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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars true clowns are born not made.
That's the essence of the story of this film, that to be a true clown you need to be born with "funny bones", it's not something you can simply have trained into you. Lee Evans plays a semi-tragic character, a young man with a disturbed past, but he has the knack of being able to naturally make people laugh. By contrast Oliver Platt's character yearns to be a great...
Published on 27 Nov 2003 by S. Hapgood

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Great film...could have been so much better imo
On the positives.... Oliver Platt is superb, Jerry Lewis walks through his role playing himself, generally speaking, with great style and an obvious affection for the story - similar to his part in King Of Comedy, it looks effortless but his attention to detail is brilliant. Lee Evans is a great comedian but not a great actor, Freddie 'Parrot Face' Davies and all the...
Published 20 months ago by A. Smith


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars true clowns are born not made., 27 Nov 2003
By 
S. Hapgood "www.sjhstrangetales.com" - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
That's the essence of the story of this film, that to be a true clown you need to be born with "funny bones", it's not something you can simply have trained into you. Lee Evans plays a semi-tragic character, a young man with a disturbed past, but he has the knack of being able to naturally make people laugh. By contrast Oliver Platt's character yearns to be a great comedian like his father (played by Jerry Lewis), but the one time he tries his hand at a stand-up routine at a glitzy show in Las Vegas, he bombs. To flee the humiliation, and to try and learn what it is to be a great comedian, he goes to Blackpool. By studying all the small-time variety acts there he intends to find his "funny bones".
This is an engagingly surreal British film. I've never seen Blackpool shown in such a delightfully quirky way before, it almost at times feels like it should be in some peculiar part of Mid-West America. It's also a wonderful tribute to the scores of unknown entertainers who just simply keep enduring against all the odds, even when living with great hardship. The two aged clowns who make a living (if you can call it that) by putting in guest appearances on the Ghost Train is simply downright bizarre! There is a quite unnecessary sub-plot about some crooks (headed by Oliver Reed, putting in a short, and wierd, appearance). Lee Evans does his usual energetic performance. His frantic pirate radio sketch is one of the highlights of the film, as is the finale at Blackpool Tower Ballroom. The best part for me though was Platt auditioning each of the entertainers to try and get ideas. That was very funny indeed!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars genuinely funny film, 26 Feb 2004
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Chinatown Blue "cthulhoid" (S-O-T, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Funny Bones [DVD] [1995] (DVD)
Funny Bones is an oddity of a movie which manages to be excruciatingly funny in places, yet desperately touching in others and at times, astonishingly creepy. I don't like Jerry Lewis, but this movie gave me a respect for his ability I never had before, and gave a showcase to some brilliant but less well-known comedy talent - especially to some faces long absent from public attention. If you want to be surprised, amused and thoroughly entertained, try this one out.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, sad and shocking - Brilliant, 30 Nov 2000
By A Customer
I first saw this film late at night when nothing better was on. What a treat it was. Lee Evans is excellent as the demented, but funny comic. It has some great plot twists (the one at the end is great) and moving story line, with some really funny moments in-between. Highly recommened.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Deeply Disturbing, Hilarious Film, 19 Sep 2007
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This review is from: Funny Bones [DVD] [1995] (DVD)
I have yet to actually meet someone else outside our family who has seen this masterpiece. It is a work of genius. It's hugely funny , worrying, sad, tragic and uplifting - and there aren't too many film you can say that about.

The breadth of strange talent on display is staggering. The one man marching band who uses no instruments and the biscuit tin tap dancer to name but two.

The leads are universally excellent. Oliver Platt went on to do wonderful work (see The Imposters)and Lee Evans has never been funnier. leslie Caron is gorgeous, Jerry Lewis is bravely unlikeable and even the dog "Toast" has character. The film for me is stolen by the two older performers, Freddie Davies and George Carl who have gravity, dignity and comic timing which has to be seen to be believed.

Watch it and spread the word.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Melancholy comedy, 15 Mar 2000
By 
Ben Elliss (Reading, UK) - See all my reviews
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This is Lee Evans' first feature-length film (recently he followed it with 'Mousehunt'), and he's just as good here as he is in his live comedy videos - he has some great lines and gets to perform lots of circus-style physical comedy. He plays a Blackpool stand-up comic, sharing the limelight with the US comedy legend Jerry Lewis as his father. The film has a haunting melancholy side to it, and Lee Evans' character turns out to be complex and disturbed behind his mask of humour. Overally a really touching film, with beautiful photography that affectionately captures the seedy life of Blackpool.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars .....Seedy?, 20 Feb 2003
altogether, a wonderful film... quite disturbing in parts and yet hilarious in others.. lee evans performance is at its greatest... especially love the part where he swallows the imaginary fly! watch it- you'll understand! the plot twists and turns like a twisty-turny thing but the best of all.. its set in blackpool tower! its fantastic... and who says blackpool's seedy anyway? its a tad on the tacky side but... seedy? thats a bit harsh!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I lost a rib, 8 Aug 2004
This review is from: Funny Bones [DVD] [1995] (DVD)
This is not a funny film. It is a masterpiece of black comedy, that challenges the accepted boundaries of the genre. Lee Evans, who is only given scant credit, is blinding. If you feel down and need a lift, this is like attaching your car battery to your nipples and hitting the 'Big Red' GO button.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is it drama or comedy? It's a hommage to Blackpool!, 22 April 2007
By 
Yovra (Driebergen, Holland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Funny Bones [DVD] [1995] (DVD)
If you buy this DVD on what the cover looks like, you're in for a surprise. I watched this film for five times and the surprise hasn't worn off yet!

"Headliner"Jerry Lewis plays an important role, but he's in the movie for (at the most) ten minutes. Oliver Platt is the central character; a comedian in search of who he is, who he wants to be and finds out where he came from.

The other central role is for Lee Evans (and not mentioned on the cover..), a troubled physical comedian who's confronted by his past.

That's all I can say about the story; it veers from black drama to physical comedy. Highlights are all the vaudeville and music-hall acts that come along and there's dazzling music by Duke Ellington and Raymon Scott. It's both funny and tragic!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably the best film too few people will ever see, 20 Jun 2009
This review is from: Funny Bones [DVD] [1995] (DVD)
I am not too familiar with Lee Evans as a comedian, but this film is one of the most beautifully crafted films I have ever seen. It is apparent that enormous time & effort has gone into every aspect of this film, and is one that most intelligent people would enjoy viewing over and over. The scenes with Freddie 'Parrot Face' Davis are particularly memorable, and it is nice to see him after a long absence from our screens.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A modern classic, 4 May 2013
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This review is from: Funny Bones [DVD] [1995] (DVD)
I saw this film when it came out (nearly 20 years ago now) and thought it was wonderful. But I have held off watching the dvd until recently, somehow worried it wouldn't stand against my memories, so many films one loved years ago do not bear the test of time. To my delight I found the film as good as it ever was, in some ways better: I am older and for a funny film it's not without profundity. Worthy of comment is that some of the very special supporting cast are sadly not around any more and so the film is also a record of lovely performers and their style of entertainment, which won't come back any time soon and is not that easy to access via YouTube or whatever. I know of no other film like this - a gem.
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Funny Bones [DVD] [1995]
Funny Bones [DVD] [1995] by Peter Chelsom (DVD - 2004)
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