The King of Comedy (1983)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Black Comedy, Showbiz Comedy  |   Run Time - 108 min.  |   Countries - Finland, United States  |   MPAA Rating - PG
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Review by Lucia Bozzola

Despite favorable reviews and good business in a few big cities, The King of Comedy died at the box office; but this uneasily humorous examination of the bizarre relationship between stardom and fandom looks more disturbingly current with each passing year. Martin Scorsese reins in the technical verve of his prior work, so that The King of Comedy's bright, flat lighting and simple editing mimic the look of television, the film's subject; visual flourishes are saved for Rupert's fantasies, signalling how off-kilter he is. Rupert is just as obsessive as Taxi Driver's Travis Bickle, revealing the potential danger in an American cult of celebrity that idolizes stars, provokes resentment of fame's privileges, and turns deranged menaces into celebrities.