- A charming little film that showcases some best of Billy Crystal’s comedic talents. Crystal was on a roll in 1991—not exactly a Kevin Costner sort of roll, but When Harry Met Sally was in 1989 and City Slickers is a solid comedy- and one of the five biggest box office hits in the USA in 1991
- Has the cute little cartoon credit sequence, the booming Victor Young Shane-like score by Marc Shaiman and a talented group of actors surrounding Crystal. Daniel Stern (coming off Home Alone the year before) and Bruno Kirby are his buddies, Josh Mostel and David Paymer (good in everything they’re in) have a few scenes as does Tracey Walter. I wonder if Walter was buddies with Jack Palance as they both were in Tim Burton’s Batman in 1989. Anyways, the casting of Palance is in of itself another nod to Shane (there are other nods to Bonanza and other westerns). Palance’s Jack Wilson is one of the roles that made him a star and he’s masterful in that small supporting role as the devilish villain- the man in a black hat. He wins the best supporting actor Oscar for this role in City Slickers and there are a half-dozen more deserving actors that year (including say John Goodman in Barton Fink) but this is one of those awards that serves essentially as a life-time achievement award
- Film debut for a very young (11 at the time of release) Jake Gyllenhaal as Crystal’s son
- We have the yee-haw montage from Red River– Red River mention in the text
- Has Palance’s trademark heath nasal breathing and he’s great but he’s not in more than a few scenes. Most of this film rests on Crystal’s shoulders and he’s respectable. The only really regrettable writing his telling Daniel Stern’s character that is life is a “do-over” and thinking he’s providing some insight.
- Recommend but not terribly close to the top 10 of 1991
[…] City Slickers – Underwood […]