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Lenny (1974) Poster

(1974)

Trivia

The one-take master shot scene of Lenny doing his act in a raincoat near the end of the film came from an actual tape recorded from a show he did that was sent to Dustin Hoffman by a student who saw the show. Lenny's exact words in the scene on stage are verbatim from the tape of his show.
The character of Sherman Hart is based on Milton Berle; the real name wasn't used because Berle was still alive and there were fears he might sue for libel. But the character uses all of Berle's mannerisms and trademark shtick, including sticking the cigar under his top lip.
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.
The off-camera voice you can hear during the interview scenes is that of director Bob Fosse.
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Raquel Welch was offered the role of Honey Bruce. She turned the part down, because she thought she could not play it.
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Neil Diamond was originally selected for the title role but declined.
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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.
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Al Pacino was offered the part of Lenny Bruce but turned it down. He later said he regretted it after seeing the film.
In 1968 Stuart Rosenberg was announced as director.
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Al Pacino was offered the role first but turned it down. He said on Larry King years later that this was his only career regret (to date).
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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