Zelig (1983) - Plot Summary Poster


Plot Summary

  • Fictional documentary about the life of human chameleon Leonard Zelig, a man who becomes a celebrity in the 1920s due to his ability to look and act like whoever is around him. Clever editing places Zelig in real newsreel footage of Woodrow Wilson, Babe Ruth, and others.

    - Written by Scott Renshaw <as.idc@forsythe.stanford.edu>
  • Mockumentary on the period of fame and infamy of Leonard Zelig in the 1920s and 1930s. He first came to world attention when it was noticed that he appeared in several newsreels more often than not prominently in the background, but sometimes with the newsreels' more famous subjects. But what was considered more remarkable than the varied subjects and the prolific nature of his newsreel footage was that he changed his appearance, sometimes even seemingly his ethnicity, and abilities and skills to match those around him. Eventually under the care of famed psychiatrist Dr. Eudora Fletcher, he was given the nickname the Chameleon Man in his ability to change his being so effortlessly. Dr. Fletcher's diagnosis was Zelig's need for ultimate conformity in an effort to be universally liked, the malady which she tried to cure. The mockumentary delves not only into the psychiatric issues for Zelig, but also the legal issues he faced on wanting and being able to conform so easily. It also focuses on Zelig and Dr. Fletcher's relationship, which became more than just patient and doctor.

    - Written by Huggo
  • The story of Leonard Zelig, a man who could (and would) assume the physical characteristics and mannerisms of anyone he cam into contact with. When doctors discover him, they try to figure our he has this ability and what causes him to change. Eventually he is treated by Doctor Eunora Fletcher, a psychiatrist, and she works out how to treat him. Meanwhile, dubbed "the human chameleon", he becomes a celebrity. Celebrity has its downsides, however.

    - Written by grantss
  • "Documentary" about a man who can look and act like whoever he's around, and meets various famous people.

    - Written by Anonymous


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