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The King Of Comedy (Bilingual)

Robert De Niro , Jerry Lewis , Martin Scorsese    PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)   DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 19.59 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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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.


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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Horror Movie Dec 30 2003
By snalen
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. Pupkin thinks he is a comic superstar in the making and all he must do to succeed is bring this to Langford's attention. Masha, on the other hand, has something romantic in mind... But both of them are obsessed to a point that is some distance beyond the threshold of insanity. The results are excruciatingly painful to watch as Pupkin haunts Langford's offices, is evicted by security, only to show up, a few days later on an impromptu visit at Langford's country house, with a date in tow...
De Niro is excellent but for once he is upstaged by Sandra Bernhard's terrifyingly mad Masha. Lewis adds an interesting dimension by portraying Langford pretty unsympathetically as a not particularly likeable guy. When Pupkin and Masha go to the extreme of kidnapping him, few people are likely to be wholeheartedly rooting for him to get away and thwart their plans. That gives the film a complexity lacking in the later de Niro movie "The Fan" which reprises the central theme of this in a far more simplistic, black and white way.
This is a brilliant film, one of Scorsese's very best. But do I enjoy watching it? Well, I'm not at all sure that I do. The mistake may be to think of it as a black comedy. We're tempted to do so really only because comedy is its subject matter but there is very little about it that is funny. Better perhaps to classify it as a horror movie. That captures the sense in which we manage to find ourselves engaged by something which is, at certain levels, simply an ordeal to watch.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Long-time reward. Dec 5 2003
By R Jess
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. Scorsese's previous movie 'Raging Bull' had bombed at the box office and marked the end of that great period of American film-making, the 1970's.
'The King of Comedy' was made in a period where film companies wanted to keep a tighter hold on the film-making process, keeping a close eye on budget and 'commercial value'. Even before Scorsese had finished editing the movie, 20th Century Fox told him that they felt uneasy about the commercial prospects of a movie called 'The King Of Comedy' that featured Jerry Lewis in an unfunny role.
The impetus behind making this film came from Robert DeNiro who wanted to extend his range beyond aggressive or introspective characters. Ironically shades of Rupert Pubkin would resurface in 'Casino' where DeNiro appears as Ace Rothstein in an extravegant wardrobe and as a lousy presenter of his own T.V. show.
Despite identifying with Pupkin in his incessant passion to get on in showbusiness, Scorsese felt that 'King of Comedy' was a personal failure from which it took him over 5 years to recover. It was certainly an experimental film for him in that his camera work is almost totally conventional -where is the moving camera that is his trademark?- I suppose he thought that if he made a 'conventional' picture then it should automatically do well at the box office. In contrast to when it was originally released, most people I've watched this movie with today thought it was hilarious.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Taxi Driver Light!!! It's Still Yummy!!! Aug. 6 2003
Ever since I saw Martin Scorsese's TAXI DRIVER I've had a problem getting into cabs especially in New York City. I always find myself asking, "Could Travis Bickle be driving me around?" What a scary thought. That fear has lingered into my adult hood. Now thanks to Mr. Scorsese I'm afraid of stand-up comics. Stop scaring me.
The King of Comedy tells the story of Rupert Pupkin (Robert De Niro, Flawless). Pupkin is a man with a dream, to become the newest King of Comedy. He will stop at nothing to get on the hottest late night talk show "The Jerry Langford Show" and after many months of trying he finally forces a meeting between him and the host Jerry Langford (Jerry Lewis, Funny Bones).
After the meeting Rupert thinks he's made a new friend. Too bad Jerry doesn't realize that. So Rupert begins to stalk Jerry, showing up at his office, and out his summer home. Then Rupert gets fed up with Jerry's games and decides to kidnap him. Will this get him a shot on the Jerry Langford show? That's up to you to find out.
THE KING OF COMEDY is Taxi Driver light. Rupert Pupkin is disturbed but not dangerous. This works really well, because it gives you an under dog to root for, even if the ends don't justify the means. But aren't all of us a little star struck. Don't we all at one time or another look up and see some hack on television, or a Michael Bay movie and say "Hey I Can Do That?" I think well all have a little Rupert Pupkin in us.
De Niro makes Pupkin come alive. Rupert Pupkin is a really annoying guy. He's the kind of guy who attacks famous people with banal chitchat. If I were famous I'd want to steer clear of a guy like this. I would assume De Niro has had exposure to people like this and that's why he can channel a character like this.
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Most recent customer reviews
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... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Terry Ott
5.0 out of 5 stars One of DeNiro's best roles
This scathing comedy about fame, television and hangers on to both is one of the best film roles Robert DeNiro has taken on. Read more
Published on July 9 2004 by Larry VanDeSande
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... Read more
Published on Feb. 29 2004 by Shashank Tripathi
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatest Film Ever - "I wouldn't lie to you Rupe!"
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! Read more
Published on Feb. 26 2004 by Carl Market
5.0 out of 5 stars Deniro's most underrated film?
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... Read more
Published on Feb. 2 2004 by Scottie
5.0 out of 5 stars One of De Niro's most human -- and hilarious -- roles!
"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... Read more
Published on Dec 30 2003 by John
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. 8 2003 by Scaramouche
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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