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  • This movie has withstood the test of time ... 25 years so far. At times it appears to contain obvious, silly and even base comedy. But that only mildly disguises the depth of humanity and profound philosophy that it successfully presents. Like other commentators, I consider this film to be one of my all-time favorites. Gene Wilder was at the peak of his career, having made a big splash in The Producers with Zero Mostel, and then going on to memorable performances in other Mel Brooks' classics: Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein. In fact, many people erroneously believe that The Frisco Kid is a Mel Brooks film. (Indeed the writers, Elias & Shaw, had several years earlier written a TV Pilot based on the Blazing Saddles plot, but it had failed.)

    Though I am a big fan of Mel Brooks, I think that one reason this film succeeds so well is that Robert Aldrich directed it instead of Brooks. In other words, it is essentially a dramatic western that is filled to the brim with comedy -- instead of the other way around. Aldrich had previously directed serious epic westerns, and he became famous in the sixties for directing What Ever Happened to Baby Jane, Hush... Hush, Sweet Charlotte, The Flight of the Phoenix, and The Dirty Dozen. These films, as well as his classic The Longest Yard, showed how infusing humor into serious drama can make plots more interesting and characters more human and sympathetic.

    Frank DeVol provided the music ... and you can see him in the part of the old time piano player. DeVol had provided music for a number of Aldrich films, including the five films mentioned in the previous paragraph. He was famous for his comic scores (e.g., Pillow Talk, Cat Ballou, and The Trouble with Angels) and his music for TV series (e.g., My Three Sons, The Brady Bunch, McCloud, and the Love Boat).

    Another gem in this film is Harrison Ford -- in a role that seems so second-nature to him, but showcases his versatility. His character is not that much different from Hans Solo. (Star Wars appeared in 1977 and Empire Strikes Back appeared in 1980, while The Frisco Kid came out in 1979.) In fact, it seemed emblematic of the movies in the sixties and seventies that some of our big screen heroes were selfish rogues with a heart of gold. Think of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, which came out in 1969.

    The executive producer was Hawk Koch, whose father, Howard W. Koch was a Hollywood icon, having produced scores of films, including The Manchurian Candidate and The Odd Couple. This was one of Hawk Koch's first jobs, and he has now been the executive producer of over twenty outstanding features, including Mike Myers' Wayne's World and -- another great comedy exploring religious belief -- Keeping the Faith, with Ben Stiller and Edward Norton.

    Finally, because the DVD is not yet available, here's a gem that was not included in the IMDb Memorable Quotes section, though I have edited it to avoid giving too much away for those who haven't seen the film yet:

    "Chief Gray Cloud: Yes or no, can your God make rain?"

    "Avram: Yes."

    "Chief Gray Cloud: But he doesn't?"

    "Avram: That's right."

    "Chief Gray Cloud: Why?"

    "Avram: Because that's not his department!"

    * * *

    "Avram: ... He gives us strength when we're suffering! He gives us compassion when all that we feel is hatred! He gives us courage when we're searching around blindly like little mice in the darkness! ... "

    HOW TRUE! Whether you identify with Gene Wilder's Rabbi or with Harrison Ford's Rogue, this film is filled with valuable lessons. The world is unpredictable. Sometimes we suffer. And sometimes we find strength, courage, compassion, ... and humor to deal with it all.
  • This is a great film. Gene Wilder plays an authentic Polish rabbi with a believable Yiddish accent in a buddy movie romp through the Wild West. Harrison Ford, in his pre-Indiana Jones incarnation, makes an effective side-kick. This is truly among Wilder's best roles. Robert Nurenberg's review couldn't have said it any better... except Wilder did not portray a rabbinical school dropout, though he was not likely the most outstanding pupil. He was a trained rabbi sent to America to assume a pulpit in San Francisco where he would marry the woman hand picked by a match-maker. What happens on the way from Poland to California is more than worth a single viewing! The Frisco Kid is a most enjoyable, insightful, and entertaining film. A well-deserved 10/10!
  • artzau4 March 2001
    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!
  • When the "Frisco Kid" first came on tv two decades ago I recorded it and watched it over and over, my wife and friends and I quoting parts of it at each other at appropriate moments in our lives.

