6.7/10
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27 user 7 critic

The Comic (1969)

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... William Simon aka Billy Bright
... Mary Gibson
... Martin 'Cockeye' Van Buren
... Frank Powers
Nina Wayne ... Sybil Atlas
... Mama Bell
... Steve Allen
... Ginger
... Edwin G. Englehardt
... Lorraine Margaret Bell
... 1st Director
... Miguel
Craig Huebing ... Doctor
... Phoebe
... 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>

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A funny new motion picture that tells Hollywood like it was! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Comedy

Certificate:

M | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

2 October 1970 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

Billy Bright  »

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(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final film of Pert Kelton. See more »

Connections

References The Fireman (1916) See more »

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User Reviews

real life model for Billy Bright
23 September 2007 | by See all my reviews

"The Comic" is one movie I could always watch again as I think it was the best thing Dick Van Dyke ever did. I always thought that Harry Langdon was the chief prototype for the Billy Bright character because of his pork pie hat that he wore. I didn't know much about his personal life but that when he decided to write, direct and produce his own films, he learned too late that he should have left that to people who knew their business. Thanks to the other bloggers on this site, I learned about Buster Keaton. Never quite understood his character, just that dead pan face of his. Mickey Rooney of course was modeled after Ben Turpin. He makes the prophetic comment that when people stopped laughing at his crooked eyes, they started killing each other. There was a cute scene where Billy and "Popeye" are walking up Hollywood Boulevard and Billy is guessing whose footprints he's stepping on. When he reaches Chaplin, he looks down and says "He never became a citizen." A comment which was made for criticism but tinged with a bit of envy. A classic, underrated movie, in the same class as "Face in the Crowd."


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