"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Ruff n Tuff


“My idea of a tough guy is a guy who can wear a wool suit with no underwear.”–Lenny Bruce

I know it is a classic and all, but I don’t love all of the classics. John Huston’s directorial debut, however, is as perfectly realized a movie as has ever been made, don’t ya think?

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1 RagingTartabull   ~  Nov 17, 2009 11:18 pm

absolutely amazing, words cannot do this justice:


2 Alex Belth   ~  Nov 17, 2009 11:39 pm

Good looking, broski. I just posted it above. Great find. Thanks!

3 RagingTartabull   ~  Nov 17, 2009 11:50 pm

nice, its like the opening scene Manhattan should've had.

and Lorre is great. I love Bogart, but you never forget that you're watching Bogart. With him it wasn't so much about becoming the character as just being Bogie.

Lorre on the other hand you could drop into 2009 and he's in a Coen Bros movie tomorrow. He'd out-Buscemi Buscemi.

4 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Nov 18, 2009 1:29 am

[3] Yes! Lorre was awesome..but I love Bogart too, an all-time kool-kat..

5 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Nov 18, 2009 1:39 am

AB (or anyone else!), how accurate was the Bob Fosse bio-pic "Lenny"? I thought Dustin Hoffman was great in that, though Lenny Bruce comes off as rather less talented and much more of an a-hole than I had imagined...

Bob Fosse..his "All That Jazz" makes Fellini look like Tarkovsky! (That's for you Chyll Will if he's lurking out there :)

6 Alex Belth   ~  Nov 18, 2009 9:55 am

5) The play, "Lenny," and the subsequent movie are frauds. The play was produced by the same guy who produced "Hair" and saw Bruce as a 60s martyr. What the movie shows, and Pauline Kael mentioned this in her New Yorker review, was how quickly Fosse took to film directing. It LOOKS very good. It is a slick-looking movie.

I thought Hoffman's performance was awful, completely missed Bruce's sexuality and his fierce intellectual energy. He didn't get Bruce's rhythms or sensibility...AT ALL. I don't know who would have been better, maybe Pacino, who was still young, but perhaps not. It's always tricky to have an actor play a performer, especially when that performer was from the same era...or almost (see Jim Carrey's noble but futile attempt to play Andy Kaufman).

What you should do is just get some of Lenny's records. The first three or four contained actual routines--then, the second half of his career, his act was more about his legal struggles than telling jokes per se. It is worthwhile to get the complete 3 record "Carneige Hall" concert, simply because, taken as a whole, it is breathtaking to follow the man's mind.

They've collected his first four records into Lenny Bruce Originals 1 and 2. That's what I'd get. Not all of the routines are great, and hell, you might not like any of them, but you'll GET why he was a big deal, the beat-generation, jazz hipster comic of all time. You'll hear Woody and Carlin and any number of other guys in Bruce.

But that movie? Gah-bige. Though watchable. And although I thought he was terrible as Bruce, Hoffman is so hammy and so game that alone, it is worth some laughs.

7 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Nov 18, 2009 8:54 pm

Well, I may need to re-watch it after seeing/hearing more vintage Lenny then.Am sure I can get thos early sets on cd now then? I got Richard Pryor's "And it's deep too!" box, which can listen to every year no problem. A buddy told me Lenny was more like the original Bill Hicks...is that accurate?

I thought Hoffman has been much worse elsewhere (please don't anyone tell me Rain Man is a great performance..everyone knows you win Oscars for playing..er..."mentally challenged" people)..

As for Jim Carrey..I don't really like him but I thought he captured the spirit of Andy Kauffman, a guy it really is impossible to describe to someone who doesn't know him..kind of like John Belushi.

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