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Case Number 08082: Small Claims Court

Buy Jerry Lewis: The Legendary Jerry Collection at Amazon

Jerry Lewis: The Legendary Jerry Collection

The Stooge
1953 // 100 Minutes // Not Rated
The Bellboy
1960 // 71 Minutes // Not Rated
Cinderfella
1960 // 91 Minutes // Not Rated
The Delicate Delinquent
1961 // 92 Minutes // Not Rated
The Errand Boy
1961 // 92 Minutes // Not Rated
The Ladies Man
1961 // 95 Minutes // Not Rated
The Nutty Professor
1963 // 107 Minutes // Not Rated
The Disorderly Orderly
1964 // 89 Minutes // Not Rated
The Patsy
1964 // 101 Minutes // Not Rated
The Family Jewels
1965 // 99 Minutes // Not Rated
Released by Paramount
Reviewed by Judge Patrick Naugle // November 29th, 2005

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Editor's Note

Our reviews of The Bellboy (published November 29th, 2004), Cinderfella (published January 7th, 2005), The Delicate Delinquent (published January 28th, 2005), The Disorderly Orderly (published January 3rd, 2005), The Errand Boy (published February 15th, 2005), The Family Jewels (published February 15th, 2005), The Ladies Man (1961) (published January 25th, 2005), The Ladies Man (2000) (published May 29th, 2001), The Nutty Professor (1963) (published October 27th, 2000), The Nutty Professor (1963): Special Edition (published December 14th, 2004), The Nutty Professor (1996) (HD DVD) (published May 9th, 2007), The Nutty Professor (1963) (Blu-ray) Ultimate Collector's Edition (published June 16th, 2014), The Patsy (published November 7th, 2005), and The Stooge (published January 28th, 2005) are also available.

The Charge

Ten million French citizens can't be wrong, can they?

The Case

Jerry Lewis: The "Legendary Jerry" Collection is a repackaging of ten classic Jerry Lewis comedies. This collection contains the pinnacle of Lewis's solo career, including the final film he made with his legendary comedy partner, the late Dean Martin. Here is a rundown (as described by Paramount pictures) of the multiple films included on this set:

The Stooge: The popular comedy team of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis reached new entertainment heights with this classic movie treasure. Martin plays Bill Miller, a struggling Vaudeville singer in the 1930s who finds sudden success when he teams up with a fall-down-funny comedian, Ted Rogers (Lewis). But as their success grows, so does Miller's ego. When Miller suddenly fires Rogers, he gets a tough lesson in the hard knocks of showbiz—realizing that his ex-partner wasn't just a stooge; he was part of the act's great success. Hilarity and heartbreak make the perfect blend in "The Stooge."

The Bellboy: Jerry Lewis made his acclaimed directorial debut in this rollicking comedy hit. Anything can go wrong—and does—when Lewis stars as Stanley, a non-speaking, bumbling bellhop at the ritzy Fontainebleau Hotel in Florida's Miami Beach. Guests may come and guests may go, but Stanley is on duty day after day at the posh resort, encountering (and creating) all sorts of catastrophes, including confrontations with hard-to-please guests, misplaced room keys, and misdirected telephone calls. Topping off his hilarious antics are Stanley's disastrous run-ins with Milton Berle, and with entertainer Jerry Lewis!

Cinderfella: In a hilarious twist on the timeless fairy tale, the irrepressible Jerry Lewis plays the title role of "Cinderfella"—a hard-working and honest lad mistreated by his wicked stepmother (Judith Anderson) and his two boorish stepbrothers (Henry Silva and Robert Hutton). But miracles do happen—especially when your Fairy Godmother is the one-and-only Ed Wynn! With a little—okay, a lot—of wizardry and magic, the wacky Wynn manages to transform the klutzy fella into an eligible, handsome bachelor, ready to win the hand of a suitable Princess Charming!

The Errand Boy: Turn comedian Jerry Lewis loose inside the gates of a motion picture studio as "the errand boy" and the result is unrestrained pandemonium! Hired to be the "eyes and ears" of a Hollywood mogul at Paramutual Pictures, Morty S. Tashman (Lewis), under the guise of a studio mail clerk, is to roam the lot and then report back to his boss with any questionable and dishonest activities. But virtually all of the shenanigans and escapades Morty uncovers are ones of his own doing! From soundstage to back lot to front office, Morty innocently manages to become a one-man wrecking crew that leaves the giant entertainment company in a complete shambles. Lights, camera, calamity!

