No matter one’s opinion of Jerry Lewis, you can’t deny he had an effect on slapstick, and comedy during the 50s and 60s. Paramount Pictures now releases a ten movie collection spanning that era that showcases Lewis’ talent both in front of and behind the camera in a set that shares some of his classic films including some he directed himself.
Released in a slim packaging, the set includes a Martin & Lewis pairing in The Stooge (1952), as well as familiar classics like The Nutty Professor (1963), and The Ladies Man (1961). With his whiny, angsty voice, Lewis tears it up in such films as The Delicate Delinquent (1957), The Bellboy (1960), Cinderfella (1960), The Errand Boy (1961), The Patsy (1964), The Disorderly Orderly (1964) and The Family Jewels (1965).
There are tales of mistaken identities, Lotharios, shy gents, accident prone characters, and a plethora of goofy moments that made for some undeniably entertaining moments when they blaze across the screen.
Over the course of the collection there are trailers, bloopers (always a joy when you get comedy legends playing), and deleted scenes. It’s a supremely enjoyable collection, and is a great way to introduce new viewers to some classic comedy, or revisit them yourself.
In fact, this collection put me in mind of my first encounter with Jerry Lewis when I was a kid. The base I was growing up on had its own theatre and on the weekends there would be screenings of classic comedies, and science fiction films, very much in keeping with the matinees of yesteryear. It was here that I first encountered The Three Stooges in one of their features, and I remember Jerry Lewis in The Nutty Professor.
I remember laughing and enjoying the picture, slapstick and physical comedy always seems to resonate with the young and I had never encountered anything like it before. Now I can revisit those memories, as well as discover new favourites in this collection.
It’s surprising how many I have actually come across in my time, I recognise moments, sequences, and lines, and now, I can see the films as a cohesive whole, enjoying them as they were meant to be seen.
Are they all winners? Well that depends on your sense of humour. If you’re not a Jerry Lewis fan, you are not going to enjoy this collection, but if you’re open to that kind of physical comedy (and there is a lot of it), silly gags, some fun lines, and wacky facial expressions, you really can’t afford to pass this one up.
And at the price it’s retailing at, it proves to be a very affordable collection, working out to a couple of dollars a picture! This is a collection of films that are suitable family fare, and are bound to deliver a lot of laughs over and over again.
Jerry Lewis: 10 Films Collection is available from Paramount Pictures today on DVD.