186 user 61 critic

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 ...
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


A movie with a lot of balls. 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?


Throughout the movie Claudia (Angel) and Roy (Harrelson) refer to Ishmael (Quaid) as "The Kid" even though Quaid is older than both Angel and Harrelson by 16 and 11 years, respectively. See more »


The red Porsche 911 in Stanley's driveway has 17" Porsche Cup wheels, but the red 911 shown in Reno has the standard 16" wheels. 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

The Blues Traveler dressed as Amish performing in the final credits. See more »


Referenced in Welcome to Hollywood (1998) See more »


I Saw the Light
Performed and Written by Todd Rundgren
Artist Courtesy of Bearsville Records
by arrangement with Rhino Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

I Almost Died Of Laughter
3 February 2009 | by (Queens, New York) – See all my reviews

This of course is not a great movie but I just have to give it a 10/10. I have never laughed more in my life. Even the jokes that aren't funny are funny. This film's comedic build up is about the best you will ever see. It doesn't even matter what the punch line is, its how they get to it thats hilarious.

Now this cast was perfect. Anytime you have Randy Quaid in a film you just know the film is going to make you life just by looking at him. Kingpin couldn't have shown this any better as he plays an Amish man who just happens to be amazingly talented at bowling. Woody Harrelson plays a has-been ex-professional bowler who makes a comeback with managing through Randy Quaid. Together they go on a ride across the country making money left and right. Along the journey they are great supporting comedic performances given by Bill Murray and Vanessa Angel who certainly makes the look of the film more appealing.

The Farrelly brothers in my opinion give their best direction they've yet to have. Yet it is the writers who so perfectly set up one joke after another. It seems as if the script is so sharp that their are jokes within jokes. The Farrelly brother handle this material so well by virtual unknowns.

As I have said before this is not a great film but I would highly recommend this if your in the mood of watching something spontaneous. It may not be the most technically sound movie ever made or the deepest but I have never laughed so much in life and that in it self is what comedies are about.

46 of 53 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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