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The Frisco Kid (1979)

Cast: Gene Wilder, Gene Wilder, Harrison Ford, more...
Director: Robert Aldrich, Robert Aldrich
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Rating:
Studio: Warner Home Video
Genre: Comedies, Westerns
Running Time: 119 min.
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
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Synopsis
Robert Aldrich returns to the western-spoof genre he'd previously explored in Four for Texas with The Frisco Kid. Gene Wilder plays Polish rabbi Avram Belinsky, who intends to set up a congregation in San Francisco. Eminently unsuited for life in the Old West, poor Avram is victimized by everyone with whom he comes in contact. Salvation arrives in the unlikely form of taciturn bank robber Tommy (Harrison Ford). Incredibly, Tommy takes a liking to the feckless Avram, and together the two men embark on a series of seriocomic adventures. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Staff Pick: We're not crazy about the ugly box art for the just-out-on DVD edition of The Frisco Kid but won't kvetch - we're just tickled this delightful, neglected comic Western starring Gene Wilder and Harrison Ford is finally available. Wilder plays a rabbi from Poland en route to San Francisco to lead a temple, and marry a girl he's never met. Of course, nothing much goes right after he lands in America. He ends up stuck with an outlaw (a charming Ford, long before his current scowling-grouch phase) and the unlikely twosome make their way to California together. The film is also a rare example of a positive depiction of a religious man, especially rare to see a faithful Jew depicted in such loving three dimensions; it's one of Wilder's best roles. Veteran director Robert Aldrich, known for his excellent war movies, Westerns and noir, is not surprisingly better with the period atmosphere and action sequences than with comedy; there are certainly some dated moments here, and the film's a bit overlong, but the two leads more than make up for it. Wilder in particular is an example of comic bravado, and the best reason to see this sweet-natured little movie. -- Tamara Lees




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