Spielberg. A black-and-white three-hour-plus Holocaust drama with no box office names was out of focus with the hitmaster’s crowd-pleasing rep. But the haunting, artful film earned seven Oscars—including Best Director (Spielberg’s first)—and turned the Hollywood whiz kid into a grown-up. “Steven encouraged us to take chances,” says cinematographer Janusz Kaminski. “A lot of the story is told through lighting and camera moves. The camera is one of the victims. It feels the pain and becomes scared. We all felt we were doing something really powerful.” Rank 42
Tom Hanks mainstreams homosexuality with Philadelphia: Dec. 22, 1993
A big-studio film about AIDS? On the risk scale, Philadelphia ranked with Ishtar. But Hanks’ accessible performance served as a sort of HIV 101. The film earned more than $77 million, and catapulted Hanks to superstar status, leading to the first of back-to-back Best Actor Oscars. Even his heart-tugging acceptance speech was historic: In acknowledging his gay high school drama teacher, Hanks inspired the 1997 Kevin Kline comedy In & Out. “A mainstream star portraying an unapologetically gay character and a guy with AIDS—both were considered taboo,” says In & Out screenwriter Paul Rudnick. “It forced the studios to stop saying this material was simply uncommercial.” Rank 27
Tom Hanks and Forrest Gump go together like peas and carrots: July 6, 1994
Cut the special effects from any of the top 10 moneymakers of all time, and we’ll bet their combined grosses that they wouldn’t be top 10—except one. Because gimmicky newsreels aside, Forrest Gump hinged on Tom Hanks turning an Eisenhower-era Rain Man channeling Beaver Cleaver into a stirring ’90s pop icon. “Watching Tom immerse himself in that character and making it work—that was really thrilling to watch,” says director Robert Zemeckis. But credit Michael Conner Humphreys (who played young Forrest) for the dim-witted drawl. “He had this strange way of putting together his consonants,” says Zemeckis. “Tom just ran with it.” Rank 80
Oliver Stone gets into hot water with Natural Born Killers: Aug. 26, 1994
While controversy and Oliver Stone are often synonymous, the director’s Natural Born Killers, a satire about serial killers and a violence-obsessed media, has been cast as the example of toxic filmmaking: depraved and criminally influential. Now, following shootings in the South purportedly modeled on NBK, Stone and EW parent company Time Warner face a potentially landmark product liability suit. Says star Juliette Lewis, “He deliberately antagonized the media, and he’s still feeling repercussions. He f—-in’ antagonized them to no end.” Stone stands behind his film: “I’m proud of it. It’s groundbreaking. And it will last…if they don’t burn it in a big bonfire first.” Rank 71
The Lion King roars: June 15, 1994
“Everybody assigned to Lion King initially disliked it,” says codirector Rob Minkoff. “The hot project was Pocahontas.” Stung by criticism from Disney chief Jeffrey Katzenberg at a Yom Kippur breakfast meeting (“How’s that for atonement?” says Minkoff), King’s crew nursed the runt into the seventh-highest-grossing film ever. Heavy play for the ballad “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” helped push the domestic gross to $313 million. Result? Every studio wanted a ‘toon division, and the animation biz became a jungle of talent poaching, keyed by Katzenberg’s jump to DreamWorks that fall (with several staffers in tow). Rank 65
#9 Moment – Pulp Fiction blasts onto screens: Oct. 14, 1994
With biting dialogue, dark humor, and flamboyant violence, this warped homage to pop culture electrified the indie scene and amped up a host of careers. Topping $100 million, it crowned director Quentin Tarantino—already praised for his first film, Reservoir Dogs—as godfather to a generation of wannabes. (The term Tarantino-esque was coined in part to describe crisp riffs like John Travolta’s discussing the finer points of ordering McDonald’s in Paris.) Speaking of Travolta, who knew watching him dance again would be so inspiring? His role as a hitman with a bad heroin habit and worse haircut began one of Hollywood’s most astonishing comebacks. And when all was said and done, Miramax, the studio that bankrolled the $8 million film, had become the official arbiter of hip. “If Yankee Stadium is the ‘House That Ruth Built,'” says studio cochair Harvey Weinstein, “then Miramax is the ‘House That Quentin Built.'”
