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Lenny (1974)

Original Title : Lenny
Director : Bob Fosse
Writer : Julian Barry
Julian Barry
Genre : Drama
Country : USA
Language : English
Producer : Robert Greenhut , David V. Picker , Marvin Worth
Music : Ralph Burns
Photography : Bruce Surtees
IMDB ID : 0071746
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poster for "Lenny" by Bob Fosse (1974)
Lenny (1974) - Bob Fosse
 

Starring

Dustin Hoffman Lenny Bruce
Valerie Perrine Honey Bruce
Jan Miner Sally Marr
Stanley Beck Artie Silver
Frankie Man Baltimore Comic
Rashel Novikoff Aunt Mema
Gary Morton Sherman Hart
Guy Rennie Jack Goldstein
Michele Yonge Nurse
Kathryn Witt Girl (as Kathie Witt
Monroe Myers Hawaiin Judge
John DiSanti John Santi
Mickey Gatlin San Francisco Policeman
Martin Begley San Francisco Judge
Mark Harris Defense Attorney
Richard Friedman San Francisco Prosecutor
Lee Sandman 2nd San Francisco Judge
Jack Nagle Reverend Mooney
Phil Philbin New York Plainclothesman
Bruce McLaughlin New York Judge
Ted Sorel New York Attorney (as Theodore Sorel
Clarence Thomas New York Attorney
Mike Murphy New York Prosecutor
Susan Malnik Kitty (age twelve
George DeWitt Comic (as George de Witt
Judy LaScala Chorus Girl
Don Newsome Connection
Allison Goldstein Kitty (age one
Winston Lee Chinese Waiter
Bridghid Glass Kitty (age two
Joe Mencel Court Reporter
Ric O'Feldman Court Clerk
Beth Challis Club Owner
Robert Parsons Chicago Plainclothesman
Cecil Seay Chicago Plainclothesman
Bob Collins New York Assistant DA
Buddy Boylan Marty (uncredited
Frank Orsatti Hunter (uncredited
Christine Page Nightclub patron (uncredited
Glenn R. Wilder Hunter (uncredited
Zorita Nightclub owner (uncredited
 

Plot

Interview-style biography of controversial and pioneering stand-up comedian Lenny Bruce. The film traces Bruce from his beginnings as a Catskills comic to his later underground popularity based on his anti-establishment politics and his scatological humor.
 

Comments

The tarnished halo syndrome Lenny Bruce was probably not a mean and nasty human being, but his stand-up act was brutal in that it went straight for the jugular. It wasn't mean-spirited, but it WAS mean, angry, gritty, tough, some said offensive. Dustin Hoffman is a great actor, but he doesn't convey these qualities as a human being and Bob Fosse has trouble eking them out of him. It was as if they decided Dustin couldn't pass as a real d--k, therefore they made Lenny a bit softer, smirkier. He's the bad little boy in the principal's office who got caught peeping in the girl's room. There's nothing at stake when Lenny goes to court or when he's screaming at his lawyers in the washroom, because we haven't seen this Lenny Bruce in much peril. His problems don't seem to stem from the law at all, they seem to come from his childishness in general. The movie does work when it focuses on Bruce's relationship with his stripper-wife(very nicely played by Valerie Perrine). The stand-up stuff is the least fascinating part of "Lenny", and shouldn't that be the other way around?