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Lenny [DVD]

3.8 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Dustin Hoffman, Valerie Perrine, Jan Miner, Stanley Beck, Frankie Man
  • Directors: Bob Fosse
  • Writers: Julian Barry
  • Producers: David V. Picker, Marvin Worth, Robert Greenhut
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish
  • Dubbed: French, German, Italian, Spanish
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English, German
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: 23 Jun. 2003
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000A08IQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 14,075 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

Product Description

Dustin Hoffman stars in this biopic of controversial comic Lenny Bruce. From his humble roots in the Catskill Mountains, Lenny took New York by storm with his confrontational style, making fans and enemies in equal measures. However his life followed the route of other sixties icons, as he was ravaged by drug abuse and clashed with authorities.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
For a film that's over 30 years old, this looks great. What helps matters is that it's black and white, which is easier to clean up in the post production process. Really though, it looks like it could have been filmed last year. Dustin Hoffman channels Lenny Bruce in a film directed by Bob Fosse. Yes it's a weird thing, there's no denying that. Bob Fosse, who was better known for his choreography (Chicago, Cabaret), turned to directing as another outlet of his creative forces. As for Hoffman, looking at his body of work makes this role in particular standout. I'm surprised that he chose to play Bruce, an outspoken, angry man. After all, Hoffman is usually more the weirdo or mealy-mouthed villain. Then again, what was Bruce if not a slightly weird guy, who ultimately was shy except when he inhabited the stage.

Lenny Bruce was the driving force behind making comedy into the socially challenging medium it is today. The structure is episodes of his life tied together with commentary from his agent, his wife (played by Valerie Perrine), and other important characters in his life. Lenny was one of the original dirty mouthed comedians, but with a point. He was taking on the establishment, and the hypocrisy of contemporary society. He was arrested and tried several times on obscenity charges, for things like using the word c**sucker during a public performance. He also had a problem with drug abuse, largely due to the influence of his addict wife. She was a headline stripper when they met, and he was a young comedian. Bruce died never really seeing the fruits of his passion.

Fosse was an accomplished director, managing to channel some mavericks of his own in the direction of this movie.
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Format: VHS Tape
Lenny Bruce was a complex and troubled individual. In many ways he symbolised the paradoxes of the sixties. He longed for freedom but wound up addicted to substances, he wanted sexual liberation yet he was mysoginistic and immature in his attitudes to women, he spoke his mind, but in the land of the free, was constantly in trouble with the law for the things he said.
Lenny's words still have the power to shock in this masterful biopic and Dustin Hoffman shows again why he is one of the most versatile and well-loved character actors of our time. Though he may not be the great comendic talent that Bruce was, this grossly under-rated film is not just about stand-up and Hoffman's understanding of the real Lenny Bruce on and off-stage make 'Lenny' a fascinating look into the life and times of the ground-breaking comic.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
What Bob Fosse’s 1974 biopic of taboo-breaking stand-up comedian Lenny Bruce may lack in terms of cinematic innovation, it makes up for as an important social statement of the times (essentially, the 1960s). Perhaps worryingly, even though one would like to think that times have moved on substantially in the intervening period, some of Fosse, writer Julian Barry and Bruce’s own observations on the hypocrisy of authority figures (politicians, police, church, judiciary), particularly relating to sexual matters, appear to be just as relevant over half a century later! Dustin Hoffman’s portrayal as Bruce was (rightly, IMO) nominated for the best actor Oscar and his cheeky chappie turned passionate social commentator (and thence, 'attorney’ for his own defence) is never more effective than when he is ridiculing the judiciary (to the amusement of onlookers) during the film’s later court-room sequences.

Fosse’s film scores particularly well, courtesy of Bruce Surtees’ black-and-white (at times quasi-documentary style) cinematography, in its evocation of the cheap, seedy night-club scene in which Bruce plies his trade, the mood also being enhanced by Miles Davis’ superbly sultry version of It Never Entered My Mind playing on the soundtrack. Dramatically, the heart of the film is the alternately exuberant and self-destructive relationship between Lenny and Valerie Perrine’s sassy, warm-hearted stripper Honey – if anything, Perrine, with this moving performance, was even more deserving of her Oscar nomination than Hoffman.
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By RR Waller TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 15 Nov. 2011
Format: DVD
"Lenny", played by Dustin Hoffman, with Valerie Perrine and directed by Bob Fosse, is the story of Leonard Alfred Schneider (1925-1966), better known by his stage name Lenny Bruce, a Jewish-American comedian, social critic and satirist. His 1964 conviction in an obscenity trial was followed by a posthumous pardon, the first in New York state history.

The film/DVD will undoubtedly still shock people as the original Lenny Bruce did and some may even question the film's rating of fifteen for the same reasons.

It is, undoubtedly, a sad tale, a comedian with the ability successfully to entertain audiences with that typically Jewish humour we know from Mel Brooks, Woody Allen, Shecky Greene, Red Buttons, Milton Berle and many others but he was not content with that. He pushed his humour far into foul-mouthed satire and social criticism of an extreme variety (as he saw it) and fell foul of the authorities. Unable to prevent himself, determined to assert the right to perform, misguided, in an alcoholic and drug induced haze or just pig-headed (and the film presents all of these, and other motivations at times) he pursues a path that until "One last four-letter word for Lenny: Dead. At forty. That's obscene."

Hoffman played him to perfection and, despite his unattractive features (Bruce not Hoffman), managed to elicit sympathy; the character was ideal for Hoffman, the determined and driven underdog, and he shows why he is now one of the cinemas most respected actors.

The 1974 black-and-white film obviously drew the crowds to the tune of an $11 million gross. It was screened or awarded at the BAFTA Awards, Cannes Film Festival, Golden Globes and Oscar Academy Awards.
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