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The Bellboy

( 3 )

Overview

Jerry Lewis now claims that his film directorial debut came about when his home studio, Paramount, needed a summer-release Lewis vehicle in a hurry. Jerry and his entourage headed to the Fountainbleu hotel in Miami Beach, and 29 days later returned with The Bellboy. As narrator Walter Winchell (and an actor pretending to be a Paramount executive in a pre-credits bit) explain, the film has no plot and no point; it merely exists for the audience's enjoyment. Lewis plays nebbishy bellhop Stanley, a nonspeaking ...
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Overview

Jerry Lewis now claims that his film directorial debut came about when his home studio, Paramount, needed a summer-release Lewis vehicle in a hurry. Jerry and his entourage headed to the Fountainbleu hotel in Miami Beach, and 29 days later returned with The Bellboy. As narrator Walter Winchell (and an actor pretending to be a Paramount executive in a pre-credits bit) explain, the film has no plot and no point; it merely exists for the audience's enjoyment. Lewis plays nebbishy bellhop Stanley, a nonspeaking bumbler who alternates between screwing up and taking his job too seriously. The film's Tati-like gags involve a Volkswagen engine, an overweight guest, a woman with a come-hither voice, a very effective flash bulb, an episode at the Greyhound track, a golf tournament, and a passenger jet. Weaving in and out of the proceedings is Lewis' cowriter (and former drummer) Bill Richmond, made up as the spitting image of Stan Laurel (the real Laurel was approached to play himself, but he gently turned Jerry down, insisting that his aged appearance would disappoint his fans). Miami habitues B.S. Pully, Joe E. Ross, Cary Middlecoff, The Novelites make cameo appearances, as does Milton Berle. Made for peanuts, The Bellboy amassed a fortune, assuring that Jerry Lewis would be permitted to direct many of his own films in the future.
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Special Features

Commentary by Jerry Lewis and Steve Lawrence; Archival Materials; Theatrical Trailer; Widescreen version enhanced for 16:9 TVs; Dolby Digital English mono and French mono; English and Spanish subtitles
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Fans of Jerry Lewis will, of course, love The Bellboy. But what's surprising is that even people who are relatively immune to his charms may find themselves chuckling several times during the course of the film. It isn't that Bellboy is a great film, or that it features dazzlingly original comic ideas. Quite the opposite: it seems that, because Lewis had to make this film VERY quickly, he simply pulled together bits and pieces from here and there and trusted to luck that everything would come out well. Thus, Bellboy has a looseness that is quite appealing, a devil-may-care attitude that is genuine rather than fake, and this makes it much easier to watch than some of Lewis' more thought-out or ambitious efforts. Bellboy is filled with gags we've seen in some form hundreds of times, but they're presented guilelessly here. They may not inspire guffaws, but they should bring at least a smile to the lips. It's also enjoyable to see Lewis working in a plotless film; his character remains the same throughout, but without having to be chained to the exigencies of plot, his work is lighter and more enjoyable. True, some sketches definitely go on too long, and some jokes simply fall flat. But there's enough here to keep one moderately entertained, even if one is not a Lewis lover.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/12/2004
  • UPC: 097360592443
  • Original Release: 1960
  • Rating:

  • Source: Paramount
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Wide Screen / B&W
  • Time: 1:11:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 8,812

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jerry Lewis Stanley
Alex Gerry Manager
Bob Clayton Bell Captain
Bill Richmond Man in Black as Stan Laurel
Sonny Sands Bellboy
Eddie Shaeffer Bellboy
Milton Berle Guest Star
Herkie Styles Bellboy
David Landfield Bellboy
Larry Best Apple Man
Dr. Cary Middlecoff
Joe Levitch
Howard Brooks
B.S. Pully
"Slapsie Maxie" Rosenbloom
Joe E. Ross
Jimmy and Tilly Gerard Fighting Couple
The Novelties
Walter Winchell
Isobel Elsom
Technical Credits
Jerry Lewis Director, Producer, Screenwriter
Haskell Boggs Cinematographer
Henry Bumstead Art Director
Nick Castle Choreography
Stanley E. Johnson Editor
Hal Pereira Art Director
Walter Scharf Score Composer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. A Real Nut [5:54]
2. Two Weeks in February [6:01]
3. And It's Jerry Lewis [9:01]
4. A Message for Miltie [3:21]
5. Two Stanleys [5:58]
6. When Bellhops Attack [6:50]
7. Censored [6:10]
8. Poolside [6:53]
9. Pressing Needs [9:20]
10. Candid Shots [5:29]
11. Special Delivery [4:08]
12. Unless You Ask [2:37]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play
   Set Up
      Audio Options: English
      Audio Options: Français
      Audio Options: Commentary by Jerry Lewis and Steve Lawrence
      Subtitle Options: English
      Subtitle Options: Español
      Subtitle Options: None
   Special Features
      Commentary by Jerry Lewis and Steve Lawrence
      Archival Materials
         Rehearsals
            Jerry and Walter Winchell Rehearse
            Telephone Gag
            Jerry's Nightclub Act
            Play All
         Blooper - Milton Berle
         Deleted Scenes
            Bill Richmond as Stan Laurel
            Too Many Bags
            A Star Arrives
            Play All
         Jerry Receives a Letter From Stan Laurel
         Promo Spots
            Walter Winchell Reports
            It Happened in Room 728A
            It Happened in Room 728B
            Introduction
            Play All
         Bellboy Bus Tour With Commentary by Son Chris Lewis
      Theatrical Trailer
   Scene Selections
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 7, 2012

    CHARMING & FUN!!

    Love this movie! One of Jerry's best! Wonderful cast!! This movie and his "CINDERFELLA" movie I give to friends and family as gifts. They are great fun you will enjoy every time!! Crystal

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Maybe the French are onto something here

    The French love of Jerry Lewis has been the subject of lots of jokes and even more head scratching. How can this annoying, whinny, unfunny man-child be held in such high regard by a people who have given us the cinema of Jean Renoir, Francois Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard? "The Bellboy" may provide some insight to this enigma.
    First off, Lewis doesn't speak (not much, anyway) so that grating voice isn't a factor. Secondly, there's no plot--just sight gags. Flimsy, unlikely plots kill so many comedies, so it's a good thing Lewis avoided one here. And, finally, there's very little of Lewis's silly mugging, he seems pretty much unaffected by the events crashing around him and approaches each new situation with an almost Buster Keaton-like stoicism. So we're left with a comedy that often dips into surreal territory and in many ways (including its hotel setting) recalls the work of the great French writer/director/comedian Jacques Tati.
    If you despise the goofy Jerry Lewis of the Martin and Lewis years or his subsequent solo work, you'll be pleasantly surprised by "The Bellboy."

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Jerry Lewis's best performance.

    A comedic tour de force for Jerry Lewis. The sight gags and physical comedy combined with superb supporting cast make for a very enjoyable movie. Truly a unique comedy movie.

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews