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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


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?


Roy, played by Woody Harrelson, dreams that the Gambler will pay him $1,000,000 to sleep with Ishmael. This is a reference to Indecent Proposal (1993) starring Harrelson. See more »


When the strip club owner is about to beat Ishmael with a bat, the cigar in his mouth disappears. And in the same scene Ishmael's hat falls to the ground when he's pushed up against the wall but a few seconds it re-appears on his shoulder. See more »


Roy: I know what you're thinking, but let me explain...
[Claudia kicks Roy in the crotch]
Roy: [very softly] Mommy. You must have a really wide foot because you got both of them
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Referenced in The 50 Greatest Comedy Films (2006) See more »


Sound Byte
from the Film Psycho (1960)
Written by Bernard Herrmann
Master Recording Courtesy of Rysher Entertainment, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

great cast = great laughs
29 July 2003 | by See all my reviews

Back in the '70s, Roy Munson (Woody Harrelson) was a bowling phenomenon. He was none too sharp about picking friends, though, and the champion he had to beat, "Big Ern," takes him under his supposedly friendly wing. Big Ern (Bill Murray) shows him the high living lifestyle, and induces him to go on the road with him, hustling small town bowlers. A couple of the men he bilks take exception to the scam, and show their displeasure with Roy by mangling his hand. Twenty years later, Roy (who now has a hook in place of his hand), earns his living as a salesman. On a visit to a bowling alley, he cannot help but notice the incredible talents of an Amish boy, Ishmael (Randy Quaid). Bowling is not part of the Amish lifestyle, but Ishmael occasionally sneaks into the bowling alley and plays a frame or two. Roy takes Ishmael under his wing, and together with Vanessa Angel they begin a quest for bowling success. Kingpin is funny, due to a great cast and good writing, gotta love Bill Murray.

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

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