The Life of Reilly (2007)

Extra Large Movie Poster Image for The Life of Reilly

Save it for the stage.

It’s that kind of show.

The next film for the End of July Binge-watch is a documentary of a stage show called The Life of Reilly.  It was the one man show from Charles Nelson Reilly, actor, instructor, storyteller.  Charles Nelson Reilly tells the story of his life as a child in the Bronx with his dysfunctional family.  Charles spares no warts as he relays the stories of some of the horrors that he lived through.

It is surprisingly emotional as Charles moves from one story to another.  He tells about the time he went to the circus and the tent burned down.  He talked about his mother and her racist, obnoxious, mean-spirited personality and his father and his alcohol abuse stemming from his depression over losing a potential job with Walt Disney.  Charles tells how he got into an acting class with an amazing list of award winning actors.

Charles Nelson Reilly is a natural story teller and he can find the humor in anything.  You can tell how the audience is completely enthralled by the way Charles lays out the story.

I laughed.  I cried.  I laughed again.

This is sincerely one of the great performances of a one man show that you will ever see.  Charles Nelson Reilly died not to long after the final two shows of his tour, the shows that they recorded this film from.  Ironic considering one of the earliest jokes in the show was about how people thought CNR was dead when he wasn’t.

If you like Charles Nelson Reilly, this movie is a must.  If you are at all interested in a character of a man, The Life of Reilly is your film.  It is an intimate portrayal of a man’s life, silly and sorrowful.


Extra Large Movie Poster Image for The Life of Reilly

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