Billy Crystal-Bruno Kirby "feud"...does anyone know the details?

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by dirwuf, Oct 19, 2011.

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  1. dirwuf

    dirwuf Raccoon of the Year Thread Starter

    Location:
    Fairfield, CT
    When character actor Bruno Kirby passed away in 2006, it had been almost 15 years since he was apparently blackballed in Hollywood by Billy Crystal after the making of "City Slickers"...Kirby, who won critical notice as Crystal's foil in "When Harry Met Sally" and "City Slickers"...to go along with his scene-stealing appearance in "Good Morning Vietnam", virtually disappeared from the mainstream...only appearing in much smaller roles in much smaller films.

    Crystal's side in this has never come out, but something happened between them...

    Here's a great blogpost about the "feud" that was done right after Kirby's death...

    http://nicholasstixuncensored.blogspot.com/2006/08/bruno-kirby-rest-in-peace-pal.html

    Does anyone know any more?
     
  2. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    He did do a half-dozen more films after City Slickers, but only in minor roles. All Wikipedia says is:

    Kirby and comedian Billy Crystal made a popular screen team in "When Harry Met Sally..." (1989) and "City Slickers" (1991). Both featured Kirby's character as the opinionated best friend to Crystal's character. However, Kirby refused to sign on for the sequel "City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold" unless script changes were made.

    I thought the sequel was awful, and the film suffered from Kirby's absence. I've worked on a few Billy Crystal projects, and all I can say is, Crystal is definitely the guy in control -- I don't think he's look for collaboration. One could argue that there are two sides to this argument; maybe Kirby was too pushy, and Crystal was too egotistical.

    Note that Crystal has not had a lot of hit films in the last 10 years. I worked a bit on Tooth Fairy, which was completely unwatchable and horrible beyond belief.
     
  3. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Location:
    Alexandria VA
    Ehh, "Tooth Fairy" isn't THAT bad. It has a nice cast and a few mildly amusing moments.

    I think "City Slickers" - the original - was a big lump of dull nothing, though...
     
  4. RoyalScam

    RoyalScam Luckless Pedestrian

    "It's not fun, and it's not funny."

    (Howard Stern fans will know what that statement means...)
     
  5. AdamK

    AdamK Active Member

    Location:
    Knoxville, TN
    I remember reading about this years and years ago. Sounds like it was a clash of egos, possibly on the first City Slickers movie. I think that Kirby thought the movie was more about the three guys but Crystal thought it was more about him.

    I do remember somebody quoting Kirby as saying something like, "I've worked with Coppola... etc." Basically trying to tout his bona fides.

    I thought this line in the article was pretty over the top though:

    I liked the guy and all, but c'mon...
     
  6. ridernyc

    ridernyc Forum Resident

    Location:
    Florida, USA
    If Crystal blackballed Kirby who black balled Crystal. I can't think of the last Billy Crystal movie anyone cared about. I'm sure they just had a fight over a script and Crystal freaked out. I don't Billy Crystal has any real power to to blackball anyone. If anything distancing himself from Crystal has probably been a plus.
     
  7. dirwuf

    dirwuf Raccoon of the Year Thread Starter

    Location:
    Fairfield, CT
    Perhaps 'blackballed' is too strong a word, but the fact remains that after his falling out with Crystal, Kirby never had another significant role...and Crystal did wield a lot of power back then.
     
  8. Captain Groovy

    Captain Groovy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Freedonia, USA
    Billy Crystal certainly doesn't have/didn't have the power to blackball anyone. I've heard of ego issues with both of them.

    Crystal has been trying to get "Damn Yankees" made for several years with himself as the devil, but no one's biting.

    Jeff
     
  9. dirwuf

    dirwuf Raccoon of the Year Thread Starter

    Location:
    Fairfield, CT

    Didn't he already play the devil in "Deconstructing Harry"?


