07 August 2014

An Almost Forgotten Delight: The Frisco Kid

I just watched a lovely little movie I had forgotten about -- The Frisco Kid, about a rabbi who travels from Poland to San Francisco in 1850, meeting swindlers, bank robbers, and the dangers of the road as well as kindness where he least expects it. It stars Gene Wilder and a very slim and youthful Harrison Ford. It's basically a comedy, though Rabbi Avram Bellinsky takes his religion and his duties seriously. Wilder just gives a beautiful performance; his Bellinsky is pious, brave, sincere, and incredibly determined, funny accent or no, and his refusal to be turned back probably says a lot about many of our forbears. The situations are pretty formulaic, but the wonderful whole person Wilder creates is someone you want to know.