    I read the (some) lukewarm comments here on the Database and the more positive ones and let them ride, just keeping this small pearl tucked away as my favorite movie. Then last night I came home, turned on the tv and caught Gene Wilder as the rabbi Avram Belinksi trying NOT to look at the woman on the train's wondrous cleavage as he was making his way to 1850 San Francisco, so I and sat down and watched the movie through again. It is still as funny, quaint, realistic, well acted and kind as it has ever been.

    Gene Wilder demonstrates the best acting he has ever done. He IS Avram Belinski. Complex, human, childlike and oh so (what I imagine) European Jewish. A stranger in a doubly strange land. Strange by being an urban Pole in the "wild west" and strange by being a Jew in that world. I learnt a lot about "Jewishness" from this movie, and at the same time a lot about Americanism too. Being neither myself I can still appreciate the humour. Humanist, long suffering, realistic and proud.

    Whatever it is inside me that makes me feel good and part of humanity is touched by "The Frisco Kid". That is why I regard it as my "favorite" movie, not the best movie ever made. That title I reserve for another totally different obscure B/W movie called "King and Country" whose demonstrated injustice is counter-balanced by Avram's integrity.
  • Of course I'd have to be crazy to call _The Frisco Kid_ the best movie ever made, but it's certainly a strong contender for the flick I love the most (an opinion shared by my parents, brothers, cousins . . .). From the premise -- a Polish rabbi in the Wild West -- you'd expect a *spoof* a la _Blazing Saddles_, but in fact this is played absolutely straight, the comedy arising 100% from the believable human situations the characters are thrust into.

    Because of this, the first third of the movie is much devoted to setting up what follows, and might strike the first-time viewer as a bit slow (actually, it's subtle and as deliciously re-watchable as the rest). Patience will be rewarded, though, because once the pieces are in place, and especially once our hero meets Harrison Ford's bank-robber with a heart of gold, there's just one indelibly great scene after another.

    It's important to note that this is much, much more than a comedy. It's episodic, of course, but an early story element returns unexpectedly (more than once); you think you've been watching just an entertainment and you gradually realize there's a real (and genuinely moving) *point* to all this, as is rarely seen in movies this funny. Rabbi Avram Belinsky (played, of course, with pure magic by Gene Wilder) starts off the movie as a well-meaning schlemiel, someone as ineffectual as he is nice, and ends as a mensch, as a moral force to be reckoned with. (Typical and classic moment along the way: when he's forced to explain the nature of God to a bunch of Indians, he is downright Talmudic in his wisdom -- but the Talmud was never hysterically funny!) The final, genuinely dramatic scenes raise issues about faith, friendship, and personal identity and destiny that are downright profound (at least on repeated viewings) -- without ever missing a comedic beat. Extraordinary.

    This is a movie that does for faith and friendship what "Manhattan" and "Tootsie" did for romance and gender roles. Can they please get this out on DVD while my folks are still around to enjoy it?
  • Lola-3225 February 2003
    It is hard to find movies about the Jewish experience in America that are positive. At best most are cynical journeys from belief to assimilation. At worst, they depict Jewish as consisting merely of someone with a New York accent eating a bagel. There are few (I can't actually think of another one, but I'll be optimistic) films in which a person is depicted as being happily, actively Jewish, religiously, not just culturally. This film is a happy exception. Rabbi Belinski encounters many different kinds of people in his journey. He is confronted with many new cultures and pressures, but never abandons his beliefs. He may learn to ride, but not on Shabbat. He is happy to make friends with anyone who will respect him in his "differentness" just as he respects them. It may not be the greatest comedy or human drama, but it is near and dear to my heart.
  • knsevy4 January 2004
    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.

    knsevy KCMO
  • This movie is hysterical, from its depiction of what the American west must have looked like to an outsider to its terrific Jewish guilt and humor, although it does have a lot of "insider" Jewish humor. That's not to say it can't be enjoyed by non-Jews, as well, but a familiarity with Jewish culture definitely makes the movie more enjoyable. Wilder is at his funniest and Harrison Ford is charming as a side-kick, a role I wasn't accustomed to seeing him in. Watching Ford succumb to Jewish guilt--even when it means freezing his butt--is fantastic. My apologies to Blazing Saddles fans but I think this is way funnier. And it didn't even have to rely on fart-humor.
  • grahamsj320 February 2001
    I agree with a few of the other commenters who say this is an overlooked film. I think many people gave up on it because the first 45 minutes or so are VERY slow. After that, the pace picks up nicely and the film becomes quite humorous. Gene Wilder stars as a Rabbi sent from Europe to San Francisco. He must traverse the entire US and has several adventures and misadventures along the way. He also meets up with Harrison Ford, who portrays a bank robber. There are a few scenes where there is some violence. The film is a combination of western drama and comedy, with elements of both in about equal amounts. As I said earlier, give this film a chance...suffer through the first 45 minutes or so. The remainder of the film is well worth it.
  • One of the best "feel-good" movies I have ever seen. I once heard Gene Wilder say that he got the Rabbi's accent from his grandfather, and I can believe it!

