Spotlight on Billy Crystal’s Projects: His Stage Musical and a Classic Film

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Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal in the famous deli scene in When Harry Met Sally.
Photo: Castle Rock Entertainment and Warner Bros.

By BERNICE FOX

A lot of entertainers would love to have what Billy Crystal’s having.

We’re talking about the career he’s having.

And this year has been special for two projects in particular from the former honorary Pacific Palisades co-mayor.

There’s good news for fans who couldn’t get to New York to see Crystal’s first Broadway musical, Mr. Saturday Night, when it played earlier this year.

The Tony-nominated show was recorded for both posterity and streaming. Now Mr. Saturday Night joins dozens of other recorded Broadway shows that are available to watch on https://www.broadwayhd.com/ all for about $12 for a one-month subscription.

And a romantic comedy that Crystal always will be known for, When Harry Met Sally, has been added to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. Movies that make this annual list are chosen for their cultural, historic or aesthetic importance to preserve the country’s film heritage.

Earlier this year, Vanity Fair magazine named When Harry Met Sally the number-one rom com ever. The film came out in 1989. And Vanity Fair says it “still resonates today.”

Crystal was interviewed by the Library of Congress for the National Film Registry. When asked about acting in When Harry Met Sally, Crystal said “I just felt so plugged into the process of making the movie. Not that anything is ever easy, but it was just such a joy to see it come to life.”

The Library of Congress notes that “screenwriter Nora Ephron, director Rob Reiner, actor Billy Crystal and actress Meg Ryan all cemented their status in pop culture fame with the film.”

Crystal continued his own praise for the film, saying “The movie is beautiful and simple and appropriate and every shot is just right. The timing, which is in the hands of Rob, who is, for this movie, a modern-day Billy Wilder … and it’s New York, it’s the fall, it’s the music.”

Here’s one last comment from the Library of Congress that points to the film’s famous scene in a delicatessen.

When Harry Met Sally “remains one of the most quoted films of the 1980s with lines like ‘I’ll have what she’s having.’”

Iron Man, starring Palisadian Robert Downey Jr. and produced by former Palisades resident, Kevin Feige, also was added to the prestigious National Film Registry.

Billy Crystal, Pacific Palisades former honorary mayor, was nominated for a Tony for his Broadway performance, which can now be accessed by residents through a Broadway Show subscription.
Photo: Courtesy of Mr. Saturday Night

Complete list of films selected for the 2022 National Film Registry:

  • Mardi Gras Carnival (1898)
  • Cab Calloway Home Movies (1948-1951)
  • Cyrano de Bergerac (1950)
  • Charade (1963)
  • Scorpio Rising (1963)
  • Behind Every Good Man (1967)
  • Titicut Follies (1967)
  • Mingus (1968)
  • Manzanar (1971)
  • Betty Tells Her Story (1972)
  • Super Fly (1972)
  • Attica (1974)
  • Carrie (1976)
  • Union Maids (1976)
  • Word is Out: Stories of Our Lives (1977)
  • Bush Mama (1979)
  • The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez (1982)
  • Itam Hakim, Hopiit (1984)
  • Hairspray (1988)
  • The Little Mermaid (1989)
  • Tongues Untied (1989)
  • When Harry Met Sally (1989)
  • House Party (1990)
  • Iron Man (2008)
  • Pariah (2011)
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