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Mr. Saturday Night

4.2 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Billy Crystal co-wrote, directed, and starred in this ambitious 1992 comedy-drama about an aged comedian named Buddy Young Jr., whose foul attitude and poor judgment have a strongly negative effect on his career and the people who care for him most. A survivor of the Borscht Belt tradition of stand-up comedians, Buddy's quick with a one-liner but clueless about how to treat people--he's like a cross between George Burns, Milton Berle, and a rabid pit bull. Helen Hunt plays Buddy's tolerant new agent who's been hired to revive his lagging career, but the movie's saving grace is David Paymer's Oscar-nominated performance as Buddy's much-maligned brother, who's helpless to stop Buddy's downward spiral. Having invented the Buddy Young character for his own comedy routines, Crystal knows this comic curmudgeon inside and out, and his show-biz savvy adds much-needed authenticity under layers of phony-looking old-age makeup. The movie works best when it's offering insight into Buddy's lifetime of disappointment, and some of the dialogue is memorably sharp. Crystal can't resist a seemingly forced happy ending, however, and the closing scenes resort to sentimentality that clashes with the rest of the movie. --Jeff Shannon

Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Sage Allen, Julius Branca, Josh Byrne, Ben Diskin, Kay Freeman
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: French
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Polygram Video
  • DVD Release Date: December 8, 1998
  • Run Time: 119 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305181365
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #333,288 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Mr. Saturday Night" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
Poignant and moving--a transformational performance by Billy Crystal who gives such a finely nuanced performance of such depth that the movie has stayed with me for years. This isn't about a comdeian per se, its about somebody who realises that they have just missed the boat, felt that they were naturally entitled to be on the boat, and have to deal with that sense of life's betrayal. Crystal stops being just a funny man, and shows himself to be deeply sensitive and actually -- very deep. Disappointed viewers were looking for comic fluff, and when they got a sophisticated performance of a difficult man, they expressed their shock by rating the film badly.
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By A Customer on March 6, 1999
Format: DVD
Something really rare in these days of disposable pop culture film. It's hilariously funny, poignant without being maudlin, and pulls off the hardest trick there is; namely, the drama works and the comedy works. This was truly an oscar winning effort that got ignored.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Ego-centrical and clever young man makes everyone around him miserable, especially those closest to him, and earns his living by insulting his family and others.
I am sorry, but that is my impression of this film.
The acting is good.
The transformation of Billy Crystal as he ages in the film is amazing.
It is interesting to see how this "model comedian" develops.
I truly believe that this film depicts some well known comedians who are really miserable and insulting people at heart.
But when all is said and done, for me, this is NOT a funny film, and a very sad film for what the lead character does to those around him and closest to him.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This film was panned by most, didnt do well in theatres-- because people expected 'funny' --I think this movie is loosly based on Milton Bearle- I found it to be excellent- no- not funny- not at all- just the opposite- sad- his brother in this movie David Paymer is great as the punching bag brother- I found this movie very good- no- it doesnt finish with you happy [when harry met sally] - thus the bad reviews- dont look for happy- but the dark side of aging comedy-- 2 thumbs up- rob mcaleer
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Format: DVD
I have always felt Billy Crystal was a self absorbed, ruthless, know it all, Borcht belt brat, ego maniac! So when this movie was conceived (as a vehicle for Crystal) I thought it was merely an attempt to convince us that he himself was a showbiz legend. You know.....so he could show up at the Friars club and get respect from some former comedians who make cameo appearances in this flick. Greats like Slappy White, Carl Ballantine, Will Jordan, Jackie Gayle, and the master himself.....Jerry Lewis. Well.....I hate to say this.....but I now believe that I was wrong. I have since found Billy to indeed be a Showbiz legend! I now put him not only equal to but above many of the greats. I mean he's right up there with Lewis, Jack Benny, and George Burns. He turns in a great effort here as the abrasive, controlling, manipulative and unlovable Buddy Young. But the icing on the cake on why I changed my mind was the solid writing and unselfish way Crystal so generously gives David Payner this movie. It is for that reason and Payner's rock solid performance as the long suffering brother that make this Showbiz yarn a must see for any and all people who ever dreamed of being a standup comedian. This movie peels away and exposes the underlying current as to what makes a man bulldoze anybody who get's in his way from being a star. It's at times crass and vulgar but then that's who Buddy Young is. An underrated masterful little gem from one of the greatest entertainers today.....my "new" favorite comedian. Mr. Saturday Night.....the one and only.....Billy Crystal. He deserves all the accolades bestowed upon him. He truly is the greatest that we have today!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Years ago, when I saw Mr. Saturday Night in the theater, I went in expecting an hilarious comedy with Billy Crystal doing his "thing" as Buddy Young Jr.. It's NOT a comedy! It's a serious film about a self centered, very bitter man who makes others laugh, but who has no humor in his own life. The acting is extraordinary. David Paymer, who plays the role of Stan, Buddy's brother, is simply amazing in his role and should have won an Oscar. It really is a lesson in life. As Stan says to Buddy, at film's end, as he announces that he's leaving as Buddy's manager, "You could have been nicer."

If you're looking for a video that really makes you laugh, move on, quickly. To see splendid acting and characterization; Billy Crystal, at his best, buy a copy and watch it a couple of times.
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Format: DVD
Why this film has yet to be considered a masterpiece is beyond me. I suspect it may be considered "too Jewish." Nevertheless, it is completely accessible to any adult audience and Billy Crystal has created a character, Buddy Young, Jr., who is truly unforgetable.
Buddy is a brilliant comedian who, like Jerry Lewis, Buddy Hackett, and countless other comics jumps from the Catskills and Vegas to one of television's highest rated shows. But Buddy is flawed and his loses his show. And that's where the story truly begins. A poignant story that explores the conflicts between career ambitions and family relationships--and yet will make you howl with laughter--will make you wish to see it again and again.
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