Jerry Lewis is one of the funniest people to grace us with his on-screen presence. He was also a cinematic genius who directed, produced, edited, and starred in all of his pictures. Sounds a bit like Buster Keaton or Charlie Chaplin before him, and much like them he helped to revolutionize the industry. For example, he invented the “daily” or the ability to view a recording immediately after shooting it so that he could better direct himself and get the best out of his own performance.
Much is different between this movie and the remake from the 90s. One thing is the humor, outside of the zaniness, the humor in this is very sophisticated and smart. Something not apparent in the remake which is mostly going for the cheapest laughs it possibly can. Here, they can mix a zany joke with a slower joke that makes you think. There they mostly just farted a lot between telling the most obvious jokes they could think of.
I have to appreciate Jerry Lewis just for who he is. He can definitely act his pants off for the audience and get himself to do what he needed to make the scene work. His acting skill and style is most evident here where he goes from the scientist from the Simpsons that says “Glaven!” all the time to being a younger cooler version of John Travolta, showing off, at the very least, his acting range.
The 60s for films was a very experimental time, much like the 60s themself, it does things you see for the first time in this decade and other things that you only see during this time as the ideas didn’t really work outside of the hippy-dippy-trippy 60s. It’s still a pretty good film but you can see some of the things that were more a style of the time than anything else.
Why you should watch it before you die: Jerry Lewis does here what he does best, being Jerry Lewis. You really can’t go wrong with him.