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Which Film Has the Biggest Legacy?

By Dustin Rowles | Think Pieces | August 25, 2010 | Comments ()


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Richard Linklater often gets a lot of credit for launching the careers of many of the actors and actresses in his seminal, coming-of-age high school film, Dazed and Confused. But the reality is, Richard Linklater didn't launch some of those careers. Dick Wolf did. Yes: The guy behind "Law & Order" and all of their spin-offs. Wolf wrote a not-so-seminal high-school coming of age film that came out the year before Dazed and Confused. It was called School Ties, a movie that launched as many or more careers as Dazed and Confused.

Linklater is often cited as having created the successor to the Brat Pack, but did he really? And which movie had the superior cast? Which movie fared better with audiences? And finally, which movie has had the biggest legacy?

Let's consider the facts:

Round 1

  • Dazed and Confused launched the career of Jason London. What's he doing now? Crap, that's what.

  • School Ties launched the career of Brendan Fraser. What's he doing now? Crap, but crap that makes a lot of money.

    Winner: School Ties

    Round 2

  • Dazed and Confused launched the career of Rory Cochrane. What's he doing now? Pretty much nothing of value since Empire Records.

  • School Ties: Launched the career of Chris O'Donnell? What's he doing now? After starring in Scent of a Woman, Batman and Robin and a series of Hollywood hits, O'Donnell is now the star of his own top-rated CBS procedural.

    Winner: School Ties

    Round 3

  • Dazed and Confused: Launched the career of Adam Goldberg, who was the crazy roommate in "Friends," and last we heard, had a supporting role in a ensemble procedural, "The Unusuals," that was cancelled before its first season had ended.

  • School Ties: Helped launch the career of Oscar-winner Matt Damon, one of the biggest stars in Hollywood today.

    Winner: School Ties

    Round 4

  • Dazed and Confused: Launched the career of Joey Lauren Adams, who most recently had a small recurring role on "The United States of Tara."

  • School Ties: Launched the career of Cole Hauser, who would subsequently appear in Dazed and Confused, as well as a lengthy career in B-movies.

    Winner: School Ties

    Round 5

    Dazed and Confused: Featured Ben Affleck, who was first featured in School Ties

    Winner: School Ties

    Round 6: Features Anthony Rapp, who was >featured in School Ties before Dazed and Confused.

    Winner: School Ties

    Round 7

    Dazed and Confused: Supporting cast included Milla Jovovich, Nicky Katt, and Parker Posey.

    School Ties: Supporting cast included Kevin Tighe, Randall Batinkoff, and Amy Locaine.

    Winner: Dazed and Confused

    Round 8:

    Dazed and Confused made $8 million at the box office.

    School Ties made $14 million at the box office.

    Winner: School Ties

    Round 9:

    Dazed and Confused: Had an unspoken role for Renee Zellwegger and turned down Vince Vaughn, who auditioned for the movie.

    Winner: School Ties, by default

    Final Round:

    Dazed and Confused: Remembered fondly as one of the best cult films of all time, one of the best high school films of all time, and one of the funniest movies of the past 25 years.

    School Ties: Was once parodied in an episode of "The Family Guy"

    Winner By Massive, Head-Exploding Come-from-Behind Knock-Out: Dazed and Confused

    Post-Victory Lapdance:







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