Marge thinks she’s gonna barf in Fargo: March 8, 1996
She was on screen for only 32 minutes, but Frances McDormand’s supremely droll, eminently quotable (“He’s fleein’ the interview!”) turn as pregnant Minnesota police chief Marge Gunderson in the Coen brothers’ Fargo proved you don’t have to rant and rage to score Best Actress (though accents help). McDormand even came up with one of the film’s priceless moments: While investigating a triple-murder crime scene, Marge doubles over…with morning sickness. “I liked that it was ambiguous if she was vomiting because of the shooting or her pregnancy,” she says. She adds that filming with husband/director Joel Coen two months before adopting their first child remains Fargo’s main perk—”bulls—- awards stuff aside.” Rank 93
Titanic launches Leo: Dec. 19, 1997
Eighty-five years after the Titanic sank, the movie sailed full throttle into history books: With a reported $200 million budget and a $1.8 billion worldwide gross, it’s the most expensive—and most popular—movie ever. Yet, of all that surfaced in Titanic‘s wake, perhaps the most important was the phenomenon of Leonardo DiCaprio. An unproven commodity, he delivered the moral of James Cameron’s epic melodrama: Tug at the heartstrings and you’ll be unsinkable. Indeed, a theory that’s been proven before. “I’m convinced,” says Gloria Stuart, who played Rose, the 101-year-old shipwreck survivor, “this was on par with Gone With the Wind.” Rank 30
Steven Spielberg takes Omaha Beach in Private Ryan: July 24, 1998
Like a hurricane, the Omaha Beach bloodbath that opens Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan is both brutal and spellbinding. For 24 minutes, you bear witness to a howling gale of horror and carnage that blows your synapses—and your memory of every battle scene that preceded it—to smithereens. “There’s an improvisational aspect to how Steven shot this thing,” says star Tom Hanks. Filming like a WWII combat photographer, Spielberg created a real sense of chaos and fear; the actors felt it. “Hot shells would land in your shirt and clank against your helmet,” says Hanks. “You couldn’t stop. You had to just keep going.” Rank 48
Life Is Beautiful becomes the most successful import ever: Oct. 23, 1998
After winning the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes in 1998, Life Is Beautiful became the Titanic of subtitled movies: This Italian comedy-drama about the Holocaust, with a U.S. take of $57.4 million, is the all-time most successful foreign-language film. (It more than doubled the record set by Miramax’s breakthrough foreign film, Il Postino.) Life’s success is often attributed to relentless marketing, but Miramax cochair Harvey Weinstein insists director-writer-star Roberto Benigni needed no help: “The brilliant stroke was when he [kissed presenter Martin] Scorsese at Cannes. That’s Benigni pure and simple. I looked at the moment, and I knew we were on our way to everything.” Rank 95
Blair Witch takes to the Internet: July 14, 1999
It’s a movie, it’s a website, it’s…The Blair Witch Project, the first film to be as big an event online as on screen (http now means “hyped to titanic profits”). While there’s debate over the cost of neophyte filmmakers Eduardo Sanchez and Daniel Myrick’s faux documentary (reportedly anywhere from $30,000 to $100,000), we’re betting that with marketing, the total rings in at $10 million- plus. But what’s a million here or there? With earnings nearing $140 million, Witch likely has the highest gross-to-budget ratio ever (now every cheap flick with a Net address will be hyped as “the next Blair Witch”). “We wanted to pay off our credit card debt and move on,” says Myrick. “This is beyond anything we imagined.” Rank 86
Best of the rest
Best on-screen nervous breakdown (male): Nigel Hawthorne in The Madness of King George; (Female) Emily Watson in Breaking the Waves
Best aristocrat: Jeremy Irons in Reversal of Fortune
Best debacle: Jar Jar Binks
Best wild-party scene: The lads’ romp in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
Best twist endings: The Usual Suspects and The Sixth Sense
Best unsung performance: Don Cheadle in Devil in a Blue Dress
Best couple (off screen): Matt Damon and Ben Affleck; (On Screen) Pamela Anderson Lee and Tommy Lee
Best western: Unforgiven
Best place we wished we lived: Pierce Brosnan’s tropical-island hideaway in The Thomas Crown Affair
Best dad: Armin Mueller-Stahl in Shine
Best mom: Laura Dern in Citizen Ruth
Best date movie: In & Out
Best movie if you can’t get a date: In the Company of Men
Best backstabbing bitch: Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct
Best nazi: Ralph Fiennes in Schindler’s List
Best incentive to exercise: Hoop Dreams
Best incentive not to go camping: The Blair Witch Project
Most colorful war scenes: Braveheart
Scariest war scenes: Saving Private Ryan
Best astronaut flick: Apollo 13
Best death: Gwyneth Paltrow loses her head in Seven
1. “What’s the big deal? It doesn’t hurt anybody. F—-, f—-ity f—- f—- f—-.”
