Lifetime Movies From The 90s – On June 29, 1998, the Lifetime Movie Network launched. As Lifetime’s sister network, the Lifetime Movie Network was created to meet the growing demand from viewers for Lifetime’s all-day movie marathons. When it first launched in 1984, Lifetime’s female-focused network mostly aired syndicated series and talk shows. In 1990, Lifetime premiered its first television movie, “Memories of a Murder.” Lifetime is also a leader in hiring women for key creative roles. From 1994 to 2016, an impressive 73 percent of Lifetime’s 285 original movies were directed or written by a woman.
Lifetime’s first ever movie, “Memories of a Murder,” starring Nancy Allen, set the tone for many other Lifetime dramas. Allen plays a wife and stepmom who hits her head, gets amnesia and forgets that a psychopath is trying to murder her family. Continuing the theme of male villain movies with a personality disorder, Tori Spelling plays a young woman who falls in love with a sociopath in the now-cult classic 1996 “Mommy, Can I Sleep With Danger?” Lifetime ratings steadily increased throughout the 1990s , because audiences couldn’t seem to get enough of movies that mostly dealt with two main themes: teenagers in trouble or mothers in danger.
Lifetime Movies From The 90s
During the 1990s, Lifetime movies featured many up-and-coming actors who are now famous. Notable examples include Reese Witherspoon in “Wildflower” (1991), Kirsten Dunst in “Fifteen and Pregnant” (1998), Kristen Bell in “Gracie’s Choice” (2004), and Zac Efron in “Miracle Run” (2004).
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In the early 2000s, Lifetime released several films dealing with more serious themes, including “Homeless to Harvard: The Liz Murray Story” (2003) and “Human Trafficking” (2005). Lifetime received an Emmy nomination for the 2006 film “Why I Wore Lipstick on My Mastectomy.” But Lifetime still released its share of rip-offs, including “The Natalee Holloway Story” (2009), “Amanda Knox: Murder in Italy” (2011) and “The Craigslist Killer” (2011).
In 2012, the all-black remake of “Steel Magnolias” starring Queen Latifah signaled a change for Lifetime movies. Alfre Woodard received an Emmy nomination for her role in the film, while critics gave it rave reviews. Many Lifetime favorites have since appeared, including “Flowers in the Attic” starring Heather Graham and Ellen Burstyn and “Lizzie Borden Took An Axe” starring Christina Ricci.
Now called Lifetime Movies, the network continues to showcase films with complex female characters…and give us worthwhile programming.
Fact Check We strive for accuracy and fairness. However, if you see something that doesn’t look right, please contact us! Not all movies worth watching make their debut on the big screen. In fact, if your viewing preferences run towards over-the-top dramas with lots of twists and turns, you don’t have to leave your house to get your fill of movies. All you have to do is tune in to Lifetime whenever you’re in the mood for some soapy swag. Lifetime movies may not win Oscars, but they’re still entertaining, moving, and sometimes even touching. (Some were even nominated for an Emmy — and a few won!) Keep reading to discover the best Lifetime movies you should definitely add to your must-see list!
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It wasn’t that long ago that people were meeting strangers from the internet without telling anyone where they were going. And the results have been deadly—as was the case with the true story of Boston resident Philip Markoff, which became lifelong fodder for the 2011 film The Craiglist Killer. killed sex workers he met through Craigslist. What gives this Lifetime movie its scare factor is the fact that his killer really does seem like a normal guy with a fiancee, a career, and lots of friends. It really makes you think about who exactly you’re interacting with online.
Another fascinating Lifetime movie based on a true story is Almost Golden: The Jessica Savitch Story. It stars Sela Ward as TV host Jessica Savitch, a money-hungry, drug-addicted woman who falls from grace when her vices and mean words are exposed. In 1996, this made-for-TV movie was nominated for three Emmy Awards and when it premiered, it drew the second-largest audience in basic cable history at the time.
