Watch Now: KING OF THE GYPSIES
In 1978, American filmmaker Frank Pierson took it upon himself to adapt Peter Maas’ 1975 non-fiction book King of the Gypsies based, reportedly, solely on police records. Pierson both directed and wrote the screenplay for the drama starring Eric Roberts, Susan Sarandon, Sterling Hayden, Annette O'Toole and Brooke Shields. King of the Gypsies was not only Roberts’ film debut, but also earned him a Golden Globe nomination in the category of "Best Motion Picture Acting Debut—Male" for his thrilling performance as the main character Dave. Pierson’s adaptation centers around three generations of Gypsies, with dying “king” Zharko Stepanowicz making his grandson Dave the new leader and Dave’s father Groffo resenting the decision. And even though Dave in no way wishes to be king, Groffo decides to have his own son killed.
Despite not doing well at the box office at the time of its initial release, King of the Gypsies is an exciting drama with a captivating family story at the very heart of it, providing its viewers with an intimate glimpse into gypsy culture in the US. The film’s score was composed by American mandolinist David Grisman who made an appearance in the movie as a gypsy musician, alongside jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli who can also be heard on the soundtrack.