1997 Movies

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The Best Movies of 1997

The sections will highlight some of the best movies that 1997 had to offer.


James Cameron's Titanic stands as a remarkable achievement, an amalgamation of special effects, gripping melodrama, and docudrama. Through the magic of special effects, the glorious Titanic was brought back to life, with the epic saga of her sinking occupying a significant part of the narrative. This film did not just rely on visual spectacle; it was equally an accomplishment in storytelling clarity.

Jackie Brown

Following his groundbreaking Pulp Fiction, Quentin Tarantino gifted us with Jackie Brown. A rare comedy among 1997's predominantly somber films, Jackie Brown shines a light on the adept performances of Pam Grier and Robert Forster, with their on-screen chemistry forming the backbone of the narrative. The brilliance of the dialogues, rooted in the characters' specificities, lends the film its distinct voice.

Eve's Bayou

The debut film of Kasi Lemmons, Eve's Bayou is a nuanced exploration of a Louisiana family's secrets. Seen through the lens of a young girl, the movie dives deep into complex family dynamics and emotions. It beautifully encapsulates a specific time and place and creates characters who are as real as they are intriguing.

L.A. Confidential

Set in the dreamland of Los Angeles during the 1950s, L.A. Confidential is a twisted melodrama. This narrative of cops, criminals, and celebrities is intricately layered, full of richly-drawn characters and a setting that effortlessly transports the viewer to its era.

Wag the Dog

Wag the Dog is a fiercely satirical film from Barry Levinson. This cleverly crafted narrative of a U.S. President caught in a scandal, where media manipulation is employed to distract the public, raises eyebrows and may even alter how you perceive the news.

The Sweet Hereafter

Atom Egoyan's The Sweet Hereafter is a moving drama set in a small Canadian town. The narrative beautifully explores a community's grief following a tragic accident and the subsequent arrival of a lawyer who shares more with the grieving parents than they know.

My Best Friend's Wedding

One of the crowning achievements in the realm of romantic comedies was "My Best Friend's Wedding." Directed by P. J. Hogan, with the screenplay by Ronald Bass, this cinematic treat was a delightful fusion of romance and humor. Featuring a star-studded cast including Julia Roberts, Dermot Mulrooney, Cameron Diaz, and Rupert Everett, the film garnered quite a positive response from critics. Among its many accolades, the film's soundtrack, particularly Diana King's rendition of "I Say a Little Prayer," left a significant impact on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.

In the Company of Men

Neil LaBute's In the Company of Men is a study of cruelty. The film explores a cruel practical joke played on a deaf woman, creating a narrative that is as perceptive as it is harrowing. The harsh and contemptuous dialogue, along with unexpected plot twists, makes this film an intense viewing experience.

Boogie Nights

Set against the backdrop of the 1970s adult film industry, Paul Thomas Anderson's Boogie Nights explores the human need for recognition and acceptance. It is a character-driven narrative, with Burt Reynolds and Julianne Moore delivering stellar performances.

Fast, Cheap and Out of Control

Lastly, Errol Morris's Fast, Cheap and Out of Control is a profound documentary that brings together four people each trying to control the uncontrollable. This film offers an introspective exploration of the human endeavor against nature's vast indifference.

1997 Movies & Industry Highlights

This was a year that saw many significant film releases and industry milestones.

Top 10 Grossing Films of 1997

The year 1997 had a substantial offering in terms of film variety, and movie-goers worldwide responded positively. Let's take look at the top 10 films of 1997, which held a firm grip on the global box office:

  1. Titanic (Paramount / Fox) - The crown jewel of 1997 was the legendary Titanic, which netted an unprecedented worldwide gross of $1.84B.
  2. The Lost World: Jurassic Park (Universal) - The Lost World took the second spot with a respectable worldwide gross of $618.6M.
  3. Men in Black (Sony Pictures / Columbia) - In third place, Men in Black, featuring a mix of science fiction and comedy, reeled in $589.3M.
  4. Tomorrow Never Dies (MGM / UIP) - The James Bond franchise maintained its legacy with Tomorrow Never Dies, garnering $333M.
  5. Air Force One (Sony Pictures / Columbia / Buena Vista) - This action-packed film was also a crowd-pleaser, amassing $315.1M.
  6. As Good as It Gets (Sony Pictures / TriStar) - As Good as It Gets charmed audiences, earning $314.1M.
  7. Liar Liar (Universal) - Jim Carrey's comedic talents shone in Liar Liar, raking in $302.7M.
  8. My Best Friend's Wedding (Sony Pictures / TriStar) - The eighth spot went to the romantic comedy My Best Friend's Wedding, earning $299.2M.
  9. The Fifth Element (Sony Pictures / Columbia / Gaumont) - The Fifth Element's unique blend of sci-fi and comedy drew $263.9M.
  10. The Full Monty (Fox) - Rounding out the top ten was The Full Monty, with an impressive gross of $257.9M.

Unforgettable Milestones

In 1997, the film industry also reached significant landmarks. Titanic made history by becoming the first movie to surpass $1 billion at the box office. It achieved this feat on March 1, 1998, and remained the highest-grossing movie for a whopping 12 years! It wasn't until Avatar was released in 2010 that Titanic was finally dethroned.

In another surprising development, Sony Pictures claimed the spot as the year's highest-grossing distributor in the United States and Canada. Its films earned a staggering $1.3 billion in domestic gross. Sony Pictures reached this remarkable milestone for the first time, breaking Disney's three-year reign as the top-grossing domestic distributor.