This flawed, scattershot documentary about a flawed, fascinating subject—Brother Theodore: craggy-faced actor, Holocaust survivor, standup tragedist—is at its best when it sticks to the narrative. Brother Theodore was born to a wealthy family of Jewish publishing moguls in Germany in 1906. Then this happened: "I was a playboy. I intended to be a playboy, but alas, my parents and my entire family were annihilated. I was in the concentration camp. And when I came to the United States, I was a playboy no more." He was a chess hustler, a mad thinker, a rageful performer, a cad with a thing for young girls, and—ultimately—he became most famous for starring in mediocre Tom Hanks vehicle The 'Burbs. Also, allegedly, Albert Einstein totally banged his mom.

This documentary can't shake the interesting out of that story, but it makes a valiant effort. Featuring disjointed narration from a wooden puppet, trippy footage of Brother Theodore's stage show (overlapped and doubled to the point of incomprehension), and interviews (or so we are told: in a disorienting choice, you never see their faces) with Woody Allen, Eric Bogosian, Penn Jillette, and Theodore's son—you wish To My Great Chagrin would just calm down and tell the damn story already. recommended