|City Slickers II: |
The Legend of Curly's Gold
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Paul Weiland|
|Produced by||Billy Crystal|
|Written by||Billy Crystal |
by Lowell Ganz
|Music by||Marc Shaiman|
|Edited by||William M. Anderson |
Castle Rock Entertainment
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures (US & International)|
|Box office||$43 million|
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.
A year after the events of the first film, Mitch Robbins is a much happier and livelier man, having moved out of the city and become station manager at the radio station where he works, where he has employed his best friend, Phil Berquist. However, he is being plagued with nightmares about his deceased friend, Curly, and comes to believe that he may still be alive. On his 40th birthday, Mitch sees a man resembling Curly on the train, which does nothing to placate his worries, and later finds a treasure map belonging to Lincoln Washburn hidden in Curly's old hat, albeit with a missing corner. He and Phil investigate the contents of the map in the library and learn that Lincoln was Curly's father and a train robber in the Old West who in 1908 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 venture out to find the gold (which would now be 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 almost falling off a cliff while retrieving it and Phil believing he was bitten by a rattlesnake while he actually sat on a cactus. They are ambushed by the two cowboys who they bought their supplies from, who demand the map, since Phil recklessly told them all about the gold. Just as they are poised to kill them, the man resembling Curly appears and fights them off. He introduces himself as Duke, Curly's identical twin brother, and 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. 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 reveals that the entire time, he knew where the gold truly was and intended to keep it all for himself, but couldn't bring himself to do so, having found his one thing to be honesty. Through Mitch's skepticism, Duke reveals that he had 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.
- Billy Crystal as Mitch Robbins
- Daniel Stern as Phil Berquist
- Jon Lovitz as Glen Robbins
- Jack Palance as Duke Washburn
- Patricia Wettig as Barbara Robbins
- Noble Willingham as Clay Stone
- Pruitt Taylor Vince as Bud
- Bill McKinney as Matt
- David Paymer as Ira Shalowitz
- Josh Mostel as Barry Shalowitz
- Lindsay Crystal as Holly Robbins
- Beth Grant as Lois
- Jayne Meadows as the voice of Mitch's mother
- Jennifer Crystal as jogger
- Bob Balaban as Dr. Jeffrey Sanborn (uncredited)
- Frank Welker as Norman (voice)
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.
In 2008, director Weiland later spoke of creative differences he had with Crystal, and that Crystal wanted to be director, leading to clashes.
The film received negative reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 17% based on reviews from 23 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." On Metacritic the film has a score of 43 out of 100, based on reviews from 23 critics. Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade A- on scale of A to F.
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."
- 9th worst – John Hurley, Staten Island Advance
- 10th worst – Desson Howe, The Washington Post
- Top 18 worst (alphabetically listed, not ranked) – Michael Mills, The Palm Beach Post
- Eller, Claudia; Natale, Richard (August 2, 1994). "A Squeeze Play Tags the Summer Box Office". Los Angeles Times.
- "City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold (1994) - Financial Information". The Numbers (website).
- D'Arc, James V. (2010). When Hollywood came to town: a history of moviemaking in Utah (1st ed.). Layton, Utah: Gibbs Smith. ISBN 9781423605874.
- "Crystal Slammed By City Slickers Sequel Director". IMDb. Retrieved 2020-03-30.
- "'Speed' Drives to a Fast Start : Movies: The thriller passes 'The Flintstones,' while 'City Slickers II' gallops to third at the box office". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-06-02.
- "City Slickers 2 - The Legend of Curly's Gold (1994)". Rotten Tomatoes.
- "City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold". Metacritic.
- "CITY SLICKERS 2 (1994) A-". CinemaScore. Archived from the original on 2018-12-20. Retrieved 2019-09-01.
- Roger Ebert (June 10, 1994). "City Slickers II". Chicago Sun Times. Retrieved 2019-08-31.
- Janet Maslin (June 10, 1994). "Review/Film; Slickers Mount Up Again, For a Slow Treasure Hunt". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-06-02.
- PETER RAINER (June 10, 1994). "Movie Reviews : 'Slickers II': Search for Sequel Gold". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-06-02.
- Hurley, John (December 30, 1994). "Movie Industry Hit Highs and Lows in '94". Staten Island Advance. p. D11.
- Howe, Desson (December 30, 1994), "The Envelope Please: Reel Winners and Losers of 1994", The Washington Post, retrieved July 19, 2020
- Mills, Michael (December 30, 1994). "It's a Fact: 'Pulp Fiction' Year's Best". The Palm Beach Post (Final ed.). p. 7.
- Wilson, John. 1994 Archive. The Golden Raspberry Award Foundation. Website. 23 Aug. 2000. Razzies.com Archived 2014-04-15 at the Wayback Machine