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Lenny Bruce: Swear to Tell the Truth (1998)

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

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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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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

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Technical Specs

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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

Theme from 'A Summer Place'
Performed by Percy Faith and His Orchestra
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User Reviews

 
Excellent account of the man's career and the issues surrounding him.
11 August 1999 | by (Marietta, GA, USA) – See all my reviews

It mat be a cliche to call documentaries like this "fascinating" and "informative" but this one is. Rather than simply hearing a bunch of people tell you how funny, insightful and human Lenny Bruce was, you can judge for yourself from the extensive film clips shown here, ones you are unlikely to have seen anywhere else.

One of the big revelations here is how well-rounded a talent Bruce was. He was not just a one (sick)-joke performer, as archive footage of some of his early TV appearances show. Another clip has him singing a song of his own composition, "All Alone," worked into material concerning his breakup with his beloved wife Honey. She, Bruce's mother Sally Marr, and other friends contribute many colorful reminiscences. Yet another bit of footage has Bruce holding a sidewalk news conference naming names of those who suggested that he could bribe a judge in one of his many obscenity trials. You would swear this amazing scene couldn't possibly have been an impromptu session, yet it was.

The talk of Bruce and freedom of speech is not just a lot of liberal breastbeating; what happened to him was a disgrace. That he was prosecuted so many times for obscenity is the true outrage here. The documentary might go a little easy on his drug use but that really isn't what the man was all about anyway. Watch this film and find out.


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