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The Frisco Kid

4.7 out of 5 stars 347 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Frisco Kid, The (DVD)

Harrison Ford and Gene Wilder star as a taciturn gunslinger and a clueless immigrant rabbi traveling across the Wild West in the comic adventures of The Frisco Kid.Ranked 87th out of 88 in his rabbinical class, Avram Belinski (Wilder--Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein) accepts a posting to Gold Rush-era San Francisco. Speaking little English but following a leading from God, the young rabbi sets out from Philadelphia for San Francisco, believing his destination to be a short walk. Along the way he befriends bank robber Tommy Lillard (Ford--Indiana Jones films, Star Wars films). Now, as this mismatched pair crosses the frontier, the Old West will never be the same.

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Special Features

  • Theatrical trailer

Product Details

  • Actors: Gene Wilder, Harrison Ford, Ramon Bieri, Val Bisoglio, George Ralph DiCenzo
  • Directors: Robert Aldrich
  • Writers: Michael Elias, Frank Shaw
  • Producers: Mace Neufeld, Jr. Howard W. Koch
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: February 14, 2006
  • Run Time: 119 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (347 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000BYA4J2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,625 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Frisco Kid" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
"The Frisco Kid" didn't do much at all at the box office when it came out. The movie-going world was still reeling from the impact of the previous year's offering of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, and a western comedy just didn't have the drawing power.
If you take the time to watch this show, however, you will find that it is a real treasure!
A young student at a rabbical in Poland is enamured with the American west. When he graduates he is given the assignment of his dreams...to take a copy of the Torah with him, sail to America, and lead the fledgling Jewish community in the "village of San Francisco." Where is that? he asks..."By New York."
The casting of Gene Wilder as the young rabbi, and Harrison Ford as a rough and tumble, carrousing, card playing, bank robber clicks.
The gullible young rabbi is fleeced as soon as he hits American soil, but he is still determined to recover what is his, and to make the cross-country journey to California. One thing leads to another, and the rabbi and cowboy meet up. The best parts of the movie are the conversations the rabbi has with himself, as if he were teaching himself.
From mishap to misadventure, this is a real "keeper."
I highly recommend this show...it rings authentic in many respects, and has truly funny parts in it. One of my favorite bits is when the rabbi will not ride his horse until the end of the Sabbath, even though there's a posse on their trail. You'll see one perturbed Harrison Ford in that scene.
5 stars through and through.
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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
This is one of the few films where an Orthodox rabbi isportrayed as a real human being with some depth to him instead of justa stereotype. It's a comedy, yes -- but so much more than a comedy. This film shows us REAL Jewish values -- honesty, devotion, compassion, trust in God, and of course, a sense of humor. I absolutely LOVE this film!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"The Frisco Kid" has never gotten a lot of acclaim, and over the years, has been pretty thoroughly neglected, but this is an absolute gem of a movie; it's been on my short list of all-time favorite movies since the first time I saw it, and I like it better every time I see it.

Of course, the humor of the main story line involves the various incongruities of a Polish rabbi traveling in the Old West (the classic "American-journey" theme line), and his unlikely friendship with a cowboy-outlaw (with the requisite heart of gold). But woven throughout the film are themes of integrity, loyalty, and courage that give the film depth far beyond first appearances. I found myself actually being inspired as, over and over, in ways large and small, Avram conducted himself as being accountable to something (Someone?) greater than himself. And his dialogue with Tom near the end contains a profound and thought-provoking twist.

Like other reviewers, I am grateful to finally have "The Frisco Kid" available on DVD. This is a wonderful movie that deserves to be better-known.
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Format: VHS Tape
Of the many wonderful perfomances Gene Wilder has given us--Willy Wonka, Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles--his character of the rabbi in The Frisco Kid holds the warmest spot in my heart. There is a sweetness and a depth in Avram that we rarely see in combination. There are humor and excitement and some twists that you just don't expect to find in most westerns. The immigrant Avram encounters a mid 19th century America that is both frightening and uplifting. Watch for the different groups and individuals who help and protect him as he makes his way from Philadelphia to San Francisco. Wilder's performance is dead-on from the moment we see him trying to skate (or is it walk) on a frozen pond in Poland. Harrison Ford's outlaw/best friend starts weakly (probably due to the script rather than his performance), but becomes more and more attuned to what Wilder is doing as the two make their way across the country. Watch this movie with your best friend, and don't turn off your set when the closing credits start to roll. The final shot is something special.
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Format: VHS Tape
This film is a feel-good crowd pleaser! Gene Wilder is superb in his portrayal of a non-worldly, brand new Polish Rabbi shipped off to America and the Wild West. Hidden within the comedic role of the Rabbi is a man of devote faith and sensitivity. Harrison Ford, the cowboy, fills the role of "straight man" to Wilder's top banana presentation. The two make a great team as they travel from New York to San Francisco through the West of the early 1800's.
OK, this isn't highly sophisticated comedy. The Academy won't ever give an Oscar for it's drama. It is however, a well done film with good character development and besides, it's just plain fun.
My only complaint about this film is that The Frisco Kid isn't in DVD format yet. As soon as it is, I'm trading in my VHS copy.
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By Draac on January 26, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
If anyone is listening out there PUT THIS ON DVD PLEASE ?
It's one funny movie, good clean fun and that's something you don't see in the movies any longer.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
THE FRISCO KID (dir. Robert Aldrich, 1979, 114 minutes) is for me a sparkling all-time favorite. Compared to some of its cousins - YENTL, The Hebrew Hammer (see my review), just to give you two ends of the spectrum - this is ground-breaking "Jewish film" at its very finest. This is one of those few films that is so much a part of my life, so engrained with me, that I have never reviewed until now.

Gene Wilder is Rabbi Avram Belinsky, a Polish rabbi chosen to head a new congregation in San Francisco in 1850. I find this fascinating in itself due to my deep love of the general subject of Jews in America at that time, and I strongly recommend a deeply serious book called The First Rabbi: Origins of Conflict Between Orthodox and Reform : Jewish Polemic Warfare in Pre-Civil War America : A Biographical History. But this is not that deep, historically accurate subject; it is a comedy that is fun, happens to be deep and is highly representational.

The modern audience cannot really appreciate what this film meant when it was new. Harrison Ford (Tommy Lillard, the bank robber and, eventually, the rabbi's best friend) was practically a kid here. It seems the film has no meaning for most people beyond that. Yet it addressed serious issues, such as the general treatment of the Jews - illustrated by Rabbi Belinsky's perpetual 'bad luck' - and the fact that the Lord is really with him at all times. Something, incidentally, that the rabbi never doubts except briefly at the end.

I will not spoil this further in any way.
Read more ›
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