36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
Violence, tension and love in a U.S. Gypsy family,
This review is from: King of the Gypsies [VHS] (VHS Tape)
This 1978 film is based on a non-fiction book about gypsy life here in the U.S. The cast is great. Sterling Hayden plays the aging Gypsy King and Shelly Winters plays his wife. The king wants to leave the leadership of the clan to his grandson, Dave, played by Eric Roberts. Dave's abusive father, however, played by Judd Hirsh tries to stand in his way. His mother, Susan Sarandon, gives an excellent performance as Rose. She's both the streetwise gypsy fortune teller and the loving mother who was herself kidnapped as a young girl to be a bride.
Some of the most interesting scenes in the film are during Dave's childhood, when he helps his mother steal diamonds from an upscale jewelry store. Throughout, he is a reluctant gypsy. He and his sister, played by a young Brook Shields, are never sent to school, never learn to read and write. As he matures, he has some important choices to make. The film moves swiftly, from beginning to end. There was action, violence, and a sense of the special kind of families that gypsies have. They live outside of the mainstream of society and have their own special rituals and rules. It was an education for me. Here there is music, dancing, partying. Here there are customs that are in direct opposition to the law. There is comedy, conflict, and tension throughout. But yet the family ties and love shine through.
Fine acting. Fine writing. Fine story. Recommended.