Based on the novel of the same name, The Memory Keeper’s Daughter tells the story of a man (played by Dermot Mulroney) in the 1960s who leaves his newborn daughter in the care of one of her sisters when he discovers she has Down syndrome. When it premiered in 2008, a staggering 5.8 million viewers tuned in to the adaptation.
In 2017, Lifetime filmed the cover story about the water crisis in Flint, Michigan and turned it into a TV movie. Singer/actress Cher was originally slated to produce and star in the film, but eventually dropped out and was replaced by Queen Latifah and her production company Flavor Unit Entertainment.
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Upon release, Flint was well received by audiences and critics alike, and was even nominated for a Primetime Emmy, a Critics’ Choice Award, and three NAACP Image Awards, one of which it won.
Another Lifetime film inspired by the article, Gracie’s Choice follows a young teenage girl who struggles to adopt her siblings and keep her family together when her drug-addicted mother can no longer play the role of nanny. The 2004 film stars a young Kristen Bell and the film received favorable reviews
Notes that the “wonderful cast earns audience involvement by refusing to patronize their characters.” Actress Anne Heche, who plays the absent mother in the film, was even nominated for an Emmy Award for her role.
This Lifetime movie is so popular that there are actually two versions of it: the 1994 iteration and the 2019 reboot. And while both are worth watching, if you only have time for one, you should do it in the 1994 version with young Tori Spelling in the main role. Based on the true story of high school student Kirsten Costas,
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Is about a popular cheerleader who is killed by a shy classmate who just wants to be part of the crowd.
Flowers in the Attic, adaptation of V.C. Andrews’ book of the same name follows the Dollanganger family after death nearly destroys them. What ensues is abuse, torture, and abandonment that is both heartbreaking and hard not to invest in. When the movie premiered on Lifetime in 2014, it drew more than 6 million viewers, surpassing 2012.
Did Pregnancy Pact sensationalize the true story of 18 teenage girls who became pregnant at the same time in one Massachusetts town in 2008? Perhaps. Is it absurd? Of course. However, it is rooted in reality and helps to highlight the challenge of raising a child as a high school student.
Lifetime wastes no time putting together current movies about controversial and exciting events in the news. Case in point: In October, the network aired a movie about a 2019 college admissions scandal aptly called College Admissions Scandal — before most of the people involved had even been convicted.
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“The cool austerity of the film’s title lends itself nicely to the bluntness of its style and content, which soften the subject matter in a most gratifying way,” notes Troy Patterson of The New Yorker. “Exploring white-collar crime and the problems of rich white ladies, [Lifetime] wraps raw nerve with layers of camp to create a cautionary tale of entitlement and Schadenfreude melodrama.” You really have to see it.
On the first day of Christmas, my true love (Lifetime) gave me this wonderful holiday movie starring none other than Kristin Chenoweth. In its 2009 review, Variety called the film “so cheerful that it’s easy to get lost in its light dust of holiday romance.” What more could you ask for!
In case the title isn’t any indication, this Lifetime movie is about teenager Tina, played by a young Kirsten Dunst, who is 15 and pregnant. However, while other films dealing with teenage pregnancy are corny at best and terrifying at worst, this film focuses on the realities of life during pregnancy, from family rejection to awkward doctor visits.
“In this movie, you actually see all the things you have to go through, like going to the doctor, going to a special school, and leaving your friends,” Dunst explained to a Chicago Tribune reporter in 1998. “And everything with Tina’s home life, how her parents kind of they turned against her… I couldn’t even imagine that happening to me at my age. It was really depressing sometimes.”
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Any movie that inspires a TV series is definitely worthy of attention. And that’s exactly the case with The Client List, a 2010 film starring Jennifer Love Hewitt about a real-life scandal that happened in Odessa, Texas. In the film (and eventual TV series), Hewitt’s character takes a job at a massage parlor to support her family, though she eventually discovers that the spa is a cover for something much more sinister.
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