Movie: 'Boyz N the Hood'

Release Date: July 12, 1991

How It Got Made: John Singleton was still an undergrad at the University of Southern California when he persuaded Columbia Pictures to buy his autobiographical script and allow him to direct it. "I told [then–studio chief] Frank Price it wouldn't cost much money," Singleton told Entertainment Weekly. Indeed, the slice of South Central Los Angeles street life cost just $6.5 million, but it became a big hit, an enormously influential movie and a career launcher for some of the most talented African-American stars of the next two decades.