2. “A. Always. B. Be. C. Closing. Always Be Closing.”
3. “Don’t tell nobody about this. This shit is between me, you, and Mr. Soon-to-be-living-the-rest-of-his-short-ass-life-in- agonizing-pain-rapist here.”
4. “The human head weighs eight pounds.”
5. “I’m funny how? I mean, funny like I’m a clown? I amuse you?”
6 . “I’ve killed…just about anything that walked or crawled at one time or another. And I’m here to kill you, Little Bill.”
7. “I guess that was your accomplice in the wood chipper?”
8. “What do you give a wife who has everything? An injection of insulin.”
9. “You’ll meet someone. Someone…special. Someone who won’t press charges.”
10. “Let justice be done tho the heavens fall.”
11. “Oh, and Senator? Just one more thing: Love your suit.”
12. “…I am a drunk. And I know you’re a hooker. I hope you understand that I’m a person who is totally at ease with this.”
13. “You shoot off a guy’s head with his pants down, believe me, Texas is not the place you want to get caught.”
Lines said by:
1. Cartman (South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut) 2. Alec Baldwin (Glengarry Glen Ross) 3. Ving Rhames (Pulp Fiction) 4. Jonathan Lipnicki (Jerry Maguire) 5. Joe Pesci (GoodFellas) 6. Clint Eastwood (Unforgiven) 7. Frances McDormand (Fargo) 8. Jeremy Irons (Reversal of Fortune) 9. Raul Julia (Addams Family Values) 10. Kevin Costner (JFK) 11. Anthony Hopkins (The Silence of the Lambs) 12. Nicolas Cage to Elisabeth Shue (Leaving Las Vegas) 13. Susan Sarandon (Thelma & Louise)
Best Picture Oscar winners
1990 Dances With Wolves
1991 The Silence of the Lambs
1993 Schindler’s List
1994 Forrest Gump
1996 The English Patient
1998 Shakespeare in Love
Beyond the top 10: A selective guide to some other ’90s treasures
1. Unforgiven (1992) A brooding, mournful elegy for the Western and the mature distillation of his conflicted-loner persona from director-star Clint Eastwood.
2. Menace II Society (1993) Fierce, tense, and daring urban archaeology from Hughes brothers Allen and Albert that exemplifies the unsparing ‘hood story.
3. The Piano (1993) Jane Campion’s thoroughly original, utterly female filmmaking voice sings clearly in the dreamy story of a mute woman in 19th-century New Zealand.
4. Ruby in Paradise (1993) Victor Nunez’s quiet and confidently “regional” indie showcases Ashley Judd for the star she is as a woman in search of a new life in west Florida.
5. Blue/White/Red (1993-94) This subtle dramatic trilogy from Polish master Krzysztof Kieslowski examines nothing less than the psyche of end-of-the-century Europe.
6. Babe (1995) This beguiling family classic—about a pig who aspires to be a sheepdog—creates a mood of effortless magic.
7. Chasing Amy (1997) The easy comic rhythms of Kevin Smith’s most accomplished film propel a sophisticated, philosophical story of modern-day morals and desires.
8. Face/Off (1997) The apotheosis of blood-and-dazzle Hong Kong aesthetics (a John Woo specialty) in a great Hollywood movie that lets John Travolta and Nicolas Cage shine.
9. In the Company of Men (1997) Neil LaBute’s tour de force identifies all that’s pained in contemporary relationships—then presses those bruises with an expert thumb.
