City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold

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City Slickers II:
The Legend of Curly's Gold
Legend of curlys gold ver2.jpg
Theatrical release poster by Robert Rodriguez [1]
Directed by Paul Weiland
Written by Billy Crystal
Lowell Ganz
Babaloo Mandel
Based onCharacters
by Lowell Ganz
Babaloo Mandel
Produced byBilly Crystal
Starring
Cinematography Adrian Biddle
Edited by William M. Anderson
Armen Minasian
Music by Marc Shaiman
Production
companies
Castle Rock Entertainment
Face Productions
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date
  • June 10, 1994 (1994-06-10)
Running time
116 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$40 million [2]
Box office$72 million [3]

City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold is a 1994 American Western comedy film directed by Paul Weiland. It is the sequel to City Slickers (1991) and stars Billy Crystal, Daniel Stern, Jon Lovitz, and Jack Palance. Although a mild financial success, the film did not reach the popularity of the first, receiving generally negative responses from critics.

Contents

Plot

A year after the events of the first film, Mitch Robbins is a much happier and livelier man, having moved out of the city. He is the manager at the radio station, and has employed his best friend, Phil Berquist. However, he is plagued with nightmares about deceased trail boss, Curly, and believe he may still be alive. On his 40th birthday, Mitch sees a man resembling Curly on the train. He later finds a treasure map belonging to Lincoln Washburn hidden in Curly's old cowboy hat, albeit with a missing corner. He and Phil investigate the map's contents and learn that Lincoln was Curly's father and a train robber in the Old West. In 1908, he infamously stole and hid one million dollars in gold bullion in the deserts near Las Vegas. With an impending trip to Las Vegas for a convention, Mitch decides to search for the gold (now worth twenty million) along with Phil, and his immature younger brother, Glen.

Several mishaps ensue, such as Glen accidentally burning a hole in the map with a magnifying glass, Mitch nearly falling off a cliff while retrieving it, and Phil believing a rattlesnake bit him when he sits on a cactus. They are ambushed by the two cowboys who sold them their supplies. They demand the map, since Phil recklessly blabbed about the gold. Just as they are poised to kill them, a man resembling Curly appears and fights them off. He is Duke, Curly's identical twin brother. He explains that long ago, their father had plans to find the gold with his sons once he was no longer being monitored, but he died before he could. On her death bed, their mother gave Curly the map, and he contacted Duke to find him so that they could find the gold together, but he died on the cattle drive the previous year. Duke learned from Cookie that Mitch had Curly's belongings, and so sought him out, though Mitch believed he was Curly. Though Duke is prepared to take the map and find the gold by himself, Mitch chastises him for his attitude, reasoning that Curly would not approve. Out of respect for Curly, Duke relents and allows the others to accompany him and share the gold.

A reckless act by Mitch causes a stampede in which the map and almost all their supplies are lost. Thanks to Glen's memory, they are able to press on and find the location of the cave where the gold is hidden. They eventually find it, but are confronted by two armed cowboys also seeking it. In the ensuing fight, Glen is shot, but Duke discovers the bullets to be blanks with red paint pellets. At that moment, Clay Stone, the organizer of the cattle drive, appears along with some of their old friends, such as Ira and Barry Shalowitz. Clay explains that the cowboys are his sons and he has been looking for Duke for some time. Having left the cattle business, he is now making a living taking men on a trip to find the gold, which is revealed to be lead bars painted gold. Though Mitch, Phil, and Glen feel lost, Duke remains convinced that the gold is out there somewhere, and stays behind as the others return to Las Vegas.

Mitch is visited by Duke in his hotel room, who confesses that he had planned to cheat Mitch and the others out of the gold, but couldn't bring himself to do so, having found his 'one thing' to be honesty. Through Mitch's skepticism, Duke also reveals that he possesses the missing corner of the map, which points to where Lincoln reburied the gold in 1909, and presents a bar of it to Mitch as evidence. He tries to scratch the gold off with a knife, and screams in joy upon realizing that it is real after all.

Cast

Production

Parts of the film were shot in Arches National Park, Dugout Ranch, Professor Valley, and Goblin Valley in Utah. Bruno Kirby did not return to reprise his role as Ed Furrillo from the original film partly because he was highly allergic to horses and required constant allergy treatments to do his scenes. [4]

In 2008, director Weiland later spoke of creative differences he had with Crystal, and that Crystal wanted to be director, leading to clashes. [5]

Reception

Box office

City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold was released June 10, 1994, and came in 3rd place at the US box office, behind Speed and The Flintstones . [6] It went on to gross $43 million in the United States and Canada and $72 million worldwide. [7] [3]

Critical response

City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold received negative reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 15% based on reviews from 26 critics. The site's critical consensus reads, "Lacking any of the charm of its predecessor, City Slickers 2 meanders around the map without ever finding comedy gold." [8] On Metacritic the film has a score of 43 out of 100, based on reviews from 23 critics. [9] Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade A− on scale of A to F. [10]

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times wrote: "City Slickers II, subtitled The Legend of Curly's Gold, makes the mistake of thinking we care more about the gold than about the city slickers. Like too many sequels, it has forgotten what the first film was really about. Slickers II is about the MacGuffin instead of the characters." [11]

Janet Maslin of The New York Times said that the film "has no real purpose beyond the obvious one of following up a hit, although the original film was just as casual at times. Both of them rely on Billy Crystal's breezy, dependably funny screen presence to hold the interest, even when not much around him is up to par. Both also count on the irascible Jack Palance, even though Mr. Palance's Curly was dead and buried when the first film was over." [12]

Peter Rainer of the Los Angeles Times said that "with several years to ponder a way to honorably recycle 'City Slickers,' the filmmakers responsible for the sequel—director Paul Weiland and scripters Crystal, Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel—have come up with a buried-treasure plot that would barely pass muster as an old Republic Pictures Western. The only things missing are the singing cowboys." [13]

Year-end lists

Accolades

It was nominated for a Razzie Award for Worst Remake or Sequel [17] and a Stinker for Worst Sequel. [18]

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References

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  8. "City Slickers 2 - The Legend of Curly's Gold (1994)". Rotten Tomatoes .
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  10. "CITY SLICKERS 2 (1994) A-". CinemaScore . Archived from the original on December 20, 2018. Retrieved September 1, 2019.
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  12. Janet Maslin (June 10, 1994). "Review/Film; Slickers Mount Up Again, For a Slow Treasure Hunt". The New York Times . Retrieved June 2, 2012.
  13. PETER RAINER (June 10, 1994). "Movie Reviews : 'Slickers II': Search for Sequel Gold". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 2, 2012.
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  15. Howe, Desson (December 30, 1994), "The Envelope Please: Reel Winners and Losers of 1994", The Washington Post, retrieved July 19, 2020
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