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The Frisco Kid (1979)

 -  Comedy | Western  -  13 July 1979 (USA)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 5,709 users  
Reviews: 49 user | 20 critic

A Polish rabbi wanders through the Old West on his way to lead a synagogue in San Francisco. On the way he is nearly burnt at the stake by Indians and almost killed by outlaws.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Ramon Bieri ...
...
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Darryl Diggs (as George Ralph DiCenzo)
Leo Fuchs ...
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Jack Somack ...
Beege Barkette ...
Sarah Mindl (as Beege Barkett)
...
O'Leary
Walter Janovitz ...
Old Amish Man (as Walter Janowitz)
Joe Kapp ...
Monterano
...
Mr. Ping
Clifford A. Pellow ...
Mr. Daniels (as Cliff Pellow)
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Storyline

A Polish rabbi wanders through the Old West on his way to lead a synagogue in San Francisco. On the way he is nearly burnt at the stake by Indians and almost killed by outlaws. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

rabbi | indian | outlaw | bank robber | jewish | See more »

Taglines:

The greatest cowboy ever to ride into the Wild West. From Poland. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Western

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

13 July 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

No Knife  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's opening title card reads "(Poland 1850)". See more »

Goofs

When Avram and Tommy are "running" from the posse, Avram waits to get on the horse until the sun goes below the mountain, yet when the pair begins to ride away, they and their horses cast full shadows as if exposed to sunlight. See more »

Quotes

Avram: [Trying to catch a wild 'chicken'] Chicken, chicken, chicken! Chickie-chickie-chickie-chicken! Come here,
[sing-songs]
Avram: I don't want to hurt you, I just want to eat you.
[repeats in Yiddish, 'chicken' flies away]
Avram: Come here, wait! I don't want to hurt you! I just want to make you kosher!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Estrenos Críticos: ¡...con Phineas & Ferb! (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Camptown Races
Composed by Stephen Foster (as Stephen Collins Foster)
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User Reviews

 
The Most Underrated Comedy of All Time
25 October 2001 | by (Watertown, Mass.) – See all my reviews

Of course I'd have to be crazy to call _The Frisco Kid_ the best movie ever made, but it's certainly a strong contender for the flick I love the most (an opinion shared by my parents, brothers, cousins . . .). From the premise -- a Polish rabbi in the Wild West -- you'd expect a *spoof* a la _Blazing Saddles_, but in fact this is played absolutely straight, the comedy arising 100% from the believable human situations the characters are thrust into.

Because of this, the first third of the movie is much devoted to setting up what follows, and might strike the first-time viewer as a bit slow (actually, it's subtle and as deliciously re-watchable as the rest). Patience will be rewarded, though, because once the pieces are in place, and especially once our hero meets Harrison Ford's bank-robber with a heart of gold, there's just one indelibly great scene after another.

It's important to note that this is much, much more than a comedy. It's episodic, of course, but an early story element returns unexpectedly (more than once); you think you've been watching just an entertainment and you gradually realize there's a real (and genuinely moving) *point* to all this, as is rarely seen in movies this funny. Rabbi Avram Belinsky (played, of course, with pure magic by Gene Wilder) starts off the movie as a well-meaning schlemiel, someone as ineffectual as he is nice, and ends as a mensch, as a moral force to be reckoned with. (Typical and classic moment along the way: when he's forced to explain the nature of God to a bunch of Indians, he is downright Talmudic in his wisdom -- but the Talmud was never hysterically funny!) The final, genuinely dramatic scenes raise issues about faith, friendship, and personal identity and destiny that are downright profound (at least on repeated viewings) -- without ever missing a comedic beat. Extraordinary.

This is a movie that does for faith and friendship what "Manhattan" and "Tootsie" did for romance and gender roles. Can they please get this out on DVD while my folks are still around to enjoy it?


20 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Let's TALK about Harrison Ford, in this movie... knsevy
Avram and the non kosher chicken? yngvai
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Hebrew (Yiddish?) help needed VincentVanGopher
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