Paul Krassner

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Lenny Bruce Without Tears Review


Good
This very rough documentary, produced way back in 1972, is only finally available on DVD, and Lenny Bruce fans will find plenty to like. Filled with archival video and audio of the infamous comedian, Lenny Bruce Without Tears captures Bruce at nearly every stage in his career -- from his tepid early years to raunchy mid-career stuff to the seldom seen drugged-out zombie he'd become in the years leading up to his death by overdose. All the usual highlights of the Lenny Bruce story -- namely covering his trouble with the law -- are covered with due expedience.

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Lenny Bruce: Swear To Tell The Truth Review


Excellent
Having proved his ability to handle writing and producing narrative film with Mother Night, Robert Weide and the crew of WhyADuck productions take on a much more difficult medium with Lenny Bruce: Swear to tell the Truth. The documentary, highly easy to do badly, can be just as emotional touching, just as engaging as the narrative film. The majority of them, obviously, are not. A very select few are able to touch you like the narrative film can, are able to pull you in and make you experience them.

I have seen probably fifty documentaries in my time. I have reviewed four of them. Only two of the documentaries I have ever seen have been able to engage me like Lenny Bruce: Swear to tell the Truth did.

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Paul Krassner

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