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The King Of Comedy

Robert De Niro , Jerry Lewis , Martin Scorsese    PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)   DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 19.43 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Product Description


The King of Comedy, which flopped at the box office, is actually a gem waiting to be rediscovered. Like A Face in the Crowd (a not-so-distant cousin to this film), Network, and The Truman Show, its target is show business--specifically the burning desire to become famous or be near the famous, no matter what. Robert De Niro plays the emotionally unstable, horrendously untalented Rupert Pupkin, a wannabe Vegas-style comedian. His fantasies are egged on by Marsha, a talk-show groupie (brilliantly played by Sandra Bernhard) who hatches a devious, sure-to-backfire plan. Jerry Lewis is terrific in the straight role as the Johnny Carson-like talk-show host Jerry Langford. De Niro's performance as the obsessive Pupkin is among his finest (which is saying a lot) and he never tries to make the character likable in any way. Because there's no hero and no one to root for, and because at times the film insists we get a little too close and personal with Pupkin, some will be put off. Yet it's one of Scorsese's most original and fascinating films, giving viewers much to consider on the subject of celebrity. Its inevitable climax is clever and quietly horrific. --Christopher J. Jarmick

Product Description

Martin Scorsese's The King Of Comedy is a funny depiction of the dangers of celebrity fandom. Robert De Niro plays the ridiculously inept Rupert Rupkin, an aspiring comic who idolizes talk show host Jerry Langford (Jerry Lewis). Still living at home with his mother, Rupert spends his days trying to arrange a meeting with his hero. When he isn't doing that, he's at home talking to carboard cutouts in his makeshift television studio. After Rupert convinces Rita (Diahnne Abbot), a pretty bartender, that Langford has invited them to his house outside the city, the reality of the situation makes itself painfully apparent upon arriving at the star's front door. Trouble is, Rupert's too delusional to take the hint. He eventually hatches a plan with an equally obsessed fan, Masha (Sandra Berhard), to kidnap Langford in exchange for a chance to let him deliver his routine on the air.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars THE KING OF COMEDY: A PRESCIENT MASTERPIECE April 8 2014
Journalist Paul Zimmerman wrote the script for The King of Comedy nearly 40 years ago.

Its concept was so far ahead of its time that even celluloid sooth-Sayer and noted auteur Marty Scorsese could not really get his head around it until the late 1970s, and even then only at the persistent urging of Robert DiNiro who had originally acquired the script not long after it was produced.

Working to craft what may have been the last claustrophobic, quirky character study for a major studio, Scorsese produced a film that was brilliantly cast with Jerry Lewis and the then unknown Sandra Bernhard and featured the early 1980s, grungy New York City as a lead protagonist.

The story of a strange man in his mid 30s, under-employed and who still lived at home in his parents basement-see present day for reference-who believed that he was such a comedic talent that he could go directly from fooling around in his rec room, to headline on a national TV talk show.

DiNiro plays the mentally unbalanced principal character, Rupert Pupkin, as the new age (Taxi Driver) Travis Bickle, who instead of murder and mayhem will use guile and nerve to achieve world-wide fame and notoriety.

Jerry Lewis, as talk-show host Jerry Langford probably delivers the best performance of his long film career with the one caveat that he is basically just playing himself, although here, that is clearly enough.

DiNiro's character and that of Sandra Bernhard's frenzied styling of a wacko obsessed fan manage to somehow kidnap Lewis/Langford and hold him until DiNiro/Pupkin can tape the opening monologue of the late night show which features a terrific cameo by the late, great Tony Randall.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of DeNiro's best roles July 9 2004
This scathing comedy about fame, television and hangers on to both is one of the best film roles Robert DeNiro has taken on. It is easily his best comic role, as he plays a schlemiel that finds a way -- an illegal way -- to worm his way onto network television to give a 5-minute monologue on a late night talk show. What is most telling in this film are the final mintues that document his fame after he goes to jail for kidnapping a talk show host. Few films have so accurately, and cynically, portrayed the world wide news media thirst for fame as these 10 minutes. If your cable system does not get WGN-TV from Chicago, which regularly schedules this movie, you may never have seen it. If so, it is worth your time and trouble. This is a funny, bitter and cyncial look at how fame warps people's minds, including little people, famous people and the media outlets that contribute to creation of fame.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Martin Scorsese's brilliant satire about a wannabe standup/schmuck played with deliberate humorlessness by De Niro, who suffers from delusions of grandeur, determined to meet his hero Jerry Lewis in a performance played with shocking bravura.
The film is timeless in its depiction of the twin themes of celebrity stalking with its masochistic need to be discovered by the world on one hand, and the perils of stardom on the other. The perfect comic execution could easily have been the inspiration for several of recent thinkpieces -- "Election", "Fight Club", "The Truman Show", "One Hour Photo" etc.
A word for the DVD. It is brilliantly put together with detailed interviews with Scorcese, Bernhart, De Niro etc, plus some funny cameos by Jerry Lewis himself, and a funny handy-cam outtake or two while shooting Lewis on the streets of NY.
A very worthy purchase, not just a rental!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
How often do you see a film for the first time in which you get so embarrased for the star you want to press stop every 15 minutes! Once you've made it past the first viewing, you're gunna really enjoy watching this one over and over again - it gets better everytime! I've never laughed so hard watching a movie in my entire life!! It's totally original and nothing can compare to it. Thank you for making this Marty and thank you Bobby for talking him into doing it!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deniro's most underrated film? Feb. 2 2004
By Scottie
I think this is definatley the most underrated film for Marty/Deniro and possibly even for Deniro. King of Comedy is the portral of Rupert Pupkin who has dreams of late night television. Robert DeNiro gives one of his best performances to date as the slightly nuerotic Rupert Pupkin. Also stars Sandra Bernhardt a crazed fan of Jerry Lewis, together Deniro and Bernhardt are hilarious. King of Comedy is one not to be missed and we see Deniro & Marty at the top of their game.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By John
"Better to be king for a night than a schmuck for a lifetime."
As Travis Bickle's universally known line of dialogue from "Taxi Driver" has a deep meaning ("Are you talkin' to me? Well I'm the only one here"), Rupert Pupkin's closing speech of his first-ever standup comedy routine in "The King of Comedy" finalizes the entire meaning of the film, wrapping it up in one short sentence. Is it better to have one great day versus nothing? Do the ends justify the means? Two questions all of us ask ourselves at one point of time in our life.
The comparisons to Travis Bickle seem stronger on paper than they do in the film. The most striking resemblance between the two stories is that both contain the central theme of a man snapping and doing something apparently crazy. Both films star Robert De Niro, and both are directed by Martin Scorsese, which makes for an interesting discussion of relation. Some may even say that it's a sequel in sorts.
Rupert Pupkin (De Niro) is a lonely man whose daily life and routines consist around one man: Jerry Langston, a talk show host and comedian who is followed by a horde of rabid fans, including Masha (Sandra Bernhard), a fan to rival Pupkin, who admits that he has waited nine hours at a time outside Jerry's recording studio to catch a glimpse of him as he is shoved into limos by fancy bodyguards.
Rupert is given a rare opportunity to speak to Jerry one day as he saves him from Masha, who assaulted Jerry with kisses and hugs. It is as they drive away together and Rupert talks to Jerry that he proposes his long-time dream, which is to appear on Jerry's show as an aspiring standup comic. Of course, he's had no experience. But Rupert swears he would be great on stage -- he's studied Jerry for years and knows timing.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Horror Movie
De Niro and Bernhard are Rupert Pupkin and his friend Masha, obsessive fans of comedy TV star Jerry Langford played by Jerry Lewis. Their obsession takes somewhat different forms. Read more
Published on Dec 30 2003 by snalen
4.0 out of 5 stars Long-time reward.
This movie is a forgotten classic. What's most unusual about it is the fact that everyone seemed to want to bury this movie from the moment it started production. Read more
Published on Dec 5 2003 by R Jess
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific!
De Niro is great, and Lewis gives his best performance. Bernhardt is delightfully eccentric. Watch it twice--once you know how it turns out, the whole movie has a different... Read more
Published on Aug. 9 2003 by Scaramouche
4.0 out of 5 stars Taxi Driver Light!!! It's Still Yummy!!!
Ever since I saw Martin Scorsese's TAXI DRIVER I've had a problem getting into cabs especially in New York City. Read more
Published on Aug. 6 2003 by David A. Dein
5.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing and memorable satire
Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro have their most under rated teaming here. The film had some scenes that I felt were perhaps more disturbing than those in the infamous Taxi... Read more
Published on July 31 2003 by J. Christal
4 and a half stars, actually. "The King Of Comedy" is another collaboration between the great director Martin Scorsese and the fantastic actor Robert De Niro. Read more
Published on July 27 2003 by Alejandro Cortes
5.0 out of 5 stars The court jester rules
Martin Scorsese's 'The King of Comedy' has long been a favourite film of mine. The storyline is nothing grand, and the acting is passing fair, but it is the little psychological... Read more
Published on May 26 2003 by FrKurt Messick
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