6.9/10
75,101
208 user 67 critic

Kingpin (1996)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Sport | 26 July 1996 (USA)
A star bowler whose career was prematurely "cut off" hopes to ride a new prodigy to success and riches.
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Popularity
1,608 ( 226)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Woody Harrelson ... Roy Munson
Randy Quaid ... Ishmael
Vanessa Angel ... Claudia
Bill Murray ... Ernie McCracken
Chris Elliott ... The Gambler
William Jordan William Jordan ... Mr. Boorg
Richard Tyson ... Owner Of Stiffy's
Lin Shaye ... Landlady
Zen Gesner ... Thomas
Prudence Wright Holmes ... Mrs. Boorg
Rob Moran ... Stanley Osmanski
Daniel Greene ... Calvert Munson (as Danny Green)
Will Rothhaar ... Young Roy
Mark Charpentier Mark Charpentier ... 1979 Bowling Buddy
Brad Faxon Brad Faxon ... 1979 Bowling Buddy
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Storyline

Roy Munson was raised to be the best bowler in the world (trained early on by his father). But a fellow bowler, Ernie McCracken and a misunderstanding with some rough punks, leaves poor Roy with the loss of his bowling hand! Not to let this get him down, he gets a prosthetic hand and becomes a travelling sales man. But it's really all down hill for him from that night on until ... One day he meets Ishmael who is Amish and sneaks away from the farm to bowl (his fellow Amish would disown him if they knew)! Roy convinces Ishmael to let him be his trainer and he'll make him the best bowler the world has ever seen. Reluctantly Ishmael agrees to go on the road and shortly afterwards actually finds that life outside the farm is quite fun. Soon their paths cross that of Ernie McCracken who is still a top ranking bowler. While Roy's career and life have landed in the toilet bowl, Ernie is still drawing huge crowds and all the babes! They both square off for the ultimate bowling championship ..... Written by Jane Byron Dean <McGinty@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A movie with a lot of balls. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for crude sex-related humor and a drug scene | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the original trailer, Roy chops Buttercup's legs off at the knee, explaining why its so much shorter. See more »

Goofs

The top of Woody's head has clearly been shaved under the comb over. His natural hairline is darker than the rest of the skin. See more »

Quotes

Roy: Look I've done a lot of creepy things in my life but I'm not gonna get into a fistfight with a girl.
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Crazy Credits

Opening credits are dropped down by the pin reset machine. See more »

Alternate Versions

There is a alternate VHS version that has been released. It appears under MGM's Contemporary Classics collection. This version of the movie contains several extra scenes not shown in the theatrical version. The catalog number for this movie is M207608. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Nostalgia Critic: Osmosis Jones (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Bad Reputation
Performed and Written by Freedy Johnston
Artist Courtesy of Elektra Entertainment Group
by arrangement with Warner Special Products
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User Reviews

 
Roy was a great bowler...and then he got Munsoned
1 September 2019 | by AlsExGalSee all my reviews

In 1979, to the tune of "Disco Inferno", Roy Munson (Woody Harrelson) demonstrates that he is the greatest bowler in the world. Except nobody knows this but himself, his dad, and the rest of his small Iowa hometown. So he sets out on the open road to make his fame and fortune in the sport. And then he runs into HIM...Ernie McCracken (Bill Murray). Ernie talks Roy into running a scam with him on some other bowlers, basically a hustle, and when the scam goes bad, Ernie takes a powder and leaves Roy holding the bowling bag. And the scammed - including a preacher - do not take it well. They take revenge by putting Roy's bowling hand into the bowling ball return. You don't actually SEE the gore, but the next scene is Woody in present day (1996) stopping his morning alarm with his extremely fake looking prosthetic hand to the tune of "It's a Beautiful Morning".

Roy's fortune looks like it might take a turn for the better when he encounters an Amish bowler, Ishmael (Randy Quaid), who has an incredibly high bowling score average. He wants Ishmael to go with him to a one million dollar tournament in Reno. Ishmael won't go because the bowling hobby is a secret from his family, one that his family and the entire Amish community consider sinful.

So the rest of the film consists of a hilarious take on the Amish community - ever notice this is the LAST group of people that it is OK to make fun of?, a beautiful but unwanted passenger (Vanessa Angel), and another encounter with HIM - Ernie McCracken, now a successful pro bowler...who still has both of his hands.

With Bill Murray as, well, Bill Murray. He's always the same character. We wouldn't want it any other way, at least in a comedy. Also with Lin Shaye as the woman with patent leather skin, an oversexed landlady who is playing the same kind of gross-out role she had in "Something About Mary". And about Roy being "Munsoned", along the way he learns that his last name has become an adjective, meaning "to have the world in the palm of your hand and blow it".

Sure this film is full of juvenile jokes, but overall it is very funny, plays to the strengths of the cast, and is for everybody who feels like they blew an opportunity in life, which is just about all of us. It's a shame most of the critics at the time didn't get that.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 July 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Kingpin See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$27,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,582,079, 28 July 1996

Gross USA:

$25,023,434

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$25,023,434
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (R-rated)

Sound Mix:

DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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