Billed as “A Funny New Motion Picture that Tells Hollywood Like It Was!,” The Comic, which Carl Reiner directed and cowrote, is a dark comedy about the rise and fall of a silent film comic, Billy Bright (superbly played by Dick Van Dyke). The story begins with Bright’s funeral, as he recounts his trials and tribulations with fame, love, and friendship from beyond the grave. Early on, Bright stole leading lady Mary Gibson (Michele Lee) away from his director, Frank Powers (Cornel Wilde), and became a major star. And then the talkies took over, and Bright’s options dried up. But his best friend, Mickey Rooney (played winningly by Carl Reiner himself), was always there to help him pick up the pieces. The movie is based loosely on the life of Buster Keaton. Don’t miss this very rare screening of one of Reiner’s earliest features!
Celebrating Carl Reiner
The beloved comedian, actor, director, and writer Carl Reiner (born on March 20, 1922) has enjoyed a career spanning seven decades and many mediums. Reiner wrote for and acted on Your Show of Shows and Caesar’s Hour in the 1950s. In the next decade, he was best known as The Dick Van Dyke Show’s creator, director, producer, writer, and comic straight man (Alan Brady). His extraordinary film successes began in the 1970s, especially in vehicles cowritten with and starring Steve Martin.
And who can forget his performances—with Mel Brooks in “2000 Year Old Man” and in films including The Russians Are Coming, the Russian are Coming (1966) and the Ocean’s series? Carl Reiner has won nine Emmy Awards and one Grammy.
These days, Reiner is busy with many things, including Twitter, where he maintains a lively presence, recently announcing that he “wants to live until 2020 to vote Trump out of office.” We’re thrilled that he’s taking time to join us via Skype during this celebration!