7.2/10
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Punching the Clown (2009)

Winner of the Audience Award at the Slamdance Film Festival, this realistic comedy tells the story of Henry Phillips, a hapless modern day troubadour who grinds his way through the ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Ellen Ratner ...
Wade Kelley ...
Matthew Walker ...
Matt Phillips (as Matt Walker)
Audrey Siegel ...
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Storyline

Winner of the Audience Award at the Slamdance Film Festival, this realistic comedy tells the story of Henry Phillips, a hapless modern day troubadour who grinds his way through the heartland, living out of his car and singing his twisted satirical songs to anyone who will listen. After a booking mishap involving a Christian fund raiser, he decides he's hit rock bottom. Seeking to shake things up, he moves to L.A. where his luck changes overnight. Thanks less to his inept manager than to a wild case of mistaken identity, he falls backwards into a string of packed gigs, a record deal and even the promise of love. But he who lives by the whimsy of show business dies by it, and reality hits him like a fist in the face: an innocent miscommunication over a bagel brands him a neo-Nazi in the world of tabloid journalism. Luckily, somewhere between rock bottom and nowhere lies the perfect terrain for his dark and hilarious songs.

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Comedy is often misunderstood. See more »

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Comedy

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Release Date:

22 October 2010 (USA)  »

Box Office

Budget:

$140,000 (estimated)
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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Captain Chaotic: Okay, so Henry Phillips has the record deal, he's got the, uh, jolly green cash giant pooping in his hand and everything's going great. So, what happens next? I mean, are you gonna sell out to the man?
Henry: You know, it's funny, I don't think I would have the ability to do it.
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User Reviews

 
6.8? Ridiculous.
2 November 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a comedic masterpiece, in the sense that I was coughing up phlegm throughout the film. The Village Voice called this the "funniest movie ever made about trying to hold on to one's artistic integrity in an image-obsessed world." That's one way to put it, but the writer should have added "...oh, and I was laughing so hard I crapped my pants".

Henry Phillips is a great guitar picker and writes and sings like Roy Zimmerman, Bob Dylan, and Redd Foxx all rolled into one. OK, Loudon Wainwright too. The film depicts his plod through making a living as a...satiric folk singer-songwriter? That's exactly what he is, but the term has too many syllables for promoters and record company execs. Awkward encounters abound, some briefly tense, most hysterically funny. Ten stars.


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