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Lenny (1974) More at IMDbPro »

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Julian Barry (play)
Julian Barry (screenplay)
View company contact information for Lenny on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
10 November 1974 (USA) See more »
Lenny's Time Has Finally Come!
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Nominated for 6 Oscars. Another 8 wins & 9 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
If you believe they put a man on the moon... See more (56 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

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

Richard O'Barry ... Court Clerk (as Ric O'Feldman)
Beth Challis ... Club Owner
Robert Parsons ... Chicago Plainclothesman
Cecil Seay ... Chicago Plainclothesman
Bob Collins ... New York Assistant DA
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Frank Ardell ... Catskills Orchestra Member (uncredited)
Bud Atchison ... New York Plainclothesman (uncredited)
Molly Bandes ... Lady in Los Angeles Audience (uncredited)
Alfred Barney ... (uncredited)
Lynette Bernay ... Girl in Dressing Room (uncredited)
William Boone ... (uncredited)
Buddy Boylan ... Marty (uncredited)
Daniel Burger ... First Cellar Club Band (uncredited)
Anthony Caruso ... Catskills Orchestra Member (uncredited)
Tom Chamberlain ... San Francisco Policeman (uncredited)
Rufus Cleare Jr. ... Second Cellar Club Band (uncredited)
Jimmy Crawford ... Second Cellar Club Band (uncredited)
Edward Crocetti ... (uncredited)
Joey Dano ... Baltimore Strip Club Band Member (uncredited)
Lewis DiMartino ... Catskills Orchestra Member (uncredited)
Cindy Embers ... Opening Stripper (uncredited)
Andy William Fischer ... Duffy's Strip Club Band (uncredited)
William Flannigan ... Catskills Orchestra Member (uncredited)
Belle Flower ... Babysitter (uncredited)

Bob Fosse ... The Interviewer (voice) (uncredited)
Turnip Green ... (uncredited)
Sherry Greene ... Girl in Dressing Room (uncredited)
Gerald Guidice ... Catskills Orchestra Member (uncredited)
Jeffrey Holck ... (uncredited)
Phyllis Hyman ... Nightclub Patron (uncredited)
Diego Iborra ... Baltimore Strip Club Band Member (uncredited)
Jay W. Jensen ... Nightclub Customer (uncredited)
Mal Jones ... New York Court Clerk (uncredited)
Myrtle Jones ... Second Cellar Club Band (uncredited)
David Light ... Duffy's Strip Club Band (uncredited)
Sonny Mange ... Catskills Orchestra Member (uncredited)
Larry Mark ... Humiliated Customer (uncredited)
Ben Marks ... Duffy's Strip Club Band (uncredited)
Lee Martin ... Duffy's Strip Club Band (uncredited)

David Joseph Martinez ... Marine Private (uncredited)
John Henry McCarthy ... Man in Cellar Club (uncredited)
Norbert Mogwitz ... Club Charles Band Member (uncredited)
Eugene Monahan ... Los Angeles Plainclothesman (uncredited)
Paul Martino Musenga ... First Cellar Club Band (uncredited)
Onyx ... Stripper (uncredited)
Alan Ormsby ... Man in Audience of Cellar Club (uncredited)
Frank Orsatti ... Hunter (uncredited)

Christine Page ... Nightclub Patron (uncredited)
Jeannie Parker ... Lady in Los Angeles Audience (uncredited)
Leonard Perna ... First Cellar Club Band (uncredited)
Paula Plyler ... Truth Girl (uncredited)
William Richko ... Catskills Orchestra Member (uncredited)
Richard F. Rose ... Second Cellar Club Band (uncredited)
Ted Rosen ... Club Charles Band Member (uncredited)
Joseph Santaniello ... (uncredited)
Jack Savage ... Man in Chicago Audience (uncredited)
Lonnie Sintow ... Woman in Chicago Audience (uncredited)
Kim St. Leon ... Girl in Dressing Room (uncredited)
Rita Turner ... Stripper (uncredited)
Charles Victor ... Club Charles Band Member (uncredited)
Glenn R. Wilder ... Hunter (uncredited)
Zorita ... Nightclub Owner (uncredited)
Lillian Zuckerman ... Nightclub Patron (uncredited)

