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The Delicate Delinquent
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Delicate Delinquent More at IMDbPro »

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16 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

This movie influenced me as a boy leading to a police career

Author: Denny Keyes ( from Willow Grove, PA
29 November 1999

I first saw this movie at the theater in 1957. I was 13 and was captivated at the transformation of Sidney(Jerry Lewis). I watched as he went from a goofy, skinny kid(like I was then)to a mature, respected policeman. I never forgot this film and developed an interest in law enforcement. I have been retired for 8 years after a career with the PA State Police. The movie was more than entertainment to me.

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13 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Proves Jerry Lewis's Genius

Author: dr_shred ( from El Segundo, Ca
4 February 2005

My wife hates Jerry Lewis. The French love him. Why the divergence?

In the late 40's and 50's Martin and Lewis were the most popular comedy act of their era. Watching some of their early stand-up routines one can't help marvel at Lewis's precocity and Martin's understated comic acumen. People who really know about Dean know what an underrated genius he was, but in this movie, Lewis's wide range of talents - mimicry, improvisation, foolery, jest - erupt with no comic-duo distractions. It's his tour de force.

Darrin McGavin turns in a great performance as Damon to Lewis's Pythias. The stunning Martha Hyer is great as the uppity goody two-shoes who falls for McGavin. Don't forget the uncredited cameo by Frank Gorshin. Robert Ivers, Horace McMahon, Richard Bakalyan, Milton Frome, et al, complete a great cast in one of the best comic movies ever.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

What are you? And, what you wanna be?

Author: Spikeopath from United Kingdom
2 July 2010

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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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

The Delicate Delinquent (1957)

Author: morrigan1982 from Greece
5 December 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

You just got to love Jerry Lewis. He is so amazing and talented. In this movie he plays the janitor Sidney Pythias, who manages to get himself always into trouble. Mike Damon a police officer sets his mind into helping him do something with his life, as someone did for him in the past. The role of the police officer is played by Darren McGavin and you can also see Frank Gorshin in a small part! So Jerry Lewis decides that he wants to become a police officer like Mike who is respected by the good citizens and make himself someone important. So the training starts with his officer friend helping him to get ready for his tests. Soon though he comes face to face with his past and the new troubles it will create! As always Jerry is great and this film is a lot of fun.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

First Movie Without Dean Martin

Author: rosco1947
18 April 2008

At age 10, I kept my fingers crossed en route to see this movie. I loved both Martin and Lewis, was shocked at their breakup and truly wished them both happiness and success.

The movie did not disappoint me and I sensed that Jerry would be OK. Jerry's next movie, " Sad Sack " was much funnier; I thought - although I do remember having a huge poster of Liliane Montevecchi hanging in my bedroom for at least two years after seeing the movie - and perhaps "that" had something to do with my preference LOL.

The rest is history of course. For those in my age bracket, I also think it is worthwhile to mention how many times Jerry Lewis chose Kathleen Freeman to co-star in his movies. She was, of course, one of the two actresses to portray the maid in the 1953 TV series " Topper " which starred Leo G Carroll.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Jerry without Dino

Author: Petri Pelkonen ( from Finland
27 June 2000

Jerry Lewis plays a janitor called Sidney Pythias, who is hanging up with wrong kind of people.With the help of a cop called Mike Damon (Darren McGavin) he goes to the police academy to become a policeman.Delicate Delinquent from 1957 is Jerry's

first movie without Dean Martin, but he does nice job as solo. This isn't Lewis' greatest works, but it offers some great moments.Watch the movie if you want to be a cop or if you just like Jerry Lewis.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Jerry Lewis shines in both comedy and drama in his first solo film-The Delicate Delinquent

Author: tavm from Baton Rouge, LA
31 August 2011

Just watched this, Jerry Lewis' first movie without Dean Martin, on YouTube. Meant to partially be a spoof of the "delinquent" films of the time, Jer does quite well in mixing his usual goofy persona with that of a more serious learner when he gets mentored by a friendly cop named Mike Damon (Darren McGavin). In fact, this was originally supposed to be Dean's role but either he balked at actually playing an authority figure or he simply just had enough of his former partner's ego to continue on with him. Anyway, whenever McGavin has fights with a female council member named Martha Henshaw (Martha Hyer) there's still some traces of the Martin-like attitude especially when he reveals to Sidney (Lewis' character) his feelings for her. Officer Mike not only has to deal with the punks that hang around Sidney like Monk (Robert Ivers) and Artie (Richard Bakalyan) but also his superior officer, Capt. Riley (Horace McMahon) who has plenty of doubts about Mike's methods. Like I said, this was a good mix of comedy and drama and also, Jerry has a nice number by himself in which he drops his usual whiny voice for his more normal one (which he also does in the more serious scenes). So on that note, I highly recommend The Delicate Delinquent.

