Andrea James

Lenny (1974; dir. Bob Fosse)

OK, it had been a while since I saw the 1974 Bob Fosse masterpiece Lenny, but it was on HDNet a couple of days ago, so I thought I’d catch it in HD. Now, I should say that this film has one of the all-time best actors (Dustin Hoffman) directed by one of my all-time favorite directors (Bob Fosse) in a biopic about my all-time favorite comedian (Lenny Bruce). It’s like a perfect storm of coolness.

Lenny’s book How to Talk Dirty and Influence People is one of the most important books I have ever read. I believe in the power of “obscenity” as a tool to point out hypocrisy, as a way to cut through a lot of nonsense and get right to the point. What’s great about the film is that you really get a sense of his trajectory as a person, not just as a comic, but as one of the most important figures of the 20th century.

Is that enough hyperbole? Probably not. Just go see it if you haven’t. Or at least read his book.

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