The King of Comedy
Directed by Martin Scorsese
I am more stunned that I liked this movie than when I found out Ray was a fan of A Christmas Story. After all, I haven't been able to classify recent Scorsese films as "enjoyable" (though I still admit they are masterpieces) and it has Jerry Lewis in a lead role! Jerry Lewis!
Rupert Pupkin aspires to be a famous stand up comedian and believes his big break has come when he meets Jerry Langford, a well known talk show host. Obviously, Langford quickly identifies him as an unstable hanger-on. Rupert then hatches a scheme to kidnap Langford with another handy stalker in order to secure an opening spot on his late night show.
Obviously, the acting is spectacular and Jerry Lewis is actually tolerable here. According to Lewis, he was simply playing himself. I would like to believe him, although I can't picture the character Jerry Langford ever playing the Nutty Professor. I like that the filmmakers allow the audience to decide how much of the movie is real and how much is just Rupert's fantasy. Personally, I would like to believe it was all real, although I will stop there because I don't want to venture into spoiler territory.
This film really makes you brood on the concept of "celebrity." It really is strange how we simultaneously despise these people and worship them. I mean, I have never heard one person say they like any members of the Kardashian family, yet our culture is obviously obsessed with them and seemingly always will be.
Possibly my favorite Scorsese and definitely a must see movie.
Jerry Lewis directed the sequence where he is stopped in the street by a woman, as it was based on a real incident in his life.
Only film that Scorsese and De Niro did where De Niro had facial hair. For some reason, this is important to me.