Kingpin (1996)

Kingpin (1996)
  • Time: 113 min
  • Genre: Comedy | Sport
  • Directors: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly
  • Cast: Woody Harrelson, Randy Quaid, Bill Murray


Roy Munson was the state bowling champion in 1979. Unfortunately, soon after he earned that honor, his hand was removed after trying to cheat the wrong guys. For the last 17 years he has been living a very unhappy life selling bowling equipment, with a rubber hand. And now he meets Ishmael, a young Amish man who is a natural born bowler. After convincing Ishmael to come with him and use his talents to win money on the professional bowling circuit to help save his family’s farm, the two head out and start winning tournaments. A crude, yet funny, comedy which switches gears about three fourths of the way through and becomes much more serious. Includes a cameo appearance by Blues Traveler during the ending credit sequence.

One comment

  • What a strange comedy this turned out to be. Of course, that’s not a shock considering you have Woody Harrelson, Randy Quaid and Bill Murray starring. Now there’s a stable, conservative trio!!

    This actually has some very funny moments. At first I was afraid it was going to be too irreverent to the Amish – and there definitely was some of that with Quaid’s character, who is made to look like a total dimwit, who has no knowledge of the Bible and is easily led – NO characteristics of an Amish person, BUT the film really isn’t mean-spirited and it does show respect for the Amish in a number of scenes. However, it’s still very much a sleazy film and the writers wouldn’t have done this with any other non-Christian character.

    All the characters in here, including the profane female lead played by Vanessa Angel (who?), are fun to watch. The most outrageous, in a minor role, is the female landlord who has to be seen to be believed.

    Bowlers will especially like this film since a good part of it centers around that. A number of PBA members put it cameo performances. One scene, with the fake hand attached to the bowling ball as it returns from the ball rack had me almost in tears laughing, for some reason. Murray’s take on the flamboyant bowler (and there have been a few over the years on the Pro Bowlers Tour) is hilarious.

    Crude, but a funny film for the most part.

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