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Kaufman, Andy - The Death Of Andy Kaufman

3.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

The Death of Andy Kaufman takes on the many mysteries and theories surrounding Andy Kaufman's death, and through exclusive interviews with family and friends, rare performances by Kaufman, and the filmmakers own personal investigation, we are brought closer to understanding mind and myth of one of the most celebrated and mysterious performance artists all time, often with unexpected results.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Michael Kaufman, Alan Abel, Tony Clifton Andy Kaufman
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • DVD Release Date: July 26, 2011
  • Run Time: 80 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004XZ99H8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #115,637 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
The late comedian Andy Kaufman (1949-1984) is one of these legendary figures that certainly left a strong footprint in entertainment, not precisely because of his talents, but rather because of his premature death at 35. So, it can be said, that in that sense he belongs to the same privileged group of early celebrity departures, which includes Jim Morrison, Marilyn Monroe, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, John Belushi etc., etc.--- and maybe the recently deceased Amy Winehouse. These artists will haunt us for eternity and have created a cult following. "The Death of Andy Kaufman" takes a comprehensive and intriguing look at the myth created by his mysterious demise.

Directed by Christopher Maloney, who is fascinated by Kaufman, the documentary opens at Beth David cemetery, where the star is buried, and we get to see his grave. From there, we watch some of his early stand-up routines, and we are told that Kaufman was an early admirer of transcendental meditation. We are also told that once the comedian was informed that he had only about three months to live due to a lung cancer, nobody wanted to believe him. They thought it was a hoax, because he apparently told many people that he was going to fake his own death. Well, the man died, and, indeed, rumors began spreading that Kaufman faked his own dead. Some people were pushing the thesis that he was replaced by a Nathan McCoy, who died in the same hospital in which Andy was interned. Director Maloney interviews some people close to Kaufman, in order that he could find the truth. Perhaps the most credible interviewee was Andy's brother, who gave a candid testimony. In the end, you'll be the judge.
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Format: DVD
Andy Kaufman was many things. A comedian, actor, son, brother and friend. Andy could also drive you to insane anger or laughter... sometimes in the same moment. He was a strange, intensely private person. No one knew the real Andy. Maybe not even his family. So when he died in 1984 at the age of 35 from lung cancer, people thought he would be back. Not from the dead, but from hiding. Many people thought (and still think) that Andy Kaufman faked his own death, and that's what this documentary focuses on.

There are many reasons made known in this film about why Andy Kaufman would fake his own death. Some of them given are the fact that he had just gone through a lot of professional hardships. Losing his Saturday Night Live gig, having his show Taxi cancelled, and being thrown out of his spiritual meditation group. He told several people that he would fake his death to help cope with these losses. That he would hide away until the time was right to make his reappearance, thus staging the biggest hoax in the entertainment industry. He even created an alter ego (Tony Clifton) that he, or someone else (it was hard to tell who) would perform under the guise of.

This documentary delves quite deep into different theories of how Andy might have successfully pulled off this stunt of faking his own death. We get to go to a town where he has supposedly been seen over the years. We see letters from people having seen him in places all over the world. We are told about how Andy could have switched identities with someone in the hospital where he died, thus being free to do as he pleased while someone else was buried in his place. There are numerous websites that have members who either believe Andy is alive, or try to pass themselves off as Andy Kaufman himself.
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Format: DVD
You can't get a much better subject for a documentary than Andy Kaufman, entertainer par excellence' & fascinating enigma who so perplexed the world that even to this day his closest friends still aren't sure that he's actually dead.

Andy Kaufman is my favorite comedian of all time even though he was loathe to consider himself a comedian,(it was too limiting for his tastes I imagine)& he had the mark of TRUE genius namely that not only has his legacy survived the years since his exit from the public scene (Either through death or a death hoax) but his body of work continues to be imitated in various forms throughout pop culture. Many focus on Sacha Baron Cohen as "Andy lite" not to mention Joaquin Phoenix's recent foray into Kaufmanland but consider for a moment that some 20 years before the "Masked Magician" revealed the secrets of magic on FOX that Andy & best friend/comedy writer/fellow Tony Clifton Bob Zmuda were doing that exact same thing in a bit, masked magician spilling the secrets & all. This is but one example of the countless efforts from Kaufman & Zmuda that were so far ahead of their time that it's only recently that pop culture is finally catching up to them.

In "The Death of Andy Kaufman" writer/director Christopher Maloney offers an incredibly subdued look at & ode to the genius at the center of this documentary. It is, while respectful, I daresay BORING which is something that Andy only ever was to those NOT catching on to what he was doing.
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