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The Best of Times


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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Robin Williams, Kurt Russell. Thirteen years after his dropped pass cost his high school football team a crucial game, a man decides to gather the members of both teams and go at it one more time. 1986/color/104 min/PG-13/widescreen.

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This shaggy-dog fable barely drew fleas when it arrived in the winter of 1986. Now critics refer to it as a winning, offbeat classic. What took 'em so long? Probably the fact that director Roger Spottiswoode (Tomorrow Never Dies) and screenwriter Ron Shelton (Bull Durham) were chasing something very elusive: a cockeyed, scatological look at delayed glory. Robin Williams plays Jack Dundee, a meek bank VP in Taft, California, who daily relives the humiliation of a bobbled pass in the game against Bakersfield. Not content to live out his days as "Butterfingers" Dundee, Jack hits on a plan to "rewrite history" by restaging the Big Game. Taft's now-over-the-hill quarterback, Reno Hightower (Kurt Russell), reluctantly goes along with the harebrained scheme to redeem his buddy. The guys' wives (Holly Palance and Pamela Reed) shake their heads and play along. At once zany, sweet, and nostalgic, this small-town chronicle strives for, and achieves, folk-legend status. "Casey at the Bat" in shoulder pads, anyone? --Glenn Lovell

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Robin Williams, Kurt Russell, Pamela Reed, Holly Palance, Donald Moffat
  • Directors: Roger Spottiswoode
  • Writers: Ron Shelton
  • Producers: Fredda Weiss, Gordon Carroll
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Letterboxed, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: February 2, 1999
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305262128
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,445 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Best of Times" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

One of my favorite movies from the 80's.
Zach Gargus
If you believe in life's second chances, and believe that they can and do happen, then you will love this film.
Robert M. Khoury
Robin Williams and Kurt Russell at their funniest!!
Christopher Olar

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By gymkata on July 27, 2001
Format: DVD
I guess I first caught this movie on Cinemax or some other cable channel back in '87 or '88(?) while still in High School. I've watched it at least once a year (around September usually) ever since. A "Sleeper" I suppose, but a sleeper at it's finest. In my opinion one of Williams' best, up there with "World according to Garp" and "Moscow on the Hudson". Kurt is perfectly cast as a former high school GOD turned beerbellied, blown out kneed "Van Specialist" desperately trying not to bathe in past glory. It has that "quirky and delightful" feel, not unlike Bill Forsyth's films like "Local Hero" and "Gregory's Girl". Now that I think of it, "Mystery Alaska" wouldn't be a bad comparison either. It goes way beyond simply a football/sports movie (my Wife likes it too but probably just because of Kurt Russell) but hey, I love football anyway so it it works for me on multiple levels. Of course, the idea of going back and correcting one's biggest screw up/regret would appeal to anyone. I always feel good after I watch this one, it hasn't let me down yet.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Ju-Ju Bee on January 25, 2004
Format: DVD
I first saw this movie when it was out on VHS. Yes, it is that old of a movie. From the start, I thought this movie was a classic. Jack Dundee (played by Robin Williams) is living in a state of agony because of a dropped pass in a highschool football game. Reno Hightower (played by Kurt Russel) was the quaterback, the only good quaterback the town ever had, who threw him that pass. The town in the movie is a typical small town where highschool football is big. Unfortunately for Robin Williams, that was the one chance the town had for a championship season. Robin Williams gets the idea to replay the game with the same players on both sides. Without giving away the plot, this is one movie that is worth getting. It will keep you amused and rooting for Williams throughout the whole movie.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 26, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
Nice mild but funny film, with Robin Williams not acting in his usual annoying hyperactive manner, but giving a rare subdued performance. Kurt Russel is great as always, as are the rest of the cast. The Script is well written, and the direction good. Kind of like an old Disney film, in the best sense of that term.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Bela on June 25, 2007
Format: DVD
Best of Times is a overlooked classic from the 80"s!
Kurt Russell is great as the old hero football star
who winds up in a car repair shop and Robin Williams
in his best role ever as the pathetic bank manager
who's life is out of control and both team up to
relive their youth by starting up a football game
with the stronger rival team that whipped them years
ago. Of course they win the game and all ends well but
it's worth watching this classic comedy.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By R. Arrington on October 13, 2008
Format: DVD
Though not widely known nowadays,this film has become a fall tradition in households around the country.Best of Times is the hilarious tale of one mans quest to correct a highschool football failure that plunges his small town into "lethergy" and haunts him well into adulthood.Robin Williams and Kurt Russel unite to lead the old team to victory and redeem their towns dignity and pride in this football classic that's packed with tons of heart and soul.This is one of those rare comedies that delivers in every department,so suit up and join the tradition by enjoying one of the most treasured and heartwarming comedies that has brought families together since the real best of times. "In conclusion I'd just like to say...Bakersfield must be destroyed!"
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Stephen H. Orel on August 11, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video
This is Robin Williams' best movie, at least in my book. It's also my favorite football movie. "I bet they're drawing up plays in the dirt." Yeah I remember doing that. Yet the scene that tugs permanently at my heart is the reunion dance the night before the big game, when Robin Williams' character convinces his wife, who is still mad at him for sneaking away from a long-awaited date night to watch a meaningless Monday night football game on tv when he had promised not to, to dance with him in the ladies' restroom at their old high school, to Roberta Flack's "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face." Tomorrow, he says, we may get our asses kicked to kingdom come; but tonight, it would be really nice, if you would dance with me. If you can watch that scene and not break down, or ever hear that song and not think of that scene, you're a stronger man than me. I am writing this today, so sad, and disappointed the Times didn't even mention this flick in its obit. It's a movie about football the way Bull Durham is about baseball. It's about love and redemption and second chances. It's one of the few movies I cannot turn off whenever the remote control finds it. And has Kurt Russell ever been better than as Reno Hightower? I hope that somewhere in heaven, Robin Williams is getting the second chance his character Jack Dundee was given in this movie. He's due.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By James Malone on January 23, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I give this one 3 and 1/2 to 4 stars, and it is really cute, not as funny as one might think, but it is cute and if you love football or used to be an old player, and have ever had dreams about playing again or what if??? then this movie will give you a laugh!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 5, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
This movie hits at the core of small town America. The men and women have well defined roles that each is willing to play out. The men are the warriors and the women are the support system needed to keep things together, no matter what the age of the warrior or the maiden.
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