The one thing everybody knows about Jerry Lewis is that he is beloved by the French, those incomprehensible hedonistic strangers across the sea. The French understand him, while in the U.S. he is at best a riddle, not one of us. Lewis is someone we take profound pleasure in excluding, if not ridiculing.
Enfant Terrible! Jerry Lewis in American Film is the first comprehensive collection devoted to one of the most controversial and accomplished figures in twentieth-century American cinema. A veteran of virtually every form of show business, Lewis's performances onscreen and the motion pictures he has directed reveal significant filmmaking talents, and show him to be what he has called himself, a "total filmmaker." Yet his work has been frequently derided by American critics.
This book challenges that easy reading by taking a more careful look at Lewis's considerable body of work onscreen in 16 diverse and penetrating essays. Turning to such films as The Nutty Professor , The Ladies Man , The King of Comedy , The Delicate Delinquent , Living It Up , The Errand Boy , The Disorderly Orderly , Arizona Dream , and The Geisha Boy , the contributors address topics ranging from Lewis's on- and offscreen performances, the representations of disability in his films, and the European obsession with Lewis, to his relationship with Dean Martin and Lewis's masculinity. Far from an out of control hysteric, Enfant Terrible! instead reveals Jerry Lewis to be a meticulous master of performance with a keen sense of American culture and the contemporary world.
Contributors include: Mikita Brottman, Scott Bukatman, David Desser, Leslie A. Fiedler, Craig Fischer, Lucy Fischer, Krin Gabbard, Barry Keith Grant, Andrew Horton, Susan Hunt, Frank Krutnik, Marcia Landy, Peter Lehman, Shawn Levy, Dana Polan, Murray Pomerance, and J. P. Telotte.
|Publisher:||New York University Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Murray Pomerance is Chair of the Department of Sociology at Ryerson University, whose edited volumes include Ladies and Gentlemen , Boys and Girls: Gender in Film at the End of the Twentieth Century , and Sugar, Spice and Everything Nice: Cinemas of Girlhood.
Table of Contents
1 Jerry and Me
1 Whatever Happened to Jerry Lewis? “That’s Amore. . .”
2 Being Rupert Pupkin
2 Jerry Lewis, Faces Off
3 Dreaming of Jerry Lewis’s Arizona Dream
4 Jerry Agonistes: An Obscure Object of Critical Desire
5 Flaming Creature: Jerry Lewis and Screen Performance in Hollywood or Bust
6 The Day the Clown Quit: Jerry Lewis Returns to The Jazz Singer’s Roots
3 Jerry Lewis and Social Transformations
7 Sex and Slapstick: The Martin and Lewis Phenomenon
8 The Imbecile Chic of Jerry Lewis
9 Sick Jokes: Humor and Health in the Work of Jerry Lewis
10 The Geisha Boy: Orientalizing the Jewish Man
11 Jerry in the City: The Topology of The King of Comedy
12 Terminal Idiocy (The comedian is the message)
13 “The Inner Man”: Mind, Body, and Transformations of Masculinity in The Nutty Professor
14 Working Hard Hardly Working: Labor and Leisure in the Films of Jerry Lewis
15 Hello Deli!: Shtick Meets Teenpic inThe Delicate Delinquent
16 The Errant Boy: Morty S. Tashman and the Powers of the Tongue
What People are Saying About This
"A witty, provocative, and necessary re-evaluation of the phenomenon known as Jerry Lewis. I myself have loved and despised Jerry, often both at the same time; I needed this book to tell me why."
"These original, varied approaches are the heftiest appreciation of Lewis in English... Recommended."