Lenny (1974) - Biography, Drama

Hohum Score



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.

IMDB: 7.6
Director: Bob Fosse
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Valerie Perrine
Length: 111 Minutes
PG Rating: R
Reviews: 7 out of 65 found boring (10.76%)

One-line Reviews (40)

The shots that Fosse used also assisted with building this compelling story.

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).

There comes a time that you are so bored, that even when you tell your life, gets to hook you.

And it is this touching humanity which gives Lenny a compelling quality outside of its time.

It's sad to see an essentially good-natured and well-intentioned man commit slow suicide.

Well worth watching .

It was also nominated for Best Screenplay and Cinematography but came up empty in all six nominations.

Hoffman is stunning .

Despite the great acting performances, the film's quasi-documentary approach leads to a disjointed narrative that is more distracting than effective.

But his character was the subject of a fascinating biographical film just simply entitled Lenny.

It can not be said that Dustin Hoffman this evil, no, the truth is that he is well, but is that even with that I stop boring me a lot.

Entertaining bio-pic about the rise and fall of "comedian" Lenny Bruce.

A tribute to ground-breaking comedian Lenny Bruce and - another - absolutely breathtaking performance by Dustin Hoffman (and, as is typical for that period of filmmaking, pretty much everyone of the cast).

At the time, the movie industry had abandoned its tried and true approach, moved its headquarters East from Hollywood, and was producing a series of pretentious and often tasteless pictures, influenced by the European art-house film industry.

The film is full of intense sexual situations, drug abuse and constant adult language.

Bruce Surtee's black and white cinematography is stunning.

Lenny Bruce was charged with obscenity and dragged to court more times than most of us will ever be given traffic infringements.

It is a fascinating film though, in its own way.

Also the screenplay by Julian Barry is totally engaging.

More a cold eyed and professional look at a life lived - by self choice - on the edge.

Visually and audibly stunning.

Criticized, perhaps correctly, for turning foul-mouthed comic Lenny Bruce into a misunderstood crusader for the right to free speech, LENNY is nonetheless a potent and highly entertaining movie.

What is an unexpected surprise is Valerie Perrine's stunning performance as Bruce's unstable wife, Honey Harlow.

The cinematography was stunning.

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.

Some see him as a rather self indulgent sort who got gratification out of writing on bathroom walls.

A lot of close-ups on the audience are used in the film, a reminiscence of the same direction used in "Cabaret" : people look bored, upset, thoughtful, smiling, laughing, they're part of the artistic process, as long as they laugh at the end, and applaud, they get Lenny's point and appreciate his comedic talent.

However the pacing is slow and given that we know the pathetic final reel (indeed it is used as the first reel and we work backwards!

This is too somber and too slow and too…unfunny to be Lenny Bruce".

His timing and delivery is so slow and unprofessional compared to Lenny's, I almost cringe these days whenever I try to watch this film, especially during the on-stage comedy segments.


This is an incredible, riveting drama, with Dustin Hoffman's performance among the best I've ever seen by actors in film.

) it is a slow journey to nowhere all that special.

Who else but Bob Fosse, the director who's to entertainment what Hitchcock is to suspense, could have made such a riveting movie about a comic performer ?

In one word: Entertaining....

Bottom line is that this film is worth watching, though one will leave depressed.

You'll get wonderful performances in the leading roles, a cinematography that each and every student of cinematography should be made to watch for hours, and Bob Fosse's direction, (helped by a modern approach to editing) simply stunning.

It's easy for some to see and hear Lenny Bruce and think him unoriginal, boring and simply not that big of a deal especially in comparison to the comedy of today.

This adds an interesting twist onto this worn out structure and makes watching his rise even more intriguing to witness.

Depressing but fascinating .