Billed as “A Funny New Motion Picture that Tells Hollywood Like It Was!,” The Comic, which Carl Reiner directed and cowrote, is a dark comedy about the rise and fall of a silent film comic, Billy Bright (superbly played by Dick Van Dyke). The story begins with Bright’s funeral, as he recounts his trials and tribulations with fame, love, and friendship from beyond the grave. Early on, Bright stole leading lady Mary Gibson (Michele Lee) away from his director, Frank Powers (Cornel Wilde), and became a major star. And then the talkies took over, and Bright’s options dried up. But his best friend, Mickey Rooney (played winningly by Carl Reiner himself), was always there to help him pick up the pieces. The movie is based loosely on the life of Buster Keaton.