Comedy PG Running time: 1:59
IMDB rating: 6.4 Aspect: Wide; Languages: English, French; Subtitles: English, French, Spanish; Audio: DD 2.0
Gene Wilder takes his most unusual role, a naive 19th-century rabbi sent from his native Poland to the fledgling Jewish community in San Francisco, in this warm-hearted comic adventure. The trusting soul is easy prey for the con men and criminals who prey on the immigrants arriving in the Philadelphia port and the rabbi, beaten but unbowed, continues his trek West solo: broke, underequipped, and hopelessly lost. Harrison Ford, fresh from Star Wars, is the roguish outlaw who adopts the determined traveler and the two become unlikely friends as they make their way through one scrape after another. Wilder makes a sincere and sympathetic hero, his faith and courage seeing him through one crisis after another, and fresh-faced Ford makes an endearing scamp of a bank robber. The meandering adventure, overlong at two hours, takes its time as the duo traverses the gorgeous American countryside and end up in the bustling Barbary Coast San Francisco of the Gold Rush era. Legendary hard-edged action director Robert Aldrich (Kiss Me Deadly, The Dirty Dozen) brings a gentle touch and easygoing humor to this family-oriented adventure, but old habits die hard. While staying within PG parameters, Aldrich adds a little grit to the Old West fistfights and gunfights.