    A few weeks ago, my husband and I were channel surfing in the middle of the night, and came across the movie, dubbed in Spanish. We ended up staying awake until the wee hours of the morning, just to watch this gem.

    A gentle film, not afraid to show a love of religion and of friendship, I wish that more movies were like this.
  • This is really one sweet-natured fish-out-of-water tale, with a wonderful, winning performance by Gene Wilder as a Polish rabbi who's forced to go it alone from Pennsylvania to San Francisco in 1850. It was a real pleasure to experience the old west through the eyes of this very unlikely hero!

    Harrison Ford too is fantastic as a young bank-robber who becomes his protector and who's tough exterior masks a heart of gold, which becomes more apparent as he learns the real meaning of friendship through his adventures with the rabbi.

    The movie's treatment of religion was very refreshing too. Wilder's various interactions with people of different faiths is at times hilarious, insightful, and very touching, never scornful. The warmth and respect they each show one another isn't often shown in films.

    One thing that had me scratching my head was the rabbi's repeated use of the word "God". As an orthodox Jew, isn't the character prohibited from speaking or writing the deity's name?
  • jotix10015 September 2004
    Robert Aldrich was a director who made entertaining films throughout his career. He can count his blessings in having had the opportunity to work with one of the best comedians of all times: Gene Wilder.

    This film is a delight, from beginning to end. Mr. Wilder, as Avram is a man we can't keep our eyes from, as he dominates the screen and makes this film his own. The adventures Avram goes through, coming to a country where everything is so different from the world he leaves behind, is what glues this tale together.

    A young Harrison Ford is Mr. Wilder's sidekick. This bank robber shows the naive Avram the tricks about how to survive in a hostile environment. Mr. Ford underplays the role, and it works well because the funny lines are meant for Avram, and how he reacts to what he discovers, as he travels west.

    This film will always be a favorite because it is universal and it reaches the audience with its positive message while laughing and enjoying the great Gene Wilder on the screen.
  • mmallon430 August 2016
    Its movies like The Frisco Kid which are right up my alley - a totally bizarre, odd ball comedy. A movie which feels like a classic Hollywood western but about a man who is in a totally alien world. The odd pairing of actors Gene Wilder and Harrison Ford works like a charm. Just like how you wouldn't expect these actors to team up, you wouldn't expect a rabbi and a Wild West cowboy to be a duo. There's such pleasure watching the two interact and develop their odd, endearing bromance; Tommy (Ford) has no reason to stay with Avram (Wilder) other than he's formed a liking to him. Harrison Ford goes from space cowboy in Star Wars to actual cowboy in The Frisco Kid, showing he really had a knack for playing ruffians. However his character is not just a Han Solo redux. Unlike Solo he's not just out for himself but wants to give a helping hand to underdogs.

    The Frisco Kid showcases the absurdity of faith, but also celebrates it at the same time. Rabbi Avram Belinski follows his faith to a tee (despite being ranked almost last among his peers strangely enough). He would put his life and the lives of others on the line for the Torrah or in order to obey the Sabbath. Yet Tommy defends and even lauds Avram's actions as a man dedicated to his faith, even if he put his life in danger for religious reasons.

    Likewise the Native Americans they encounter along their travels have a failure to understand the God of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. In one dialogue exchange, the Indian chief is perplexed that this God can make rain yet he doesn't because as Avram puts it, "that's not his department". Yet the chief asks if he wanted to he could, and Avram replies yes. Yet Avram contradicts this statement later in their discussion when he proclaims God can do anything; the chief responds with "then why can't he make rain?" and Avram loudly states "because he doesn't make rain!". However on top of this Avram tells the chief that there is only one God and that he's your God too. Take that as a bit of falsifying another's faith.

