6.7/10
499
27 user 7 critic

The Comic (1969)

Story of a brilliant silent-film comic whose talent is overshadowed by his ego.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Mary Gibson
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Martin 'Cockeye' Van Buren
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Frank Powers
Nina Wayne ...
Sybil Atlas
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Mama Bell
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Steve Allen
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Ginger
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Edwin G. Englehardt
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Lorraine Margaret Bell
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1st Director
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Miguel
Craig Huebing ...
Doctor
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Phoebe
...
Armand
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Storyline

A fictionalized account of the rise and fall of a silent film comic, Billy Bright. The movie begins with his funeral, as he speaks from beyond the grave in a bitter tone about his fate, and takes us through his fame, as he ruins it with womanizing and drink, and his fall, as a lonely, bitter old man unable to reconcile his life's disappointments. The movie is based loosely on the life of Buster Keaton. Written by Gary Dickerson <slug@mail.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A funny new motion picture that tells Hollywood like it was! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Comedy

Certificate:

M | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

2 October 1970 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

Billy Bright  »

Filming Locations:

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While starring in The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961), Van Dyke called up Stan Laurel to ask for permission to do a Laurel & Hardy bit in an episode. Laurel told him that neither he nor Hardy's heirs owned the rights to the characters. Van Dyke and Reiner were horrified that Laurel didn't even own the rights to his own face, and this picture is the result. See more »

Connections

Features The Best Mouse Loses (1920) See more »

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User Reviews

 
classic recreation
13 August 2006 | by See all my reviews

This film was obviously made to use the comic talents of Dick Van Dyke and they did. He was always pulling faces and doing pratfalls on stage and TV and has always had a strikingly strong resemblance to a young Stan Laurel. It had been said in early magazines that Van Dyke felt he was born in the wrong era. With this film he gets to fulfill his dream. Even the dialog scenes play and read like a silent movie and the comedy timing is priceless, especially in scenes with Mickey Rooney who did the eye tricks with no computer help. Michelle Lee is there, for her looks mostly, plus a lot of great cameo comedy bits by the likes of Pert Kelton, Jeannine Riley and even Carl Reiner himself. This film will not be remembered as any great classic, but it does remain a classic in capturing Van Dyke's talent and the memories of Hollywood days gone by.


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