1991… Thirty years ago! Like anything over time, lots of things like fashions, music, sports, and movies have come and gone; but 1991 was no doubt an interesting year in all respects: the Seattle Grunge look, Bryan Adams’ top single, the return of a Terminator, and more? Well… let’s take a look back!
Nirvana’s ’91 album “Nevermind” most definitely helped bring the band’s Grunge fashion image to many! This look wasn’t a huge “shocker” as fashions go; it consisted of a worn-in look with ripped jeans, regular tee-shirts, and raggedy knit outerwear like sweaters and cardigans. Also, you had to have long hair. It didn’t reach my then five year-old taste!
Number one on Billboard Magazine’s Year-End Top Hot 100 singles was none other than “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You” by Bryan Adams; which came from the soundtrack to the 1991 movie Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. It was *the* love song for many a couple back in the day; and doubtless many an a-romantic got sick of it.
In football, the New York Giants beat the Buffalo Bills 20-19 in the Super Bowl XXV. In basketball, the Chicago Bulls won four games to one over the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals, earning the Bulls franchise’s first championship! Bulls player Michael Jordan would go on to win Sports Illustrated’s “Sportsman of the Year” award. Later that year, Lakers player Earvin “Magic” Johnson Jr. officially announced his having tested positive for the virus which causes AIDS; this unfortunately put his NBA career to an end. I wish Magic well; he played a decent game.
But the big draw of 1991 in my opinion has to be the movies released that year. Some stand out above the rest:
The highest-grossing film of the year was… Well, he said he’d be back; and he was! Arnold Schwarzenegger returned with Linda Hamilton for one more action-packed thrill ride in Terminator 2: Judgment Day… This chapter in the series was one of the rare times that a sequel is as good, or better, than the original movie; with the inclusion of the reprogrammed Terminator (Schwarzenegger) bent on protecting a pre-teenaged John Connor (Edward Furlong) from Skynet’s advanced assassination prototype the T-1000 (Robert Patrick), the stakes are constantly high as our heroes (joined by Skynet’s unwitting creator) take the fight for the future into their own hands and tell the forces of the cybernetic overlord of the future “Hasta la vista, baby!”
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves was the second highest-grossing movie of the year. This classic tale of Robin Hood (Kevin Costner) vs. the Sheriff of Nottingham to save the innocent of England and his beloved Lady Marian is a treasured movie with lots of action, drama, comedy, and more. Alan Rickman as the Sheriff is hilarious being so bedeviled by Robin that he vows to cut out the latter’s heart with a spoon!
Third highest-grossing movie was Disney’s Beauty and the Beast; but I’d sooner talk about the fourth highest which was, in my opinion, a more entertaining movie: Hook! This movie took a unique concept: “what if Peter Pan grew up?” Peter Banning (Robin Williams) discovers he was once Peter Pan and must learn to fly once more when Captain Hook kidnaps Peter’s two children. This movie has a sweet, child-like quality to it; as well it should since it deals with a child’s world while an adult is stumbling about in it. The score by John Williams is moving and it leave me with a sense of wonder and sublimity.
Then there’s the fifth highest-grossing movie of the year; one which almost anybody could sink their teeth into along with some fava beans and a nice chianti: The Silence of the Lambs. A psychological thriller starring Jodie Foster as FBI trainee Clarice Starling and Anthony Hopkins as Dr. Hannibal Lecter; the psychopath whom Starling seeks guidance from in hope of catching another serial killer. This Academy Award winner (Best Picture; Best Actor – Anthony Hopkins; Best Actress – Jodie Foster) is an entertainingly tense dip into darkness with a few memorable quotes!
1991 saw a rise in a worn-in Grunge look, which maybe matched our inner poets who loved the love song “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You)” as we watched Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves or perhaps our inner rebellious side while we rocked out to the action of Terminator 2: Judgment Day. If that wasn’t our thing, we had the usual sports to check out with a few special updates like watching the legendary Michael Jordan help get the Bulls their victory! Thirty years is a long time ago; but we do remember…