7.7/10
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9 user 7 critic

Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project (2007)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Comedy | 4 December 2007 (USA)
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This terrific feature film comedy reveals the background of one of the legends of comedy, Don Rickles. Hailed by some of today's biggest comedians as one of the classics, who they aspire to... See full summary »

Director:

John Landis
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Won 2 Primetime Emmys. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Harry Dean Stanton ... Himself / Private Willard
John Landis ... Himself / Sister Rosa Stigmata
Don Rickles ... Himself / Crapgame / Petty Officer Ruby / Crane / Nellie / Anne Bancroft / Big Drop / Mr. Potato Head - (voice)
Clint Eastwood ... Himself / Private Kelly / Harry Callahan
Robert De Niro ... Himself
Richard Lewis ... Himself
Victor Figueredo Victor Figueredo ... Himself
Conrad Hermogenes Conrad Hermogenes ... Himself
Paul Shefrin Paul Shefrin ... Himself
Heidi Akawa Heidi Akawa ... Herself
Peggy March Peggy March ... Herself
Joe Mele Joe Mele ... Himself
Chris Rock ... Himself
Tom McDermott Tom McDermott ... Guitar
Jack Cenna Jack Cenna ... Percussion
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Storyline

This terrific feature film comedy reveals the background of one of the legends of comedy, Don Rickles. Hailed by some of today's biggest comedians as one of the classics, who they aspire to emulate in their own comedy. Comedians reveal their unique stories, and tell how chance meetings and personal connections propelled them to the heights of comedy. Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

If you think he's so... why does he have so many friends? See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 December 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Don Rickles Documentary See more »

Filming Locations:

British Columbia, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color | Black and White (archive footage)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

While Bobby Slayton lists the many shows Rickles appeared on in the 1960's, he names Bewitched. Rickles never appeared on the show. See more »

Quotes

Steve Lawrence: Black people can do black jokes, Jew do Jew jokes, Italians do Italian jokes, etc, etc. He does em all and gets away with it because he's hysterical.
See more »

Connections

Features Run Silent Run Deep (1958) See more »

Soundtracks

The Yankee Doodle Boy
Music and Lyrics by George M. Cohan
Performed by Don Rickles
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Watch this movie, you hockey puck.
21 January 2019 | by Hey_SwedenSee all my reviews

"Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project" is an engaging documentary: a portrait of a consummate entertainer who always remained true to who he was. It's directed by filmmaker John Landis ("Animal House", "The Blues Brothers", "An American Werewolf in London"), who was an 18-year-old production assistant on "Kelly's Heroes", the WWII actioner that co-starred Rickles. Here, Landis creates what is essentially a feature-length love letter to the master of the comedic insult.

Essential points about Rickles are conveyed: this was a comic who operated without a filter. He also didn't work from a script, and was often at his best when riffing; picking out audience members and finding something with which he could tease them. As singer Steve Lawrence points out, he could tell just about any sort of ethnic joke, and get away with it, because the bottom line is that he got people to laugh.

Mostly, the project is assembled from many testimonials from contemporaries and admirers of Mr. Rickles, and we get to see some of his famous TV moments. 'Tonight Show' legend Johnny Carson confronting Rickles over Carsons' broken cigarette box - while Rickles is trying to shoot his own program in the building - is particularly hysterical.

Only after the halfway point does this briefly turn into a more traditional "I was born in..." sort of life story, and the project loses some momentum in the final third by taking too much time to discuss the evolution of Las Vegas. Some of the editing is a little abrupt; one would like to see an interviewee finish their thought before Landis moves on to the next one.

But it remains pleasant to watch, with brief bits about popular Rickles roles (like the voice of Mr. Potato Head in the "Toy Story" franchise), and a generous dose of laughs. We also learn that one sure way to Mr. Rickles' heart was to ask after his family, whom he loved dearly. (An interesting anecdote is that he was first intrigued by future wife Barbara when she proved to be resistant to his shtick. And he took that as a challenge!)

Even for a decade after this film came out, Rickles was still performing with his trademark energy and biting wit.

Seven out of 10.


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