I had no idea who Jack Palance was.
What started out as another simple Billy Crystal comedy became something with a bigger heart than most. It almost lost me in the first fifteen, and then we met Curly.
He had presence like “The Duke” in all those movies I grew up watching. He walked on screen and every character knew to stay on his good side…behind him.
I remember watching and laughing with my mother and father.
The premise is about a trio of late-thirty-somethings that take Man-cation adventures together once a year. They start running from the bulls. The majority of the story takes place on their latest venture, a cattle drive across the the plains of the American West.
My dad kept saying, “That rancher’s a genius. He got those idiots to pay him to drive his cattle for him.”
Yes, that’s what my father took away from that movie…and he was right.
The movie has a multitude of great laughs. There’s some slapstick, there’s some sarcasm (it is a Billy Crystal movie after all), and there is plenty of great one liners. Palance steals the show and has three great ones.
I found that the majority of the greatness of the movie was the writing of the conversations that were had between the three men: Crystal, Bruno Kirby, and Daniel Stern. The chemistry between these three men was fantastic and it felt like they were truly friends for the last twenty years. They rib each other, they know each other’s tendencies, and in the end, they are always there for each other as best friends–that are like brothers–are.
I remember feeling that the movie was going to be pretty predictable, and for the most part it is, but they did manage to throw some curve balls along the way, some of them quite tragic…not “sad” tragic, but tragic in the sense that, “Damn, that was short…I can’t laugh at him anymore.”
I wanted to find more Palance movies. My mom and dad seemed to know who he was. I remember my mom telling me that he was known for being a villain. He appeared to have a bit of villainess in him on the surface for Curly, but in the end, he was just a good “man’s man” that wanted to help people become better at driving cattle.
There is no profound ending and there is some “campy action” that seems out of place for plot-device-sake, but the earlier comedy and interactions make up for it. If you need a good laugh and you don’t want to spend too much time delving into and analyzing what the auteur was trying to say, try out “The City Slickers.”
The early 90s were known for making a bunch of films with a good laugh.