Directed by
Bob Fosse 
Writing credits
Julian Barry (play)

Julian Barry (screenplay)

Produced by
Robert Greenhut .... associate producer
David V. Picker .... executive producer (as David Picker)
Marvin Worth .... producer
Original Music by
Ralph Burns 
Cinematography by
Bruce Surtees 
Film Editing by
Alan Heim 
Casting by
Marion Dougherty 
Beverly McDermott 
Production Design by
Joel Schiller 
Set Decoration by
Nicholas J. Romanac  (as Nicholas Romanak)
Costume Design by
Albert Wolsky 
Makeup Department
William A. Farley .... hair stylist
Romaine Greene .... hair stylist
Robert Laden .... makeup artist (as Bob Laden)
Production Management
Neil A. Machlis .... unit manager
Robert Greenhut .... production manager (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Douglas Green .... first assistant director
Thomas Lofaro .... second assistant director (as Tommy Lofaro)
Ted Zachary .... first assistant director
Art Department
Dennis J. Parrish .... property master
Larry Goodwin Sr. .... set dresser (uncredited)
Charles Guanci .... props (uncredited)
Paul Schwendel .... set dresser (uncredited)
Sound Department
Dennis Maitland .... sound
Ed Rothkowitz .... sound assistant
Dick Vorisek .... sound re-recordist (as Richard Vorisek)
Katherine Wenning .... sound editing supervisor
Norman Hollyn .... apprentice sound editor (uncredited)
William Johnson .... boom operator (uncredited)
Mel Zelniker .... adr recordist (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Charles Holmes .... gaffer
Michael McGowan .... assistant camera
Billy Simpson .... key grip
Roland 'Ozzie' Smith .... camera operator (as Roland Ozzie Smith)
John Winner .... assistant camera
Guy Del Russo .... electrician (uncredited)
Vinnie Gerardo .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Tony Gulliver .... still photographer (uncredited)
Perry A. Jones .... grip (uncredited)
Dick LaViolette .... grip (uncredited)
John McGowan .... assistant camera (uncredited)
James Pergola .... camera operator (uncredited)
Bill Swan .... best boy (uncredited)
Casting Department
Lynette Bernay .... casting assistant (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Diana Bernay .... costumer
Michael J. Harte .... costumer
Editorial Department
Jonathan Pontell .... assistant editor
Irving Rathner .... negative cutter
Trudy Ship .... assistant editor
Music Department
Ralph Burns .... music supervisor
Transportation Department
Fred Toledo .... transportation captain
Don Howell .... teamster (uncredited)
Allan McGovern .... teamster (uncredited)
Other crew
Selma Brown .... location auditor
Honey Bruce Friedman .... advisor to producer (as Honey Bruce)
Kitty Bruce .... advisor to producer
Michael Butler .... producer: original stage production
Gail Geibel .... production secretary
Neil R. Lipes .... production assistant
Frank Majerski .... cinemobile technician
Sally Marr .... advisor to producer
Lawrence Schiller .... material supplier
Nicholas Sgarro .... script supervisor
Peter J. Silbermann .... unit publicist
G.C. Brown .... representative: U.A. (uncredited)
Karen Gilbert .... personal assistant: Bob Fosse, pre-production (uncredited)
Patti James .... secretary (uncredited)
Larry Mark .... production assistant (uncredited)
Douglas E. Stoll .... production assistant (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
111 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:16 | Australia:R | Australia:MA (Cable TV rating) | Canada:18A | Canada:13+ (Quebec) | Finland:K-16 (1987) | Finland:K-18 (1975) | Iceland:L | Netherlands:18 | New Zealand:R18 | Norway:18 | Portugal:M/16 | Spain:18 | Sweden:15 | UK:X (original rating) | UK:15 (video re-rating) (2003) | UK:18 (video rating) (1987) | USA:R | West Germany:16
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Cliff Gorman, who'd won the 1972 Tony Award for his portrayal of Bruce on Broadway, was considered for the film adaptation but wasn't deemed as bankable an actor as Hoffman. Years later, Gorman would play a Lenny Bruce type of character in All That Jazz (1979), also directed by Bob Fosse.See more »
Anachronisms: 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:l'm not anti-Christ or anti-religion, l just think it's encouraging that people are leaving the Church and going back to God.See more »
Movie Connections:
References King Kong (1933)See more »
Tempus FugitSee more »


