9/9/07

FINAL JERRY LEWIS POST--OR IS IT?

jerrysballs

Check out the above site. If that's you're idea of a good time.

I could get hung up with Jerry for days--weeks, months?--but why alienate the few devoted readers I have? Instead, lets close with this modest clip from Jerry's first film as a director (and co-writer, and producer, and star...) "The Bellboy." Made for a pittance (according to Jerry) to prove to Paramount that he was capable of being an autuer--and shot mostly on location at the Fountainbleu Hotel in Miami, "The Bellboy" is certainly one of Lewis's best outings as a performer, filmmaker and entrepenuer. The whole film still has a largely experimental feel to it-it's not burdened by any sort of real plot or, from Lewis, a contrived star performance. It's modesty is, in fact, it's greatest asset.

Yet when you watch the below clip (and I don't wish to oversell it--it's only modestly amusing) you'll see that as a director Lewis was more than a Chaplin who pointed the camera at himself and did nothing interesting with the technology--he was early on looking for ways to make the fact that it was a movie matter. As a kid, I always looked forward to this movie (on KTTV quite often--along with "The Errand Boy") and always was puzzled and bemused by the below scene. Given the year it was made (1960) the joke-effect in it wasn't quite as easy to accomplish as it would be now. Indeed it appears to involve a lock-down, a new set-up and a view of the moon that I suppose is real--thought it's interesting that the camera has to pan to include it.

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