Billy Crystal is one of the best comic actors of our generation. He has dozens of outstanding movies. He also has My Giant which had no chance at making this list. Anyways, the ALL-TIME BEST 10 BILLY CRYSTAL MOVIES!
10. Running Scared (1986)
Nope, not the really weird Paul Walker movie of the same name. This one stars Crystal and Gregory Hines as Chicago cops who lamb it after an encounter with a local mob boss. Eventually, they come back and have a wild-west showdown with the future Bobby Simone (Jimmy Smits). Not a bad action-comedy at all.
9. Forget Paris (1995)
I can’t believe people didn’t buy Billy Crystal as an NBA referee. Have you seen NBA refs? They all look like…well…Billy Crystal. Seeing the funny man interact with some of the NBA’s best was a special treat, but the movie is a love story at heart. Crystal really seems to excel in the Rom-Com, probably because he’s funny and seems fairly likable.
8. Monsters, Inc. (2001)
Most of the Disney Pixar movies are undeniably clever and well-written. Monsters, Inc. is no exception, as the film has both heart and brains. Did it kinda ripoff “Little Monsters” with Howie Mandel and Fred Savage? Sure…but no one cares cause that movie was freaking awful.
7. Hamlet (1996)
This is a bit part, but shoot, Billy Crystal in Hamlet, what the heck? The adaptation by Kenneth Branagh is pretty freaking good, and showed that the Bard can play even in the 1990’s. They really should have just cast Robin Williams as Yorick and the could have avoided “Father’s Day” altogether.
6. The Princess Bride (1987)
Crystal has pretty minor role in this one as well, but the film is one of the most original in the last several decades. The whole mix of fantasy, comedy, romance, and action is perfectly blended for maximum enjoyment. Also, where else do you get Robin Hood, Andre the Giant, Jenny Gump, and Saul Berenson from “Homeland”?
5. Analyze This (1999)
The idea of a Mob comedy like “Analyze This” is pretty brilliant. When you stick Billy Crystal and Robert DeNiro in as the leads, then you’ve got gold…gold Jerry! Even today, the film really is clever and the dialogue is like the lovechild of Larry David and Aaron Sorkin. Add in a stellar supporting cast, and you’ve got a hit (pun intended).
4. 61* (2001)
Billy was only in this for a brief second, but did direct the amazing film. In fact, “61*” is one of those forgotten classics, somehow lost in the mainstream consciousness. Why? I have no clue, as the film is a ridiculously good character study and period piece. The acting, writing…really everything is top-notch. If you like baseball movies or just great films, you’ve got to give this one a go.
3. This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
Crystal has a very brief part in this one as a mime, but the movie is phenomenal. In fact, there are a number of awesome cameos in “This Is Spinal Tap”. Most notably, “Veggie Tales” star, Larry the Cucumber showing up in Harry Shearer’s pants during an airport security check. Hmm…
2. When Harry Met Sally… (1989)
A film that forever changed how viewers looked at cured meats, “When Harry Met Sally…” is undoubtedly, one of Billy Crystal’s best. Beyond just the obvious comedy, the film is really intricate and well-constructed. Crystal, along with Meg Ryan, are fantastic as Harry and Sally.
1. City Slickers (1991)
It’s kind of a shame the “City Slickers” is still viewed merely as a comedy, because the film has a significant philosophical weight about it too. Seriously, this is one of the best movies of the 1990’s. I’m not even joking, when you get past the slapstick and the frequent “fish out of water” humor, the film is a meditation on life, death, family, and meaning.
Tomorrow, the ALL-TIME WORST TV HUSBANDS!
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