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Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work (2010)

R  |   |  Documentary, Biography, Comedy  |  2 July 2010 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 3,135 users   Metascore: 79/100
Reviews: 32 user | 100 critic | 34 from

A documentary on the life and career of Joan Rivers, made as the comedienne turns 75 years old.


, (as Annie Sundberg)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jocelyn Pickett ...
Bill Sammeth ...
Himself (as Billy Sammeth)
Graham Reed ...
Kevin Brennan ...
Himself, Joan Rivers' housekeeper
Debbie Brennan ...
Analie Berthel ...
Sean Foley ...
Mark Anderson Phillips ...
Himself (as Mark Phillips)
Denis Markell ...
Gilda Frost ...
David Dangle ...


This documentary follows one year in the life of Joan Rivers, who sees herself first and foremost as an actress, with her life as a comedienne/writer just an extension of being an actress. Now at age 75, Rivers has faced her ups and downs in her forty plus year career, the year leading up to filming being a down compared to what she would have wanted, which is a calendar full of engagements with several engagements each day. That want is in part to support her opulent personal lifestyle, but is more a need to bolster her own sense of self-worth as a basically insecure person who is probably best known now for her overuse of cosmetic surgery rather than her professional work. She feels that Kathy Griffin, who she admires, is now getting all the engagements she would have gotten in her prime. During this year, Rivers is seen going from engagement to engagement, some big - such as a Kennedy Center Honors for George Carlin, a double bill with Don Rickles in New York, and her own celebrity... Written by Huggo

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Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and sexual humor | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

2 July 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O Trabalho de Joan Rivers  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$164,351 (USA) (11 June 2010)


$2,927,972 (USA) (10 September 2010)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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References Live with Kelly and Michael (1988) See more »

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User Reviews

Honest, Oddly Poignant
30 October 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I wouldn't call myself a fan per se, but I've always admired Joan Rivers for just saying what she feels. This documentary chronicles a year in her life, her 75th year, and is not a laugh riot by design. She goes into the relationship with her daughter Melissa, her late husband Edgar and her long time manager whom she has increasingly been unable to trust to be available for her. The poignancy is from the various parts of this film of her life as a working performer. There are times that she is not in demand and more than once states she will "take anything". Also, there is a failed play and a scene at a Wisconsin nightclub where she has a shouting match with a person who objects to one of her jokes. You don't go to a Joan Rivers show to hear sweetness, she has always been pointed and sometimes outrageous. Anyone who doesn't know her well can get some insight into her from this film, but this film is more for people who know about her and like/love her. I like her for being bold and for being a pioneer. I would recommend it to everyone who is even vaguely interested but just know it is not a full concert performance. It held my interest throughout.

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