7.6/10
13,350
66 user 63 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)
Nominated for 6 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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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
Edit

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's Time Has Finally Come! 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

The off-camera voice during the interview scenes is that of Director Bob Fosse. 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: Deny it. Flat out - deny it! If you really love your wife, deny it. If they got pictures, deny it.
Honey Bruce: lt bugged me at first. You know, it, it hurt.
Lenny Bruce: If they walk in on you, deny it. Just say this strange chick came into the apartment shivering with a sign around her neck that said, ''l have malaria. Lie on top of me and keep me physically active or l'll die.''
Honey Bruce: Later, l found out a lot about why he did things like that.
Lenny Bruce: And chances are, man... they'll believe it. Do you know why?
The Interviewer: To prove himself.
Honey Bruce: ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in TruInside: The Jerk (2016) 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

Freedom Does Not Always Work.
10 March 2003 | by tfrizzellSee all my reviews

The life of late stand-up comedian Lenny Bruce (played by Oscar-nominee Dustin Hoffman) is the focus of "Lenny", a dark and disturbing staircase of horrors from director Bob Fosse (Oscar-nominated). In the late-1950s and early-1960s the titled character defied convention by getting in front of nightclub crowds and saying anything and everything that was on his mind. He cursed profusely, talked about the U.S. government, made fun of taboo subjects (homosexuality, drug use, etc.) and basically upset every group and racial minority you can think of. Through the film Hoffman has strange views on every topic that dominated the time period and marries a club stripper (Valerie Perrine in her Oscar-nominated role) that has an intense drug abuse problem herself. The film is told in stunning flashbacks that are displayed in a documentary style by those who knew the comedian best (Lenny Bruce apparently overdosed on drugs intentionally to kill himself). Filmed entirely in black-and-white, "Lenny" is a terrifying story about how freedom is not always an option in certain circles. The film is full of intense sexual situations, drug abuse and constant adult language. Younger audiences have no business viewing this production, but all those of a mature age should give "Lenny" a try. The film stands very strong with the other big films of 1974 ("The Godfather, Part II" and "Chinatown" most notably). 5 stars out of 5.


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