Scientist is sent to investigate a faulty ejector seat, then sent into space to test it, showing an assortment of human weaknesses and strengths. Basically this is about the human predicament and drama, not space.
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
In his autobiography, Gene Wilder says that John Wayne was offered the part that was eventually played by Harrison Ford. Wayne loved the role and was eager to work with Wilder. However, an agent tried to offer Wayne less than his usual fee and the legendary actor turned the film down. This may be true, but it is actually unlikely. By 1979, Wayne was too ill with stomach cancer to consider film work, and he died later that year from the disease. See more »
When the native Americans are manhandling Tommy at their village, one of the Indians is clearly wearing a gold wristwatch on an expanding metal strap. See it at 1:03:12 on the Region 1 DVD. See more »
[Trying to catch a wild 'chicken']
Chicken, chicken, chicken! Chickie-chickie-chickie-chicken! Come here,
I don't want to hurt you, I just want to eat you.
[repeats in Yiddish, 'chicken' flies away]
Come here, wait! I don't want to hurt you! I just want to make you kosher!
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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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