6.7/10
526
27 user 8 critic

The Comic (1969)

Story of a brilliant silent-film comic whose talent is overshadowed by his ego.

Director:

Carl Reiner
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dick Van Dyke ... William Simon aka Billy Bright
Michele Lee ... Mary Gibson
Mickey Rooney ... Martin 'Cockeye' Van Buren
Cornel Wilde ... Frank Powers
Nina Wayne Nina Wayne ... Sybil Atlas
Pert Kelton ... Mama Bell
Steve Allen ... Steve Allen
Barbara Heller ... Ginger
Ed Peck ... Edwin G. Englehardt
Jeannine Riley ... Lorraine Margaret Bell
Gavin MacLeod ... 1st Director
Jay Novello ... Miguel
Craig Huebing Craig Huebing ... Doctor
Paulene Myers ... Phoebe
Fritz Feld ... Armand
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Storyline

A fictionalized account of the rise and fall of a silent film comic, Billy Bright. The movie begins with his funeral, as he speaks from beyond the grave in a bitter tone about his fate, and takes us through his fame, as he ruins it with womanizing and drink, and his fall, as a lonely, bitter old man unable to reconcile his life's disappointments. The movie is based loosely on the life of Buster Keaton. Written by Gary Dickerson <slug@mail.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

All Talking! All Laughing! All You Can Ask For in a Motion Picture! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Comedy

Certificate:

M | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 October 1970 (Mexico) See more »

Also Known As:

Billy Bright See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Acre Enterprises See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The clip of the fictional Billy Bright comedy "Dr. Jerk and Mr. Hyde" is a parody of John Barrymore's 1920 silent film version of "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." Like Barrymore, Dick Van Dyke (playing Billy Bright) transforms from Jekyll to Hyde on camera using only his facial expressions, and his ability to quickly switch from one to the other becomes the key gag of the scene.

In fact, the on-camera transformation was a bit more complex than that - Barrymore's makeup was done in tinted colours, and his costumes had coloured chalk applied to them. In the scenes that featured the transformation, the lighting colour was gradually changed, which, with the orthochromatic B&W film stock in use at the time (sensitive to only blue/green light, not to red) caused "Jekyll's" respectable clothing to appear to become "Hyde's" shabby suit, and to cause Barrymore's face to appear to change shape and contours. (Ortho stock will render pure red as black or dark grey) See more »

Connections

Features The Autograph Hunter (1934) See more »

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User Reviews

 
You can't not like Dick Van Dyke
14 October 2011 | by aadue-186-652060See all my reviews

This movie is hard to track down, but worth watching if you like Dick Van Dyke (who doesn't?), Stan Laurel, or silent film comedy in general. While the movie itself isn't the best thing Dick Van Dyke has ever done, he's very good in it. Being a big fan of silent films himself, you can tell this film meant something to him. Hopefully it well be more available to the public in future. There's some great original gags created by Dick and Mickey Rooney is fun to see as well. Don't expect this movie to change your life (unless you want to be a slapstick comedian that is), but it's entertaining to watch. Dick Van Dyke is always a joy.


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