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It's hard to believe that this was Martin and Lewis' last film. It was
reported that they could barely stand each other to make this film--this
hardly evident when you watch it. There are some great laughs in the
such as the beginning when Jerry spills popcorn in the lady's
Some great comedic stuff is provided by the dog, Mr. Bascom. There is an especially cute segment where he meets and "falls in love" with Anita Eckberg's dog. Oops....don't want to give too much of it away.
All in all this is a very funny movie, and well worth buying or renting.
Malcolm Smith loves the movies and especially Anita Ekberg. Getting one
of his lucky feelings, Malcolm buys a ream of raffle tickets to win a
car. Sure enough he wins, but so does gigolo gambler Steve Wiley, who,
not unsurprisingly has won by less than honourable means. Refusing to
give out two cars, the promotion merely tells the men that they will
have to share the car. Much to Steve's annoyance as he has debts to
pay. So deviously he agrees to drive with Malcolm to Hollywood,
planning to ditch him at the first chance he gets. Only he hadn't
figured on Mr. Bascom, Malcolm's Great Dane who's along for the ride,
and an encounter with the pretty Terry Roberts. Yep, it's safe to say
this is not going to be an ordinary road trip.
With their relationship deeply fractured at this time (this was their last film together), it's something of a surprise to find that Hollywood Or Bust is one of the finest films that Dean Martin (Steve) and Jerry Lewis (Malcolm) made. Everything that made the duo so massively popular is in here, even into the bargain daring to cast a satirical slant to the whiles and trials of Hollywood itself. A lot of the credit has to go to director Frank Tashlin. Tashlin, who was also at the helm for arguably the boys career high point Artists & Models, keeps the whole thing zippy, steering the duo in a direction to which they simply could not fail.
Sure enough the humour is almost juvenile at times, and yes Dean of course croons and tries to bed the girl (a spiky Pat Crowley as Terry), but it's got such a sense of joy to it, the kind of joy that much like Artists & Models, can really lift the blues. Stand out songs from the Sammy Fain and Paul Francis Webster score are "A Day in the Country" and "It Looks Like Love", whilst it will be tough not to giggle at some of the antics of Mr. Bascom and the irrepressible Lewis, particularly with one particular movie parody. Anita Ekberg comes and joins in the fun later in the piece, just in time for the riotous carnage that you know is around the corner.
If the sight of a Great Dane driving a car is not funny to you? Well chances are you should avoid this film completely. But that would be a shame for it's a delightful film, brisk and cheeky, it's most definitely one that's in desperate need of reappraisal from the grumpy brigade because it's a real blues lifter. 8/10
Dean Martin plays Steve Wiley, a gambler with bad debts and Jerry Lewis is Malcolm Smith, a huge movie lover who wants to go to Hollywood to meet Anita Ekberg.And then there is a car raffle where Steve wins a car with a fake ticket and Malcolm wins it with a real one.So they're both off to Hollywood with Malcolm's dog Great Dane and Terry Roberts (Pat Crowley), a girl they meet along the way.A very pretty lady, if I may add.By the way, Dean Martin's daughters Claudia, Deana and Gail can be seen in the movie.Frank Tashlin's Hollywood or Bust (1956) is a good and funny comedy which offers you some good laughs.One good and funny scene is where Jerry sings the song of the dog food commercial and then there's of course the one where the dog goes for a ride with the car.A dog behind the wheel is always funny.This was the last movie Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis did together.There were personal conflicts that ended the relationship.They were such a hilarious duo and they did lots of great films together.But as you know,nothing lasts forever.Luckily they didn't stay as enemies forever.In 1976 Frank Sinatra reunited them on stage and they stayed as friends till Dean's death in 1995.While making this film there was lots of anger between them but you can hardly see it.This isn't all time best of Martin and Lewis but it's very enjoyable anyway.Jerry Lewis has said he hasn't seen Hollywood or Bust because it's much too painful for him to watch.Good movie, bad memories.
Though according to the Nick Tosches biography of Dean Martin, both
Martin and Lewis were barely speaking to each other off camera, the two
of them did go out on a good note in Hollywood Or Bust.
