Sunday, January 9, 2011

#229 The King of Comedy (1983)


Director: Martin Scorsese

Cast: Robert De Niro, Jerry Lewis, Sandra Bernhardt, Diahnna Abbott, Shelly Hack, Ed Herlihy, Lou Brown, Tony Randall

The King of Comedy follows the story of the pathetic shmuck named Rupert Pupkin (De Niro). A wannabe stand-up comic for late night talk show, he follows Jerry Langford's (Lewis) every move, even indulging into full and deep delusions with cardboard cut-outs in his own home. As he makes one legitimate take at becoming a star, his process indeed becomes to slowly cross the line into the realm of the twisted, as he conspires with another one of Langford's much-feared female stalkers.

This film came post-John Lennon's murder and serves as a dark warning into the dangers of celebrity worship. While it's true that it seems to be a large departure from what we might expect from both De Niro and Scorsese, I was able to draw some interesting comparisons between this film and another project they did together: Taxi Driver.

Both mentally unstable men at their beginnings, the characters of Rupert Pupkin and Travis Bickle both lead themselves into situations where they are bound for humiliation. And each for their own crime are able to receive a certain level of fame and recognition.

No wonder De Niro and Scorsese gravitated toward this script... and I am glad that they did. A sad, but fascinating movie. I love me some dark humor, yes I do.

No comments:

Post a Comment