About The Film
In one of Hollywood’s most unusual pairings, Gene Wilder and Harrison Ford co-star as a Polish rabbi and gunslinging outlaw traveling the Wild West, in THE FRISCO KID, an offbeat buddy adventure and Western comedy. Young, inexperienced Rabbi Belinski (Wilder) is dispatched to mid-1800s San Francisco to start a synagogue. Alone on the frontier, the clueless immigrant is conned, robbed and threatened, until a bank robber with a heart of gold (Ford, in a role meant for John Wayne) takes pity on the poor schlemiel. Initially dismissed by critics, this bighearted folktale is now considered an essential Jewish movie for its delicate blend of ethnic humor, religious sensitivity and winning performances. Sporting a wild beard, weird accent, and twinkle in his eyes, Wilder evokes his own special brand of lovable naiveté and fish-out-of-water slapstick. After making the rounds for years, the script was finally picked up by veteran director Robert Aldrich.