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Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project (2007)

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The documentary consists of tape of Don's show (never been filmed before), interviews with Don's contemporaries, (Steve Lawrence, Bob Newhart, Debbie Reynolds, etc.), established comedians ... See full summary »

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Won 2 Primetime Emmys. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Himself / Private Willard
...
Himself / Sister Rosa Stigmata
...
Himself / Crapgame / Petty Officer Ruby / Crane / Nellie / Anne Bancroft / Big Drop / Mr. Potato Head - (voice)
...
Himself / Private Kelly / 'Dirty' Harry Callahan
...
Himself
...
Himself
Victor Figueredo ...
Himself
Conrad Hermogenes ...
Himself
Paul Shefrin ...
Himself
Heidi Akawa ...
Herself
Peggy March ...
Herself
Joe Mele ...
Himself
...
Himself
Tom McDermott ...
Guitar
Jack Cenna ...
Percussion
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Storyline

The documentary consists of tape of Don's show (never been filmed before), interviews with Don's contemporaries, (Steve Lawrence, Bob Newhart, Debbie Reynolds, etc.), established comedians (Billy Crystal, Rosanne Barr, Robin Williams, Chris Rock, etc.) and young comedians (Jeff Atoll, Jimmy Kimmel, Sarah Silverman, etc.). We have interviewed over 30 people including actors, directors (John Landis, Christopher Guest, Sidney Poitier, Jay Leno, etc.) and various people in Don's life (his composer, orchestra, manager etc.). In addition, we will use some of Don's home movies, clips from the Tonight Show, various TV shows, movies etc. We'll see one of the last great comedians of his era. Written by Bob Engelman

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 December 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Don Rickles Documentary  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Color:

| (archive footage)
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Did You Know?

Goofs

While Bobby Slayton lists the many shows Rickles appeared on in the 1960's, he names Bewitched. Rickles never appeared on the show. See more »

Connections

Features X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes (1963) See more »

Soundtracks

When You're Smiling
Written by Mark Fisher, Joe Goodwin, Larry Shay
Performed by Keely Smith
See more »

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User Reviews

 
If you haven't seen Rickles's stand-up, you don't know the art of the comic-insult
2 December 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

John Landis's new documentary on Don Rickles, Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project, works best when focused squarely on its star attraction. Every so often Landis gets distracted in telling (or rather showing other people like Bob Newhart) go on about the glory days of a mob-run Las Vegas, and it starts to loose a little of its focus. And every so often he takes a misstep with the editing. But since comedy is Landis's strong-suit as a director, anyway, it's fitting that his film works best when his subject is given the full-treatment, either in clips of his performances, his old Johnny Carson appearances, or with some of his adulators telling it like it is: he's one of the funniest stand-up comics of his time. And still today he kiss: watching him completely skewer every single race and both sexes in a Vegas audience is dynamite (sometimes you just wait for him to drop his microphone in ironic disgust).

Just hearing the man tell stories, or talk about his wonderful (and wonderfully Jewish) mother, or doing lovingly stupid imitations of his wife (the tongue is what clicks it), is entertaining. He's a man who takes his fame completely in stride, but not for granted. He tells of a cruel prank done on the set of Run Silent Run Deep involving him and Clark Gable; he goes overboard as host of the Tonight Show by breaking Carson's box or whatever, and Carson goes right next-door to the set of Rickles's show, where after he apologizes he says "ladies and gentlemen, Johnny Carson!" And then the testimonies themselves bring up laughs (Sarah Silverman comments how Rickles taught her what black people were like living secluded in New Hampshire), even if it's just repeating old Rickles lines. His is a very precise shtick where finding the line and only going across it so much is like an art- you don't want to make it into a totally sensationalist exercise, but the audience still has to have a good time at not only others' expenses, but their own. It's a kind of all-inclusive comedy, be it the schmuck who's 300 pounds and with a dopey wife, or the president, or, of course most brilliantly, Dean Martin.

It's not exactly a great documentary, but it's a fine showcase, and the kind of remembrance for one of those old kings of comedy that haven't yet kicked the bucket, like (unfortunately) so many in show-biz have in recent years. 7.5/10


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