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The Delicate Delinquent (1957)

 -  Comedy  -  6 June 1957 (USA)
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Sidney Pythias is a bumbling janitor picked up by cop Mike Damon as a teenage gang member worth saving from delinquency. With Damon's help, Sidney works his way through the Police Academy to become a cop too.



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Title: The Delicate Delinquent (1957)

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Complete credited cast:
Robert Ivers ...
Horace McMahon ...
Capt. Riley
Richard Bakalyan ...
Joe Corey ...
Harry (as Joseph Corey)
Mary Webster ...
Milton Frome ...
Mr. Herman
Jefferson Dudley Searles ...
Mr. Crow (as Jefferson Searles)


Sidney Pythias is a bumbling janitor picked up by cop Mike Damon as a teenage gang member worth saving from delinquency. With Damon's help, Sidney works his way through the Police Academy to become a cop too.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Jerry's at his sensational a teenage terror who scares nobody but himself! See more »




Approved | See all certifications »





Release Date:

6 June 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Damon and Pythius  »

Box Office


$460,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


After Hollywood or Bust (1956), this was to have been the next film for Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin. Martin did not want to be seen on screen in a police uniform and refused to do the film. Their partnership soon ended, so this film was Lewis' first solo effort. The part originally meant for Martin was given to Darren McGavin. See more »


Referenced in Film Geek (2005) See more »


By Myself
Written by Arthur Schwartz and Howard Dietz
Sung by Jerry Lewis
See more »

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User Reviews

What are you? And, what you wanna be?
2 July 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Sydney L. Pythias (Jerry Lewis), more juvenile than delinquent, is a janitor mistaken for a gang member whilst emptying out the garbage. Kindly police officer Mike Damon (Darren McGavin) tries to straighten him out by putting him through police training.

The role of Damon was earmarked for regular Lewis partner Dean Martin, but Martin allegedly refused to play a copper and the role was given to McGavin. Thus the film became notable for being the first solo film for Lewis away from his regular partner. They never worked together again. Written and directed by Don McGuire who works from a script based upon the Greek mythology legend of Damon and Pythias, the film also stars Martha Hyer, Robert Ivers and features a rare dramatic turn from comedian/impressionist Frank Gorshin. After the tremendous success of the Martin/Lewis partnership the big question of course would be if Lewis as a solo performer would be a big draw? The Delicate Delenquent was a massive success, made for under half a million dollars it went on to make almost $6 million. Thus launching Lewis on a lucrative solo career encompassing many more film's in the decades to come.

Very much a send up of teen rebel movies that were knocking about in the 50s {delinquency amongst teens was becoming a hot topic in the decade}, Lewis' movie is gentle blend of comedy and drama. Tho he doles out some of the gurning buffoon antics that were his comedy trait, Lewis does get to play it more restrained for much of the piece, and it works, none more so than with the warm and uplifting finale. With that in mind, newcomers to the movie should not expect a raucous Jerry Lewis piece. The comedy is good, with some scenes during the police academy training portion of the film, particularly enjoyable. While Jerry sings "By Myself," in cheeky recognition of his split-up with Dino. The romantic interest in the film comes via the beautiful Martha Hyer, who married Hal Wallis in 1966, the producer of the Dean Martin/Jerry Lewis films. And tho it's not a fully formed character, there's just enough material to let Hyer leave a favourable mark.

A long way from Lewis' best solo film {The Nutty Professor} but engaging enough on both its comedy and dramatic fronts. 6.5/10

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