The Best of Times (1986) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Best of Times (1986)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Small-town banker Robin Williams has never been able to live down the fact that he dropped an important pass during a crucial high-school football game. Likewise tainted for life is the team's star quarterback Kurt Russell, now a garage owner. Fed up with living his life under a cloud, Williams hits upon a brilliant idea: he will stage a rematch-13 years after the fact--with the members of the rival team. Trouble beckons when Williams' father-in-law announces that he's rooting for the opposition. Williams is determined to win, and in pursuit of that goal he pushes his former teammates to hitherto untapped brilliance. Directed by Roger Spottiswood, The Best of Times was written by Ron Shelton, future writer/director of such delightful sports films as Bull Durham, White Men Can't Jump and Tin Cup; it was Shelton, in fact, who directed most of Best of Times' climactic football game.

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Robin Williams
as Jack Dundee
Kurt Russell
as Reno Hightower
Pamela Reed
as Gigi Hightower
Holly Palance
as Elly Dundee
Donald Moffat
as The Colonel
Raymond W. Clanto
as Bakersfield Coach
Bill Overton
as Luther Jackson
Hugh Gillin
as Caribou
Jake Dengel
as Caribou
Linda Hart
as Blender
Marie Cain
as Blender
Peggy Moyer
as Blender
Jeff Severson
as Johnny 'O'
Hap Lawrence
as Dickie Larue
Nick Shields
as Bam Bam
Brenda Huggins
as Mrs. Jackson
Hilary Davis
as Michelle
Christopher Mankiewicz
as Safari Room Security Guard
Robert Dickman
as Taft Business Man
Jim Giovanni
as Taft Football Player
Steve Shargo
as Taft Football Player
Darryl B. Smith
as Bakersfield Coache
Raymond W. Clanton
as Bakersfield Coache
Fred A. Nelson
as Bakersfield Coach
Vister Hayes
as Dr. Death
Iron Jaw Wilson
as "Iron Jaws"
Wayne Adderson
as Bakersfield Coach
Susan Signorelli
as Taft Woman
Gérard Philipe
as Disgruntled Fan
Christopher Cory
as Assistant Football Trainer
Chuck Ramsey
as Himself
Hugo L. Stanger
as Old Man Lester
View All

Critic Reviews for The Best of Times

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (2)

... what it really resembles, more than anything, is a teen comedy populated by adults.

January 3, 2018 | Full Review…

Such a rouser that it almost makes up for the incomplete passes and stopped runs that precede it.

May 21, 2003 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Nostalgic fantasy about replaying that high school game with all the jock pals.

May 31, 2005 | Rating: 2/5

Speaks to our fantasies of rectifying mistakes of the past but drops the ball on a satire on small town foibles and marital discord.

August 25, 2004 | Rating: 2/5

Forgotten by most yet seemingly adored by those who choose to remember it, The Best of Times stands in my book as one of the truly great sports comedies.

July 17, 2002 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Best of Times


The Best of Times is an entertaining and fun screwball comedy that's a bit dated, but still delivers the laughs. The story follows Jack Dundee, former high school football player who lost the big game senior year, but attempts to redeem himself and lift the spirits of his small town by arranging a rematch game 13 year later. The cast is led by Robin Williams and Kurt Russell, and they work well as a comedy duo. However, the comedy is rather stereotypical and a little stale. Additionally, there are some romantic comedy subplots that aren't developed very well and end up feeling tacked on. While The Best of Times has its problems, it still manages to score some laughs.

Dann Michalski
Dann Michalski

Super Reviewer

Movies for a rainy Saturday afternoon. One of the corniest movies you'll ever see, a real one-trick pony: what if you could replay that one moment in life where it all went wrong? Terrible, hackneyed dialogue and mailed-in performances by Williams and Russell. Williams's character is completely unbelievable, and maybe too young for the role. This movie doesn't know what it wants to be. Comedy? Parody? Meaningful slice-of-life/Americana? Sports classic? It trucks in high-mindedness and obsession, but every piece of dialogue clunks with exposition and it takes way too long to get to the game. Good idea, about breaking a dying town out of its funk, but it makes for an overwrought movie that's not much fun to watch. A curious relic from that 80's urban cowboy thing, fits well with Footloose, Road House, The Complete John Mellencamp, Jeep YJs, GWG jeans, etc.

Daniel Perry
Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer


A mediocre film about chasing lost glory that never really finds it's way.

Nicky Mo
Nicky Mo

Super Reviewer

The Best of Times Quotes

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