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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 18.84%
Average: 2.9%
Pretty Bad: 1.45%
Total Crap: 1.45%

2 reviews, 57 user ratings

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King of Comedy, The
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by Hawkboy

"Scorsese's most underrated film. Twisted Genius."
5 stars

Roger Ebert once said that this was the most painful movie he'd ever seen. I agree. Rupert Pupkin is one of the most horrid characters ever seen on film.

Rupert Pupkin (Robert De Niro) is one of those folks that if you see in the street, you run screaming in the opposite direction. He is convinced that he is destined to be the greatest stand-up comic ever, and all he needs is the opportunity. He thinks he has found the opportunity when he meets Jerry Langford, (Jerry Lewis, but written for Johnny Carson) the biggest talk show host in Hollywood. Jerry vaguely promises to check out Rupert's stand up act, but there's a problem. Rupert hasn't actually performed anywhere. The only place he's performed is in his basement, where cardboard cutouts of Liza Minelli and Jerry act in Rupert's delusions of fame. But that doesn't stop Rupert. Rupert is more convinced than ever that he is going to be a star, and nothing is going to stop him. Nothing.

Scorsese and De Niro have always made fascinating movies, and this challenges the audience along the lines of "Taxi Driver". Rupert, like Travis Bickle, is a man wound way too tightly and we're convinced he's about to burst. De Niro is the king of playing these kinds of roles, and he is absolutely riveting in this movie. He is so absolutely annoying, so absolutely egotistical, that you just want to turn your head in disgust, but you're unable.

The supporting cast is excellent as well. Sandra Bernhard plays an equally obsessive fan, while Diahanne Abbott (De Niro's wife at the time) plays a waitress temporarily swept into Pupkin's life of delusion. Jerry Lewis plays the talk-show host effectively, and despite my loathing of Jerry Lewis movies in general, I found him very watchable in a serious role.

Rent this movie to see acting at its finest.

A very, very black comedy that leaves current movies like "Very Bad Things" looking like a repeat of "Full House".

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originally posted: 06/01/99 07:57:48
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User Comments

3/08/15 stanley welles beautifully dark, incisive and fascinating 5 stars
2/19/15 yulfiana IDIOT 1 stars
1/22/12 Richmonde von Charleswerthe Hilarityie ensuedde. 5 stars
1/11/11 Jason M. Scorsese's most underrated film. 5 stars
12/14/10 moose rapper Dark and funny 4 stars
6/01/10 Josie Cotton is a goddess Jerry Lewis is great in a dramatic role 4 stars
1/03/10 Jeff Most underrated film of all-time. 5 stars
6/02/08 Sham Hardly It's the Shiz von Iznit. 5 stars
4/06/08 Alec Frost Simply the best, better than all the rest. 5 stars
4/01/08 Rupert P Second best Scorsese film, after Taxi Driver. 5 stars
1/26/08 Klint Donoghue It raaawcks. 5 stars
11/30/07 Richard Larghus Ashtonishin'! 5 stars
12/27/06 Agent Sands Lewis, if so late in his career, demonstrates the extent of his ability as an actor. 5 stars
4/30/06 Joshua Not just the most underrated De Niro/Scorsese film, but of all-time. 5 stars
1/17/06 John Dog One of Scorsese's best. 5 stars
8/02/05 ALDO Scorsese's best, loses some steam toward the end 4 stars
6/03/05 Pinkline Jones Scorcese Masterpiece Weirdly Hysterical and Thought Provoking 5 stars
2/11/05 Jeff Anderson One of the sickest, but unquestionably one of the most brilliant comedies I've ever seen! 5 stars
11/12/04 The Mean Machine De Niro is amazing!!!! 5 stars
10/23/04 UMER the MOST underrated movie of deniro-scorsese combination 5 stars
10/23/04 R Smith Pupkin is not scary. Gangsters are scary. 5 stars
9/27/04 NJ Cup Winner 95-00-03 Great but only if you're in the mood; if not, you can hate easily hate it 5 stars
6/17/04 kitfo1 will make you squirm. Jerry Lewis is perfect. 5 stars
3/02/04 Moses "You talkin' to me?" Roth Great.... 5 stars
1/24/04 CC Yep real stuff... 5 stars
11/26/03 Rochelle stupid 2 stars
6/29/03 joshx42 A truly distrubing masterpiece about the dark side of celebrity. 5 stars
5/20/03 Jack Kael was wrong...often. Great film, great performances. Not for everyone. 5 stars
3/04/03 Jack Sommersby Emotionally devastating Scorsese film is easily his most underrated. Lewis is superb. 4 stars
2/20/03 R.W. Welch Bizarre and vaguely creepy tale of obsession; it's something different. 4 stars
1/22/03 Pinkline Jones Sensational and clever film. Pupkin and Marcia Rule! 5 stars
12/25/02 c boyd pauline kael was wrong -- incredibly good and funny look at our obsession with celebrity 5 stars
10/29/02 Charles Tatum Funnier than "After Hours" 5 stars
1/16/02 Andrew Carden Great Comic Team. 5 stars
8/11/01 Mr. Hat Basically dark, but Robert De Niro's pretty good. 3 stars
6/11/01 R. Johnson Astonishing, chilling, brilliant film! 5 stars
4/08/01 A.K. offbeat yet enjoyable. an underrated film. 4 stars
2/18/01 Jake Very intriguing. De Niro is really out there baby! Nowhere near as dark as Very Bad Things 4 stars
2/14/01 Richard Wright Theres a message in this underrated film .. but I'm too busy enjoying the film to find it. 4 stars
12/03/00 Stewart Tillman Brilliant overlooked gem. My pride and joy. 5 stars
11/11/00 Brenton Priestley One of the best films I've ever seen - audacious, hilarious. 5 stars
10/06/00 john foster a truly dark and satiric Scorcese film 4 stars
5/09/00 TH Yep. This is certainly one of the funniest and saddest American films ever. Brilliant. 5 stars
12/11/99 nero Revealing the intimacy of illusion apparent in celebrity/fan culture 4 stars
9/21/99 Skip Young One of the 10 best movies of the 80's! 5 stars
9/14/99 Richard Suchenski A brilliantly directed minor masterpiece with poignant and prescient social commentary. 5 stars
9/08/99 howard s. greenberg jerry lewis was magnificent; don't have to say this about De Niro because it was so obvious 5 stars
8/11/99 Gregory Hart De Niro's chilling finest 5 stars
7/20/99 Wade Walsh Mad...and entertaining...the stand-up climax is very funny. 5 stars
7/09/99 Brilliantly acted, great work by Marty, a film that can or should be watched several times 5 stars
6/06/99 Movie Freek In total agreement with Hawkboy... Scorsese can do comedy just as well as drama 5 stars
4/16/99 JonnyAngel A solid film. 4 stars
11/26/98 little jerry Unfortunately too successful in creating a sterile,TV movie feel.Where's the Scorsese heat? 3 stars
11/25/98 DrEvil Jerry Lewis is bound and gagged by an underwear-clad Sandra Bernhard. Killer ending. 5 stars
10/29/98 Silent Rob Could qualify as a forgotten gem! Sandra is great in this one. 4 stars
9/15/98 Badass Funny. 4 stars
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  18-Feb-1983 (PG)



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