The Delicate Delinquent: Imagine calling the cops to restore law and order, and Jerry Lewis shows up? In his first film without long time partner Dean Martin, Lewis plays Sidney Pythias, a bumbling janitor caught up in the middle of a gang rumble. Mistaken for a member of the switchblade set, Sidney is encouraged to undergo a 180-degree transformation—from street hoodlum to full fledged policeman! Darren McGavin (A Christmas Story) is the reluctant law enforcement officer who must mold Lewis into a respectable man-in-blue at the Police Academy. But with all the chaos, disorder, and trouble Sidney manages to unleash during his training and development, just WHO will the police call for help?

The Errand Boy: Turn comedian Jerry Lewis loose inside the gates of a motion picture studio as "the errand boy" and the result is unrestrained pandemonium! Hired to be the "eyes and ears" of a Hollywood mogul at Paramutual Pictures, Morty S. Tashman (Lewis), under the guise of a studio mail clerk, is to roam the lot and then report back to his boss with any questionable and dishonest activities. But virtually all of the shenanigans and escapades Morty uncovers are ones of his own doing! From soundstage to back lot to front office, Morty innocently manages to become a one-man wrecking crew that leaves the giant entertainment company in a complete shambles. Lights, camera, calamity!

The Ladies Man: Move over, Don Juan and Casanova—you've got competition from none other than Herbert H. Heebert (Lewis). After being jilted by his gal, a depressed Herbert swears off romantic entanglements and is determined to live his life as a confirmed bachelor. However, he then finds employment at a Hollywood boardinghouse for women—and the female residents go wild over the newly hired help! And that's when the hapless Herbert gradates from being a simple handyman to becoming a "ladies man."

The Nutty Professor: Jerry Lewis directed, co-wrote and stars in this ridiculously funny movie that set a new standard for screen comedy. Lewis plays Dr. Julius Kelp, a homely and nearsighted chemistry teacher who's ignored by the ladies and ridiculed by his fellow professors. All of that changes one day when he concocts a magical potion that can transform him into a sophisticated and handsome Romeo; a confident, self-assured swinger dubbed "Buddy Love." But the Jekyll-and-Hyde routine soon creates double the trouble for the bumbling professor and the girl of his dreams (Stella Stevens), a student who has fallen head-over-heels for the conceited, debonair Buddy Love.

The Family Jewels: When a poor little rich girl (Donna Mutterworth) is suddenly orphaned, one of her six wacky uncles—all played by Jerry Lewis—will be selected as her guardian. The nine-year-old heiress can visit each one, and decide which uncle would be the ideal candidate to take her in. But the selection process won't be easy—most are truly, genuinely sincere, but one just as his eyes on her $30 million inheritance!

The Disorderly Orderly: Poor Jerome Littlefield (Lewis). He wants to be a doctor—but that's not exactly the perfect career choice when you're hopelessly squeamish! So he settles for the job of orderly at the Whitestone Sanitarium, a career move that's guaranteed to keep the patients—and viewers—in stitches! The fun begins with Sammy Davis, Jr.'s rendition of the film's title song and continues as the bumbling Jerome, a one-man disaster area, triggers chaos every time he tries to lend a helping hand. From causing the patients more trauma, to a high-speed ambulance chase, Lewis and his healthy dose of comic mishaps are the perfect prescription for what ails you!

The Patsy: When a proper entertainer meets with an untimely death, his shocked showbiz association scramble desperately to find a quick replacement. That replacement is Stanley Belt (Lewis), a meek hotel employee who suddenly finds himself picked from obscurity and hilariously groomed for stardom. Stanley may have no business being his show business, but that's not going to stop his determined mentors from trying to mold him into a musical superstar!

I will dispense with any obvious French jokes. From a layman's point of view, the years have not been kind to Jerry Lewis. Aside from the fact he appears to have blown up to around 450 pounds (give or take a few dozen), Lewis doesn't get much respect in the States. Ask anyone south the age of thirty if they've seen a Jerry Lewis movie and most likely they'll look at you as if your nose had been glued on backwards and upside down. To add insult to injury, every time Jerry Lewis's name comes up in the media it's either to A.) make fun of him and his persona or B.) poke fun at his work with the yearly Jerry Lewis Labor Day telethon (which, in all fairness, is a worthy and noble cause). Though his status as a comedian has been influential (my favorite homage: the Nutty Professor inspired "Professor Frink," hysterically brought to life by Hank Azaria's voice talents, on the TV show The Simpsons), his movies are mostly forgotten by anyone born after 1975.

