6.2/10
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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:

HIS time is here and he must carry on the tradition of ruling with vengeance! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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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

Movie Debut of Eric Roberts. See more »


Soundtracks

Be My Love
By Nicholas Brodszky and Sammy Cahn
Sung by Robert Jason
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An overlooked gem
5 May 2005 | by pninsonSee all my reviews

Peter Maas's book is a non-fiction look at the Gypsy culture, particularly how it has translated into 20th century America. This movie is mostly fiction, although it draws on some of the material in the book.

It's basically a family drama, with a rebellious youth (Eric Roberts) squaring off against his abusive father (Judd Hirsch). I'm not sure if a case can be made for Eric Roberts as a terrific actor, but he doesn't embarrass himself here, and the rest of the cast, Hirsch, Shelley Winters, Susan Sarandon, and Sterling Hayden, is superb. A fascinating look at a culture that may be dissolving into modern life, and a well-paced and acted film that is consistently entertaining.

There's a special treat for jazz fans, as violin giant Stephane Grappelli appears in the movie, along with mandolin player David Grisman, performing a medley composed by Grisman and performed with Grappelli on a live album that has always been one of my favorites. This is the only footage I've seen of Grappelli performing, and while it's limited to a few shots, it's still worth the price of admission.

A DVD release has finally been announced for June 3, 2008.


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