Bellboy

The Bellboy

4.6 3

Cast: Alex Gerry, Bob Clayton, Bill Richmond

     
 
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

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.

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.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/12/2004
UPC:
0097360592443
Original Release:
1960
Rating:
NR
Source:
Paramount
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:11:00

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

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
Cary Middlecoff Actor
Joe Levitch Actor
Howard Brooks Actor
B.S. Pully Actor
"Slapsie Maxie" Rosenbloom Actor
Joe E. Ross Actor
Jimmy and Tilly Gerard Fighting Couple
Novelties Actor
Walter Winchell Actor
Isobel Elsom Actor

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

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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The Bellboy 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
TELL_ME_YOUR_STORY More than 1 year ago
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
Hibari More than 1 year ago
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.
KarlPallmeyer More than 1 year ago
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."