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Lenny Bruce: Swear to Tell the Truth (1998)

7.7
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Title: Lenny Bruce: Swear to Tell the Truth (1998)

Lenny Bruce: Swear to Tell the Truth (1998) on IMDb 7.7/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Himself / Narrator (voice)
...
Himself
Honey Bruce Friedman ...
Herself
Kitty Bruce ...
Herself
Lenny Bruce ...
Himself (archive footage)
JoJo D'Amore ...
Himself
John Dolan ...
Himself
Martin Garbus ...
Himself
Jackie Gayle ...
Himself
Nat Hentoff ...
Himself
Paul Krassner ...
Himself
Richard Kuh ...
Himself
Sally Marr ...
Herself
Frankie Ray ...
Himself
Maynard Sloate ...
Himself
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Storyline

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Taglines:

In 1948, Lenny Bruce was just another comic who couldn't get arrested. By 1961, all that would change.


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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 October 1998 (USA)  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$16,445 (USA) (23 October 1998)

Gross:

$21,350 (USA) (23 October 1998)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

This Oscar-nominated documentary was 12 years in the making. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Larry David: Curb Your Enthusiasm (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Busted
Performed by Ray Charles
See more »

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User Reviews

Funny, touching, a testament to the power of words
10 December 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I caught this documentary on the Sundance channel, knowing Lenny Bruce very well as being influential (I listened to one of his later recordings) though not knowing a whole lot on why he became the most controversial comic of the pre-Vietnam era. What I learned was that Lenny Bruce's story - of rising to fame as a satirist and stand-up comic after working in strip joints, and then being put down by the legal machinations of the United States government - is both hilarious and engrossing, and here and there a (necessary) downer. What the system pulled over on Lenny was a travesty, and the mere fact that (technically) the charge of swearing/indecency still stands decades later is an insult to, if any, meaning by the constitution. When Lenny does do his act in the film, one who's never heard most of his material can be drawn in, the style in which he lays his bits is extraordinary. If one had to describe this film to someone who hasn't seen it, or perhaps might not know who Lenny Bruce is (most of my friends don't, though they know his descendents like George Carlin), 'Lenny Bruce: Swear to Tell the Truth' is about a terrific wordsmith who's self-esteem got crushed to oblivion & suicide by those who felt that they had the right over another person's language. It also includes some good narration by old Bobby De Niro. Grade: (strong) A


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