The nagging question is this: why aren't Lewis's comedies as popular as they once were? I think the biggest reason is that many of his films haven't aged well. After sifting through this ten disc set, it's hard to say any of these movies are gems. In fact, a lot of them are, by today's standards, out-and-out duds (the best I can say is that they are of their time—what was funny back then sometimes isn't so funny in the present). The 'classic' of the set is Lewis's pinnacle, The Nutty Professor, and it's at best mildly funny and often staggeringly dull (the fact that Eddie Murphy's late '90s remake is eons better and funnier doesn't help matters). The Nutty Professor slows to a near crawl in a few spots, though I did like Lewis's jab at Dean Martin (his Buddy Love can be seen as a bizarre homage to Martin's swaggering boozer persona). I realize that many consider it to be a modern classic, but this reviewer just wasn't very amused.

The Bellboy is one of the better films on the set, a goofy romp through a day with a hotel employee who can't seem to get anything right. The freeform style of the film—often without any sound (making it Chaplin-esque) and a non-linear story—benefit it greatly. The Stooge is a poignant (if sometimes bland) Martin & Lewis pairing with a story (Martin gets rid of the Lewis character, who makes up the second part of their successful act) that seems bittersweet considering the falling out the two had in real life. Cinderfella is a mildly amusing re-imagining of one of cinema's most oft-filmed fairy tales—there is a lot of role reversal and even more dead space (it feels as if the story is a bit forced).

I realize that Jerry Lewis is somewhat of an acquired taste; like his modern counterpart, Jim Carey, it's often a love-him-or-leave-him scenario. After looking back at some of my peers' critiques of Lewis's films I was surprised to find a lot of favorable reviews; maybe my funny bone just isn't as sensitive. I did laugh at parts of The Errand Boy (I liked its little jabs at Hollywood and the movie industry) and The Disorderly Orderly was funnier than I anticipated (somehow the silly ambulance chase made me smile). Others like The Family Jewels and The Delicate Delinquent seem never-ending and light on laughs. As a whole this set works best as a time capsule of what folks found funny a few decades ago. It's a good thing as a society we've moved on to more sophisticated comedy instead of people getting hit in the crotch, goofballs falling down, and funny noises, or, maybe not.

In his later years Lewis was seen by some as an almost egotistic monster—witnessing him performing his comedic bits a long way over the hill is almost disheartening (if you've ever seen him rubber-faced in recent interviews it's kind of creepy). His last good movie was Martin Scorsese's The King of Comedy, and in it he's nearly upstaged by Robert DeNiro. It's likely that Lewis's professional career on the big screen is done. That begs the big question: is this 10-disc set worth picking up? Yes and no. There are some rather funny movies here, and a few duds as well. Consider the fact that this set will put you back around $40 dollars—and each individual disc costs around $15 bucks—it may be worth it to splurge on this set. However, be aware that some of the movies you won't feel the need to revisit after one viewing.

Each film is presented in its original aspect ratio, including 1.78:1 widescreen (The Bellboy), 1.85:1 widescreen (The Delicate Delinquent, Cinderfella, The Disorderly Orderly, The Family Jewels, The Patsy, The Errand Boy, The Ladies Man and The Nutty Professor), and 1.33:1 full frame (The Stooge). All of the widescreen transfers are presented in a 16x9 anamorphic enhancement. Overall the images on these discs look great—the colors are bright and crisp and the textures vividly presented. Black levels are also excellent, especially in the Lewis and Martin team-up The Stooge, one of a few films presented in black and white (The Errand Boy, The Delicate Delinquent, and The Bellboy are also presented in B&W). Although there are a few spots in each film where minor flaws can be spotted (including a slight bit of grain), fans of Lewis's films should be ecstatic about these transfers.

The soundtracks include Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (The Stooge in English, The Family Jewels in English and French, The Disorderly Orderly in English and French, The Patsy in English, Cinderfella in English and French, The Ladies Man in English and French, The Delicate Delinquent in English, The Bellboy in English and French, The Errand Boy in English and French) as well as Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (The Nutty Professor, also available in Dolby Restored 1.0 Mono in French and English). All of these tracks well represent their video counterparts—though none of them are overly exciting (even the 5.1 track on The Nutty Professor is rather under-whelming), they support the films well. Also included on each disc is a mixture of English, Spanish or French subtitles.

