Rupert Pupkin is obsessed with becoming a comedy great. However, when he confronts his idol, talk show host Jerry Langford, with a plea to perform on the Jerry's show, he is only given the run-around. He does not give up, however, but persists in stalking Jerry until he gets what he wants. Eventually he must team up with his psychotic Langford-obsessed friend Masha to kidnap the talk show host in hopes of finally getting to perform his stand-up routine. Written by
Andrew Hyatt <email@example.com>
Martin Scorsese said later that making this film was an "unsettling" experience, in part because of the embarrassing, bitter material of the script. Scorsese said that he and Robert De Niro may have not worked together again for seven years because making The King of Comedy (1982) was so emotionally grueling. See more »
When Jerry is wearing the sweater that Masha knitted him, her reflection is in the mirror behind him and she is talking but her reflection's mouth is not moving. See more »
And now, from New York, The Jerry Langford Show! With Jerry's guests Tony Randall, Richard Dreyfuss, Rodney Dangerfield, Dr. Joyce Brothers, Lou Brown and the orchestra, and little old me Ed Herlihy. And now say hello to Jerry!
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This is a film that would not be half as effective as it is, if it were not for the unbelievable performance by Robert De Niro. He is, without question the best actor to have graced our screens, and though I love the so many other varied genius performances he has become more famous for, I think this to be his finest work.
The character he plays draws inevitable comparisons with Travis in 'Taxi Driver', as in both roles he plays individuals so detached from reality, they feel the need to commit criminal acts in order to expel the frustrations they have at their lowly position in society, and how little they can do about it. Travis's frustrations are centered more on the decaying state of society and the streets he drives around, whereas Rupert is simply trying to achieve his life-long ambition of fame and fortune that celebrities on television enjoy. But Rupert is such a clever creation by de Niro. He is detached in a very different way to Travis. Whilst Travis is only too aware of what is going on in society, Rupert has his own little view of how the world works. He fantasises being a celebrated comic to such a degree he convinces himself of events that haven't actually happened (most notably when he starts believing his own lie, that he's been invited to Jerry Lewis' summerhouse, is actually true!) It is a magnificently subtle take on the insane and is the De Niro performance I enjoyed the most.
I felt compelled to offer my opinion on De Niro's 10 best roles, so here they are: 10-The Untouchables, 9-Heat, 8-The Godfather Part 2, 7-Midnight Run, 6-Awakenings, 5-Taxi Driver, 4-The Deer Hunter, 3-Raging Bull, 2-Mean Streets, 1-The King Of Comedy
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