Retro Year in Review: The Biggest Blockbuster Films of 1993

May 1, 2021
The 1990s was a golden era for cinema. While it may not hold the same exalted status as the heyday of Hollywood, it was a period defined by a slew of standout titles, fresh-faced stars, and a notable shift from the gore and artifice of 80’s cinematic output.

We often fail to appreciate how many of the movies from this era have stood the test of time. We take these titles for granted, with several classics that everyone has seen. Now, we want to help you appreciate these once more by shining the spotlight on one of the defining moments of the decade: 1993.

With Indecent Proposal, The Age of Innocence, Schindler’s List, and Sleepless in Seattle among the most popular films from this period, we’ve listed a handful of titles that cinema buffs and film enthusiasts would do well to re-watch.

Indecent Proposal

Based on the titular book by Jack Engelhard, Indecent Proposal is a film with a sterling cast behind it. Combining the acting might of Robert Redford, Demi Moore, and Woody Harrelson, it was released on April 7th 1993. It focuses on a married couple’s relationship, and the strain this is placed under when a stranger makes a lucrative offer.

Much of the early action takes place against the glamorous backdrop of the casino – specifically, seated around the roulette table. Faced with repossession and the loss of their long-held dream to build a home for themselves, the principal couple choose to lay everything on the line in Las Vegas.

For those unfamiliar, today, roulette is a game that can be played for free at sites like VegasSlotsOnline, where a virtual roulette table allows you to get a taste of how the classic game of chance works. This means players can test their strategies without financial risk, which is what the couple at the centre of this film should probably have done before putting everything they owned at stake.

Without such foresight, however, the main characters David and Diana fall foul of fortune, which is where billionaire John Gage enters the story, making the couple an offer he hopes they won’t be able to refuse. Featuring high stakes, heartbreak, and betrayal, the film nonetheless ends in a triumphant fashion, imparting the closing lesson that true love conquers all.

The Age of Innocence

Also starring some of the biggest names of the 90s is The Age of Innocence. Directed by Martin Scorsese, this period drama is based on the novel of the same name, published in 1920 by Edith Wharton.

The film’s stellar line-up includes Daniel Day-Lewis, Winona Ryder, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Miriam Margolyes. It follows the relationships between a rich New York attorney, his wife, and society figure Countess Olenska.

Upon its release, the film received critical acclaim. As well as winning the Academy Award for Best Costume Design, it was nominated in a slew of other categories, including Best Actress in a Supporting Role and Best Original Score.

A story of love and disillusionment, this is the perfect rainy day pick for fans of period dramas and tumultuous romances.

Schindler’s List

Schindler’s List isn’t merely one of the best films of 1993 – many would argue it is one of the finest films ever made. The epic historical drama was directed and produced by the legendary Steven Spielberg and is perhaps the piece de resistance of his entire cinematic career.

The film follows the real-life German industrialist Oskar Schindler, who saved more than 1,200 Jewish people during the Holocaust by employing them in his factories, protecting them from deportation and certain death in the concentration camps.

Like its predecessors on this list, the film has a wonderful cast to bring it to life. The titular character is embodied by the magnificent Liam Neeson, while Ralph Fiennes and Ben Kingsley bring their acting gravitas to the roles of an SS officer and Jewish accountant.

Shot entirely in black and white, the film is at once bleak and uplifting, showing both the best and worst of humanity in its sweeping story and a rich cast of characters. While we’d recommend it to anyone, it’s best appreciated with a box of tissues to mop up your inevitable tears.

Sleepless in Seattle

What would a list of the best films from the 90s be without at least one entry starring Tom Hanks? The simple answer is ‘incomplete’, so let us remedy that by including the superbly acted Sleepless in Seattle.

The film tells the story of Chicago-based architect Sam Baldwin, who loses his wife and attempts to rebuild his life with his eight-year-old son. The two move to a houseboat, where they hope to grieve and heal from their loss.

When young Jonah encourages his father to call into a radio show and talk about his experience, Sam finds thousands of women are touched by his story. Many write, including reporter Annie Reed. What follows is the most delicious rom-com, with a beautiful and uplifting ending that will brighten your day and warm your heart.

When it comes to narrowing down the greatest films of 1993, there’s a surprising number to choose from, but these four have undoubtedly matured into enduring classics. Showcasing the best of 90’s cinema, they’re well worth a watch for those who are feeling nostalgic and would like to take a step back in time.

Press play on one of them the next time you have a rainy afternoon or lazy evening to fill. Or, to see what other films we’ve reviewed and would recommend, take a quick flick through our archives.

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