Every year, Hollywood produces movie after movie. They release everything from big-budget blockbusters to romantic comedies to indie films and everything in-between. Some movies are an instant classic and are held in high regard for an eternity. However, with so many movies being released, not every film can anticipate the same reaction. Obviously, some films are major box office bombs. Then, there are the other films that fall into categories of their own. Many are not appreciated in their time but eventually find a great acceptance. Other films are an immediate smash hit but lose their appeal over time.
There are several movies that, when released, were a hit with critics and at the box office. Upon later viewings of these films, it’s easy to see that they’ve not aged well. In some cases, it might feature content that was acceptable then but inappropriate now. For others, they simply couldn’t stand the test of time. However, there are also several films that didn’t do well when first released but are now regarded as classics. They did poorly at the box office and failed to connect with audiences. Over time, appreciation for the films grew and eventually developed a loyal cult following. Here is a look at 8 Memorable Movies That Have Not Aged Well and 7 Cult Classics.
15. Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom (Not Aged Well)
Temple of Doom is the second film in the beloved Indiana Jones franchise. The first film was a massive success but the second initially received mixed reviews. As time has gone by, appreciation for the film has increased. It was released on May 23, 1984 and stars Harrison Ford. Despite the film’s growing popularity, one crucial aspect of the film hasn’t aged well and is quite controversial. Temple of Doom has been criticized for its offensive and inaccurate portrayal of Hindus. The film was criticized for implying that Indian cuisine included eyeball soup, baby snakes, and most famously, chilled monkey brains. Additionally, many Indians are offended by the incorrect portrayal of the goddess Kali. Director Steven Spielberg has openly admitted that Temple of Doom is his least favorite of the films.
14. Clerks (Cult Classic)
Clerks is often ranked high among the greatest cult classics of all time. Kevin Smith directed it and it was released on October 19, 1994. It was made on a low budget and was shot in black and white. In fact, Smith sold part of his large comic book collection to help pay for the film and had to use money that was set aside for his education as well. It was released in less then 50 theaters but still ended up grossing over $3 million. It was a sleeper hit that nobody saw coming that year. It was well received by critics but gained a legacy few predicted over the years. It gained an intensely loyal following and is now regarded as a cult classic. A sequel, Clerks II, was eventually released in 2006.
13. Porky’s (Not Aged Well)
Porky’s was released on March 19, 1982 and was a box office hit. The film became a phenomenon and is widely regarded as one of the best R-rated movies of the 1980’s. In fact, it was the fifth highest-grossing film that year. However, time has not been kind to this teen classic. Over the years, the film has greatly diminished in popularity and reviews are much harsher. It’s been heavily criticized for the degrading portrayal of the young women in the film. They’re perceived as secondary objects and eye candy for the male characters. The heroes are often trying to sneak a peak of the women naked. Some critics feel like the main purpose of the female characters is to take their clothes off. Later, film critics Siskel and Ebert called Porky’s one of the worst movies of 1982.
12. The Warriors (Cult Classic)
The Warriors had a rocky start but it was eventually appreciated for the stellar masterpiece that it is. Walter Hill directed and it was released on February 9, 1979. During its second weekend, violence broke out at several screenings. This resulted in the studio pulling all advertisements from TV and radio. They also allowed theaters to opt out of showing the film. This resulted in doing poorly at the box office. Some theaters continued to show it but with increased security. It received mostly negative reviews with only a few positive responses. Once it was released to VHS, it was able to reach more viewers and eventually gained a cult following. Critics reevaluated the film, and it’s now regarded as one of the greatest cult films. It holds an 89% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
11. Dances With Wolves (Not Aged Well)
Dances with Wolves was released on November 9, 1990 to critical acclaim. The film was praised by critics and received positive reviews. It won several Academy Awards including Best Picture. In 2007, the Library of Congress decided to preserve it in the National Film Registry. However, it didn’t become the classic film it was meant to be. It has been criticized for its misrepresentation and inaccurate portrayal of the Sioux tribe. The film has been criticized for following the “white savior” storyline with Kevin Costner’s character essentially becoming the leader for a native Indian tribe. In fact, many Native Indians strongly disliked the film and were heavily critical. Despite its initial success, Dance with Wolves is considered one of the worst movies to ever win an Oscar for Best Picture.
10. This Is Spinal Tap (Cult Classic)
This is Spinal Tap is regarded as one of the greatest comedies of the 80’s. It wasn’t appreciated in its time but would eventually be elevated to cult level status. Rob Reiner directed and it was released on March 2, 1984 to mostly positive responses. It starred Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, and Harry Shearer. Despite being considered one of the best movies of 1984, it failed to impress at the box office. The studio figured it would just simply fizzle away. However, This Is Spinal Tap found new life once it was released to home video. It gained in popularity as it reached a wider audience. It soon developed a passionate cult following. It currently holds a 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which said, “This Is Spinal Tap is an all-time comedy classic.”
9. Crash (Not Aged Well)
Crash was released to universal praise on May 6, 2005. It was applauded for dealing with themes of racism, bigotry, and xenophobia. It was considered one of the best movies of 2005. However, time is not on this film’s side. It’s now regarded as shallow and lacking subtlety. It’s been accused of depending on the same stereotypes it’s fighting against. It’s also been accused of over simplifying racism and discrimination. Additionally, it controversially won the Academy Award for Best Picture. Many felt Brokeback Mountain was more deserving, but apparently, several Academy members were uncomfortable with the film’s content and Crash was viewed as the safer choice. Director Paul Haggis has also admitted that he didn’t think Crash deserved to win. Crash is now considered one of the worst movies of the decade.
8. The Princess Bride (Cult Classic)
The Princess Bride was released on September 25, 1987 to positive reviews. It starred Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, and Andre The Giant. It was praised for its outstanding cast, writing, and directing. However, it didn’t meet the studio’s expectations and was a disappointment at the box office. Eventually, it started to gain a cult following after being released on VHS and later because of the Internet. It reached an even wider audience that appreciated the film more and more. It holds a 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which called it an “intelligent mix of swashbuckling, romance, and comedy that takes an age-old damsel-in-distress story and makes it fresh.” In addition to being a cult classic, it is also regarded as being one of the most quotable movies of all time.
7. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (Not Aged Well)
In the early 90’s, Jim Carrey was making a name for himself on the sketch comedy In Living Color. He had his big breakthrough with his role in the hit comedy Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, which was released February 4, 1994. Despite receiving negative reviews, it was a major success at the box office and launched Carrey’s career to a whole new level. At the end of the film, Ventura reveals that his boss, Lt. Lois Einhorn, was formally a man and the criminal he was chasing after. Ventura is then disgusted when he realizes he made out with Lois earlier in the film. He then vomits, fills his mouth with toothpaste, burns his clothes, and cries in the shower. At the time, the film’s ending was played up for laughs but is now considered insensitive to the LGBT community by today’s standards.
6. Fight Club (Cult Classic)
Fight Club was released on October 15, 1999 to unfavorable reviews. David Fincher directed it and it starred Brad Pitt and Edward Norton. It was an uphill battle for the film from the start, as most studio executives didn’t like it. Upon its release, it failed to meet expectations and did poorly at the box office. It received a deeply divided response from critics with some praising the cast and directing but was critical of the film’s violence. It became one of the most debated films among fans with some loving it and others despising it. However, over time, it began to develop a cult following and appreciation for the film grew. It’s considered a cult classic with one of the greatest twist endings in cinema history. It’s now regarded as one of the greatest films of the decade.
5. Avatar (Not Aged Well)
There was a great deal of hype and anticipation for James Cameron’s Avatar. Avatar was released to widespread praise on December 18, 2009. It’s widely considered as a groundbreaking movie in terms of technology and visual effects. It broke numerous box office records and is currently the highest-grossing film of all time. It was met with mostly positive reviews and was nominated for an Academy Award. Since its release, the film’s appeal has greatly decreased and is no longer held in such high regard. It’s also been criticized for its use of the “white savior” that comes to the aid of the Na’vi species. Additionally, the film was known for its advancement in visual effects. However, most of that technology is now outdated. Despite being largely forgotten, work on four planned sequels continues.
4. The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Cult Classic)
The Rocky Horror Picture Show is the ultimate cult classic. It was released on August 14, 1975 to negative reviews from critics. It did poorly at the box office and with audiences. It was dismissed and largely forgotten at the time of its release. However, it soon started to develop an international cult following like no other film had experienced. In the late 70’s, the film found new life with midnight showings. Eventually, it would become a ritual to dress up as the characters and to shout dialogue at the screen. Soon, this spread all over the world, and it was cemented as a cult classic. This tradition continues to this day, and the film is often shown around Halloween. It is known for having one of the most loyal and passionate cult followings.
3. Sixteen Candles (Not Aged Well)
Sixteen Candles is often regarded as one of the best movies of the 80’s. The coming-of-age film was released on May 4, 1984 to rave reviews. John Hughes wrote and directed the film, which essentially launched his career. It was praised for its writing and exceptional cast. However, the film has been criticized for the character Long Duk Dong, which was described as being a “potentially offensive stereotype” of the Asian community. He’s considered one of the most offensive portrayals of an Asian American character in film. Additionally, it includes a controversial scene that critics say encourages date r*pe. The scene even includes one character stating that “she’s so blitzed she won’t know the difference.” Despite the film having a great deal of positives, it hasn’t aged as well as some other John Hughes classics.
2. The Big Lebowski (Cult Classic)
The Big Lebowski reached a level of cult status that other films have never achieved. The Coen Brothers directed it and it was released on March 6, 1998. It stars Jeff Bridges as Jeffery “The Dude” Lebowski. Upon its release, it was disliked by critics and was a major disappointment at the box office. Soon, it started to develop a cult following that was never seen before. Die-hard fans often attended midnight screening dressed as their favorite characters repeating their favorite dialogue. In 2002, the first annual Lebowski Fest took place and has since taken place in other cities. In 2005, a religion known as Dudeism devoted to spreading the message and philosophy of The Dude was founded. It garnered an 81% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry in 2014.
1. Breakfast At Tiffany’s (Not Aged Well)
In the 60’s, the heartwarming romantic comedy Breakfast at Tiffany’s captivated audiences all over North America. It was released on October 5, 1961 and starred Audrey Hepburn. It was nominated for several Academy Awards including Best Actress. In 2012, it was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” However, the film has been heavily criticized for the character I.Y. Yunioshi (Mickey Rooney). The character is now regarded as a poorly-done Japanese caricature and one of the most offensive stereotypes in cinema. It’s been called “overtly racist” and a “cringe-inducing stereotype.” Everyone involved has expressed regret over the character with director Blake Edwards saying, “Looking back, I wish I had never done it” and “I would give anything to be able to recast it.”
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