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If, in 1940, you had a lobotomized aunt, an institutionalized father, a racist mother, and were the only gay kid on the block, what do you think the odds would be that you'd end up a Tony winner, a staple of television, and a generational icon? Enter "The Life Of Reilly". The cliché goes that truth is stranger than fiction. In this case, it is also funnier and more heartbreaking. Charles Nelson Reilly, famous for his game show innuendos and "X Files" guest appearances, takes us through his bizarre, star-studded, tragic, hilarious, and ultimately amazing life with a potent blend of tenderness and quick one-liners. "The Life Of Reilly" is an adaptation of Mr. Reilly's acclaimed one-man show and was photographed for the screen during Mr. Reilly's final two performances of his play in North Hollywood, California. Written by
Just watched the unedited three hour version of The Life of Reilly filmed in San Francisco in 2001. This is a two DVD set that is superb quality and crystal clear. It appears that the filming is authorized as CNR sees everything from the stage, throwing barbs at the audience now and again and would unquestionably have commented on the filming had it been done without his permission. Not having seen the version shown in theaters I have to assume that this is the complete show as opposed to the mini-documentary which most of the posters on this site are referring to. This is a brilliantly funny one-man show, witty and dramatic, funny and tragic in the telling of stories from Nelson Reilly's life and career. His performance covers a huge range of subjects and his delivery is masterful. Strange to believe that his talents will essentially be remembered only for his contribution to Match Game.
A one-man show that is both touching and very, very funny. For anyone who knows anything about show business from way back when - and I'm talking about the great Vaudeville stars of the 20's and 30's, this is a nostalgic mind-blower. When Nelson Reilly talks about his family, describing them as "portrayed by" Burt Lancaster or Shirley Booth or any one of a multitude of movie stars from the 40's and 50's, the result is hysterical. What a wonderful memorial to a talented and loving personality.
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