IMDb > Lenny Bruce Without Tears (1972)

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Lenny Bruce Without Tears -- The outrageous, groundbreaking comic whose iconoclastic material in a conservative era got him into tragic trouble is here profiled by a close friend who prefers to remember the laughs Lenny Bruce's memory evokes.


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Documentary on the life and death of Lenny Bruce. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Fred Baker, 1933 - 2011
 (From MUBI. 12 June 2011, 12:59 PM, PDT)

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Fair Documentary See more (6 total) »


  (in credits order)
Lenny Bruce ... Himself / Various (archive footage)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Steve Allen ... Himself / DJ (archive footage)
Fred Baker ... Narrator
Martin Garbus ... Himself (archive footage)
William Glenesk ... Himself (archive footage) (as Rev. William Glenesk)
Nat Hentoff ... Himself (archive footage)
Frank Hogan ... Himself (archive footage)
Paul Krassner ... Himself (archive footage)
Malcolm Muggeridge ... Himself (archive footage)

Mort Sahl ... Himself (archive footage)
Jean Shepherd ... Himself (archive footage) (as Jean Shepard)
Kenneth Tynan ... Himself (archive footage)

Lyndon Johnson ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Directed by
Fred Baker 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Barbara Baker 
Fred Baker 
John Parson  narration (as John Parsons)

Produced by
Barbara Baker .... producer
Fred Baker .... producer
Film Editing by
Edward Deitch  (as Edward Deutsch)
Other crew
Barbara Baker .... associate director
Barbara Baker .... researcher
Fred Baker .... researcher
John Parson .... narration writer (as John Parsons)
Steve Allen .... acknowledgment
Martin Garbus .... acknowledgment (as Martin Garbus Esq.)
William Glenesk .... acknowledgment (as Rev. William Glenesk)
Nat Hentoff .... acknowledgment
Paul Krassner .... acknowledgment
John Magnuson .... acknowledgment
Malcolm Muggeridge .... acknowledgment
Mort Sahl .... acknowledgment
Jean Shepherd .... acknowledgment (as Jean Shepard)
Kenneth Tynan .... acknowledgment

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

85 min
Sound Mix:
UK:X | UK:15 (video) (2006)

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Fair Documentary, 11 September 2012
Author: Michael_Elliott from Louisville, KY

Lenny Bruce Without Tears (1972)

** (out of 4)

Somewhat stale documentary taking a look at the career of Lenny Bruce. At around 75-minutes there's really not too much going on with this documentary except giving some basic information about the comedian. We learn about his early days on the stage and how he wasn't a hit. We learn that he became famous once he started talking about more controversial subjects. We then learn that he turned to drugs, began getting arrested for his act and eventually died at a young age. If you're already familiar with Bruce then it's doubtful any of the information given here is going to take you by surprise. I'm going to guess that perhaps this here was needed back in 1972, just to remind some newer people of who Bruce was. Today this bits of information really isn't all that needed since we've got countless other documentaries, the Dustin Hoffman picture and countless other bits of media about the comedy legend. The majority of the running time is devoted to Bruce's acts as we see him at a press conference talking about the crimes being committed against him as well as his appearances on The Steve Allen Show as well as audio clips from his concerts. These here are perhaps the main reason to watch this documentary since you get to see Bruce in action, although today his material is so tame that it's almost hard to imagine anyone getting offended by it. Overall, LENNY BRUCE WITHOUT TEARS is a bit too boring and doesn't give us enough interesting information on the comic to make it worth sitting through.

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