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Lenny (1974)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama  |  10 November 1974 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 10,679 users  
Reviews: 56 user | 56 critic

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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Title: Lenny (1974)

Lenny (1974) on IMDb 7.6/10

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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 <>

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
See  »

Did You Know?


Neil Diamond was originally selected for the title role but declined. 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 »


Referenced in Pump Up the Volume (1990) See more »


Well You Needn't
Music by Teddy McRae and Thelonious Monk
Performed by Miles Davis
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Well Made But Dismally Depressing
9 July 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This biopic about shock comedian Lenny Bruce was Bob Fosse's followup to his well-received 1972 film "Cabaret." I'm pretty sure that "Lenny" was a financial bomb, and I'm not surprised. It's a relentlessly depressing and ugly film, despite the stylish polish Fosse gives it. Anyone who has seen Fosse's last film, "Star 80," knows just how nihilistic this director could be, and "Lenny" shows evidence of that.

It is a fascinating film though, in its own way. Fosse uses a documentary-like approach, complete with black and white photography and a narrative device in which we see Bruce's long-suffering love (played heartbreakingly by Valerie Perrine, Lex Luthor's bikini-clad girlfriend in "Superman" [1978]) telling Bruce's story to a filmmaker while the actual events themselves are played out as flashbacks. Fosse was fond of this confessional type of storytelling and would use it again in "All That Jazz" (1979). Dustin Hoffman is simply sensational as Bruce; he utterly disappears into this caustic character until no trace of Hoffman the actor is left. Technically, everything about the film is highly accomplished, but it's so desolately grim as to be off putting.

Grade: B+

13 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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