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Kingpin (1996)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Sport | 26 July 1996 (USA)
A star bowler whose career was prematurely "cut off" hopes to ride a new prodigy to success and riches.
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Cast overview, first billed only:
William Jordan ...
Richard Tyson ...
Prudence Wright Holmes ...
Calvert Munson (as Danny Green)
Mark Charpentier ...
1979 Bowling Buddy
Brad Faxon ...
1979 Bowling Buddy


Roy Munson was raised to be the best bowler in the world (trained early on by his father). But a fellow bowler, Ernie McCracken and a misunderstanding with some rough punks, leaves poor Roy with the loss of his bowling hand! Not to let this get him down, he gets a prosthetic hand and becomes a travelling sales man. But it's really all down hill for him from that night on until ... One day he meets Ishmael who is Amish and sneaks away from the farm to bowl (his fellow Amish would disown him if they knew)! Roy convinces Ishmael to let him be his trainer and he'll make him the best bowler the world has ever seen. Reluctantly Ishmael agrees to go on the road and shortly afterwards actually finds that life outside the farm is quite fun. Soon their paths cross that of Ernie McCracken who is still a top ranking bowler. While Roy's career and life have landed in the toilet bowl, Ernie is still drawing huge crowds and all the babes! They both square off for the ultimate bowling championship ..... Written by Jane Byron Dean <McGinty@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


From the idiots what brung you "Dumb and Dumber" See more »


Comedy | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for crude sex-related humor and a drug scene | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

26 July 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kingpin - Estes Loucos Reis do Boliche  »

Box Office


$27,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£1,004,340 (UK) (19 July 1996)


$24,944,213 (USA) (11 October 1996)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (R-rated)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The back rows of fans at the Reno bowling stadium are made out of cardboard. See more »


During the Reno tournament, there is a view of one of Roy's strikes from behind the pins. When the pins go down, the ball is still visible having stopped by the pins instead of continuing to roll off the end of the alley. See more »


[refering to Roy's hook for a hand]
Claudia: It must be hard to spank your monkey.
Ishmael: You have a monkey?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Closing dedication: This movie is dedicated to the memory of Jack S. Krevoy (as Jack Krevoy) See more »


She Came On
Performed by Super Deluxe
Written by Braden Blake
Artist Courtesy of Revolution
by arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

I Haven't laughed THIS hard at the movies too often
22 July 2006 | by (Topeka,Kansas,USA) – See all my reviews

Young Roy Munson has been raised to be a bowler.It's what he does best. In 1979,at the age of eighteen,Roy(Woody Harrelson from here on out)is at the top of his game and a bona-fide star in his Ohio hometown. After he beats Ace pro Ernie"The Big Ern"McCracken(Bill Murray,smarmy and snarkly as ever)in a match,he is raked into Ernie's con game and pays a dear price for it.

Seventen years later,Roy is anything but the local hero he once was. He lives in a seedy apartment in small town Pennsylvania,does odd sales jobs and has to "satisfy" his decrepit landlady to avoid the rent. It's at one of the bowling alleys that Roy does routes to that he witnesses one Ishmael Boorg(Randy Quaid,backing his scene stealing performance in ID4 with this bravura turn),a sweet,gentle Amish man-child who has a natural knack for bowling. Needing money and smelling a chance at scoring big time,Roy decides to take Ishmael under his wing.

On the way to a Million dollar tournament in Las Vegas,Roy and Ishmael pick up a comely stowaway and ally in a gangster's moll(VAnessa Angel) and bond from mishap to mishap.

There's nothing particularly brilliant or especially sharp about this offering,the second from the brothers Farrelly,but its uniqueness and lack of restraint on the gross-out humor make this movie a very easy watch(for those who love that kind of stuff,of course). Harrelson,Quaid,Murray and Angel move effortlessly through this flick,which may explain why it's so good. Since this film,the Farrellys have steadily moved away from the almost merciless gross-out gags of their films and has made seeing their films a little less riotous and fun,so this movie is a healthy reminder of what a little imagination(I mean,honestly...a movie about Bowling AND the Amish?)and mischief can make. A great cheap rent or cable TV movie.

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

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