Many people in the western world have seen a Lenny Bruce movie at some point in another. This is because this comedian was a huge figure within the world of comedy and so some of the biggest names in the entertainment business have either narrated for a film based on his life, or chosen to take on the role of Lenny Bruce. So far, there have been three major films that have portrayed the life and times of this comedic genius.


The Lenny Bruce Performance Film


The Lenny Bruce performance Film was released in 1967. This Lenny Bruce movie was directed by John Magnuson and written by Lenny Bruce himself. This documentary style film actually captures his performance at the Basin Street West in San Francisco and he used his time on stage to read through the allegations of his latest obscenity trial. After he had read the allegations, he then went on to explain what he had said or done to give rise to these allegations. It seems that while many people appreciate this particular film for its comedic elements, most people in the know tend to consider it a documentary about the social climate of the time, as well as the government’s role in censorship as far as the comedy scene was concerned.




Lenny is a movie starring Dustin Hoffman as Lenny Bruce that was released in 1974. Valerie Perrine plays Honey Bruce, who was Lenny’s wife as he rose to fame, although she would later divorce him. This film basically documents the great comedian’s life, focusing on the obscenity trials that were to play such pivotal roles in Lenny’s life.


Lenny Bruce: Swear To Tell The Truth


Lenny Bruce: Swear to Tell the Truth was released in 1998 and directed and written by Robert B. Weide. This is another documentary style film that is narrated by none other than Robert De Niro and stars a wide range of well-known names within the world of standup comedy, including Woody Allen. The documentary also shows archive footage of Lenny Bruce performing, and includes interviews with Kitty Bruce and Honey Bruce Friedman.


Over the years, many people have attempted to capture the essence of Lenny Bruce through these movies and documentaries. This character was such a ground-breaking, yet troubled figure in the world of comedy. As an influence to so many that came after him, it is no wonder people continue to look back on his life with such reverence.