    However The Frisco Kid is a movie which showcases peace and unity between cultures. Along his travels Avram encounters whites, blacks, Native Americans, Christian monks and the Amish. When he first encounters the Amish he mistakes them for rabbis due to their similar attire, perhaps symbolising that we're not all so different. Here Gene Wilder shows he is an actor who is not afraid to celebrate their religion and culture on screen; even if he is playing a neurotic Jew but not in an annoying way. The Frisco Kid is a movie which could possibly appeal to the both the religious minded and the atheist alike.
  • This movie is a hidden gem. A classic for Jewish humor. The Amish greeting scene is priceless. The no riding on Shabbos is true and traditional. Wilder was brilliant not only with his expertise of Yiddish and convincing as a Rabbi, he had all the terms of the era. Lines like this is a good drink with the Indians. The dancing. The importance of the Torah. Harrison Ford was also very good. 1/4 Jewish he was typical of the uneducated but respectful of the Jewish Religion. He played the role convincingly. Classic line at the end who is going to pay for the drinks, take it out of the building fund. Sure there were some errors along the way, but the theme of the movie was right on and very clever. In summary this is one of the funniest Jewish Films I have ever seen.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This movie is one of the most entertaining films I have ever seen. A lot of this, however, is unintentional. At the same time, it also really rather sweet.

    The plot is a variation on a theme and the greenhorn Rabbi rescued by the tough old hand offers few surprises. The adventures they encounter, however, are truly fantastic. The railroad scene shamelessly exploits every cultural cliché available in a fine example of political incorrectness. Then of course, there's the Amish - plenty of opportunities for laughs there, except it turns out to be a rather sweet, touching scene. The Italian-American-Indians are hysterical but at the same time there is a very human portrayal quite unusual for the 1970s.

    The humour is very Jewish and has a delightful lack of malice. The characters are genuinely likable. Of course it's always funny to see Harrison Ford in his younger days (not to mention the wonderful scene where he does a very girly run in his long johns). Gene Wilder gives a fantastic performance that makes this movie truly worth watching.

    So while this movie may have dated more than a little and there are some strange quirks and mistakes that have to be ignored, this is a film that remains enjoyable.
  • rootysmail8 July 2006
    I recently saw this film on video and remembered seeing some parts of the film many years ago. What I loved best was Gene's continued portrayal of the Compassionate Rabbi whatever challenges came to him throughout the movie. Not only the humor but the quest to go on through all odds. This movie represented in all of us the shear determination to not give up through one's belief all that it takes to persevere without trying to look good to others. This is an extraordinary film and it also sends a message that you can take an outlaw and see the transformation of his friend from the Rabbi's devout character. What a masterpiece!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I don't know if I can really say what many other people have already said in the way of praising this very overlooked film, but I am so glad to see so many fans of the film posting here.

    This film is my all time favorite comedy, and I think it would be safe to say that if I had a top ten (across the spectrum list) this film would be in that too.

    Gene Wilder and Harrison Ford are probably my two most favorite actors, and to see them paired in this film....well, someone had a stroke of genius on that score.

    I first saw this movie when I was ten years old. My mom, my younger brother, and I loved this film the first time we saw it on Cinemax. And I have to say it is a TRIBUTE to the comedic genius of Gene Wilder that his Yiddish inflections STILL make me laugh my head off to this day. This film is not just a comedy. It is indeed a dramedy...and it has plenty of comedy and drama to really round the film out well.

    A scene that almost always brings a tear to my eye is when Avram (Wilder) makes to leave the Amish folk who gave him shelter, and this exchange ensues:

    Amish man: We hope this will help thee on thy journey, Brother Avram.

    Avram: (with the most genuine look of gratitude I've ever seen an actor emulate) I will never forget thy kindness.

    That scene is just beautiful.

    Harrison Ford and Gene Wilder teaching each other the relative phrases for complete surprise was rib-tickling.

    And probably the one scene that nearly makes me see stars laughing every single time is when Avram shouts his newly acquired colorful metaphor as his horse jumps off a cliff into a river below. "Whoa! Whoa horsey! I didn't tell you where to go! Whoa! Oy...oyoyoyoyoyooyoyoyoyoy oy! Shee-IT!"

