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The Life of Reilly Image
Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 5 Ratings

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  • Summary: If, in 1940, you had a lobotomized aunt, an institutionalized father, and a racist mother, and were the only gay kid on the block, what do you think the odds would be that you'd end up a Tony winner, a staple of television, and a generational icon? Enter The Life of Reilly. The cliché goesIf, in 1940, you had a lobotomized aunt, an institutionalized father, and a racist mother, and were the only gay kid on the block, what do you think the odds would be that you'd end up a Tony winner, a staple of television, and a generational icon? Enter The Life of Reilly. The cliché goes that truth is stranger than fiction. In this case, it is also funnier and more heartbreaking. Charles Nelson Reilly, famous for his game show innuendos and X-Files guest appearances, takes us through his bizarre, star-studded, tragic, hilarious, and ultimately amazing life with a potent blend of tenderness and quick one-liners. The Life of Reilly is an adaptation of Mr. Reilly's acclaimed one-man show and was photographed for the screen during Mr. Reilly's final two performances of his play in North Hollywood, California. (Vagrant Films) Expand
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 19
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 19
  3. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. 80
    Check out The Life of Reilly, for a real-life example of carpe diem energy too pure and unrefined to be silenced by discrimination or negative family vibes.
  2. Despite his obvious infirmities, Reilly infuses his performance with a great deal of energy -- frequently shouting his lines for emphasis -- and, of course, perfect comic timing. It's fortunate that we have this filmed record -- directed by Barry Poltermann and Frank Anderson -- of a memorable solo performance by a true show business original.
  3. Director Barry Poltermann’s sweet little evocation of a show business career captures Reilly at “the twilight of an extraordinary life,” in Reilly’s words.
  4. 75
    Best remembered as the most flamboyant of TV's original "Hollywood Squares" - which is really saying something on a panel that included Paul Lynde.
  5. 70
    Charles Nelson Reilly is still alive, dammit, and boy does he have a story to tell.
  6. Reilly, in his 70s, takes us through his hilariously awful childhood: Eugene O'Neill as toxic high camp.

See all 19 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Aug 21, 2011
    8
    I admit I have been waiting to see this documentary for a while now. Created in 2007 and never leaked online with a 100 on rottentomatoes andI admit I have been waiting to see this documentary for a while now. Created in 2007 and never leaked online with a 100 on rottentomatoes and no trailer I really don't know what I was in for. I am very surprised, this is a very different and unique experience. Shocking and amazingly funny. This is hands down one of the best stage performances I have ever seen. It's a must see for anyone in the arts/entertainment industry and right now available, netflix instant. Expand