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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 ...
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 comedy right up your 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?


PGA Tour players Brad Faxon and Billy Andrade both appear in two scenes, when Roy enters the bowling alley in the opening sequence, and when he leaves for the first tournament. Both players have numerous wins on tour. See more »


In the scene from 1969, where young Roy leaps over a fence, a 1973 full-size Buick on cement blocks can be seen in the background in the garage next door. See more »


[First lines]
[the caption reads "Ocelot, Iowa. 1969." Roy Munson's father is fueling a car at the Munson Service Center. He calls out to the driver:]
Calvert Munson: All set, Charlie!
Young Roy: Pa!
[Young Roy, running, trips over a very low white picket fence, breaking half a picket as he runs to his dad]
Calvert Munson: [Grinning] Whoa!
Young Roy: Hey, Pa! You got time for a game before supper?
Calvert Munson: Go get your ball. I'll meet you out back.
[Mr. Munson has installed a very small bowling lane in the back yard]
Calvert Munson: Okay, Roy, come on, I want to see some smoke ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the final credits, there is a scene with Roy's landlady. See more »


Spoofs The Natural (1984) 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

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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Netflix streaming appears to be missing some scenes pinbackwiggly
One thing I don't understand... tk1891
You know you're obsessed with Kingpin when....... BayesT
Favorite Quotes....... garyr7508
Anyone ever seen a 7-10 split picked up in real life? ccaudle
Girl in sexy short red dress at the tournament? altu64
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