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King of the Gypsies (1978)

R  |   |  Drama  |  28 February 1979 (France)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 773 users  
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Eric Roberts makes an impressive screen debut as Dave, grandson of the aging King Zharko, who is chosen by him to lead the gypsy clan at his death. Dave's only inclination is to join the ... See full summary »



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Title: King of the Gypsies (1978)

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Spiro Giorgio
Antonia Rey ...
Danitza Giorgio
Daniel Spira ...
Zio Miller
Rui Ilanovitch
Lou Cevetillo ...
Pete Stepanowicz
Zvee Scooler ...
Phuro (as Svee Scooler)


Eric Roberts makes an impressive screen debut as Dave, grandson of the aging King Zharko, who is chosen by him to lead the gypsy clan at his death. Dave's only inclination is to join the American mainstream, but he knows that the mantle of gypsy power cannot be taken lightly or denied. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


They have their own language...Their own codes of sex, honor and vengeance...And their own way of choosing a king. See more »




R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

28 February 1979 (France)  »

Also Known As:

A cigányok királya  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Susan Sarandon and Brooke Shields previously played a mother and daughter in Pretty Baby (1978). See more »


Be My Love
By Nicholas Brodszky and Sammy Cahn
Sung by Robert Jason
See more »

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User Reviews

Eric Roberts as an American Gypsy who resists being "King of the Gypsies"
8 June 2015 | by (Ohio/PA border) – See all my reviews

Released in 1978, "King of the Gypsies" chronicles the life of an American gypsy (Eric Roberts in his debut) who resists being made the king of his clan by his grandfather (Sterling Hayden). Meanwhile his villainous father (Judd Hirsch) resents that he was passed up and hostilities mount. Susan Sarandon plays the mother, Shelley Winters the grandmother, Brooke Shields the young sister and Annette O'Toole & Annie Potts the potential girlfriends.

The movie plays like a less-epic and lower-budgeted version of 1972's "The Godfather," albeit about Gypsies rather than a Mafia family. The cast and acting are superlative and the tone is gritty realistic. The screenplay was based on Peter Maas' true-life book. The story covers three generations of a Gypsy family from the 40s into the 70s and is narrated by Robert's character, which provides an interesting continuity. It's not great, but it's good enough and provides a window into this unconventional culture, their traveling lifestyle, interactions, work (including "fortune telling"), schemes, music, dancing and misadventures.

The film runs 112 minutes and was shot in New York/New Jersey area.


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