The Invisible Man
The Way Back
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Loving documentary about comedian Don Rickles from director John Landis. Part biography, part tribute by past and contemporary entertainers, and also a dissection about why Rickles racist and seemingly mean-spirited schtick goes over so well with audiences. For anyone familiar with Rickles, the film doesn't really cover any new ground, but the best part of the film is the interviews with the people who worked with him in Las Vegas back in the Rat Pack days. Sadly there aren't so many of them still alive, but there are chats with the likes of Bob Newhart, Steve Lawrence, Ed McMahon, Debbie Reynolds, Jack Carter, Joan Rivers, Keely Smith, Tom and Dick Smothers, and Frankie Avalon. It's their behind the scenes stories from back in the day that I found most interesting and wish the film had focused more on, although it is also somewhat interesting to hear younger generations of comedians commenting on Rickles' influence (Richard Lewis, Chris Rock, Sarah Silverman, Whoopie Goldberg, Robin Williams, Rosanne Barr, Dave Attell, Christopher Guest, Billy Crystal, Penn Jillette, Bobby Slayton, George Lopez, Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel, Harry Shearer, Bob Saget) or hearing actors and filmmakers he's worked with share stories (Harry Dean Stanton, Clint Eastwood, Robert De Niro, Sidney Poitier, Martin Scorsese, Ernest Borgnine, Carl Reiner, Roger Corman, James Caan, John Lasseter, John Stamos). Overall, this is worth watching for fans of Rickles, but is not really insightful enough to draw in a wider unfamiliar audience.
Rickles was an original that influanced hundreds of comics and this is a nice little walk down memory lane.
This is nothing more than a full-length love-fest of talking heads and archive footage, put together with little artistic or narrative clarity, in which there seems to be no rhyme or reason to the construct or overall purpose whatsoever. However, you do get 90 minutes of Don Rickles angry and hurtful genius, which provides more than a few busted guts.
The stand up footage was quite enjoyable, as was the reminiscing about the impact his early years had on other celebrities. Eastwood had the most succinct line saying Rickles has a "distain for sensitivity". Overall, however, the pace was just a little too slow, and it really didn't feel like I knew the real Rickles more at the end.
A wonderfully enjoyable tribute to "Mr. Warmth".
Don Rickles is true legend, and here are several stories from other legends narrating as to why. A glimpse into a golden era filled with some serious laugh-out-loud clapping moments.
Gotta love Don Rickles.
Words fail me. He's one of the funniest people alive, still. I found myself almost passing out once, and I laughed until I cried more than once. Don't miss this.
Don Rickles is one of the funniest comics ever to grace the stage and this film proves what a class act he is on and off the stage.