How does it end?
See more »
48 out of 56 people found the following review useful.
If you believe they put a man on the moon..., 17 December 2004
Author: Andy (film-critic) from Bookseller of the Blue Ridge

I went into this film knowing nothing about the comic Lenny Bruce, and after watching this film I have already added two of his CDs to my Wish List. I am eager to hear more, to listen to his words, and be intrigued by how his thoughts are still relevant in today's society. This was a beautiful film made in 1974. The decision by director Bob Fosse to film it completely in black and white was brilliant. Hoffman and Perrine's chemistry is brilliant as well as their performances. The power of this man is vividly demonstrated through this film, leaving you with questions answered as well as a desire to hear more. This was such a captivating feature. From the opening sequence of words spewing from a mouth to the final shot of Lenny Bruce, I was glued to my seat.

To begin, the cinematography was better than most feature films. Fosse knew what he was doing and did it with the greatest of ease. His choice to film completely in black and white really helped me hear the words that Bruce spoke instead of just being involved in the colors that surrounded him. The black and white feature gave Hoffman the ability to create a human from his character and take us away from Hoffman and into the mind of comic Lenny Bruce. The shots that Fosse used also assisted with building this compelling story. Every shot is important in this film, and Fosse does a great job of demonstrating and explaining the "why" and "where" of a scene. This was his first and only non musical, and he was triumphant. The way that the story works in a pseudo-documentary style was impeccable. While you are never quite told who the person is behind the camera, you do get that raw emotion from the actors as if you were watching a real documentary. There was just so much emotion that Fosse pulled from his troupe in this film that you could only watch in amazement. It also left the door open to the question of who is behind the camera. With the words that Bruce said nightly in his show, I couldn't help but think of the possibility of government conspiracy. Maybe I am way off, but there was that aura of "cover-up" throughout this film. Even the final sequence gives off that sense.

BAM – Powerful cinematography is right in front of you, but whom do we have in the center of the camera? None other than a very young and fresh Dustin Hoffman. This film really showcased his talents. While he had several films before this one that brought him into the spotlight, I thought that he went above and beyond for this film. He really transformed himself into the character. Some of my favorite moments with Hoffman in Lenny was when he thinks about the nurse the first time, when Honey calls asking for money, and when he asks the Judge to sentence him now instead of going through the trial. The vision of defeat was spectacular. You see in this film why Hoffman is considered one of the greats of Hollywood. Valerie Perrine, also a young actress at the time, was immaculate. Her portrayal of Honey needs to go in the history books. Actresses today could take a moment or two to learn from this dramatic actress. These two actors really brought this film together. They took you deep into the life of this radical thinker and kept you nestled deeply inside of him. They shined greatly, and the Academy saw it too!

BAM – Cinematography, BAM – award winning acting, what can be the final BAM? How about Lenny Bruce? Born well after his death, I had never even heard of the man, but the words that I witnessed from this film from his mouth shocked me. Not so much because of the shock value that surrounded them, but just how relevant his work is still today. As homosexuality becomes a staple in our community and society, Lenny's comments on the teachers in this film seemed like topics we are still talking about today. He was way ahead of his time, and I think that is why people feared him. Living with an English teacher, I am constantly involved with the English language, but I am also shown information about those that have no interest because they do not see how it relates to "real" life. I am also aware of how little respect English gets as daily we hear of schools cutting back on their Literature studies to help support their sports program, or how the first way to cut back spending is to close libraries. These are sad days that we live in, and if only people could see how powerful words can be in defending yourself and explaining the world, I think we would see a rebirth. If I had the option to fight with a loaded gun or an aggressive dictionary, I think you can see which I would choose. Lenny Bruce did no harm to anyone, he spoke his mind, and for that he was convicted. What a sad day for America.

Grade: ***** out of *****

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