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The King Of Comedy (Bilingual)

62 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Robert De Niro, Jerry Lewis, Diahnne Abbott, Sandra Bernhard, Ed Herlihy
  • Directors: Martin Scorsese
  • Writers: Paul D. Zimmerman
  • Producers: Arnon Milchan, Robert F. Colesberry, Robert Greenhut
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English, French
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: PG
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: Dec 17 2002
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006RCNV
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #20,146 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

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.

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.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I can't recall anything quite like this movie. Rupert Pupkin is an amazing character and De Niro is brilliant. The King of Comedy often derives its best humor from serious situations, where realism and straight-faced delivery somehow lead to hilarity. For example, there are a few scenes where Rupert visits the office of talk show host Jerry Langford (Jerry Lewis). In an effort to speak with Jerry, he must deal with the receptionist, Jerry's assistant, Miss Long (Shelley Hack) and in the end, a tough security guard. On the surface, there is no humor at all. Everybody's behavior is ultra-realistic and rather dry but somehow remarkably funny. Much of the film is like this. Mixed in are some more traditional comedic elements but the dry element pervades and I know that this type of humor is not for everyone.

Aside from being wickedly funny and beautifully acted, it is also an original, satisfying story. In the end, the completely nutty and pathetic Rupert is actually rather good when given the chance. His routine fulfills the role and situation perfectly.

Martin did another movie after this called After Hours, which also derived humor from tense situations.

The King of Comedy Blu-ray includes some decent special features. I highly recommend it.
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Format: Blu-ray
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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By snalen on Dec 30 2003
Format: DVD
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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By R Jess on Dec 5 2003
Format: DVD
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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