HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Morfalous, Les
Dreambuilders
Everything Went Fine
Lux AEterna
Rum Runners
Fairy and the Devil, The
Mad God
Outside the Law
I Remember Mama
Superman Unbound
Lawrence of Belgravia
House Across the Lake, The
Wonder Park
Hornsby e Rodriguez
Operation Mincemeat
5 Kung Fu Daredevil Heroes
Scoob!
Earwig
Offseason
Peau Douce, La
Double Indemnity
Na Cha and the Seven Devils
Deep Murder
Superman vs. the Elite
Adam Project, The
Osamu Tezuka's Last Mystery of the 20th Century
Horse, La
Buffaloed
Train Robbers, The
Let Sleeping Cops Lie
Abominable
Funeral, The
Burning Sea, The
Godzilla Singular Point
Ace of Aces
Innocents, The
Beast and the Magic Sword, The
Last Hard Men, The
Found Footage Phenomenon, The
Night Trap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Bellboy, The Checking In Checking Out
Year: 1960
Director: Jerry Lewis
Stars: Jerry Lewis, Alex Gerry, Bob Clayton, Sonnie Sands, Eddie Shaeffer, Herkie Styles, David Landfield, Bill Richmond, Larry Best, Cary Middlecoff, Stanley Allan, Maxie Rosenbloom, Joe E. Ross, Jack Kruschen, Walter Winchell, Milton Berle
Genre: ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: This is not your average motion picture. While many like to attend romantic movies, or science fiction movies, or crime movies, or horror movies, this one has something that the others don't. Or rather it lacks something that the others have: a plot. There is no story to this one, in fact it's a series of gags that revolve around a nut, and he is one of the bellboys at this Miami hotel. He doesn't have much to say for himself, but then he is simply ordered about most of the time, and inadvertently causes chaos for the guests he comes into contact with...

The Bellboy was Jerry Lewis's first outing as director, after a career as the star, but he was not prepared to take a back seat as far as appearing onscreen went, so took the title role of this film too. Paramount, his then-studio backers, put the pressure on him at the time to deliver a film that would be released before Cinderfella, his and Frank Tashlin's take on the Cinderella story, and so this item was rustled up at extremely short notice for the summer. As much of it was Lewis's brainchild, the success of the project rested on his shoulders, and today it is not so much remembered for being fall-down hilarious, but more for indicating the new direction he would take.

That direction being mainly behind the scenes, as he took control of his films like never before, often doing as much as possible to create his vehicles. He had always been a perfectionist, but now his obsessions rose to new heights, and you can see the beginnings of that here, although this has a far looser, improvised feel than his precision efforts of the rest of the decade. As is stated at the beginning, as if to contend with any complaints that there was no real plot here, what The Bellboy amounted to was a series of sketches centred around that hotel, with Lewis following the lead of not only Tashlin, but his idols of silent comedy as well.

Not only is the bellboy called Stanley, there's even a Stan Laurel character wandering about, played by writer Bill Richmond with the expected mannerisms, so there was at least one reference to the greats that audiences would recognise. Was Lewis comparing himself to those stars, or was he paying tribute? How you feel about that will depend on how you feel about him in general, but he comes across as sincere in his attempts to fashion a comedy just as they used to, and Stanley doesn't say a word until the last couple of minutes of the movie. However, that doesn't mean that you did not hear Lewis's voice, as if he felt the need to remind those watching of his status in the Hollywood firmament.

This meant that Jerry Lewis is also a character in the film, stopping by at the hotel with a comically huge entourage who laugh sycophantically at his every sentence, even the least appropriate ones. What he was saying about his place in showbusiness is not completely clear, as his persona seems sympathetic - he's not playing the obnoxious bighead celeb, for example, and if anything has mixed feelings about his renown. This could be why he so often took the roles of members of the lowest rungs of society, and its nice to see him finding worth in those parts without seeming patronising, as he does here. However, The Bellboy was not exactly the funniest movie he ever made, as while it was pleasing and inventive, there was not much to have you roaring with laughter at the cartoonish gags. There were plenty of amusing moments, but they did not really draw together to a triumph; it does remain interesting for what it signalled in its creator's career, though. Music by Walter Scharf.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3546 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
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
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Mary Sibley
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: