How to watch every best picture winner from 1990 through 1999.
The trend of best picture and best director Oscars going to the same films continued in the 1990s, starting with actor-turned-director Kevin Costner (“Dances With Wolves,” 1990); Jonathan Demme (“The Silence of the Lambs,” 1991); Clint Eastwood (“Unforgiven,” 1992); Steven Spielberg (“Schindler’s List,” 1993); Robert Zemeckis (“Forrest Gump,” 1994); Mel Gibson (“Braveheart,” 1995); Anthony Minghella (“The English Patient,” 1996); James Cameron (“Titanic,” 1997) and Sam Mendes (“American Beauty,” 1999).
All were first-time Oscar winners, and Costner, Eastwood, Spielberg and Gibson had numerous box office hits in their résumés. Spielberg picked up his second directing Oscar in 1998 for “Saving Private Ryan.”
63rd Academy Awards — March 1991Rating: PG-13.Running time: 3 hours, 1 minute.Streaming: HBO Max: Included | Peacock: Included | Prime Video: Rent/Buy | Apple TV+: Rent/Buy
Costner’s Lt. John Dunbar, a wounded Union officer, is next in line to have his foot sawed off at a Tennessee field hospital; preferring to die intact rather than mutilated, he steals back to his men. Nearly hallucinating, he chooses death by galloping between the stalemated Union and Confederate troops, drawing rebel fire and ending his pain.
During his final, full-tilt charge, muttering, “Father, forgive me,” Dunbar drops his reins and throws his arms up and out, looking like a circus rider or a Christ figure, or both. It’s a marvelous moment of cinema, but a dangerously risky one when the star is also the director, and a first-time director at that. It practically invites the professionally cool in the audience to drawl, “Well, who does he think he is?”
“Dances With Wolves” is a clear-eyed vision. Authentic as an Edward Curtis photograph, lyrical as a George Catlin oil or a Karl Bodmer landscape, this is a film with a pure ring to it. It’s impossible to call it anything but epic. (Read more) —Sheila Benson
Doris Leader Charge earned more money working for Kevin Costner for six months than she does in a year teaching Lakota, a Sioux dialect, on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota.