Mr. Warmth, The Don Rickles Project
Sunday, June 11, 2017, 4:30 p.m.
Dir. John Landis. 2007, 89 mins. Digital projection. Originally premiering at the New York Film Festival and lovingly helmed by comedy auteur Landis, this expansive portrait of the comic is brimful of stories by the great Don Rickles himself. Bookended by a rare recorded performance in Las Vegas at the Stardust—Rickles had very rarely let his stand-up be filmed—Landis’s profile is peppered with one-on-one interviews with showbiz luminaries past and present, including Martin Scorsese, Clint Eastwood, Chris Rock, Bob Newhart, Sarah Silverman, and many others; home movies; and clips from his movies and innumerable TV appearances. Director Landis (Animal House, Blues Brothers) got his start as a gofer and an extra on Kelly’s Heroes (playing on June 11), and characteristically digs deep with Mr. Warmth, creating both a biography of Rickles and a document of Las Vegas, which, over the comic’s career, transformed from a posh oasis run by the mob to a corporatized tumbleweed town owned by multinationals—a poignant metaphor for the fading glories of Hollywood and its stars.
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