    With Harrison Ford's Tommy Lillard adopting the Jewish phrase of complete surprise and shouting it out in earnest as he follows suit: "Oy gevald!"

    If I recall, I do believe Gene Wilder is Jewish. (His real name is of a Jewish nature). If he went to Synagogue, he remembered his time there well, and in my most humble opinion PERFECTLY played a Jewish Rabbi. The prayers and rituals all looked and sounded genuine. And Gene Wilder's comedic talent only tops this off exquisitely.

    I am pleased to say that I own the movie on DVD, and this is a film I will be hard pressed to ever give up. This is a comedy for the ages...and I recommend families pass this movie on down the line to their descendants, as a reminder of what great comedy really is.

    Respectfully, Steve Dunlap
  • Sort of playing off of his presence in "Blazing Saddles", Gene Wilder plays rabbi Avram Belinski, who leaves his seminary in 1850 Poland to marry a woman in San Francisco and start a synagogue there. But naturally, the American West holds more than a few surprises for him, namely train robber Tommy Lillard (Harrison Ford).

    "The Frisco Kid" may not be the most famous movie, but it certainly has its merits. Wilder and Ford are quite a pairing, and the movie never drags. I think that I did once hear that some of the first cowboys may have been Jewish, but that's just a possibility. The point is that you're sure to like this movie.
  • As a prior reviewer states, the first forty-five minutes may seem slow, but only if you are totally unfamiliar with Judaism, or are entirely uninterested in religions or customs other than your own.

    I am a devout, practicing Atheist, but my best friend of over twenty years is Jewish, and because of what I've learned from him, and probably also as a result of my general interest in other peoples' religions and philosophies, I was captivated from the beginning.

    This is a tale of the conquest of the meek over the bullies in life, and a story of one man's ultimate triumph, due to the fact (or perhaps in spite of it) that he stuck to his principles in the face of adversity.

    Despite the apparent grave message of this story, it is portrayed in such a way that it will probably move you to sincere belly-laughter at many points along the way.

    Gene Wilder plays a somewhat unconventional and naive Rabbi sent from the east by his superiors (who seem to only want to get rid of him) to Rabbi-less San Francisco. Harrison Ford plays the consummate dead-eye, gun slinging, opportunistic cowboy who becomes his reluctant protector and eventually his friend along the way, all the time with the Harrison Ford little boy charm many of us know so well from his earlier days.

    Ultimately, however, one of Ford's interventions causes such animosity in the bully that it escalates things to the point where he follows the pair to San Francisco, arranges for Ford's temporary incapacitation, and then challenges Wilder to the ultimate showdown.

    Wilder's character however, has finally had enough. With sudden (uncharacteristic, but eminently believable) courage, or perhaps just plain foolhardiness, he faces his tormentor in a gunfight in the street, and the rest I will leave to you to discover.

    This is indeed one of the great but over-looked films, and you should see it, if only to be able to say I was wrong.

    This is a film to be viewed with a date, or with your significant other. It includes enough action for the male types to be more than satisfied, and it includes enough drama for the female types to be satisfied as well. This is one of the only films I've watched in the last several decades that was truly deserving of that over-used appellation "A feel-good film".
  • This has to be rated one of the funniest movies ever to be made. Whilst there have been many funny movies made over the years, this one is one laugh from beginning to end. It contains all the elements to make incredible and unbelievable scenarios real. The writer combines (almost pure) slapstick with pathos throughout the movie, and the magic works. The partnership of the characters, unlikely as it at first seems, works perfectly. This movie should be re-released - it would make millions of dollars making millions of people ache with laughter.
  • Often exquisite little masterpieces such as this get by the critics and audiences alike the first time around. An early Harrison Ford effort, the story and direction uses his straight forward comedic under-playing of a shiftless western drifter against Gene Wilder's best "controlled hysteria" school of acting portrayal of a Polish rabbinical school dropout who meet in the middle of nowhere as Wilder heads to San Francisco to fulfill a dead end assignment. What develops between this most unlikely pair is not only first rate comedy, but a touching story about friendship and how it can evolve in the most doubtful circumstances between two most improbable candidates. If you take the time to watch it more than once, you are sure to find yet another exquisite moment between these two that you missed the last time you watched it. This is satire at its best. An astute and subtle western send-up with a heart-warming underplot.
  • Rabbi Avram Belinski (Gene Wilder) is sent from Poland to lead a congregation in San Francisco. When he arrives in Philadelphia, the naive Avram falls in with three con men who robs him and throws him off the wagon in Pennsylvania. He is hopelessly dependent on the kindness of strangers including a kind hearted robber Tommy Lillard (Harrison Ford) on his long road west.

