Charles Nelson Reilly

The Life of Reilly: Movie Review

By Jeff Walsh

The Life of Reilly is a new film based on, well, the life of Charles Nelson Reilly, who is largely known for his voluminous game show appearances in the 1970s although he did have prior success as Broadway performer and television actor.

I was fortunate enough to see Reilly perform this show, then called "Save It For The Stage," in San Francisco. It was one of those shows where it probably went more than two hours, but if it hit four you'd never even look at your watch. He was an engaging performer working off a rich life with a loose script and clearly in his element. The show was also the first time Reilly ever publicly discussed his not-so-secret-but-never-confirmed homosexuality.

The film actually captures Reilly last performance of "Save It For The Stage," and the last time he appeared onstage before his death this past May. The film is a bit uneven, though.

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