Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Lenny Bruce Without Tears|
Actors: Steve Allen, Lenny Bruce, Mort Sahl, Kenneth Tynan, Paul Krassner
Director: Fred Baker
Genres: Comedy, Educational, Documentary
The outrageous, groundbreaking comic Lenny Bruce, whose iconoclastic material in a conservative era got him into tragic trouble, is profiled by a close friend, Fred Baker, who prefers to remember the laughs Lenny Bruce's m... more »
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Tears for Bruce.
Bernard Chapin | CHICAGO! USA | 08/01/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Lenny Bruce is a name that I've heard all of my life, but I've never known much about him, which is why I saw this film. I grant that there are better works out there concerning him, but this one definitely provides an introduction to what the man stood for and why he was persecuted. It would be hard today to see Bruce as anything but the martyr that he was. There was absolutely no reason why the government had to dance all over his head and sentence him to four months in the notorious Rikers Island over obscenity charges. If you ask me, there's nothing more obscene than equating personal taste with criminality. The director, in Bruce's death scene, reveals a certain artfulness. I felt for him as he lay sprawled out in the bathroom with inspectors crawling all over his house. He was a fragile guy, and one longs to protect him-but it's far too late.
In the live segments, it is abundantly clear as to how much this man influenced future comedians. I would not be surprised if he were the first comic to make use of the "imagine so and so as a four-year-old..." motif; whereby, Bruce got to use his many impressions and caricatures in the course of his stand-up. His innovation, even if fans don't think much of the film technically, is fully on display here. Some luminous experts are brought in to discuss Lenny, such as Kenneth Tynan and Malcolm Muggeridge who were two of the most powerful cultural influences of the second half of the twentieth century. Frankly, I was taken aback that they knew him so well. Overall, I'd say that this is a valuable snapshot of the man even though its quality is far below the level we expect from documentary today."
Thomas Degan | Goshen, NY United States | 07/15/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This was the very first pre-recorded video I ever purchased way back in 1979. At that point in time, video stores did not even exist and I had to purchase it through the mail via a long-defunct company called, The Videotape Network. They also sold The Best of Ernie Kovacs and The Beatles Live in Tokyo. At the time I was thrilled to have actual moving images of Lenny Bruce who, due to the nature of his material, was not often in front of the camera - film, television or otherwise. In hindsight the film leaves a little bit to be desired because of the fact that Fred Baker, a good filmmaker, uses alot of unrelated material to illustrate Lenny's recorded bits - not that he had any other choice. Since then, a far superior film has been made that was shown briefly in New York City and on HBO about five or six years ago, Lenny Bruce: Swear To Tell The Truth. For some reason that film has yet to be released on DVD or VHS. Untill that happens this film is your best bet. You won't be disappointed.
It's ok, could've been better
laurie Atlas | geelong australia | 03/03/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Lenny Bruce was way ahead of his time and like Bill Hicks who followed him he died way too young.This movie made in the early 70's is done by a friend of Lenny's and because of that assumes its audience knows too much.The whole thing is quite sad really I note with interest that he came to Australia and our government kicked him out as well.You know what would've been great if they had included as an extra on this DVD 'The Lenny Bruce Performance film' which was made shortly before he died so it could be played I gather at his next court appearance.You know something I have so many great recordings of 'Lenny Bruce' on record ,so many great live shows why don't you do yourself a favour and track these down instead then you will get value for money.It's your call but overall I was bit disappointed 'Lenny Bruce' deserves better."
Not too good. Go ahead, though
S. Ellis | Chicago | 03/30/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"As a Lenny Bruce fan, I know why someone should see it. Owning it, however, is a somewhat empty gesture. Most of the action consists of random b.s. film clips playing while a Bruce voice over plays. Like seeing random movie cowboys talk to a horse or a guy on a beach while listening to "Religions, Inc."? Then go for it. When the footage is of Bruce, it's worth seeing. It's too bad that sequences featuring Bruce are few, far between, and oftentimes too brief. I would rather have an unedited tape of whatever Lenny footage one could scrounge up, laid on a VHS tape than to own this. I own it, though, and am glad I do. It's the best that can be done. There are some bits on here that I haven't heard elsewhere, and it is nice to see Lenny Bruce in action. It's just too bad there aren't quality products on the market that can accomplish this. I wish they would make a Lenny Bruce best of tape that is somewhat sensical. This thing is more like a lame head-shop film."