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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
After Tommy shoots the first fish when the two main characters meet, he asks Avram how hungry he is. After Avram replies "Ah, I'm pretty hungry" Tommy takes out a long gun to shoot another fish. There is the sound of a lever-action rifle being cocked, but the gun he is holding is a side-by-side shotgun with exposed hammers. The sound of this gun being cocked would have sounded more like a revolver with the hammer being pulled back. See more »
[Samuel Bender, his daughter Rosalie, and other members of the Jewish community enter the saloon, looking for their new rabbi. Rosalie points out the table where Tommy and Avram are sitting. Since Tommy is wearing a fine new suit, Bender approaches and begins welcoming him to town, in Yiddish]
[Bender continues in Yiddish; Rosalie gazes dreamily at Avram]
What's he talking about? What's he talking about?
He wants to know if you're the rabbi.
[...] See more »
I read all the commentaries and disagree with most, but particularly those who moan about this being "slow" for the first 45 minutes. Look. This is a classic. The story is great. A misanthropic rabbi comes to a congregation in San Francisco and get waylaid and falls into (mis)adventures with a seedy character. This unlikely duo make their way to SF undergoing a number of adventures. If you do not understand the yiddishekeit of this film, go take a look at the Marx brothers. The scene where battered Wilder sees the Amish and goes screaming in Yiddish only to discover the cross in the bible in one of the farmer's pockets and faints dead away, is worth the price of admission along. The voting scene at the Yeshiva where only the little boy votes for Wilder invoking the older Rabbi turning his eyes to heaven and saying, "It's going to be close!" is likewise great. This is zany Yiddish theater at its best. Wilder, always overacting, is SUPERB as the rabbi. Ford is merely great as the kindhearted outlaw. The bad guys are bad, the characters they meet along the way, Schiavelli and veteran character actor Ian Wolfe are great as the Trappist monks, even Joe Kapp is great as the Mexican RR worker. This is great watching and one of my favorite films. Don't knock it. It's hilarious. Check it out!
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