City Slickers entertained me enormously when I was a teenager because it has some good, solid laughs. Nowadays, as I approach my thirtieth birthday with frightening momentum, it still entertains me but it touches me too. That's probably what makes it such a great film: the skillful intertwining of humour, emotion and action.
New Yorker Mitch (Billy Crystal) has reached crisis point in his mundane life. Bored by his job in the lower reaches of radio broadcasting and frustrated by the alarming rate at which years seem to be passing him by, he senses that his life has been a failure. His two friends, Phil (Daniel Stern) and Ed (Bruno Kirby) buy him a two week vacation for his birthday. No ordinary vacation, mind... a fortnight driving cattle across the Wild West, just like in the good old days. And it is while on this extraordinary vacation that the three buddies learn how to make the most of their mixed-up lives.
The performances are uniformly excellent, especially Crystal who is in sharper form than ever before (or since, come to think of it) and Jack Palance as the leathery trail boss whose simple philosophies are surprisingly insightful. The scripting is outstanding, giving all the stars a chance to do some good character development, while providing terrific laugh-out-loud moments too. The film works on other levels too: the music is stirring, the photography spectacular and the editting very sharp (especially in a superb scene in which Crystal tries on an assortment of ill-fitting cowboy hats, only to opt in the end for his trusty old baseball cap). City Slickers is great entertainment, and one of the truly timeless comedy masterpieces from its decade.
Comedy / Western
Comedy / Western
Mitch is a middle aged big-city radio ads salesman. He and his friends Ed and Phil are having mid-life crisis. They decide the best birthday gift is to go on a two week holiday in the wild west driving cattle from New Mexico to Colorado. There they meet cowboy Curly who not only teaches them how to become real cowboys, but also one or two other things about life in the open air of the west.
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January 19, 2019 at 09:04 PM