In fact the antagonism between them probably helped in a way. The plot calls for Martin to be a gambler into a bookie big time. But he's got a scheme whereby he cheats a lottery and wins a new car. The problem is that Lewis, playing his usual schnook, also has a winning ticket, the real one. Car dealer Willard Waterman gives joint ownership of the car to them.
Martin takes the offer thinking he can dump Lewis and still sell the car to cover his losses. But Lewis wants the car to meet his dream girl Anita Ekberg playing herself.
Two other passengers come along on this New York to Hollywood trip, aspiring showgirl Pat Crowley and Lewis's great Dane, Mr. Bascomb. The gags involving the dog were taken straight from the WC Fields classic, Six of a Kind. That's certainly in keeping with the Paramount tradition of having Martin and Lewis remake some of their classics. The great Dane foiled Dino's schemes and caused quite the ruckus.
A very hot song writing team of the period, Sammy Fain and Paul Francis Webster, wrote the score for Hollywood Or Bust. They won two Oscars in the Fifties for Secret Love and Love Is A Many Splendored Thing. One of Dino's best ballads comes from this score, It Looks Like Love. His Capitol Record is a classic.
Because of the antagonism the two were feeling in real life, the scenes were sharp between Dean and Jerry. Lewis in fact told one and all this would be the team's last joint effort.
And in Hollywood, they did indeed bust, but they busted with style.
"Hollywood or Bust" was the last of Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin musical
comedies and a very good one. Although it is not as bracingly
innovative and riotous as Tashlin's "Artists and Models", I kept
Some hilarious and enjoyable scenes come to mind: The opening moments in the movie theater where Lewis is ruining a woman's hair with popcorn; the rousing musical number "A Day in the Country" (Martin and Lewis in a car) which is Tashlin's homage to the "Beyond the Blue Horizon" number in Lubitsch's 1930 musical "Monte Carlo"; and there is Lewis' imitation of Rudolph Valentino's "Blood and the Sand".
Sure it can be silly and puerile at times, but it's a lot of fun.
Having spent the last two or so weeks watching Martin & Lewis movies in chronological order on YouTube, I just finished their very last one on the same site. Once again, a couple of female players from their previous ones have appeared here: Pat Crowley, previously Jerry's girl in Money from Home, is now Dean's here though she initially plays hard to get. And Anita Ekberg, who was a model in Artists and Models, plays herself as the movie star Jerry has a massive crush on. Since this is directed by Frank Tashlin, expect plenty of well-endowed women in view, particularly when Dean and Jerry are watching the views of various farming countrysides on the road. Oh, and there's also a dog named Mr. Bascomb in tow to add to the hilarious comedy that's almost nonstop throughout. Watching this, you wouldn't know that Martin & Lewis weren't talking to each other off-set and that they would break up the act for good. Maybe it's just as well as they both would continue to have success solo (Jerry) and with others (Dean). I've had the best time seeing them grow as performers during this time and I'm looking forward to watching what I can of their subsequent films separate from each other. So on that note, I highly recommend Hollywood or Bust. P.S. While the IMDb cast list doesn't identify him, I swear the guy who announces the winning car ticket that Dean & Jerry claim is Harold Peary, best known to me as The Great Gildersleeve on radio, especially when he enunciates certain words. And I immediately recognized when they went through my birthtown of Chicago, Ill., by the Prudential building.
This is the last of the 16 movies which Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis
made together, and by this point they weren't even speaking to each
other off-camera, but this time the screen is filled with even more
inventiveness than usual. That's because the director is master
satirist Frank Tashlin, who, having already taken on rock and roll (The
Girl Can't Help It) and comic books (Artists and Models, also with Dean
and Jerry), now turns his attention to movie fandom.
Dean plays Steve, a down-on-his-luck gambler who wants to pay off his debts by cheating in a raffle to win an expensive car, but the legal winner (Malcolm, played by Jerry) also turns up, and the contest holder rules that they have to share the car. Malcolm (a movie fan who's obsessed with Anita Ekberg) wants to drive the car to Hollywood to meet her, and Steve goes along for the ride, planning to ditch him somewhere along the way. Unfortunately, Malcolm is also bringing his gigantic dog "Mr. Bascom," who manages to thwart a few of Steve's plans.
