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I'm No Dummy (2009)

6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 104 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 12 critic

Explores and examines the world of ventriloquism through clips, photos and interviews with many of the greatest vents from today and yesterday, illustrating that this perceived novelty act is truly an extraordinary art form.

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Allan Blumenstyk ...
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Burt Dubrow ...
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David Goldblatt ...
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Ken Groves ...
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Jay Johnson ...
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Mary Kingsley ...
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Tom Ladshaw ...
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Ronn Lucas ...
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Jimmy Nelson ...
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Otto Petersen ...
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Stevo Schüling ...
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Lisa Sweasy ...
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Storyline

Talking heads. A look at the art of ventriloquists. The first half examines basic issues, such as establishing two clear personalities for "vent" and dummy, the importance of not moving lips, the range of comedy that's possible, and the doors that opened when Jay Johnson appeared on "Soap" with his dummy. Several contemporary entertainers and historians comment. The second half profiles the best known ventriloquists -- Paul Winchell, Senor Weñces, Edger Bergen, and Jimmy Nelson - and assesses their strengths. The film closes with an assessment of ventriloquism's future. Included are many clips of performances. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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23 May 2009 (USA)  »

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Trivia

Bryan met Jay Johnson for the first time when filming I'm No Dummy. They became close friends and Jay asked Bryan to direct the filmic translation of his Tony Award® winning Broadway show, Jay Johnston: The Two and Only. See more »

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References Jay Johnson: The Two and Only! (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Intelligent & Fun Documentary
8 June 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Kudos to SIFF (Seattle International Film Festival) for programming the World Premiere of I'm No Dummy. I'm sure there are those that would say "Why a doc on ventriloquism?" I say, "Why did it take so long?" This smart, insightful and very funny documentary is carefully crafted to allow us to discover there is so much more to this misunderstood art and those that practice it. Tony Award winner and star of TV sitcom Soap, Jay Johnson steals the film with his intellectual comedy and flawless technique. Lynn Trefzger and her family friendly puppets are just delightful and Comedy Central star Jeff Dunham believe it or not fills huge auditoriums. Building on the work of those before them, such as Jimmy Nelson, Senor Wences and Paul Winchell, these modern "vents" have reinvented and reinvigorated this much maligned act. As an avid doc watcher it was refreshing to see an intelligent and fun documentary that had real depth. A wonderful doc where the "vents" vent about their work.


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