Coming to Bluray from SHOUT! SELECT and director Rob Underwood is a classic buddy comedy that is riding back into our homes with CITY SLICKERS.
Mitch (Billy Crystal) is having another birthday but this one seems to be hitting him a little harder that the last. Now 39, Mitch is finding his life a bit tedious at best and his wife Barbra (Patricia Wettig) notices. That’s when she suggests that he ‘go find himself’ which is exactly what he does.
He talks best friends Ed (Bruno Kirby) and Phil (Daniel Stern) into joining him in the fresh air and cow pie sky for a little rid in the saddle. They join up with others to herd cattle in New Mexico to Colorado and meet their leader Curly (Jack Palance).
Curly isn’t exactly your friendly type but that doesn’t stop Mitch from trying to learn a little more about him. There is also Barry (Josh Mostel) and Ira (David Paymer) Shalowitz, Bonnie (Helen Slater) along with doctors’ Ben (Bill Henderson) and Steve Jessup (Phill Lewis). They begin to work as a team and Mitch even delivers a cow who takes to his new Mitch-Mom and is named Norman.
All the warm fuzzies cool off in the night desert air when the cook gets drunk, food goes wrong and Curly leaves without a word. That leaves trouble makers Jeff (Kyle Secor) and T.R. (Dean Hallo) who themselves get drunk and threats are thrown like punches. The rest of the group believes the fun is over and decide to head back.
That is except Mitch who wants to get the cattle to Clay Stone’s (Noble Willingham) ranch as promised – along with Ed and Phil they beat the elements doing what could have been seen as the impossible.
Crystal as Mitch embraces this character or maybe its just that I love him in this character. As a man who isn’t happy with his life and thinks an adventure might just be what he needs to get the pep back in his step. Crystal spent a greater part of the 80’s making such films about changes in life and what truly makes us happy. With CITY SLICKERS he takes it a step further and literally looks farther than even I would have to discover happiness is closer than you think.
Kirby as Ed is that friend who isn’t afraid of much but yet secretly afraid of allot. Keeping his life closed off to his two best buddies, it takes a night by the fire and herding cattle to come clean about the status of his own happiness – and the truth about it all.
Stern as Phil is the friend who is hiding behind life to get through life. Realizing he has spent a great deal of his life being a ‘yes man’ to keep everyone happy – including his own wife, has cost him years of happiness. Stern is awkward but does it so that I can’t help but want to save him. Slater as Bonnie comes in with a broken heart and an eye for Phil as well as proving to herself that she is just as tough a cowboy as the rest.
Palance as Curly is the clear winner in all of this. He doesn’t outshine his cast mates but his presence is such that even this quiet role screams awesomeness. I have been watching him in films for longer than I want to admit and I have to say that as Curly – he stole my film loving heart.
Other cast include: Tracey Watter as Cookie, Jeffrey Tambor as Lou, Karla Tamburrelli as Arlene, Yeardley Smith as Nancy, and Walker Brandt as Kim Furillo.
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The Bluray also includes the Special Features of Audio Commentary by director Ron Underwood and Stars Billy Crystal and Daniel Stern, Back in the Saddle: CITY SLICKERS Revisited, Bringing in the Script: Writing CITY SLICKERS, A Star is Born: An Ode to Norman, The Real City Slickers and Deleted Scenes you won’t want to miss!
Designed with the film lover in mind, SHOUT SELECT shines a light on films that deserve a spot on your shelf. From acknowledged classics to cult favorites to unheralded gems, SHOUT SELECT celebrates the best in filmmaking, giving these movies the love and attention they deserve.
CITY SLICKERS is a buddy film that is full of everything we love this type of genre for. There are life crisis that we can all relate to, friends that will do everything with you even if they are a little bit scared of life, good times to be had even in a saddle and becoming the parent of an animal as lovely as Norman – perhaps not quite as big though.
This is a fun family film that brings out just about every human emotion and I’m more than okay with that. Laughs, a tear or two, surprise and finding yourself becoming a cheering section is pretty much every cool thing about CITY SLICKERS.
So, gather up your own herd of friends and family and revisit a trail ride that is still as much fun today as it was when released in theatres in 1991!
In the end – yesterday they were businessmen, today they’re cowboys and tomorrow they’ll be walking funny!