8.0/10
512
11 user 6 critic

Lenny Bruce: Swear to Tell the Truth (1998)

Comedian Lenny Bruce struck a subversive chord in an era of change in America. After getting his start as a conventional stand-up comic, Bruce's increasingly iconoclastic act transformed ... See full summary »

Director:

Robert B. Weide

Writer:

Robert B. Weide
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

More Like This 

Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Looking for Lenny is an in-depth, controversial documentary that uses Lenny Bruce's legacy to explore the present condition of the fear of words and expression. It also tackles the issue of... See full summary »

Director: Elan Gale
Stars: Lenny Bruce, Richard Lewis, Robin Williams
Documentary | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Iconoclast Lenny Bruce appears at San Francisco's Basin Street West in what was his next-to-last live appearance. His act that night consisted of reading allegations and transcripts from ... See full summary »

Director: John Magnuson
Stars: Lenny Bruce
Documentary

Recounting the extraordinary life of author Kurt Vonnegut, and the 25-year friendship with the filmmaker who set out to document it.

Directors: Robert B. Weide, Don Argott
Stars: Robert B. Weide, Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Morley Safer
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Mock documentary about Seinfeld writer Larry David featuring contributions from his friends and colleagues. Larry makes a return to stand-up comedy and prepares to film a television special for HBO.

Director: Robert B. Weide
Stars: Jason Alexander, Larry Charles, Carol Leifer
Earth to America (TV Special 2005)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Tom Hanks is the host of this show with a comic approach to raise awareness concerning the environment.

Directors: Ron de Moraes, Jay Roach, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Jason Alexander, Jack Black, Dana Carvey
Lenny (1974)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

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
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Valerie Perrine, Jan Miner
Key Largo (1948)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A man visits his old friend's hotel and finds a gangster running things. As a hurricane approaches, the two end up confronting each other.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Edward G. Robinson, Lauren Bacall
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Documentary depicting day to day life in Angola Prison mostly from an inmate's perspective. Interviews are with several inmates including one with a life sentence who is about to die.

Directors: Liz Garbus, Wilbert Rideau, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Bernard Addison, Burl Cain, George Crawford
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert De Niro ... Himself - Narrator (voice)
Steve Allen ... Himself
Honey Bruce Friedman Honey Bruce Friedman ... Herself
Kitty Bruce Kitty Bruce ... Herself
Lenny Bruce ... Himself (archive footage)
JoJo D'Amore JoJo D'Amore ... Himself
John Dolan John Dolan ... Himself
Martin Garbus Martin Garbus ... Himself
Jackie Gayle Jackie Gayle ... Himself
Nat Hentoff Nat Hentoff ... Himself
Paul Krassner Paul Krassner ... Himself
Richard Kuh Richard Kuh ... Himself
Sally Marr Sally Marr ... Herself
Frank Ray Perilli ... Himself (as Frankie Ray)
Maynard Sloate Maynard Sloate ... Himself
Edit

Storyline

Comedian Lenny Bruce struck a subversive chord in an era of change in America. After getting his start as a conventional stand-up comic, Bruce's increasingly iconoclastic act transformed him into a leading figure of the 1960s counterculture. This is his story.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In 1948, Lenny Bruce was just another comic who couldn't get arrested. By 1961, all that would change.


Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 October 1998 (USA) See more »

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$16,445, 25 October 1998, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$21,350, 25 October 1998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This Oscar-nominated documentary was 12 years in the making. See more »

Connections

Features Broadway Open House: (1950-05) (1950) See more »

Soundtracks

Theme from 'A Summer Place'
Performed by Percy Faith and His Orchestra
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Excellent account of the man's career and the issues surrounding him.
11 August 1999 | by Hermit C-2See all my reviews

It mat be a cliche to call documentaries like this "fascinating" and "informative" but this one is. Rather than simply hearing a bunch of people tell you how funny, insightful and human Lenny Bruce was, you can judge for yourself from the extensive film clips shown here, ones you are unlikely to have seen anywhere else.

One of the big revelations here is how well-rounded a talent Bruce was. He was not just a one (sick)-joke performer, as archive footage of some of his early TV appearances show. Another clip has him singing a song of his own composition, "All Alone," worked into material concerning his breakup with his beloved wife Honey. She, Bruce's mother Sally Marr, and other friends contribute many colorful reminiscences. Yet another bit of footage has Bruce holding a sidewalk news conference naming names of those who suggested that he could bribe a judge in one of his many obscenity trials. You would swear this amazing scene couldn't possibly have been an impromptu session, yet it was.

The talk of Bruce and freedom of speech is not just a lot of liberal breastbeating; what happened to him was a disgrace. That he was prosecuted so many times for obscenity is the true outrage here. The documentary might go a little easy on his drug use but that really isn't what the man was all about anyway. Watch this film and find out.


4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 11 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Comedy Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular comedy titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed