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A Shot at the Top: The Making of 'The King of Comedy' (2002)

Documentary about the making of Martin Scorsese's story of a man willing to go to any length for a shot at fame.





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Credited cast:
Herself - 'Masha'
Himself (archive footage)
Himself - Director


This made-for-video documentary treats dark comedy fans to a behind-the-scenes look at the making of The King of Comedy, Martin Scorsese's 1983 film about a failed comedian so desperate for recognition that he kidnaps the host of a late-night show in order to get his moment of fame. Features interviews with Scorsese and the rest of the cast and crew of the film who share their experiences from working on the project, as well as discuss the special efforts that went into bringing it all together. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

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Documentary | Short





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Fun Look Back at the Classic
1 May 2011 | by See all my reviews

Shot at the Top, A: The Making of The King of Comedy (2002)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

Martin Scorsese and Sandra Bernhard are on hand to discuss the 1983 film THE KING OF COMEDY, which some feel is the last real personal movie to come out of Hollywood before the industry changed (as the director also points out). If you're familiar with the film then you know it's lead character masterfully played by Robert DeNiro. Scorsese, as usual, is full of great stories and he starts off talking about how DeNiro originally brought him the screenplay after MEAN STREETS but the director felt he didn't know the subject matter well enough to direct it. DeNiro then brought the screenplay back to him after RAGING BULL and the director finally got what the picture was about. The director tells countless stories from working with Jerry Lewis to making sure that the city became a character on its own. The most fascinating aspect is when Scorsese talks about how personal and humiliating the character is because he actually never does a single good thing and everyone around him are just figures in his head of what reality should be like. Hearing Scorsese talk about how dangerous a person like this could be was quite interesting and especially when the subject turns to whether or not this guy was actually more dangerous than someone like Travis from TAXI DRIVER. Bernhard talks about scaring Jerry Lewis, working with DeNiro and why she felt Scorsese really let her play with the part, which is something no other director would have allowed. It's interesting to hear what she feels she had in common with the character and hearing about the sequence where Lewis wanted a major beat down thrown her way and how the director got the actor to change his mind. At just 18-minutes there's plenty of room for improvement but those who were around when this DVD was released will remember that originally there was suppose to be an audio commentary with Scorsese but he was busy with GANGS OF NEW YORK so that got canceled and the studio rushed this onto the disc. With that in mind one can overlook the fact that DeNiro and Lewis aren't here but hopefully one day the studio will revisit the film and add them.

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