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Kingpin (1996)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Sport  |  26 July 1996 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 60,666 users   Metascore: 43/100
Reviews: 187 user | 62 critic | 14 from Metacritic.com

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 ...
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


You wouldn't want to meet these pinheads in an alley. 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 band playing the bar while Ishmael dances with the other man's girlfriend, is the same band from There's Something About Mary that plays between scenes. See more »


US Postal Service logo visible on mail box was not used in 1979. See more »


See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Referenced in HBO First Look: Being 'Shallow Hal' (2001) See more »


Surely (I Love You)
Performed by Colin James And The Little Big Band
Written by James Bracken (as James Braken) and Marion Oliver
Artist Courtesy of EMI Music Canada/Virgin Records America Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Bill Murray at his best!
10 July 1999 | by (L.A. CA) – See all my reviews

Bill Murray pretty much steals the show every time he's on the screen. He's sleazy, he's smarmy and he's very funny. With that comb-over going nuts at the big game, and his victory dance at the end makes Kingpin that much better. That's not saying that the rest of the film isn't good, it is. Woody Harrelson, Randy Quaid and Vanessa Angel make a very odd partnership. An Amish bowling whiz, a one handed ex-bowler, and a very sexy hustler scheme and dream to make it to Reno, but of course they have to beat Big Ern.

19 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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