Discs Are Rated
Click above to purchase "City Slickers" at amazon.com
review by Zach B.
Running Time: 114 minutes
Starring Billy Crystal, Daniel Stern, Bruno Kirby,
Patricia Wettig, Helen Slater and Jack Palance
Written by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel
Directed by Ron Underwood
Retail Price: $19.98
Features: Theatrical Trailer
Specs: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, English Dolby
Stereo Surround, French Dolby Mono, French Subtitles,
Spanish Subtitles, Chapter Search (16 Chapters)
I find it a little hard to believe, but as of writing
this its been nearly ten years since "City Slickers" was
first released in theaters. Has it really been that long?
Well, yes. Time really flies... but besides the point, I'm
finally glad "City Slickers" has made its way on our beloved
Personally, I've been eagerly awaiting "City Slickers" on
DVD for a long time. It was supposed to be out around two
years ago, from its original distributor I believe, that
being Columbia/Tri-Star. But there was a whole rights battle
from what I hear and the release kept getting moved and
delayed, until finally, it was taken off the list. Somehow
MGM got the rights to release it (they recently aquired a
lot of films), and here's where we are now. Hell, the MGM
logo appears at the start of the film (no sign of Columbia
here) and there's no mention of Castle Rock Entertainment in
the opening credits, but its on the disc itself and box as
far as copyright information goes.
But "City Slickers"... where to begin? For me, "City
Slickers" ranks as one of the best comedies of the 1990s,
and one of my favorite comedies of all time. The movie is a
whole lot of fun and there's so much to like about the film.
A good premise, great jokes, a well developed script and a
fantastic cast. It may be one of the best comedic mid-life
crisis movies too.
If you're unfamiliar with the story, "City Slickers"
follows Mitch Robbins, a New York radio worker who sells
time to advertisers on the station he works for. Mitch just
turned thirty-nine, and is pretty depressed about it, and
works himself into a mid-life crisis. Mitch finds his life
pretty dull, so his friends Ed and Phil decide to take Mitch
on a vacation for his birthday. Where to? New Mexico for two
weeks of herding cattle from there to Colorado. Of course,
along the way, there's a lot of hilarious hijinks to enjoy,
but more so, Mitch and his friends learn more about
themselves and learn to be happy with who they are and try
to enjoy life... and all that other moral stuff which is
actually packed into the film well and not in a preachy
I'm a big Billy Crystal fan, and this is a film which
truly shows off his comedic talent and comic timing. Crystal
plays his usual self - a moping guy with his usual schtic
who's trying to get through it all, and with that, there's
humor. He's simply perfect as Mitch and really embodies who
Mitch is. Bruno Kirby as Ed and Daniel Stern as Phil as
Mitch's friends do great jobs as well, they're also great in
their roles and really funny. And of course, there's Jack
Palance, in his Oscar® winning role as Curly. Palance
brings an incredible sense of stamina and a great deal of
dignity to his role. Palance is really the only one I can
imagine for the role, he's just so good as the gruff but
heartfelt Curly. While I think he deserved the awards, one
can argue about how supporting is supporting. Awards are
always messy like that, but it was more like a supporting
supporting role. Curly really isn't on the screen that much,
and I just feel it's not a supporting role, but smaller. But
hey, Palance does a fantastic job and thats how things work.
Again, the film really boasts a strong story with good
character development. There's a lot of gags and great lines
to enjoy, as well as some fun sequences which makes the
movie such a riot. Every time I see it, I just get sucked
into it and I really enjoy it. Underwood's direction is
great and there's some nice shots as well as great editing.
To top it off, Marc Shaiman, who I feel is an underrated
composer, does wonders for the film with the music. His
light score is pitch perfect. He knows when to make it
comedic and fun while other times to make it deep with a
good tone to it. The music fits so perfectly and is pretty
catchy, and just gives the film a good sense. Basically, if
you've never seen this film, go out and rent it. You won't
The transfer for "City Slickers" really surprised me. I
thought it'd look grainy and old, but it looks good. And
it's in anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1) no less. Grain and
dirt is kept to a minimum, but it's still there, though not
as much as I expected. The image can be a little soft at
times, but other times its really sharp. Black levels range
from very good to excellent, and colors are well saturated.
But the main problem I noticed is the digital artifacting.
It's pretty noticeable and can get annoying. Still, this is
the best shape I've seen the movie in.
I was a bit disappointed with the sound on this disc.
It's not bad by any means, it's simply average. I think
"City Slickers" could have benefited from a 5.1 remix to
really do it justice, while the stereo mix is only decent.
This movie is pretty sound heavy, such as the opening
running of the bulls scene and chapter eight with the
cattle. Unfortuantly, the stereo surround mix makes it just
sound normal, nothing special. It sounds a bit bland,
everything sounds the same basically where musical cues
could have lifted things up and some action noises could
have really put a nice punch to give life to the movie.
Still, as far as things go, things sound pretty clear and
there's distortion. Nothing bad, but something a lot better
would have been fantastic. In typical MGM fashion, there's
English closed captioning and French and Spanish subtitles.
The nearly three minute Theatrical Trailer is
included in two channel sound and full frame. It's a pretty
good trailer. I would have loved more supplements such as a
commentary, featurettes and such, but not here. I bet if
Columbia/Tri-Star released it, there would be more (or at
least some production notes and talent files at least!).
MGM has delivered a decent package for a terrific comedy.
While I would have loved more supplements, the price is
right and the presentation is pretty good. "City Slickers"
should fit nicely in your DVD collection, considering you
can get it for around 15 bucks.
(4.5/5 - NOT included in
(3.5/5, NOT an average)