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I'm No Dummy (2009)

6.4
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Explores the world of ventriloquism through clips, photos and interviews with many of today's greatest vents, revealing this perceived novelty act as a great modern art form. New 2-disk edition contains 2 extra hours of material.

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Himself
Jay Johnson ...
Himself
Lynn Trefzger ...
Herself
Tom Ladshaw ...
Himself
Jimmy Nelson ...
Himself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Himself
Allan Blumenstyk ...
Himself
Burt Dubrow ...
Himself
...
Himself, Bonus interview
David Goldblatt ...
Himself (as Dr. David Goldblatt)
Ken Groves ...
Himself
Mary Kingsley ...
Herself
Ronn Lucas ...
Himself
Norm Nielsen ...
Himself
Otto Petersen ...
Himself
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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

Over 150 hours of interview and concert/performance footage was shot in less than one year for the film. See more »

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

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User Reviews

 
Entertaining and Enlightening Doc
30 May 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Who knew? I didn't. These people are geniuses.

Prior to seeing this film I, probably like most people, thought that ventriloquism (now called "venting") was just a person with a puppet making silly voices. This documentary does a great job of not only giving a modern history of ventriloquism but also in giving an appreciation for the diverse talents possessed by these amazing performers who are, at once, entertainers, puppeteers, comedians, actors, and writers; and, have developed the unique skill of being able to "throw" their voice. And the film is hilarious to boot.

"I'm No Dummy" contains entertaining clips of many of the venting greats of the past, such as Senor Wences, Paul Winchell, and Jimmy Nelson, but also many uproarious clips of modern masters Lynn Trefzger, Jay Johnson, and Jeff Dunham, among others, in performance and whom also add their commentary on the technique and the art form.

Yes, I said "art form." After seeing this film I have truly developed an appreciation for the art form that is ventriloquism.


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