6 items from 2017
With the saddening news of Jerry Lewis departing us a few days ago, it bought to mind not only his fine cinematic outputs as a leading comedic star in the 50’s and 60’s (including classics such as The Nutty Professor and The Bellboy) but also his role in the oft overlooked Martin Scorsese classic, The King of Comedy. Often cast along with Dean Martin in his earlier career, Lewis would later step out of Martin’s shadow and forge a career as a leading man. Though as many will know, as his popularity in the Us waned, he picked up more fans in Europe (particularly France). His brand of physical clowning translated well across the world. In fact his films would later become popular across Asia too given his visual comedy was universally appreciated.
Whilst Lewis may »
- Amie Cranswick
I annoyed Jerry Lewis once by asking him about The Day the Clown Cried, a movie he starred in and directed in 1972, and then refused to release. "It's awful," said Lewis of the Holocaust drama in which he starred as a circus clown who entertains Jewish children as he leads them to their deaths in Nazi gas chambers. Why not show it and let the world decide? "I'm ashamed of it," Lewis told me flatly. When I pressed him, he flashed a look that could be subtitled "End of Discussion. »
By the late 1970s, Jerry Lewis was becoming perilously close to being a has-been. After decades of celebrity – first in his successful partnership with Dean Martin, then later on his own as the star of comedies like Rock-a-Bye Baby and as the auteur behind epochal hits such as The Nutty Professor – the gifted comic filmmaker and host of the annual Labor Day Muscular Dystrophy telethon started experiencing a series of stumbles. He shelved his much-ballyhooed drama The Day the Clown Cried, about a German clown living in the Nazi concentration camps, »
20 August 2017 12:15 PM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
Martin Scorsese, who directed the 1983 film The King of Comedy, which starred Jerry Lewis, who died Sunday, remembered the star by saying: "Jerry Lewis was a master. He was a great entertainer. He was a great artist. And he was a remarkable man."
Scorsese cast Lewis as talk show host Jerry Langford in the black comedy. It was an unusual part for the star, since the role was more dramatic than comic. In the film, Robert De Niro plays Rupert Pupkin, an aspiring stand-up comic who is obsessed with Langford and is convinced he »
- Gregg Kilday
The 400 Blows. Courtesy of ShutterstockFor many directors, casting decisions are a crucial part of the writing process. They set the parameters in which the character can develop itself. Fundamentally, a good casting decision can make a character transcend its own scripted ambitions into wonderful, unexpected territories. But bad casting, as we know, can cripple not just a character’s potential but the entire film. It’s hard to talk about casting choices as creative decisions since they are so ingrained within certain creative impulses—the decision of choosing a particular actor over another can be based on mere gut feeling, a hunch, or an intellectual response. But of course, it can also depend (as it often does in large budget films) on an actor’s status, reputation or his or her monetary value. As we get to know actors, we see them typecast or cast against type but sometimes »
Do portrayals of celebrity culture and fan worship get more lacerating and acute than 1983’s masterpiece The King of Comedy? Martin Scorsese’s follow-up to Raging Bull is quite brilliantly perceptive, taking the hatchet to narcissistic wannabes in the form of Robert De Niro’s seminal Rupert Pupkin whilst also taking us behind the curtain and depicting the loneliness that comes with those who’ve made a success of themselves. The latter is personified by Jerry Lewis’ alienated comic star Jerry Langford, one who can barely leave his New York apartment without vitriolic ‘fans’ wishing he gets cancer. In Scorsese’s utterly damning depiction of fame, there are no winners: neither aspiring stars nor established A-listers come out of this one clean.
On the »
- Sean Wilson
6 items from 2017
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