City Slickers is a wonderful, feel-good comedy with some dramatic moments and also a few scenes that can drive you to tears as it is very moving in parts, but it is a fantastic film overall and one that you can watch more than once without it getting old.
The film had a great cast in it, with Billy Crystal, Jack Palance and Daniel Stern particularly standing out for praise. Join us as we take a look back at the film with some facts about it that you probably didn’t know….
1. Mitch’s best day really happened
When Mitch tells of his best day, he speaks about the day he went to a Yankee’s game with his father, and this is all true as it is a memory that Billy Crystal holds dear in real life.
2. He even still has the program
Mitch then finishes off the story saying he still has the program. Billy Crystal does indeed still have the program, and it has been signed – twice – by Mickey Mantle, once at the game and he then had it signed again 20 years later when he appeared on a show with Mantle!
3. This isn’t the only thing in the film that’s true
The scene in the film (and indeed the sequel) where Mitch’s mum rings at 5AM and talks him through the events of his birth on his Birthday each year is again based on facts, as this is something that Billy Crystal’s mum does!
4. Daniel Stern wanted his character to look genuine
The cast were offered riding lessons before filming City Slickers, but Daniel Stern declined them, as he wanted to portray his character realistically and his character was not meant to be a proficient rider!
5. You may recognise Mitch’s son
Mitch’s son in the film is played by none other than Jake Gyllenhaal in his movie debut. He has since gone on to star in some huge films including Donnie Darko and Brokeback Mountain.
6. The film should have featured another excellent actor from the era
One of the era’s other fantastic comedy character actors, Rick Moranis, was due to star in the film in a major role alongside Billy Crystal, but he then had to drop out when his wife was diagnosed with cancer.
7. The film’s title was problematic for foreign audiences
The movie’s title of City Slickers was a difficult one to translate, with the French title being changed to (the French for) “Life, Love and Cows”, and the Greek title being “So What Did You Do in the Far West, Dad?” – we think City Slickers is a much catchier title!
8. Crystal was very impressed with one actor in particular
Billy Crystal was very taken with David Paymer’s portrayal of Ira Shalowitz in the film, to the point where he cast Paymer as his brother in Mr. Saturday Night, a role which earned Paymer an Oscar nomination.
9. Bruno Kirby needed meds every day on the shoot
When filming City Slickers, Bruno Kirby had to have medical injections every morning prior to filming as he was severely allergic to horses and struggled to make it through the day without the injections!
10. The film could have starred another Hollywood legend
Robin Williams was considered for one of the three main roles in the film of Mitch, Phil or Ed, but had to turn them down as he was already committed to making Steven Spielberg’s Hook.
11. Clint Eastwood could have appeared, too
The role of Curly could have seen Clint Eastwood cast in the part rather than Jack Palance, but Eastwood demanded too much money for the role and the budget for the movie wasn’t big enough to accommodate it.
12. Crystal fell in love on set
During the film, Billy Crystal fell in love with the horse he was riding, Beach Nut, and at the end of the shoot purchased the horse for himself. The same horse then appeared in City Slickers 2: The Legend of Curly’s Gold.
Are you a big fan of Mitch, Ed and Phil’s adventures driving cattle? Do you love the gentle humour and feel-good vibe that the film leaves you with? Let us know all your City Slickers thoughts and memories in the comments as always!