The Frisco Kid
When The Frisco Kid came out (1979), Wilder and Harrison
were both Billed pretty well equally.
But Harrison was already in Star Wars (1977) and his Star was going nova.
By the time the DVDs showed up, Harrison
had almost pushed Gene right off the covers.
- The working title for the film was “No Knife.”
- The sixth and final Western Directed by Robert Aldrich. Aldrich’s earlier Westerns were Apache (1954), Vera Cruz (1954), 4 for Texas (1963), Ulzana’s Raid (1972) and The Last Sunset (1961).
- Gene Wilder says that John Wayne was offered the part that was eventually played by Harrison Ford. Said Wayne loved the role and was eager to work with Wilder. However, an agent tried to offer Wayne less than his usual fee and the legendary actor turned the film down. This may be true, but unlikely. By 1979 Wayne was too ill with stomach cancer to consider film work, and in fact he died later that year from the disease. If it is true, it would be an interesting coincidence since Mel Brooks offered Wayne a role in Blazing Saddles – the only other Western that Wilder made.
- Not the first Western for Harrison Ford. Ford appeared in Westerns when he was unknown in television and in such films as Journey to Shiloh (1968) and A Time for Killing (1967). However, The Frisco Kid (1979) would be Ford’s last Western until Cowboys & Aliens (2011) (Which I don’t consider a Western – MFW)
- One of a number of Hollywood Westerns that were a flop at the box-office during the late 1970s / early 1980s. Others included Barbarosa (1982), The Mountain Men (1980), The Villain (1979), Goin’ South (1978), Hard Country (1981), The Frisco Kid (1979), Cattle Annie and Little Britches (1981), and The Legend of the Lone Ranger (1981).
Gene Wilder Career Awards and Nominations
- 1962 Won Clarence Derwent Award / Best Performance by an Actor in a Non-featured Role / The Complaisant Lover
- 1968 Nominated Academy Award / Best Supporting Actor / The Producers
- 1971 Nominated Golden Globe Award / Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy / Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
- 1974 Nominated Academy Award / Writing Adapted Screenplay / Young Frankenstein
- 1976 Nominated Golden Globe Award / Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy / Silver Streak
- 2003 Won Primetime Emmy Award / Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series / Will & Grace