Lenny (1974)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama  |  10 November 1974 (USA)
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The story of acerbic 1960s comic Lenny Bruce, whose groundbreaking, no-holds-barred style and social commentary was often deemed by the Establishment as too obscene for the public.



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Nominated for 6 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jan Miner ...
Stanley Beck ...
Frankie Man ...
Rashel Novikoff ...
Gary Morton ...
Guy Rennie ...
Michele Yonge ...
Kathryn Witt ...
Girl (as Kathie Witt)
Monroe Myers ...
John DiSanti ...
Mickey Gatlin ...
Martin Begley ...
Mark Harris ...


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. Written by Scott Renshaw <as.idc@forsythe.stanford.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Lenny's Time Has Finally Come!


Biography | Drama


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

10 November 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Lenny Bruce  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


SEK 1,021,233 (Sweden)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The Broadway production of "Lenny" by Julian Barry opened at the Brooks Atkinson Theater in New York on May 26, 1971 and ran for 453 performances. See more »


During the movie's opening monologue, Lenny says that it's 1964 and then references the MDA Telethon, which debuted in 1966. See more »


Lenny Bruce: The problem is we always expect women to be a combination sunday school teacher, and $500-a-night hooker!
See more »


Featured in Precious Images (1986) See more »


Well You Needn't
Music by Teddy McRae and Thelonious Monk
Performed by Miles Davis
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Lenny's a movie star????

When I first put this movie in I thought I knew what to expect. I expected a good movie with a great actor in Dustin Hoffman. Well, as soon as it started and there is Hoffman's first dialogue through the credits, I was blown away. It was as if Lenny was starring in the film. I couldn't believe what I was seeing and hearing. Hoffman and Valerie Perrine gave excellent performances. It is almost inconceivable to imagine the preparation and training that Hoffman must have gone through to get Lenny down. I don't know who beat out Hoffman for the best actor award in 1974, but I can't imagine it being a more convincing performance than this.

And the use of black and white was great. The movie did give Lenny the appreciation that he deserved, mainly by showing his troubled personal life and his troubles with the law. The movie portrayed the trouble and basically harassment that Lenny went through when he voiced his observations of society, which were true, but weren't quite ready to be heard yet. The only fault (if at all) of the film is that it didn't quite show Lenny's genius in what he did. It definitely showed his potential but not quite his brilliance. But this might be because it was a biography of sorts of his life which included his personal and public life. I suppose if the movie just focused on his comedic talents; than his genius would have been obvious, but that wasn't the focus of the film. All in all this is an excellent movie in what it attempted to do. It accomplished what it set out to do and that's what counts.

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