The Best of Times (film)

For other uses, see The Best of Times.
The Best of Times

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Roger Spottiswoode
Produced by Gordon Carroll
Written by Ron Shelton
Music by Arthur B. Rubinstein
Cinematography Charles F. Wheeler
Edited by Garth Craven
Distributed by Universal Studios
Release dates
January 31, 1986 (1986-01-31) (USA)
Running time
104 min.
Country United States
Language English
Box office $7,790,931 (USA)

The Best of Times is a 1986 American comedy-drama film directed by Roger Spottiswoode and written by Ron Shelton. It stars Robin Williams and Kurt Russell as two friends attempting to relive a high school football game.


Jack Dundee (Williams) is a banker obsessed with what he considers the most shameful moment in his life: dropping a perfectly thrown pass in the final seconds of the 1972 high school football game between Taft and their arch rivals, Bakersfield, which ended in a scoreless tie.

Since that game, Jack has found it impossible to forget this event. He works for his father-in-law, The Colonel, Bakersfield's biggest supporter, who reminds him of the event almost daily.

Thirteen years later, Jack coerces Reno (Russell), quarterback of the fateful game, and now a financially struggling garage owner in debt to Jack's bank, into helping him replay the game. He convinces supporters in both towns to re-stage the game and in the process revitalizes Taft, as well as his and Reno's marriages.



Much of the film was shot in and around the actual Taft Union High School. The football scenes took place at Pierce Junior College in the San Fernando Valley. The night game was filmed at Moorpark Memorial High School, in Moorpark, CA.


The film received mixed reviews, with a 33% 'rotten' rating on review aggregate Rotten Tomatoes.[1] Pauline Kael called the film "a small town comedy where the whole population is caught up in some glorious foolishness."[2]


  1. "The Best of Times". Rotten Tomatoes.
  2. Kael, Pauline. Hooked. p. 110. ISBN 0-7145-2903-6.
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