Barbara Tuttle (Jill St. John) is a very rich girl who falls in love with Norman Phiffier (Jerry Lewis), a clumsy, inept and poor young dog-walker.
As Barbara prepares to marry him against the wishes of her store-owner mother, Mrs Tuttle (Agnes Moorehead) hires Norman at one of her big department stores and gives him the worst and most difficult tasks. She hopes that seeing Norman humiliated, Barbara will finally leave him.
Featuring Lewis at his best, the film is essentially a series of vignettes as Norman bounces around from department to department at Tuttles as he tries to earn enough money to marry the woman he loves.
Standout scenes are many, but none surpass Norman wandering into an empty office and tapping an imaginary typewriter to the sound of Leroy Anderson’s Typewriter Song. The idea is not brilliant, but the execution is and Jerry’s facial expressions are a joy to behold.
Ray Walston is great as Mr Quimby – the weasely General Manager of the store who does everything he can to break Norman.
The seventh of eight Jerry Lewis films directed by former cartoon director Frank Tashlin, Who’s Minding The Store? was a product placement dream, featuring references to several popular brand-name items of the era including Hoover, RCA Whirlpool, and Waste King/Universal appliances; Channel Master electronics; MacGregor, Brunswick, and Garcia sporting goods; Honda motor scooters; Sealy mattresses; Browning firearms; Park & Tilford gourmet food/beverage products; Esquire shoe products (Lady Esquire), and several more.
Jill St. John
Mr John P. Tuttle
Mrs Phoebe Tuttle
Francois, the driver