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Bellboy, The (1960)

Stanley (Jerry Lewis) is just one of an army of bellboys at a luxury hotel in Miami. But, unlike the others, he always seems to end up causing trouble.

After 17 films with partner Dean Martin and a further seven solo, Jerry Lewis persuaded Paramount to let him take on the directorial duties for the first time in one of his own films.

Little more than a series of sketches – no story, no plot – set in the famous Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami, this very funny movie (which Lewis also produced and wrote) confirmed a clear directorial style and proved Lewis well capable of continuing the tradition of great American comedy auteurs.

Most of the comedy is silent and almost Chaplinesque, with Stanley speaking only in one sequence toward the end of the film when an exasperated manager asks why he never says anything. “I guess ’cause nobody asked me,” is his reply.

Unfortunately, his unique talent was only really recognised internationally in France. Most British critics still loathe Lewis’s humour, generally considering it infantile in the extreme.

Jerry Lewis
Alex Gerry
Bell Captain
Bob Clayton
Herkie Styles
Sonny Sands
Eddie Shaeffer
David Landfield
Stan Laurel
Bill Richmond

Jerry Lewis