It's been 30 years since Australia went Cocktail crazy
From Tom Cruise's flipping skills to hit songs by The Beach Boys and Bobby McFerrin, the film dominated pop culture
In the summer of 1988-89, there was no escaping box office smash Cocktail, which debuted in Australian cinemas on December 1, 1988. Starring Tom Cruise and Bryan Brown as bottle-flipping barmen and Elisabeth Shue as the love interest of Tom's character, Brian Flanagan, it was a romantic drama with a dark edge. Spoiler alert: one of the main characters doesn't make it to the end of the movie. Check out the trailer below.
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Interestingly, the bottle tossing was all Cruise's idea. "He came back to rehearsals and he said, 'Listen I think we should do this whole bottle thing,' " Brown said in a 2017 radio interview with Nova FM. "I was staying in a hotel in New York and I'd have bottles all the way around my room. If I woke up in the middle of the night to have a pee, I'd throw a glass and throw a glass, because I had to keep supple."
Despite Cocktail's box office success, the film took out the 1988 Razzie Award for Worst Picture and Cruise admitted in a 1992 interview with Rolling Stone that the movie “was not a crowning jewel”.
Still, Cocktail was huge - and not just in cinemas. The accompanying soundtrack spawned two massive hits - one of which was the number 1 single exactly 30 years ago this week, and featured a singing fish and Robin Williams in the music video below.
As well as Bobby McFerrin's Grammy-winning earworm, Cocktail was also responsible for the return of 1960s hitmakers The Beach Boys, who stormed back into the ARIA singles chart this week in 1988 with future chart-topper "Kokomo". Between them, the two songs dominated the number 1 spot for 14 weeks that summer.
Gavin ScottA pop culture enthusiast from a young age, Gavin is equally passionate about great pop music (’80s synthpop, ’10s dream pop), gripping TV series (Friday Night Lights, The Handmaid’s Tale) and trips to the cinema (I love a blockbuster as much as anyone, but I’m done with the superhero thing).