Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1980s Best Of Times, The (1986)

Best Of Times, The (1986)

Robin Williams and Kurt Russell play two of life’s failures in this all-American whimsy set in small-town California.

Jack Dundee (Williams) – a daydreamer from the Walter Mitty school – has the thankless job of Vice President in a bank run by his overbearing father-in-law (Donald Moffat) and lives in the shadow of a missed vital pass at a high school football game which caused his team to lose the football championship to neighbouring Bakersfield.

Former star quarterback Reno Hightower (Russell) is now on the skids and works as an unsuccessful mechanic.

When Jack decides the town of Taft needs a little encouragement and some moral fibre, he comes up with a scheme to replay the game and change their fortunes and we’re into a rehash of It’s a Wonderful Life.

Except that the characters are one-dimensional, there aren’t any jokes, and the tone set by writer Ron Shelton and director Roger Spottiswoode is glutinous in the extreme.

It’s sad that Williams had a weakness for this sort of material when his talents so obviously would have been better served elsewhere.

Jack Dundee
Robin Williams
Reno Hightower
Kurt Russell
Gigi Hightower
Pamela Reed
Elly Dundee
Holly Palance
The Colonel
Donald Moffat
Margaret Whitton
M Emmet Walsh
Donovan Scott
R G Armstrong
Dub Taylor
Kathleen Freeman
Tony Plana

Roger Spottiswoode