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Lenny (1974)
Year, country:
Bob Fosse
Dustin HoffmanValerie PerrineJan Miner
2h 51m

"Lenny" is a biographical drama film released in 1974, directed by Bob Fosse. It tells the story of the controversial and influential comedian Lenny Bruce, who pushed the boundaries of free speech and censorship in the 1950s and 1960s. The film follows Bruce's rise to fame, his battles against censorship, and his personal struggles with drug addiction and relationships.

The movie begins with Lenny Bruce (played by Dustin Hoffman) as a struggling comedian in the 1950s, performing in small clubs and facing resistance from conservative audiences and authorities. As Bruce's performances become more provocative and confrontational, he gains a cult following but also attracts the attention of law enforcement.

Bruce's relentless pursuit of freedom of speech leads to numerous arrests and legal battles. He becomes a symbol of the fight against censorship, but his personal life begins to unravel. His drug addiction worsens, and his relationships suffer, particularly his marriage to Honey Harlowe (played by Valerie Perrine).

Despite facing constant legal troubles and public backlash, Bruce continues to perform and push boundaries. He becomes a countercultural icon, admired by some and despised by others. However, the pressures of fame, legal battles, and drug addiction take their toll on Bruce's mental and physical health.

The film portrays Bruce's struggles with addiction, his deteriorating marriage, and his increasing isolation. It delves into the complex and often conflicting aspects of his personality, showcasing his brilliance as a comedian and his self-destructive tendencies.

In the final act of the film, Bruce's life takes a tragic turn. He is found dead from a drug overdose, leaving behind a legacy as one of the most influential and controversial figures in comedy.

"Lenny" is a powerful exploration of the boundaries of free speech, the price of artistic expression, and the personal demons that can haunt even the most gifted individuals. With its gritty portrayal of Lenny Bruce's life and career, the film offers a thought-provoking and emotional journey into the life of a true iconoclast.

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