Different Slants

Seeing the World from a New Angle

Katzman’s Cinema Komments # 10 – 3/8/09

Filed under: Humor,Jewish Themes,Katzman's 13 Vintage Movie Reviews,Katzman's Cinema Komments — Bob at 4:54 pm on Saturday, March 8, 2008

First, Happy Birthday to my partner in this blog and friend for 47 years (although at 58,  he still remains older than I am) Rick Munden!!

Back to fantasy…

Let’s say you want to dream up a movie that features, say…. the Amish; Wild Indians led by an Italian chief; a sexy postcard depicting a photograph of a less than virginal-appearing Jewish girl; robbing, thieving, drunken, murderous Anglo-Saxons (yes, difficult though it may be to believe, but the movie’s actually fiction!); a cuddling, affectionate cowboy in a bone-chilling and deadly Western blizzard and a remorseful bank robber attempting to learn Yiddish from a previously seen ice-skating Polish Rabbi.  

Then, add scenes featuring a wise-cracking chief Rabbi in an Eastern European Yeshiva with a shaky view of democracy or perhaps just Chicago-type voting mathematics and brutal bar fight in a whorehouse between the earlier imagined (and depicted) nebbishy Rabbi and a beer-barrel threatening assassin.  

Throw in a rough-hewn guardian angel-type Western figure who is determined, come-hell-or-high-water determined, to find himself a whore with “really big tits” (that’s an actual quote and not wishful thinking from this saintly reviewer) who repeatedly saves the trouble-prone young Rabbi’s life while escorting him from the Midwest to a newly built San Francisco synagogue by any means possible; a Rabbi, post-nebbishness, who deftly and courageously steps into the middle of a high noon Western style showdown in the middle of the street between two deadly gunman that hate each other in order to prove that:

        “I’m not a Rabbi for nothing, you know…”

My only question would be:

        Who the hell would you market it to?  The Amish?  Italian Indians?  Bars with brothels?

Well, whoever thought up this lovingly cliche-ridden, culture clashing movie that displays every emotion from two points of view, impressive cleavage (no pun there) and friendship so real it spills off the screen?  

Who decided people wanted to see serious religious devotion, even unto death to save a sacred, flameable, irreplaceable Torah; skilled peyote-using Native Americans who decide getting a true-believing Rabbi high is hysterical; and slyly trying to pass off the world famous actor from Star Wars and Indiana Jones as a sure-enough cowboy Goy when in reality, Harrison Ford has a whole lot more in common with the superb Gene Wilder (on or off the screen) than any average movie-loving person would believe…is such a genius!

           Oy Veyismere!! Such a Genius!! Gott im Himmel!!! 

I highly recommend that anyone: cowboy, Amish or Star Wars addict rent this wonderfully written, charmingly depicted and most likely forgotten movie of many admirable qualities.

Oh, yes!  The name of the movie is: The Frisco Kid (1979)

By the way, if you should know a nice, single, Jewish boy, that actress Penny Peyser is one hot catch!  Just a thought………….

See you, under the Sabbath Lights…

Robert M. Katzman 


Note from the Author:


Robert M. Katzman, owner of Fighting Words Publishing Company, with four different titles currently in print and over 4,000 books sold to date, is seeking more retail outlets for his vivid and non-fiction inspirational books: 


Independent bookstores, Jewish and other religious organizations, Chicago historical societies or groups, English teachers who want a new voice in their class who was a witness to history, book clubs, high schools or museum gift shops.  I will support anyone who supports me by giving readings in the Chicago Metro area.  I have done this over 40 times, and I always sign my books, when asked.  Everyone, positively everyone, asks.  I was amazed, at first, by that.


Individuals who wish to order my books can view the four book covers and see reviews of them at www.FightingWordsPubco.com 


There are links to YouTube and podcasts, as well.  Or, anyone can call me directly at (847) 274-1474.  Googling my name will also produce all kinds of unusual results.  That other Robert M. Katzman, now deceased, whose name will also appear and who also published, was a doctor.  He actually bought one of my books!  Such a nice man.  Rest in peace, Dr. Katzman.


There will be short poems, stories and essays published in this space every two weeks by either myself or my co-blogist Richard G. Munden, or both.  If you find our postings thought provoking, moving or even amusing, please tell others to come view this site.  We will find our strength in your numbers.


 Next year, I will publish my fifth book, a collection of my best poetry and essays, called,


        I Seek the Praise of Ordinary Men


Individuals who know of independent bookstores that might be interested in a rough-hewn guy like me, who ran a chain of newsstands for 20 years in Chicago, please tell them about my books, will you?  I am partial to independent bookstores, having owned two, myself, until my last one was killed by the giant chains, in 1994. I still miss it. 


I’m also looking to find someone who would want to make a play out of some of my stories in the Chicago area, so I could go there and do some readings sometimes.  I think there’s enough honest sex, drugs and rock n’ roll to hold anyone’s interest, as well as a lot of authentic dialogue from ordinary people in extraordinary situations.  I think the plays would work anywhere, frankly, in some intimate theater with talented actors.



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