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Lenny Bruce Without Tears (1972)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Biography | 5 July 1972 (USA)
Documentary on the life and death of Lenny Bruce.

Director:

Fred Baker
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Cast

Credited cast:
Lenny Bruce ... Himself / Various (archive footage)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Steve Allen ... Himself / DJ (archive footage)
Fred Baker Fred Baker ... Narrator
Martin Garbus Martin Garbus ... Himself (archive footage)
William Glenesk William Glenesk ... Himself (archive footage) (as Rev. William Glenesk)
Nat Hentoff Nat Hentoff ... Himself (archive footage)
Frank Hogan Frank Hogan ... Himself (archive footage)
Paul Krassner ... Himself (archive footage)
Malcolm Muggeridge ... Himself (archive footage)
Mort Sahl ... Himself (archive footage)
Jean Shepherd Jean Shepherd ... Himself (archive footage) (as Jean Shepard)
Kenneth Tynan Kenneth Tynan ... Himself (archive footage)
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Storyline

This documentary tells the story of the rise and fall of Lenny Bruce (1925-1966), hip comedian and bête noire to the establishment. The film makes the case that Bruce was impoverished and broken by a series of unjust arrests and prosecutions in the 1960s. Clips of Bruce performances, "bits" as he calls them, dominate the film, from Steve Allen's TV show to night-club appearances late in life when he would mine his arrests for material. Malcolm Muggeridge calls Bruce a moralist. A former assistant district attorney from New York in effect apologizes for his part in persecuting Bruce. The bounce and snap of Bruce in the 50s transform into ironic social commentary. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 July 1972 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Fred Baker Films See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono
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Did You Know?

Connections

Edited into Looking for Lenny (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Jazz Dance Suite
Music by Gigi Gryce
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User Reviews

 
Moving
2 October 2003 | by frogmortonSee all my reviews

This film - obviously made on a shoestring budget - is artful and touching. It starts rather slowly - Bruce's appearance on the Steve Allen Show is noteworthy in that what was cutting-edge back then is now rather stale. But the material too controversial for broadcast - and which here we have only in audio - like, for instance, his bit on reuniting with his wife, is as fresh and funny and honest as Richard Pryor at his best.

Watch Nat Hentoff puff nervously on his cigarette as he interviews a sadly broken Bruce near the end of Bruce's life. Do a slow burn while you watch the police descend on Bruce's house after the overdose that killed him. That's Bruce's body there on the bathroom floor - the authorities, guardians of morality when arresting Bruce innumerable times, allowed his death scene to be filmed. And be angry at fate. If Lenny had been born five, ten, years later ... well, rent this video and decide for yourself.


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