    ...now THIS is the part Jon Lovitz was born to play ;)
     
  10. Ed Hughes

    Ed Hughes Forum Resident

    Location:
    phila.pa.
    I always liked Bruno Kirby.I thought he was great as the young Clemenza in Godfather Pt. 2
     
  11. mr.schneider

    mr.schneider Active Member

    Location:
    N. Beechwood Dr.
    If this is the case, I can see why Kirby wanted script revisions to City Slickers II.
    Even in the released form, it kinda sucked. I wonder how bad it was before the changes occurred?
     
  12. Yankee8156

    Yankee8156 Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York
    Yeah, that's what surprised me. This is the first I've heard about any of this, so the idea that Crystal could actually blackball someone striked me as odd. Despite his success back then, I still wouldn't think he wielded enough power to make sure Kirby didn't get a big role. I can't imagine any producer/director being afraid of having the wrath of Billy Crystal brought down upon them. What is he going to do? Make fun of them at the Oscars?

    All that being said, I've always wondered why Kirby didn't have more roles.
     
  13. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Location:
    Alexandria VA
    Probably "Analyze This" - or "Monsters Inc.", if you want to count animated flicks.

    In Crystal's semi-defense, he hasn't worked much over the last 10 years, and I would imagine a lot of that was self-imposed semi-retirement. I guess it's possible no one wanted to hire him, but that seems unlikely - he was too big a star with too many successes to simply vanish like that unless it was his choice, IMO...
     
  14. konut

    konut Prodigious Member. Thank you.

    Location:
    Whatcom County, WA
    I can't remember where I saw it but I recall seeing that Kirby started wanting huge money starting with CS2 and thats why he wasn't getting hired.
     
  15. ridernyc

    ridernyc Forum Resident

    Location:
    Florida, USA
    Name anyone in the cast of City Slickers that had much of a career over the past decade.
     
  16. John DeAngelis

    John DeAngelis Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York, NY
    So, in other words, you have no actual proof that Crystal "apparently blackballed" Kirby. You're just guessing or assuming that that is why Kirby's career nosedived?
     
  17. Ivan Sane

    Ivan Sane New Member

    Location:
    Tulsa
    Both of them had small parts in This Is Spinal Tap. Was that their first project together?
     
  18. dirwuf

    dirwuf Raccoon of the Year Thread Starter

    Location:
    Fairfield, CT
    I'm not the only one...read the link in my original post. Even an entertainment reporter questioned Crystal about it...

    Perhaps it's just a coincidence..that's why I asked for more info.
     
  19. Thanks, I'm a big fan of Bruno Kirby.
     
  20. ridernyc

    ridernyc Forum Resident

    Location:
    Florida, USA
    You can pick dozens of stars and try to make up a reason why their career faded.

    Ever since David Spade had that personal assistant arrested for trying to kill him on his front lawn David Spades career has gone no where. Man who would think David Spades personal assistant would have enough power to black list him like that.
     
  21. Spade's personal assistant wasn't Steven Spielberg was he?:angel:
     
  22. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Location:
    Alexandria VA
    If we trust IMDB, yup. Apparently they were only in three movies together: "Tap", "When Harry Met Sally" and "City Slickers".

    Of course, it's a stretch to call "Tap" their project TOGETHER - both had small roles and never were on-screen at the same time...
     
  23. jupiter8

    jupiter8 Forum Resident

    Location:
    NJ, USA
    Bruno Kirby was hardly leading man material...lots of character actors come and go...maybe he was like Joe Pesci and such a giant pain in the a** nobody wanted to work with him
     
  24. keef00

    keef00 Forum Resident

    Bruno was perfect in When Harry met Sally.
     
  25. billdcat

    billdcat Well-Known Member

    Craig Ferguson has been using "..The Legend of Curly's Gold.."
    as a punch line for years now, with good effect...

    ..and with good reason, "..The Legend of Curly's Gold" was just awful !
     
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