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Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project (2007)

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This terrific feature film comedy reveals the background of one of the legends of comedy, Don Rickles. Hailed by some of today's biggest comedians as one of the classics, who they aspire to... See full summary »

Director:

John Landis
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Won 2 Primetime Emmys. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Harry Dean Stanton ... Himself / Private Willard
John Landis ... Himself / Sister Rosa Stigmata
Don Rickles ... Himself / Crapgame / Petty Officer Ruby / Crane / Nellie / Anne Bancroft / Big Drop / Mr. Potato Head - (voice)
Clint Eastwood ... Himself / Private Kelly / Harry Callahan
Robert De Niro ... Himself
Richard Lewis ... Himself
Victor Figueredo Victor Figueredo ... Himself
Conrad Hermogenes Conrad Hermogenes ... Himself
Paul Shefrin Paul Shefrin ... Himself
Heidi Akawa Heidi Akawa ... Herself
Peggy March Peggy March ... Herself
Joe Mele Joe Mele ... Himself
Chris Rock ... Himself
Tom McDermott Tom McDermott ... Guitar
Jack Cenna Jack Cenna ... Percussion
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Storyline

This terrific feature film comedy reveals the background of one of the legends of comedy, Don Rickles. Hailed by some of today's biggest comedians as one of the classics, who they aspire to emulate in their own comedy. Comedians reveal their unique stories, and tell how chance meetings and personal connections propelled them to the heights of comedy. Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

No one is safe. See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 December 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Don Rickles Documentary See more »

Filming Locations:

British Columbia, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color | Black and White (archive footage)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

While Bobby Slayton lists the many shows Rickles appeared on in the 1960's, he names Bewitched. Rickles never appeared on the show. See more »

Quotes

Steve Lawrence: Black people can do black jokes, Jew do Jew jokes, Italians do Italian jokes, etc, etc. He does em all and gets away with it because he's hysterical.
See more »

Connections

Features Judge Mathis (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

When You're Smiling
Written by Mark Fisher, Joe Goodwin, Larry Shay
Performed by Keely Smith
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User Reviews

 
If you haven't seen Rickles's stand-up, you don't know the art of the comic-insult
2 December 2007 | by MisterWhiplashSee all my reviews

John Landis's new documentary on Don Rickles, Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project, works best when focused squarely on its star attraction. Every so often Landis gets distracted in telling (or rather showing other people like Bob Newhart) go on about the glory days of a mob-run Las Vegas, and it starts to loose a little of its focus. And every so often he takes a misstep with the editing. But since comedy is Landis's strong-suit as a director, anyway, it's fitting that his film works best when his subject is given the full-treatment, either in clips of his performances, his old Johnny Carson appearances, or with some of his adulators telling it like it is: he's one of the funniest stand-up comics of his time. And still today he kiss: watching him completely skewer every single race and both sexes in a Vegas audience is dynamite (sometimes you just wait for him to drop his microphone in ironic disgust).

Just hearing the man tell stories, or talk about his wonderful (and wonderfully Jewish) mother, or doing lovingly stupid imitations of his wife (the tongue is what clicks it), is entertaining. He's a man who takes his fame completely in stride, but not for granted. He tells of a cruel prank done on the set of Run Silent Run Deep involving him and Clark Gable; he goes overboard as host of the Tonight Show by breaking Carson's box or whatever, and Carson goes right next-door to the set of Rickles's show, where after he apologizes he says "ladies and gentlemen, Johnny Carson!" And then the testimonies themselves bring up laughs (Sarah Silverman comments how Rickles taught her what black people were like living secluded in New Hampshire), even if it's just repeating old Rickles lines. His is a very precise shtick where finding the line and only going across it so much is like an art- you don't want to make it into a totally sensationalist exercise, but the audience still has to have a good time at not only others' expenses, but their own. It's a kind of all-inclusive comedy, be it the schmuck who's 300 pounds and with a dopey wife, or the president, or, of course most brilliantly, Dean Martin.

It's not exactly a great documentary, but it's a fine showcase, and the kind of remembrance for one of those old kings of comedy that haven't yet kicked the bucket, like (unfortunately) so many in show-biz have in recent years. 7.5/10


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