213 user 57 critic

Kingpin (1996)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Sport | 26 July 1996 (USA)
1:24 | Trailer
A star bowler whose career was prematurely "cut off" hopes to ride a new prodigy to success and riches.
2,902 ( 404)





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


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


You wouldn't want to meet these pinheads in an alley. See more »


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 »

Did You Know?


Roy (Woody Harrelson) dreams that the Gambler (Chris Elliott) will pay him one million dollars to sleep with Ishmael (Randy Quaid). This is a reference to Indecent Proposal (1993), also starring Harrelson. See more »


In the opening scene, a 7-pin suddenly appears. See more »


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

At the end of the final credits, there is a scene with Roy's landlady. 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 »


Featured in The 50 Greatest Comedy Films (2006) See more »


Imagine Freedom
Performed and Written by Zuba
Artist courtesy of Cool Therapy Records
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User Reviews

a classic
30 August 1999 | by flatulusSee all my reviews

I can't believe the low rating for this movie. I suppose it could be viewed as being cruel, but it's a COMEDY for god's sake. The cruelty is part of the charm. Some of us are intelligent enough to realize that the cruelty in this movie is not meant to be taken seriously. If you insist on condemning the cruelty and vulgarity in this movie, then look at it this way: life is often cruel (and vulgar) and you might as well just laugh at it rather than bemoan it. Anyway, this movie is, for me, that funniest movie of the decade. It's more consistently funny than Something About Mary, which got all the acclaim and money. Perhaps this movie was released a few years before its time, as cruel humor seems to be all the rage now (Austin Powers 2 and South Park). Unless you're a humorless, uptight stick-in-the-mud, you should laugh hysterically at this movie.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

26 July 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Kingpin See more »


Box Office


$27,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,582,079, 28 July 1996

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (R-rated)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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