The following extra features are included on this set:

The Stooge: Theatrical Trailer

The Bellboy: Commentary by Jerry Lewis and Steve Lawrence, Archival Materials, Theatrical Trailer

Cinderfella: Commentary by Jerry Lewis and Steve Lawrence and Archival Materials

The Delicate Delinquent: Theatrical Trailer

The Errand Boy: Select Scene Commentary by Jerry Lewis and Steve Lawrence, Archival Materials, Theatrical Trailer

The Ladies Man: Commentary by Jerry Lewis and Steve Lawrence, Archival Materials, Theatrical Trailer and Teaser Trailer

The Nutty Professor: Commentary by Jerry Lewis and Steve Lawrence, Documentary, Archival Materials, Theatrical Trailer, "Jerry Lewis At Work" Featurette

The Disorderly Orderly: Archival Materials, Theatrical Trailer

The Family Jewels: Commentary by Jerry Lewis and Steve Lawrence, Archival Materials, Theatrical Trailer

The Patsy: Select Scene Commentary by Jerry Lewis and Steve Lawrence, Archival Materials, Theatrical Trailer

Finally, the set is featured in five slim line jewel cases housed in a cardboard box.

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Genres

• Classic
• Comedy

Scales of Justice, The Stooge

Judgment: 75

Perp Profile, The Stooge

Studio: Paramount
Video Formats:
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (English)
Subtitles:
• English
• Spanish
Running Time: 100 Minutes
Release Year: 1953
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks, The Stooge

• Theatrical Trailer

Scales of Justice, The Bellboy

Judgment: 75

Perp Profile, The Bellboy

Studio: Paramount
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (English)
• Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (French)
Subtitles:
• English
• Spanish
Running Time: 71 Minutes
Release Year: 1960
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks, The Bellboy

• Commentary Track by Jerry Lewis and Steve Lawrence
• Archival Materials
• Theatrical Trailer

Scales of Justice, Cinderfella

Judgment: 75

Perp Profile, Cinderfella

Studio: Paramount
Video Formats:
• 1.85:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (English)
• Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (French)
Subtitles:
• English
• Spanish
Running Time: 91 Minutes
Release Year: 1960
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks, Cinderfella

• Commentary by Jerry Lewis and Steve Lawrence
• Archival Materials

Scales of Justice, The Delicate Delinquent

Judgment: 75

Perp Profile, The Delicate Delinquent

Studio: Paramount
Video Formats:
• 1.85:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (English)
Subtitles:
• English
• French
Running Time: 92 Minutes
Release Year: 1961
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks, The Delicate Delinquent

• Theatrical Trailer

Scales of Justice, The Errand Boy

Judgment: 75

Perp Profile, The Errand Boy

Studio: Paramount
Video Formats:
• 1.85:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (English)
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (French)
Subtitles:
• English
• Spanish
Running Time: 92 Minutes
Release Year: 1961
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks, The Errand Boy

• Select Scene Commentary by Jerry Lewis and Steve Lawrence
• Archival Materials
• Theatrical Trailer

Scales of Justice, The Ladies Man

Judgment: 75

Perp Profile, The Ladies Man

Studio: Paramount
Video Formats:
• 1.85:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (English)
• Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (French)
Subtitles:
• English
• Spanish
Running Time: 95 Minutes
Release Year: 1961
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks, The Ladies Man

• Commentary by Jerry Lewis and Steve Lawrence
• Archival Materials
• Theatrical Trailer
• Teaser Trailer

Scales of Justice, The Nutty Professor

Judgment: 75

Perp Profile, The Nutty Professor

Studio: Paramount
Video Formats:
• 1.85:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
• Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (English)
• Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (French)
Subtitles:
• English
• Spanish
Running Time: 107 Minutes
Release Year: 1963
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks, The Nutty Professor

• Commentary by Jerry Lewis and Steve Lawrence
• Documentary
• Archival Materials
• Theatrical Trailer
• "Jerry Lewis At Work" Featurette

Scales of Justice, The Disorderly Orderly

Judgment: 75

Perp Profile, The Disorderly Orderly

Studio: Paramount
Video Formats:
• 1.85:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (English)
• Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (French)
Subtitles:
• English
• Spanish
Running Time: 89 Minutes
Release Year: 1964
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks, The Disorderly Orderly

• Theatrical Trailer
• Outtakes

Scales of Justice, The Patsy

Judgment: 75

Perp Profile, The Patsy

Studio: Paramount
Video Formats:
• 1.85:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (English)
Subtitles:
• English
• Spanish
Running Time: 101 Minutes
Release Year: 1964
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks, The Patsy

• Commentary on Select Scenes by Jerry Lewis and Steve Lawrence
• Deleted Scenes
• Promotional Spots
• Theatrical Trailer

Scales of Justice, The Family Jewels

Judgment: 75

Perp Profile, The Family Jewels

Studio: Paramount
Video Formats:
• 1.85:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (English)
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (French)
Subtitles:
• English
• Spanish
Running Time: 99 Minutes
Release Year: 1965
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks, The Family Jewels

• Commentary by Jerry Lewis and Steve Lawrence
• Archival Materials
• Theatrical Trailer








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