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CinderFella (1960)

The classic Cinderella story was reversed here with Jerry Lewis in the leading role (he also produced the film).

Fella (Lewis) is a clumsy simpleton. When his father dies, poor Fella is left at the mercy of his snobbish and wicked stepmother (Judith Anderson) and her two stuck-up sons, Maximilian (Henry Silva) and Rupert (Robert Hutton).

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As he slaves away for his nasty step-family, Maximilian and Rupert attempt to find a treasure which Fella’s father has supposedly hidden on the estate. Meanwhile, hoping to restore her dwindling fortunes, the stepmother plans a fancy ball in honour of the visiting Princess Charmein (Anna Maria Alberghetti) whom she hopes will marry Rupert.

Eventually, Fella’s Fairy Godfather (Ed Wynn) shows up to convince him that he has a shot at winning the Princess himself. Music at the ball is provided by none other than Count Basie and the Princess is sumptuously gowned by Academy Award-winning designer Edith Head.

While Cinderella traditionally has a carriage transformed from a pumpkin, Fella rides to the ball in a glamorous motor car valued at $75,000 with mink seats, a television set, bar and telephone. The vehicle – with a pearlescent paint job and 24-carat gold trim – was created by James Skonzakes (better known as Jim Street) and known as the Golden Sahara II.

Jerry Lewis’ musical entrance down the grand staircase was done in one take – but his seven-second rush exit up those same 63 steps put too much strain on his heart and landed him in hospital.

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Fella
Jerry Lewis
Fairy Godfather

Ed Wynn
Wicked Stepmother

Judith Anderson
Princess Charmein

Anna Maria Alberghetti
Maximilian

Henry Silva
Rupert

Robert Hutton
Jack

Stephen Jay
Jill

Shari Lee Bernath
Fella Aged 11

Barry Gordon
Butler

Milton Frome
Lady-in-Waiting

Anne Dore
Maximilian as a Boy

Stephen Hammer
Rupert as a Boy

Richard Klein
Reporter

Robert Jordan
Gold Chauffeur

Norman Leavitt
Count Basie

Himself
Joe Williams

Himself
Del Moore

Himself

Director
Frank Tashlin

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