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City Slickers (1991) Poster

(1991)

Trivia

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The story that Billy Crystal tells about his "best day" of going to a Yankee game with his father is a true story from his childhood. He notes at one point that, "I still have the program." Not only does he really still have it, but he got Mickey Mantle to autograph it twice: once at the game that day and once again some 20 years later on a talk show they were both guests on.
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As a rule, Jack Palance did not watch his own movies. Thus he did not see this movie until after he won the Oscar for it.
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Daniel Stern declined the riding lessons offered for the movie in order to better convey his character's inexperience at horse riding.
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Another true story from Billy Crystal's life portrayed in the movie, is the wake-up call from his mother on his birthday. According to the DVD commentary, his mother would call him on his birthday at around 5 o'clock in the morning (the time he was born) and verbally re-enact the event over the phone. The rendition in the film is word-for-word the true story of Billy Crystal's birth.
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Rick Moranis was cast alongside Billy Crystal and Bruno Kirby in a major role but left the project because his wife was diagnosed with cancer.
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Billy Crystal's on-screen daughter was played by Billy's real-life daughter Lindsay Crystal.
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Billy Crystal was so impressed with the performance of David Paymer in this film that he went on to cast him as his brother in Mr. Saturday Night (1992). The role would earn Paymer an Oscar nomination.
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The horse that Billy Crystal rides in the movie is named Beach Nut and is the same one he rides in City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold (1994).
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Billy Crystal liked the horse he rode so much, he bought him.
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Billy Crystal, a notoriously die hard New York Yankees fan, wears a New York Mets cap in the film. As explained by Crystal in the DVD Commentary, he did this because the New York Mets had made a major contribution and helped out on his annual Comic Relief charity.
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Billy Crystal co-wrote the story, but is not given on-screen credit.
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The cow-giving-birth used a puppet calf, as several takes were wanted. The shot of Norman getting to his feet was real footage taken just after birth. Billy Crystal actually assisted in the delivery. Six calves were used in all, and Crystal arranged for them all to live full lives on a farm. The shots featuring Crystal were filmed in Colorado, but the shots from the same scene featuring Jack Palance were filmed in New York.
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Jake Gyllenhaal's film debut.
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Billy Crystal's father ran a jazz label in New York and thus introduced him to many legends of the Jazz world, including Billie Holiday who took a seven-year-old Billy to his first movie. The movie was Shane (1953) featuring Jack Palance.
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Jack Palance turned down another film to do this movie because he loved the script.
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Bruno Kirby was extremely allergic to horses. Prior to each day of filming involving a horse, he required an injection of allergy medication to get through the day's shooting.
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The last scene Jack Palance filmed was the moment where he and Billy Crystal are sitting at the campfire and singing trail songs.
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Although many observers were stunned by Jack Palance's "I crap bigger than Billy Crystal!" comments at the 1991 Oscars, and didn't understand where his statement came from, Palance was actually repeating a line that his Curly character says to Crystal when they first meet at the riding camp. People forgot this line because Palance delivered it so quickly and had many more notable quotes.
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Clint Eastwood was considered for the role of Curly, but wanted way more money than the budget could afford.
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According to Billy Crystal, he recalled on the first day's shooting with Jack Palance as being particularly intimidating. Palance had gotten into it with director Ron Underwood. When Crystal later asked Palance as to why there was an argument, Palance said that it was first day jitters on set.
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True to form and fashion of Billy Crystal, he performs a vaudevillian act for Jack Palance, at the 1992 Academy Awards. Both actors receive ovations for this, along with their awards.
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The characters Ira and Barry were inspired by real-life ice cream entrepreneurs Ben and Jerry. In a 2015 Reddit AMA, the real-life duo revealed that most people assumed it was really them in the film. They added that in real life they can't recommend the perfect ice cream for any meal.
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Billy actually delivered the calf. Three pregnant cows were on hand in case retakes were needed. The scene is one of the favourites of any he's had to do and since then he's never eaten veal.
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Jack Palance and Bruno Kirby both passed away in 2006, and were both honored in the 'In Memoriam' tribute at the 79th Annual Academy Awards ceremony. Their co-star Billy Crystal had hosted the ceremony eight times prior to that.
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Daniel Stern enjoyed the City Slickers experience so much that he later bought a 500-acre cattle ranch.
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The movie's title did not easily translate into foreign languages. In France, it was called, "La Vie, L'Amour, Les Vaches," literally "Life, Love, and Cows.", and in Italy it was "Scappo dalla città - La vita, l'amore e le vacche", that translated would sound "I ran away from the city - life, love and cows". In Greece it was "Ti ekanes baba stin agria dysi?" which means "So what did you do in the Far West, Dad?".
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Billy was at home watching television about getaway breaks when the words 'cattle drive' came to mind. Within a few minutes he'd sketched out an idea. In five lines he had 'The adventures of three guys entering mid - life who join a cattle drive and go off into the wilderness.
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There is a 38-year gap between Jack Palance's Oscar nomination for Shane (1953) in 1953 and his win for City Slickers (1991) in 1991.
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Robin Williams was considered for the role of either Mitch Robbins, Phil Berquist, or Ed Furillo. But was already committed to Hook (1991).
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According to Billy Crystal, Charles Bronson turned down the role of Curly in an unseemly way which he reveals in his 2013 book "Still Foolin' Em"
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Jack Palance's Best Supporting Actor Oscar win was this film's only Oscar nomination.
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Each actor did their own stunts.
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Curly never takes off his hat.
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Jack Palance was always on Billy's mind to play Curly.
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Harvey Keitel auditioned for the role of Curly.
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As soon as he got the go ahead Billy started taking riding lessons.
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Included among the American Film Institute's 2000 list of the Top 100 Funniest American Movies.
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Billy Crystal's character turns 39 in the film. In reality, Crystal was 43.
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Some trailers feature a scene where someone's spurs are caught on a rail, but this scene is not in the movie.
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Jack Palance plays a mercenary named Curly in the 1968 Zapata western, The Mercenary. In that film he has curly hair and never wears a hat.
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The film cast includes one Oscar winner: Jack Palance and two Oscar nominees: Jake Gyllenhaal and David Paymer.
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Yeardley Smith and Helen Slater, who both appear in this movie but did not share any scenes together, had previously co-starred in 1985's cult classic "The Legend Of Billie Jean." Also, Bruno Kirby and Noble Willingham shared the screen four years earlier in "Good Morning, Vietnam."
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Mitch works for a radio station with the call letters WBLM. There is no such station in New York City, but there is a long time FM Rock Radio station WBLM in Portland, Maine.
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Nancy tells Arlene Berquist that's 20. Yeardley Smith was 27 at the time of filming.
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During Noble Willingham's welcome speech, he tells Bruno Kirby, "That's a good yahoo, son." Ironically, Noble Willingham appeared in the film which derives its name from a movie which depicts the famous 'yeehaw and yahoo scene' from "Red River" as the "Last Picture Show."
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Noble Willingham and Bruno Kirby appeared together in "Good Morning Vietnam."
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Walker Brandt's debut.
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Reunites Jack Palance and Tracey Walter who both appear in Batman (1989)
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Walker Brandt is of German ancestry.
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Spoilers 

The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

According to Billy Crystal in the "making of" documentary, when he first came up with the story and came up with the character of Curly, he immediately wrote down Jack Palance's name as the ideal choice for the role. When it appeared there was a scheduling conflict the script was given to Charles Bronson. Bronson rejected it (allegedly because the character Curly died in the film), but then Palance became available.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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