HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Shiva Baby
Flowers of Shanghai
War and Peace
Agony
Merrily We Go to Hell
Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie's Dead Aunt)
Amusement Park, The
Lemebel
Hands of Orlac, The
Cats
Death has Blue Eyes
Caveat
Kala Azar
Duplicate
Flashback
Gunda
After Love
Earwig and the Witch
Zebra Girl
Skull: The Mask
Vanquish
Bank Job
Drunk Bus
Homewrecker
State Funeral
Army of the Dead
Initiation
Redoubt
Dinner in America
Death Will Come and Shall Have Your Eyes
PG: Psycho Goreman
Maeve
Sound of Metal
Things of Life, The
Auschwitz Escape, The
Jungle Fever
Great White
Spy Who Came in from the Cold, The
Raya and the Last Dragon
Letter from Paris
   
 
Newest Articles
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
   
 
  Who's Minding the Store? Would you buy a vacuum cleaner from this man?
Year: 1962
Director: Frank Tashlin
Stars: Jerry Lewis, Jill St. John, Agnes Moorehead, John McGiver, Ray Walston, Francesca Bellini, Nancy Kulp, John Abbott, Jerry Hausner, Peggy Mondo, Isobel Elsom, Dick Wessel, Fritz Feld, Richard Deacon, Kathleen Freeman, Milton Frome, Barbara Pepper
Genre: ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 2 votes)
Review: For close to six generations, the Tuttle family have prospered running a chain of lavish department stores across America. However, it's the Tuttle women who wield the real power while their meek, subservient husbands change their surnames and generally do as they are told. Millionairess Phoebe Tuttle (Agnes Moorehead) is dismayed when her daughter Barbara (Jill St. John) rejects the family fortune and secretly starts working as a humble elevator girl at their New York store. Worse, she is romantically involved with Norman Pfeiffer (Jerry Lewis), a klutzy yet hard-working and earnest guy who struggles trying to earn enough money for them to settle down.

In Mrs. Tuttle's eyes, Norman is hardly ideal marriage material. Her solution is to have store manager Quimby (Ray Walston) hire Norman and have him do every thankless, near impossible task around the bustling store. From painting the knob at the end of a flagpole hanging from the ninth floor, to helping a lady pro-wrestler find the perfect pair of shoes and taming a monstrously out of control vacuum cleaner. Norman turns out to be made of sterner stuff and triumphs through oddball ingenuity, all without suspecting his sweetheart is really the boss' daughter. Norman even befriends the henpecked Mr. J.P. Tuttle (John McGiver) and reignites his wounded male pride, inspiring him to rebel against his overbearing wife...

Ladies, if you see only one Jerry Lewis comedy in your lifetime make sure it isn’t this one. Who's Minding the Store? draws from some deeply dated sexual politics with an alarmingly neurotic view of women as emasculators, voracious sexual predators and basically, self-serving bullies responsible for all the ill in the world. Which is surprising given how subversive Frank Tashlin usually is, in The Girl Can't Help It (1956), Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (1957) and Rock-A-Bye Baby (1958) for starters, though less surprising if you consider how many heroines in Jerry Lewis movies are sappy substitute mother figures.

As Barbara, Jill St. John exhibits none of her sassiness from Diamonds Are Forever (1971). Barbara begs to be disinherited! Okay, not every girl wants to be a career woman but how many nowadays would throw away wealth, influence and lifelong security in a thriving business, just to mollycoddle a man-child so straight-laced he rebuffs Barbara's sexual advances every time. Come on fella, you're fooling nobody. Anyone who has seen Mad Men knows the early Sixties were one of the randiest eras in history.

Fair enough, this was a far from enlightened time with regards to gender roles. It might be wrong to single this movie out, but take a look at the other female characters served up: a lady wrestler itching for an excuse to indulge her violent whims; a tough female big game hunter (Nancy Kulp) who bullies her way to grabbing a free gun; a ravenous horde of shoppers who stampede through a big sale. Even Quimby's sexy secretary, (Francesca Bellini) rings false. She is supposedly bilking him for an ever-escalating series of raises but given Quimby sulks or scowls whenever she is around, their's is the least passionate illicit romance you're likely to see. Late in the day Tashlin throws in a line of dialogue that recasts this as a battle between the sincere and insincere, but it really adds up to a world being sapped of its joy by those ruthless, heartless women. When Norman surveys portraits of past Tuttle matriarchs with barely concealed disgust, he utters a rallying cry in inimitable Lewis fashion: "A man should be king of his own ranch style type tract-house." Quite.

If the film has a sour centre, it is surrounded by a deliciously sweet shell. Coming at the height of Jerry Lewis' glossy Paramount era superstardom, it unfolds in snazzy Technicolor with lavish production design and costumes by Edith Head. Lewis’ sight gags and pantomime are often inspired, including a wonderful musical moment with an invisible typewriter, a hilarious gag wherein a stray golf ball creates havoc around the store, and a genuinely touching moment when both Norman and Mr. Tuttle touch hands with Barbara without the other realising. Tashlin paints himself into a corner with his battle of the sexes and so wraps things up with a cutesy, but unsatisfying ending. There is enjoyment to be had, but this is not the ideal comedy to watch with your significant other.

Click to watch the best scene in the movie

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 4779 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Frank Tashlin  (1913 - 1972)

American director whose films were heavily influenced by his years spent working in cartoons. In his 20s and 30s, Tashlin worked at both Disney and Warner Brothers in their animation studios, before moving into comedy scriptwriting in the late 1940s, on films like Bob Hope's The Paleface. Tashlin moved into directing popular live-action comedies soon after, with Hope in Son of Paleface, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis in Artists and Models and Hollywood or Bust, and most notably Jayne Mansfield in The Girl Can't Help It and Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? These films were full of inventive, sometimes surreal touches, and used many of the techniques Tashlin had learnt as an animator. Continued to work during the sixties, but without the success of the previous decade.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: