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Unreleased short film featuring Lenny Bruce

Identifier:  11-MWalB02733

Content Description

An unreleased, black and white silent film featuring Lenny Bruce as a down-on-his-luck street newspaper salesman. The 12-and-a-half minute 16mm film, most likely created in the mid-to-late 1950s or early 1960s, follows the ups-and-downs — mainly downs — of the main character, including his dreams of owning a motorcycle jacket, his clashes with the landlady of the rooming house where he lives (probably played by Bruce’s mother, Sally Marr), a brief romantic meeting with a female stranger, and an accidental, fateful run-in with a drug dealer and the police.

Based on William Karl Thomas’s description in his book “Lenny Bruce: The Making of a Prophet,” this film bears a striking resemblance to another short film by Bruce called the "Leather Jacket." However, the film at Brandeis is believed to be a collaboration between Bruce and the musician “Count” Lewis DePasquale, a friend of the comedian, who likely contributed the jazz soundtrack.


  • circa 1955


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use.

Access to the collection is in accordance with the policies of the Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections, Brandeis University. Please contact the department for more details.

The film was recorded on 16mm film and has been reformatted to a mov file. Researchers must use digital copy.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply. Requests to reproduce or publish material from the collection should be directed to the Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department, Brandeis University.


1 Items (1 16mm film in unlabeled paillard film canister)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

The acquisition of this film was made possible through the support of Ann and Abe Effron Fund - Donor Advised of the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley.

Related Materials

Special Collections at Brandeis also houses the Lenny Bruce collection.

Unreleased short film featuring Lenny Bruce
December 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Brandeis University Repository

415 South St.
Waltham MA

About Us

The Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department at Brandeis University consists of two collecting units, the University Archives and Special Collections. University Archives documents the history and development of Brandeis University and its faculty, staff, students, and alumni. Special Collections features a broad array of unique primary source materials across a wide range of disciplines that support research, teaching and learning at Brandeis. Learn more about our collections