• Lenny (1997)


Release Date: February 4th, 1997

DVD Release Date: April 16th, 2002

R |1 hr 52 min

Plot Summary

Controversial comedian Lenny Bruce (Dustin Hoffman) begins his career telling bad jokes to bored audiences in the 1950s, but can't repress his desire to unleash edgier material. When he does, he begins a one-man campaign to break down social hypocrisy, and his groundbreaking stage act propels him to cult-hero status. When authorities ban Lenny's act for obscenity, he begins a downward spiral of drugs, sex and debt, aided by his bombshell wife, a stripper named Honey (Valerie Perrine).

Cast: Dustin Hoffman, Valerie Perrine, Jan Miner, Stanley Beck, Gary Morton, Rashel Novikoff, Guy Rennie, Frankie Man

Director: Bob Fosse

Genres: Biography

Production Co: Marvin Worth Productions [us]

Keywords: Police officer, Mother, 1950s, New York City, Fall, 1960s

Ratings & Reviews

  • 80
    Angie ErrigoEmpire

    If Fosse's film fails to capture the man or his art completely, it remains a damn good place to start. show more

  • 63
    Roger EbertChicago Sun-Times

    Fosse’s attempt to give us Lenny Bruce as society’s victim and a martyr to noble causes never quite works, and so the movie becomes just several good scenes and a fine Hoffman performance, not a persuasive portrait of a man. show more

  • 50
    Time Out

    The monochrome photography and pseudo-documentary interpolations can't disguise the basic Harold Robbins material, and the good performances (Hoffman and Perrine) stand little chance against Fosse's withering direction: the subject matter needs far defter psychological handling than it gets. show more

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com


Nominated Best Director - Motion Picture
Nominated Best Performance By an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama
Nominated Actor
Nominated Actress
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1976)
Nominated Actor
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1976)
Nominated Writing (Screenplay Adapted From Other Material)
Nominated Actress
Nominated Cinematography
Nominated Best Picture
Nominated Best Performance By an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama
Nominated Directing
Winner Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Roles
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1976)