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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
The mezuzah on the doorpost of the Jewish home in San Francisco where Avram drops off the Torah is facing away from the inside of the home. This is incorrect. The top of the mezuzah should be facing towards the inside of the home. See more »
[Tommy and Avram are in a saloon, where Tommy is sawing away at a huge steak, but Avram is too depressed to eat]
Now, look. You go up and change, and then we'll go together and we'll tell your people that the new rabbi's arrived. All right?
I told you that I can't be a rabbi.
[Tommy hurls a piece of bread at him]
Don't you tell me that. Just don't say that again. Not after what I've been through to get your goddamn ass here alive. If you hadn't have shot that man, then we'd both be dead. Do you ...
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This is one of my all-time favorite comedies. A lot of it is gritty, but the movie never loses sight of the humor it's trying to get across.
Gene Wilder is the center of it. Anyone could have played Ford's role, but he does a competent job. He's not really believable, but the ROLE isn't believable. It's hard to be a good guy when you're threatening peoples' lives in order to rob them.
Wilder is the whole movie, except for Val Bisoglio as Chief Gray Cloud. Wilder portrays a lost man in the wilds of frontier America, and he does it well. The movie itself deftly avoids moralizing about the 'right' religion. The Amish people helping the Rabbi on his journey is very realistic. They would not have turned down another religious man; they would have helped him, just as they do, in the film. I appreciate little touches, like this. It would have been far too easy to portray the Amish (or Mennonites; it's hard to tell, with a movie set in that time period) as ultraconservative bigots, but instead, the production crew chose to show them realistically.
This is a sweet, funny movie, with some real drama, unless you're just too cynical to care. And if you ARE too cynical to care, I truly pity you. This is a fun, exciting movie that anyone should like.
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