Besides the numerous references to movies real and fictional (i.e., "Chloroform and Old Calico"), we also get romance, great musical numbers, beautiful Technicolor, Jerry doing a bullfighting routine a la Rudolph Valentino, a hilarious gambling sequence in a Vegas casino, and much more. Dean and Jerry part ways after this, but at least they leave on a high note.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I really enjoyed this film and thought it was both thoroughly
entertaining and brilliantly satirical. Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis are
so great in this film that I almost wish that they could've made more
films together. And yet, I think ultimately it's better that they ended
on such a high note.
As user comments have already pointed out, there are quite a few great comedy moments in this film. I'll mention one of my favourites, which occurs in the car while a famished Dean, who is also driving, is unaware that Jerry is giving Mr. Bascom (and himself) bites of his hamburger. Then Dean mentions that he can smell hamburger and not long after that he finds his hand in Mr. Bascom's mouth. I could be alone on this one, but I felt that was a very funny sequence and very original in its delivery.
Kudos has to go to Frank Tashlin, who I believe was a great director of satire. I love all the little references to movies in this film and in particular the billboard for 'Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis' that our main characters see while driving through Las Vegas.
Overall, this is a great final film for Dean and Jerry whose off-screen tension during filming never really shows on screen. They continue that great brotherly rapport that they had established in their previous films. This is definitely a film worth watching.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is the final Martin & Lewis film before their breakup. It begins
with gambler Dean getting in trouble for gambling debts and the mob
sends a tough guy (Maxie Rosenbloom) to beat him up unless he pays.
However, instead of paying him off, Dean convinces Maxie to wait, as
he's got a scheme to steal a brand-new convertible--thus paying off his
debt and then some. It seems that these is a car giveaway at the local
movie theater and Dean had the same printer make an extra set of
tickets--then he can claim the prize. He figures that whenever there's
a raffle, the winning ticket isn't usually the first or second one
drawn, as many ticket holders don't bother to come to the theater. But,
unfortunately, his plan falls apart when the winning ticket holder IS
there (Jerry) and the two men both try to claim the prize. Instead of
giving them two cars, the theater owner says they should share the
car--and Dean plans on just stealing it the first chance he gets. So,
Dean convinces movie-crazy Jerry to go with him to Hollywood so he can
introduce him to Anita Ekberg (not a bad plan, as MOST heterosexual men
in 1956 would quickly fall for this angle!). Naturally, however, the
plan does NOT go smoothly and there are comic situations galore--thanks
in many cases to Mr. Bascom (see the movie to find out more about him)
and better than normal writing.
This is the only Martin & Lewis film I hadn't seen up to today and I always expected it to be terrible. After all, the team soon broke up and reportedly the two couldn't stand each other and barely spoke during production. But you really couldn't see this in the finished product--a clever movie with some nice gags. It also has a nice, leisurely pace that works well--surprisingly well. Considering the end product is so good and the film relies less than normal on Jerry's over-the-top histrionics than many of their films, it's a shame they went their separate ways. In a few cases, however, Jerry's shtick went on way, way too long was the over-acted bullfight scene and his expressions during the craps game. Still, a nice blend of comedy, music and romance--I wish I'd seen this one sooner. Certainly not great but quite enjoyable.
In Las Vegas, be sure to keep a close eye on the marquees they pass on their way through town.
Okay, let's see: a large dog drives a car, a film nerd gets caught in a
bull-ring wearing a red coat, the film nerd falls from a scaffolding
right onto the bed on which Anita Ekberg lies. There are story holes
(Dean still owes the money at the end to the gangsters, right?)
Does any of this read as if we are embarking on an intelligent film odyssey (ie, cp with any Steve Martin film). Of course not. That being said, this is a really fun and funny movie. The characters are drawn sufficiently full that we feel we do know what and who they are, the slapstick is set up reasonably logically, and the visual comedy reflects the fact Lewis and Dean had honed their shtick over many many years.
It all works, and works well. The songs are nice, Dean looks great, Lewis' timing is on-spot, all the women shown in the opening credits, pool scene, etc are still fun to see, the director keeps it humming quickly along, the shots of Chicago's Lake Shore Drive and downtown are fun to see, and the story, well, the story is the nonsense to get from one scene to another.
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