10. South Park (1999) The most political use of animation since Animal Farm, the best songs Disney never commissioned, and the funniest film ever to celebrate toilet-talk as an expression of personal freedom.
Oct. 5, 1990: Henry & June is the first film to be released with the scarlet rating NC-17.
Dec. 19, 1990: Get thee to the box office: Mel Gibson plays Hamlet.
Dec. 25, 1990: The Godfather, Part III opens; Sofia Coppola’s acting career sleeps with the fishes.
March 25, 1991: Costner watch: A career high—whacking Scorsese’s GoodFellas, Kevin’s directing debut, Dances With Wolves, sweeps the Oscars.
July 3, 1991: Ka-ching! James Cameron’s Terminator 2 is reportedly the first film to have a $100 million budget.
Oct. 23, 1991: Planet Hollywood opens in Manhattan with celebs like Sylvester Stallone at the top of the food chain. Eight years later, the eatery files for bankruptcy.
Feb. 19, 1992: Oscar gets in ‘toon: Beauty and the Beast is the first animated film to vie for Best Picture.
March 30, 1992: Memorable Oscar moment: City Slickers‘ Jack Palance drops and gives the Academy one-armed push-ups.
Oct. 9, 1992: A River Runs Through It confirms Brad Pitt as a sex symbol.
March 31, 1993: Bruce Lee’s son, Brandon Lee, 28, is accidentally killed on the set of his breakthrough film, The Crow.
April 30, 1993: Disney scoops up maverick independent Miramax for a reported $65 million. The acquisition puts a crimp in hot-button Miramax projects like Kids.
Oct. 31, 1993: River Phoenix, 23, dies outside L.A.’s Viper Room of a drug overdose.
Feb. 9, 1994: A posse-free Leonardo DiCaprio earns an Oscar nomination for What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.
June 27, 1994: Costner watch: Waterworld begins filming, but wind, rain, and a bloated budget threaten to blow down Kevin’s postapocalyptic drama. It’s soon dubbed Fishtar and Kevin’s Gate.
April 1995: Maybe it rehabilitated itself: Shunned in theaters, the prison drama The Shawshank Redemption starts a years-long surge toward cult-classic status on video.
June 13, 1995: Jim Carrey aces Hollywood’s first $20 million paycheck for The Cable Guy. It’s his lowest moneymaker since he hit it big as a star.
June 27, 1995: Hugh Grant is caught flagrante delicto with prostitute Divine Brown.
July 28, 1995: Costner watch: Kevin’s aqua-epic hits theaters and, surprisingly, stays afloat. (It’s his second dreary postapocalyptic drama, The Postman, that bombs.)
Nov. 17, 1995: Pierce Brosnan debuts as 007 in Goldeneye, the series’ 17th and highest-grossing flick.
March 1997: The first batch of DVDs hits stores.
Dec. 26, 1997: Wag the Dog eerily presages White House events.
March 7, 1999: Stanley Kubrick dies five days after screening his last film, Eyes Wide Shut.
March 1999: Julia Roberts is a pretty rich woman, beginning negotiations to star in Erin Brockovich for $20 million.
April 1999: A month before it premieres, fans start to line up for The Phantom Menace. The opening day in May brings in a record-breaking $28.5 million.
Legends: Jodie Foster
Resume 31 films, 2 Academy Awards, 4 nominations
Most recently Plays Anna Leonowens opposite Chow Yun-Fat in Anna and the King, opening this winter.
LITTLE-KNOWN FACT Was the voice of Pugsley in an early-’70s TV cartoon based on The Addams Family.
Toughest role Nell. It’s the best work I’ve done. I know a lot of people would disagree. Either you got it or you didn’t. You had to be willing to go with the unconsciousness of the character.
Least favorite role Backtrack. I wish I could take that one back.
What actress do you admire or emulate? Meryl Streep. What she does is not acting, it’s something that transcends that. I feel like I’m inside her face when she’s acting.
Moment when you knew you’d made it When I won my first Oscar [for The Accused]. I’d been watching the Oscars from my mom’s bedroom for years. All the kids would go there and we’d order food. So just the idea that I was at the podium receiving one was the freakiest thing.
