Friday, December 20, 2013

The King of Comedy (1982)

Director: Martin Scorsese

Writer: Paul D. Zimmerman

Composer: none

Starring: Robert De Niro, Jerry Lewis, Diahnne Abbott, Sandra Bernhard, Ed Herlihy, Lou Brown, Dr. Joyce Brothers, Victor Borge, Kim Chan, Tony Randall

More info: IMDb

Tagline: . . and when it's all over one of them won't be laughing

Plot: Rupert Pupkin is obsessed with becoming a comedy great. However, when he confronts his idol, talk show host Jerry Langford, with a plea to perform on the Jerry's show, he is only given the run-around. He does not give up, however, but persists in stalking Jerry until he gets what he wants. Eventually he must team up with his psychotic Langford-obsessed friend Masha to kidnap the talk show host in hopes of finally getting to perform his stand-up routine.

My rating: 8/10

Will I watch it again? Yes.

I haven't seen this in nearly 30 years and what a shame.  It's a fantastic film filled with dark humor, biting social commentary and wonderful performances.  It's one of Jerry Lewis' finest performances if not the best.  He feels born for the role. That he wasn't nominated for and Oscar is a crime.  The rest of the cast does s superb job, too.  De Niro, Zimmerman and Scorsese brilliantly portray Rupert Pupkin's mental status. At first he seems like a huge fan of Jerry Langford's but as the film progresses we get to see inside Pupkin's head to understand it goes much deeper and darker than that.  Sandra Bernhard needs to have my babies.  She's a lot of fun, too, as another obsessed fan but with a different goal in mind.  The satirical look at celebrity is spot on.  It's a great flick and one of Scorsese's often overlooked films.

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