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The Frisco Kid (1979)

PG | | Comedy, Western | 13 July 1979 (USA)
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 overview, first billed only:
Ramon Bieri ...
Mr. Jones
Darryl Diggs (as George Ralph DiCenzo)
Leo Fuchs ...
Chief Rabbi
Matt Diggs
Jack Somack ...
Samuel Bender
Sarah Mindl (as Beege Barkett)
Walter Janovitz ...
Old Amish Man (as Walter Janowitz)
Joe Kapp ...
Mr. Ping
Clifford A. Pellow ...
Mr. Daniels (as Cliff Pellow)


A rabbi from Poland goes to America to lead a Jewish community. When he arrives in America he is hijacked and has to work his way across the country. On the way he meets up with a bank robber and they form a friendship, have many (mis)adventures including being captured by Indians. Written by Deirdre Dear

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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


Comedy | Western


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

13 July 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

No Knife  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


One of five movies in which Gene Wilder plays a man wrongly accused of committing a crime. The films include Silver Streak (1976), The Frisco Kid (1979), Stir Crazy (1980), Hanky Panky (1982), and See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989). See more »


After he is first robbed, when Avram walks down the road picking up the things strewn from the wagon, the order he finds them does not match the (reverse) order as they were thrown. See more »


[Tommy and Avram are being chased by a posse, but Avram won't ride on the sabbath]
Tommy: You give me the pee-doodles!
See more »


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


Camptown Races
Composed by Stephen Foster (as Stephen Collins Foster)
See more »

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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?

26 of 30 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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