Original film poster
|Directed by||Bob Fosse|
|Produced by||Marvin Worth|
|Screenplay by||Julian Barry|
|Based on||Lenny |
by Julian Barry
|Music by||Ralph Burns|
|Edited by||Alan Heim|
|Distributed by||United Artists|
|Box office||$11,622,000 (rentals|
Lenny is a 1974 American biographical drama film about the comedian Lenny Bruce, starring Dustin Hoffman and directed by Bob Fosse. The screenplay by Julian Barry is based on his play of the same name.
The film jumps between various sections of Bruce's life, including scenes of when he was in his prime and the burned-out, strung-out performer who, in the twilight of his life, used his nightclub act to pour out his personal frustrations. We watch as up-and-coming Bruce courts his "Shiksa goddess", a stripper named Honey. With family responsibilities, Lenny is encouraged to do a "safe" act, but he cannot do it. Constantly in trouble for flouting obscenity laws, Lenny develops a near-messianic complex which fuels both his comedy genius and his talent for self-destruction. Worn out by a lifetime of tilting at establishment windmills, Lenny Bruce dies of a morphine overdose in 1966.
- Dustin Hoffman as Lenny Bruce
- Valerie Perrine as Honey Bruce
- Jan Miner as Sally Marr
- Stanley Beck as Artie Silver
- Rashel Novikoff as Aunt Mema
- Gary Morton as Sherman Hart
- Guy Rennie as Jack Goldman
- Aldo Demeo as Bailiff
Lenny opened at Cinema I in New York City on November 10, 1974 and grossed a house record $14,981 in its first day.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 88% based on 25 reviews. The critical consensus reads: "Dustin Hoffman inhabits Lenny Bruce with nervy energy in Bob Fosse's richly stylized telling of the pioneering comedian's career and downfall." On Metacritic, it has a score of 61 out of 100, based on 9 critic reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
Lenny was released to DVD by MGM Home Video on April 1, 2003 as a Region 1 widescreen DVD and by Twilight Time (under license from MGM and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment) as a Region 1 widescreen Blu-ray Disc on February 10, 2015.
- "Film Heritage". 1974.
- Top 20 Films of 1974 by Domestic Revenue. Box Office Report via Internet Archive. Retrieved September 15, 2013.
- "'Prince' Gives N.Y. Tall 215G; 'Lenny' First Day of $14,981; 'Pelham' 65G, 'Amarcord' 31G". Variety. November 13, 1974. p. 10.
- "Lenny Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved June 28, 2020.
- "Lenny". Metacritic. Retrieved 2020-07-01.
- Ebert, Roger. "Lenny movie review & film summary (1974)". Chicago Sun-Times.
- kermodeandmayo (2012-12-04). Kermode Uncut: Hoffman Top Ten. Retrieved 2017-10-25 – via YouTube.
- "Festival de Cannes: Lenny". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-04-28.