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Rating:No Rating
Release Date:November 10, 1974
Running time:112 minutes
Cast:Dustin Hoffman, Valerie Perrine, Jan Miner, Stanley Beck, Frankie Man
Director:Bob Fosse
Producer:Marvin Worth
Writer:Julian Barry

Description: Adapted by Julian Barry from his own Broadway play, Lenny manages to be both brutally frank and highly romanticized in detailing the short life and career of influential, controversial stand-up comedian Lenny Bruce. The chronology hops, skips and jumps between Lenny (Dustin Hoffman) in his prime and the burned-out, strung-out performer who, in the twilight of his life, used his nightclub act to pour out his personal frustrations at great, boring length. We watch as up-and-coming comic Bruce courts his Shiksa goddess, a stripper named Honey (Valerie Perrine). With family responsibilities, Lenny is encouraged to do a safe, conformist act, but he can't do it. Constantly in trouble for flouting obscenity laws, Lenny develops a near-messianic complex, which fuels both his comedy genius and his talent for self-destruction. Worn out by a lifetime of tilting at Establishment windmills, Lenny Bruce died of a drug overdose in 1966. Director Bob Fosse chose to film Lenny in black-and-white, giving the film the texture of a documentary. Though a film as verbally graphic as Lenny could not have been made when the real Lenny Bruce was alive, audiences in 1974 responded, to the tune of an $11 million gross.~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

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