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 Pupkin, 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 Bernhard), to kidnap Langford in exchange for a chance to let him deliver his routine on the air. –Amazon
Martin Scorsese was born in New York City and soon developed a passion for cinema and a particular admiration for neo-realist cinema which inspired him and influenced his view or portrayal of his Sicilian heritage. After graduating from NYU Film School in 1966 and making a number of shorts, he shot his first feature-length film Who’s That Knocking at My Door (1968) with fellow student, actor Harvey Keitel, and editor Thelma Schoonmaker both of whom were to become long-term collaborators. Mean Streets followed in 1973 and provided the benchmarks for the ‘Scorsese style’. After Scorsese directed Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, the trio was reunited for the dark journey of Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver. After New York, New York Scorsese released Raging Bull. The acclaimed biography of middleweight fighter Jake LaMotta was followed by exploration of fans as pariah in The King of Comedy, dark-comic dreams in After Hours and pool sharks in The Color of Money. Scorsese outraged some religious… read more
Recently re-watched it. It is my favourite Scorsese film. Like Afterhours, he does not need grit, guns and crime for you to engage with the character. Instead you engage with Rupert through pity and laughter. It also has one of my favourite openings ever and a bluesy soundtrack which brings a loving warmth to this masterpiece. 5/5
"Better to be king for a night than schmuck for a lifetime." What a sad movie: Jerry Lewis watching Fuller's "Pickup on South Street" materialises Scorcese's view of the death of cinema by television. Scorcese constructs a world where success is the only possible shortcut for happiness and love. Jerry Lewis slapping Sandra Bernhard reminds one of Karloff slappping the kid in Bogdanovich's "Targets". This is the end.
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Title: The King of Comedy
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Director: Martin Scorsese
Writer: Paul D. Zimmerman
Robert De Niro
Writing this review in 2011, it is quite ironic that although this movie wasn’t brilliantly received on its first opening, it can certainly be viewed now as ahead of its time. This picture deals with… read review