6.4/10
8,384
61 user 23 critic

The Frisco Kid (1979)

A Polish rabbi wanders through the Old West on his way to lead a synagogue in San Francisco. On the way he is nearly burnt at the stake by Indians and almost killed by outlaws.

Director:

Robert Aldrich
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gene Wilder ... Avram
Harrison Ford ... Tommy
Ramon Bieri ... Mr. Jones
Val Bisoglio ... Chief Gray Cloud
George DiCenzo ... Darryl Diggs (as George Ralph DiCenzo)
Leo Fuchs Leo Fuchs ... Chief Rabbi
Penny Peyser ... Rosalie
William Smith ... Matt Diggs
Jack Somack Jack Somack ... Samuel Bender
Beege Barkette ... Sarah Mindl (as Beege Barkett)
Shay Duffin ... O'Leary
Walter Janovitz ... Old Amish Man (as Walter Janowitz)
Joe Kapp ... Monterano
Clyde Kusatsu ... Mr. Ping
Clifford A. Pellow Clifford A. Pellow ... Mr. Daniels (as Cliff Pellow)
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Storyline

A rabbi from Poland goes to America to lead a Jewish community. When he arrives in America he is hijacked and has to work his way across the country. On the way he meets up with a bank robber and they form a friendship, have many (mis)adventures including being captured by Indians. Written by Deirdre Dear

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

This kosher cowboy hasn't got a prayer -- but plenty of laughs. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Western

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When the rabbi asks "Why is this Sabbath different from other Sabbaths?" he is referencing the ritual of the Passover Seder, when the youngest child asks, "Why is this day different from other days?" See more »

Goofs

When Avram chooses not to ride his horse due to it being the Sabbath is a common belief among Hasidic Jewish people, who won't drive or operate anyhing with electricity on the Sabbath. Given the situation Avram was in when the men where chasing him and planing to hang him and Tommy. A Jew would be allowed to ride or to drive a car or do anything to get away. Since another force is threatening his life. See more »

Quotes

[Avram teaches some Indians how Jews dance]
Avram: Watch that lady. I think that lady's a Jewish Indian.
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Connections

Referenced in Drew: The Man Behind the Poster (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Waltz 'Gold and Silver'
Composed by Franz Lehár
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User Reviews

 
The Most Underrated Comedy of All Time
25 October 2001 | by emvanSee all my reviews

Of course I'd have to be crazy to call _The Frisco Kid_ the best movie ever made, but it's certainly a strong contender for the flick I love the most (an opinion shared by my parents, brothers, cousins . . .). From the premise -- a Polish rabbi in the Wild West -- you'd expect a *spoof* a la _Blazing Saddles_, but in fact this is played absolutely straight, the comedy arising 100% from the believable human situations the characters are thrust into.

Because of this, the first third of the movie is much devoted to setting up what follows, and might strike the first-time viewer as a bit slow (actually, it's subtle and as deliciously re-watchable as the rest). Patience will be rewarded, though, because once the pieces are in place, and especially once our hero meets Harrison Ford's bank-robber with a heart of gold, there's just one indelibly great scene after another.

It's important to note that this is much, much more than a comedy. It's episodic, of course, but an early story element returns unexpectedly (more than once); you think you've been watching just an entertainment and you gradually realize there's a real (and genuinely moving) *point* to all this, as is rarely seen in movies this funny. Rabbi Avram Belinsky (played, of course, with pure magic by Gene Wilder) starts off the movie as a well-meaning schlemiel, someone as ineffectual as he is nice, and ends as a mensch, as a moral force to be reckoned with. (Typical and classic moment along the way: when he's forced to explain the nature of God to a bunch of Indians, he is downright Talmudic in his wisdom -- but the Talmud was never hysterically funny!) The final, genuinely dramatic scenes raise issues about faith, friendship, and personal identity and destiny that are downright profound (at least on repeated viewings) -- without ever missing a comedic beat. Extraordinary.

This is a movie that does for faith and friendship what "Manhattan" and "Tootsie" did for romance and gender roles. Can they please get this out on DVD while my folks are still around to enjoy it?


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Yiddish

Release Date:

13 July 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

No Knife See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$9,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$160,292, 15 July 1979

Gross USA:

$9,346,177

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$9,346,177
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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