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Enter Laughing

Enter Laughing(1967)

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teaser Enter Laughing (1967)

Carl Reiner's roman a clef about a Jewish kid from the Bronx disappointing his parents by choosing show business instead of pharmacy school had a successful run on Broadway after being adapted for the stage, with Alan Arkin playing the lead. But when it came time to cast the film version, Arkin was deemed too old to play the teenage hero. After casting unknown Puerto Rican actor Reni Santoni, Reiner wooed Shelley Winters, Michael J. Pollard, Don Rickles, and Jose Ferrer to round out the cast of his directorial debut. Shot in the Bronx on a shoestring in 32 days, it's a treat to see this cast stretch beyond type -- Jose Ferrer as a flamboyant impresario? Shelley Winters as a Jewish mother? -- but especially so for Elaine May, who flexes creative muscles never seen before as a wiggly, breathy vamp keen on this new kid. Watch for a beardless Rob Reiner in his first movie role, too.

By Violet LeVoit

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