A child prostitute in Taxi Driver 1976
A victim of rape in The Accused 1988
An FBI agent in The Silence of the Lambs 1991
A producer-director: She runs Egg Pictures and has directed Little Man Tate (1991) and Home for the Holidays (1995)
Kenneth Branagh’s five favorite Shakespeare films
Richard III, 1955: “Olivier’s is the most compelling, sexy, audacious Shakespearean performance ever.”
Romeo & Juliet, 1996: “For the bravado and energy of its radical interpretation. Provocative and revolutionary.”
Looking for Richard, 1996: “Brilliantly captures the divine madness of a great actor [Al Pacino] and his genuine enthusiasm for Shakespeare.”
The Tempest, 1979: “Derek Jarman’s film is full of eerie power and authentic Shakespearean melancholy.”
Forbidden Planet, 1956: “Star Trek meets Shakespeare. Nymphs in nylon. More than just a B-picture classic.”
John Waters’ Five Most Subversive Movies
Mom and Dad (Directed by William Beaudine, 1947) “The only way to legally show frontal female nudity in the movies in the ’40s was to feature footage of the actual birth of a baby. Men everywhere flocked to the theaters to ignore the baby but leer at their first on-screen vagina. A golden moment in the history of exploitation.”
Un Chant d’Amour (Jean Genet, 1950) “Jean Genet gets away with showing an erect penis in this poetic celluloid hymn to criminality and homosexuality, and forever changes our perception of male nudity on the screen.”
Baby Doll (Elia Kazan, 1956) “Carroll Baker sucks her thumb in a baby crib and causes a sensation. To this day, Roman Catholic movie buffs must be burning in hell for seeing this film and ignoring the Legion of Decency’s high-profile ‘condemned’ rating.”
Blood Feast (Herschell Gordon Lewis, 1963) “The first ‘gore’ film. Would Steven Spielberg’s highly praised but violent first 20 minutes of Saving Private Ryan have been possible without this granddaddy of bloodbaths paving the way?”
Pornography in Denmark (Alex de Renzy, 1970) “The little-remembered documentary using socially redeeming penetration shots that first made hardcore sex on screen impossible to bust. At last, the final taboo was broken and the sexploitation genre as we knew it bit the dust forever. Deep Throat could now be born.”
Of wings, wheels, and other appendages: a look at the natty, naughty, nutty ’90s
Best suits (male): The two-piecers in Reservoir Dogs
Best suit (female): Angela Bassett’s white pantsuit in What’s Love Got to Do With It
Best sophisticated yet practical, effortlessly casual, and elegant day-to-evening ensemble: Michelle Pfeiffer in Batman Returns
Best evening wear (formal): Claire Danes’ wings in Romeo & Juliet
Best evening wear (informal): Kim Basinger in L.A. Confidential
Best drag queen (male): Robin Williams in Mrs. Doubtfire
Best drag queen (female): Anjelica Huston in The Addams Family
Best frontier wear: Daniel Day-Lewis’ loincloth in The Last of the Mohicans
Best … whatever: Jaye Davidson in The Crying Game
Most frightening fingernails (male): Johnny Depp in Edward Scissorhands
Most frightening fingernails (female): Barbra Streisand in The Prince of Tides
Best star vehicle: The car in Thelma & Louise
Best accessory: Mark Wahlberg’s…one special thing in Boogie Nights
The going rate: 1998
Avg. Ticket Price: $4.69 Avg. Movie Budget: $52.7 mil
Reunions: James Caan and Kathy Bates: Sept. 9, 1999
Kathy Bates has James Caan right where she wants him again—in bed. But this time, she doesn’t intend on hobbling Caan like she did in the 1990 movie Misery, about an obsessive fan who holds the writer of her dreams captive. Bates just wants to tell Caan how much he’s messed things up for her. “You have no idea what you did to my sex life,” Bates says with a smirk in a room at Hollywood’s Chateau Marmont, where the reunion photo shoot is being held. “No man wanted me after what I’d done to you in this movie.” Maybe no man outside Hollywood.
“Misery opened every door for me,” Bates says. “It won me an Oscar, it got me roles I never dreamed of. It also gave permission to everyone every where to hit me with baseball-bat jokes.”
Adds Caan: “I get it all the time. ‘How are your ankles?’ People think it’s just the funniest thing ever. But after years of it, you think about just laying into them.”