7.6/10
13,171
65 user 62 critic

Lenny (1974)

The story of acerbic 1960s comic Lenny Bruce, whose groundbreaking, no-holds-barred style and social commentary was often deemed by the Establishment as too obscene for the public.

Director:

Bob Fosse

Writers:

Julian Barry (play), Julian Barry (screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
3,091 ( 2,290)

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Nominated for 6 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dustin Hoffman ... Lenny Bruce
Valerie Perrine ... Honey Bruce
Jan Miner Jan Miner ... Sally Marr
Stanley Beck Stanley Beck ... Artie Silver
Frankie Man Frankie Man ... Baltimore Comic
Rashel Novikoff Rashel Novikoff ... Aunt Mema
Gary Morton Gary Morton ... Sherman Hart
Guy Rennie Guy Rennie ... Jack Goldstein
Michele Yonge Michele Yonge ... Nurse
Kathryn Witt Kathryn Witt ... Girl (as Kathie Witt)
Monroe Myers Monroe Myers ... Hawaiin Judge
John DiSanti ... John Santi
Mickey Gatlin Mickey Gatlin ... San Francisco Policeman
Martin Begley Martin Begley ... San Francisco Judge
Mark Harris Mark Harris ... Defense Attorney
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Storyline

Interview-style biography of controversial and pioneering stand-up comedian Lenny Bruce. The film traces Bruce from his beginnings as a Catskills comic to his later underground popularity based on his anti-establishment politics and his scatological humor. Written by Scott Renshaw <as.idc@forsythe.stanford.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Lenny Said It. "Hot Honey" Did It. Together They Shocked America. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

December 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Leni See more »

Filming Locations:

Miami Beach, Florida, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Al Pacino was offered the role first but turned it down. He said on Larry King years later that this was his only career regret (to date). See more »

Goofs

During the movie's opening monologue, Lenny says that it's 1964 and then references the MDA Telethon, which debuted in 1966. See more »

Quotes

Lenny Bruce: "Fuck you." Never understood that insult, because fucking someone is actually really pleasant. If we're trying to be mean, we should say "unfuck you!"
See more »

Connections

Featured in Precious Images (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

Well You Needn't
Music by Teddy McRae and Thelonious Monk
Performed by Miles Davis
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A great performance unknown to many today
8 March 2006 | by johno-21See all my reviews

I saw this film during it's initial release in the theaters but have only seen it twice since then. It didn't get much of a TV life. Dustin Hoffman is stellar as social commentary/satirist/observationalist/blue language comic Lenny Bruce. He was nominated for Best Actor for the 1974 Academy Award for his role but lost out to Art Carney for Harry and Tonto. Veteran actor Albert Finney was also nominated that year but Carney won on sentiment and Hoffman lost out when he and fellow nominees Jack Nicholson for Chinatown and Al Pacino for Godfather II split the vote which led to Carney's win. Valerie Perrine in her only Oscar nomination of her career was up for Best Actress. Lenny was up for most of the major awards including Best Picture, Best Director for Bob Fosse. It was also nominated for Best Screenplay and Cinematography but came up empty in all six nominations. Hoffman had just come off playing another biographical figure of Louis Dega in Pappion and would be Carl Bernstein in his his next film All the President's Men. Lenny Bruce had only been dead for eight years when Hoffman portrayed him on the big screen so much of the audience knew Bruce fairly fresh in their memories so to portray a contemporary figure of Bruce's genius and legend was not an easy role for Hoffman to step into but his portrayal of the doomed and controversial comic is compelling. Fosse, known for his choreography which is still being used in films like Chicago years after his death only directed five theatrical films and three of those were musicals in Sweet Charity, Caberet and All That Jazz so Lenny would be the first of only two non-musicals he would direct, both biographies, Lenny and Star 80. I don't think as a film this had enough to be a best picture but Hoffman was deserved of his best actor nomination and arguably should have won the Oscar for it. I would give this an 8.5 out of 10 and recommend it.


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