- Anne Rice’s books (including this 1973 novel) were hot property which is why this 1994 project is a collection of some of the most promising talents in the world of film in the early 1990s. Neil Jordan (which means we get Stephen Rea, too) was very hot off his 1992 surprise hit The Crying Game. Brad Pitt was the next “It” actor and up and comer (Legends of the Fall is also 1994 and by the end of the year he is a full-blown star). Speaking of stars, Tom Cruise is about as big as it gets at the time (both The Firm and A Few Good Men finished as top ten box office performing films in 1993) and if that was not enough, Antonio Banderas and Christian Slater (this role originally intended for River Phoenix before his tragic passing) are here as well. It certainly seems like there was overt attempt to gather some of the biggest male heartthrobs at the time.
- The great Sandy Powell (Orlando, The Favourite, Carol, Far from Heaven, The Aviator) does the period costume work. Dante Ferretti (Salo, The Age of Innocence) does the production design. Ferretti’s work was nominated for an Oscar- as was the score from Elliot Goldenthal (Heat).
- Pitt plays Louis and he tells the story (the narrative’s voiceover) of his centuries-spanning long life as a vampire to Slater’s character.
- Large scale production: steamboats, ships, and extras.
- One of the best scenes is the stage show in Paris put on by Armand (Banderas) and his crew of vampires putting on a horrific display of their carnivore act. Jordan goes to an overhead angle in an inspired shot choice.
- An admirable work in makeup: each actor portraying a vampire was forced to hang upside down and then the makeup team would highlight the blood vessels to create the vampire look.
- An early film role for Kirsten Dunst (just twelve years old in 1994) as Claudia- a sort of living vampire doll with curls.
- Cruise may have the role with the most fun (even if he is not the lead, you can see why he wanted to play Lestat). The film ends with Cruise’s marvelous “I’m going to give you the choice I never had” line which is a callback to same dramatic line used earlier. “Sympathy for the Devil” is sublime curation as the song (from Guns N’ Roses instead of The Rolling Stones) carries the film to the closing credits.
- Recommend but not in the top 10 of 1994 which is a little disappointing with the abilities of the cast and crew involved
Brad Pitt phoned in it but Cruise is incredible.
Drake, have you thought about when creating the top 100 decade lists, about sort of writing them the same way you do the yearly pages? And what I mean by that is having stuff like the most over- and underrated films (though it could also be a ranked list by how over- or underrated several films are) of the decade, trends and notables sections like “the 1950s were one of the greatest decades for films artistically. Technicolor has been around as a tool of significance since as far back as Victor Fleming in 1939 but it’s really here, alongside the advent of CinemaScope that it is able to catapult Hollywood into a new era. At the same time, international cinema began to blossom after a promising post-WW2 ’40s…” and then a bunch of stuff about the Japanese, Satyajit Ray and Guru Dutt, Ingmar Bergman, the passing of the torch really from Rossellini and De Sica to Fellini, Antonioni and Visconti as well as a few young Frenchmen coming together to write a magazine and the like, and in terms of actors there could be stuff like “Humphrey Bogart had surely been on the comeup in the late ’30s but it’s in 1941 that he starts on the path to become one of the greatest 4 or so actors, spearheading the pending birth of film noir with his lead roles in High Sierra and The Maltese Falcon…” and then whatever would come after that, along with lists of the best performances of the decade from either sex and there could also be a list with a hyperlink to each individual yearly page and with the best film of each year listed beside it. It just seems like it could be a good way to spice up the honestly (in my opinion) mostly barren decade top 100s and make them reasonable competitors to the individual yearly or director pages, even if they would kinda just be longer yearly pages almost in this concept.
@Zane- thanks for the comment. Good idea here. I think I will add some items to my decade pages– but I’m going to keep it brief. I think if I try to do a decade summary page like I do the individual year by year pages it’ll be way too large. The individual year by year pages are already probably too long/large.