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The Frisco Kid Blu-ray Review

Not even Gene Wilder can save “The Frisco Kid.”

In 1979’s “The Frisco Kid,” the 1850 set story finds a Polish Rabbi (Avram) on a journey to San Francisco to lead a new congregation. To say his journey is fraught with peril is an understatement. He encounters 3 thieves who mug, rob and strand him and generally struggles to survive in a land that is unfamiliar to him. He finds hope in the form of a cowboy who turns out to be a bank robber (Tommy). Although they do clash at times, Avram and Tommy become close friends and Tommy helps Avram to his destination.

For those expecting this Robert Aldrich directed western comedy to be on the level of “Blazing Saddles,” it’s not. There’s a reason this is a relatively forgotten comedy- the comedy falls flat more often than not. The comedy isn’t wacky enough, the sight and wordplay gags aren’t amusing, and the situations that befall Avram feel like half baked western tropes at best. The Michael Elias and Frank Shaw script is also perhaps more dramatic than it should be although there is a lot of heart to it with the friendship between Avram and Tommy. And then there’s the runtime. At most, this fish out of water tale is a 90 minute story and yet the movie runs 119 minutes somehow. If there was ever a movie that needed to be edited, this is it. 

There’s no question that the unlikely pairing of Gene Wilder and Harrison Ford is the main draw here. Wilder tries his best as Avram but the material he works with lets him down. Ford (in a post “Star Wars” role) is a bit Han Solo-ish here as a criminal with a heart, but he’s not the most convincing cowboy (and his accent frequently comes and goes). Wilder and Ford’s chemistry isn’t the best either and the movie suffers for it.

The MVP here is far and away the cinematography by Robert B. Hauser and the production design team. The location shooting and the sets really draw you into the world these characters inhabit. 

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.85:1 1080p. How does it look? Warner Archive doesn’t get enough credit for their transfers. They’re the best in the game and this pristine print is yet more proof of that.

Audio Track: 2.0 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? A perfectly satisfactory 2.0 track. 

The lone extra is a trailer for “The Frisco Kid.”

July 8, 2022 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , ,

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