    I never even heard of this movie. I am glad that I caught it on TV. Wilder and Ford make an odd couple. That's the point here. Wilder brings a bit of his humor while Ford is Han Solo without Chewbacca. This a funny buddy comedy.

    The running time of almost 2 hours is too long. It would be better to start the journey with Ford. That way they could build up the chemistry earlier. And they need more jokes. Gene Wilder's mannerism is great, but the movie should be more jam packed with jokes. It's hilarious when Harrison Ford starts yelling at Gene Wilder for not riding on Saturday. They make for a fun duo.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This is one of those comic gems that almost approaches "Blazing Saddles" in it's best moments. Just like "Cat Ballou" there's a few killings in it that tend to spoil the overall "feel" of the film. At it's funniest: Sent to San Francisco from Poland by his Rabbinical counsel, an inept naive Rabbi (87th in his class of 88) journeys to San Francisco and naturally is robbed of his $200 by 3 ragtag brothers. Penniless, he takes a job as a railroad "gandy-dancer" and there are faint echoes of "Blazing Saddles" there. He is befriended by a settlement of Amish farmers and mistakenly believes they are "Jews", at first, due to their mannerisms and dress. Then he meets up with Harrison Ford, a bank robber, again by accident, and their journey West begins. There is a terrific stunt where they both dive off a cliff on horseback. They are captured by a band of Indians and are almost burned at the stake. After the Rabbi makes rain for them, ("God can do whatever he wants to") there is much celebration and he ends up at a monastery to recover. The movie loses its way when the Rabbi wins a bar fight and "whips" the 3 brothers who stole his money. Again, near the movies' end, he is forced to kill one of them in self defense. He falls in love and marries the younger daughter of the head of the Jewish Congregation. ("Take the money out of the building fund.") Gene Wilder is the saving grace of this film. His earnest performance is what makes it all worthwhile. Harrison Ford is also terrific as the reluctant "Moses" who leads the Rabbi out of the wilderness into the holy land of San Francisco. Their humorous dialog will remind you of "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid". The wedding sequence is shown over the credits which somewhat spoils it, as it is hard to view. I would have rated this movie higher except for the (in my opinion) unneeded violence in the story. You don't have to be Jewish to enjoy this film, which did a 9 million dollar gross worldwide!
  • "The Frisco Kid" is a little slow-moving, I also thought it had too much profanity and violence, but the comedy segments were hilarious! It was also sort of an ironic experience to watch this movie because of all the Yiddish phrases used, and at the time I watched it a few months ago, I was trying to study Yiddish! The scene where Gene Wilder emphatically tells an Indian chief that the Jewish Almighty does not make rain is a hilarious and brilliant example of setup\punchline joke construction! As a final word, I say that "The Frisco Kid" is hilarious in its comedy segments and I am disappointed that it is so obscure that it was not even on the list of 500 nominees for the American Film Institute's presentation of the 100 funniest American comedy movies
  • Warning: Spoilers
    When IMDb told me that Harrison has made an unknown western involving a rabbi, i wanted to see it because it seems very strange. I got lucky to catch it on satellite TV and the movie is really good ! Gene Wilder is really funny and bearded, his gaze looks really much like Cage ! Harrison plays a similar part than in « star wars » because he does a gentle crook who helps somebody in a adventurous journey that ends in a strong friendship! The pair encounters all that the genre offers : gangsters, Indians, rude outdoors, duel ! Sure, the production can't afford the most prestigious landscapes but the outdoors sequences are diversified anyway ! The Jewish faith is part of the fun but is also part of a serious, noble attitude so everybody can be happy ! In a way, this movie is the actual proof that this art doesn't mean sequels, reboots, fabricated biopics, blue/orange light, special effects, explosive action, wealthy healthy families or expensive star casting (which is the actual level of American production): it's just about finding an original, simple idea and motivated people to do it !
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