6.3/10
954
17 user 14 critic

King of the Gypsies (1978)

In the criminal and violent world of modern-day Gypsies based in New York City, their 'king' Zharko Stepanowicz passes his leadership to his unwilling grandson, leaving the skipped father resentful.

Director:

Frank Pierson

Writers:

Peter Maas (book), Frank Pierson (written for the screen by)
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sterling Hayden ... King Zharko Stepanowicz
Shelley Winters ... Queen Rachel
Susan Sarandon ... Rose
Judd Hirsch ... Groffo
Eric Roberts ... Dave
Brooke Shields ... Tita
Annette O'Toole ... Sharon
Annie Potts ... Persa
Michael V. Gazzo ... Spiro Giorgio
Antonia Rey ... Danitza Giorgio
Stephen Mendillo ... Adolf
Daniel Spira Daniel Spira ... Zio Miller
Joe Zaloom ... Rui Ilanovitch
Lou Cevetillo Lou Cevetillo ... Pete Stepanowicz
Zvee Scooler Zvee Scooler ... Phuro (as Svee Scooler)
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Storyline

Eric Roberts makes an impressive screen debut as Dave, grandson of the aging King Zharko, who is chosen by him to lead the gypsy clan at his death. Dave's only inclination is to join the American mainstream, but he knows that the mantle of gypsy power cannot be taken lightly or denied. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They have their own language...Their own codes of sex, honor and vengeance...And their own way of choosing a king. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 February 1979 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

El rey de los gitanos See more »

Filming Locations:

Hillside, New Jersey, USA See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$7,325,177
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Producer Dino De Laurentiis originally wanted either John Travolta or Richard Gere for the Eric Roberts role. See more »


Soundtracks

Ridin'
By Pegasus and Rick Galaher
Performed by Pegasus
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Eric Roberts as an American Gypsy who resists being "King of the Gypsies"
8 June 2015 | by WuchakkSee all my reviews

Released in 1978, "King of the Gypsies" chronicles the life of an American gypsy (Eric Roberts in his debut) who resists being made the king of his clan by his grandfather (Sterling Hayden). Meanwhile his villainous father (Judd Hirsch) resents that he was passed up and hostilities mount. Susan Sarandon plays the mother, Shelley Winters the grandmother, Brooke Shields the young sister and Annette O'Toole & Annie Potts the potential girlfriends.

The movie plays like a less-epic and lower-budgeted version of 1972's "The Godfather," albeit about Gypsies rather than a Mafia family. The cast and acting are superlative and the tone is gritty realistic. The screenplay was based on Peter Maas' true-life book. The story covers three generations of a Gypsy family from the 40s into the 70s and is narrated by Robert's character, which provides an interesting continuity. It's not great, but it's good enough and provides a window into this unconventional culture, their traveling lifestyle, interactions, work (including "fortune telling"), schemes, music, dancing and misadventures.

The film runs 112 minutes and was shot in New York/New Jersey area.

GRADE: B


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