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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Fine comedy-drama hits the mark

Author: STEVEN DANKO ( from Brooklyn, NY
9 December 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In his first solo run without Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis is wonderful as a bumbling janitor in a tenement building who decides to make something out of himself by becoming a police officer. He finds himself walking a fine line between his friendship with Officer Mike Damon(DARREN McGAVIN), who has taken a personal interest in him and believes in him, and the local gang of neighborhood delinquents headed by Monk(ROBERT IVERS) and his sidekick Artie(RICHARD BAKALYAN). Lewis' exposure to the police academy provides most of the film's humor as he fumbles and stumbles his way through his coursework. The funniest sequence here is when the recruits are given a class in hand-to-hand combat by a Japanese sumo wrestler, who picks Lewis to demonstrate the techniques on. The interpreter tells Lewis he was picked because the wrestler says he looks Japanese! After getting karate-chopped numerous times and twisted into a pretzel, Lewis pleads with the martial artist to let him live- in Japanese! This is what makes the sequence so hilarious- that Lewis would be able to speak Japanese, considering who he was and where he was living. It's a riot to watch these two men walk off the mat with their arms around each other, conversing fluently in Japanese. In one critical scene, Monk and Artie pay a visit to Lewis in his basement apartment. These guys are poster boys for Anti-Social Personality Disorder. Monk tells Lewis that before he leaves this world, he going to make a lot of noise. Lewis tells him that there are lots of good, decent people in the world who are not looking to break anyone's back and that he wants to be one of them. When they leave, Artie asks Monk why he didn't let him rough Lewis up and Monk, clearly affected by what Lewis told him, says "I got confused... He made sense." As part of their final evaluation before being graduated from the academy, the rookie cops are paired with veteran officers to go out on armed street patrol and Lewis gets paired up with his buddy Mike. Called to a burglary in progress, the two buddies and other officers confront Monk and his gang and a free-for-all ensues. A gunshot rings out and Artie falls to the ground, a bullet in his leg. The discharge is quickly traced to Lewis' revolver and Artie accuses him of deliberately shooting him. It looks like Lewis' police career might be over before it even starts, but someone from an unlikely corner comes forward to speak up for him and tell the Precinct Captain(HORACE McMAHON) what really occurred. Someone who had firsthand knowledge of what happened with Lewis's gun and how Artie wound up getting shot. Someone who vindicates Lewis and himself. This is a wonderful film that still holds up 50 years later. I give it a 10 out of 10.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Jerry goes a simpering, sentimental tale with slapstick asides

Author: moonspinner55 from las vegas, nv
27 September 2016

Apprentice maintenance worker is mentored by a good-hearted neighborhood cop who wants to get one kid from the streets on the right path in life. Writer-director Don McGuire apparently fashioned this comedy vehicle for the team of Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin, but when Martin dropped out (and ended the partnership), Lewis took center stage--and appeared very comfortable in doing so. Unfortunately, McGuire's script (which shows evidence of tampering) allows Lewis too much room to do his act: self-pitying pathos, dumb/smart retorts, goofy faces and voices. The plot doesn't make much sense, anyway: officer Darren McGavin apparently thinks Lewis is a member of a street gang--but Lewis has a job and his own apartment, and there are no scenes to show McGavin realizing his subject isn't a delinquent at all (he just goes right on helping him...into the police academy!). Slick and well-produced in black-and-white, the picture mixes in 'funny' scenes for the kids (Lewis helping an eccentric tenant with his experiments, being picked in a self-defense demonstration by a Sumo wrestler) and also adds convenient ladies for both Lewis and McGavin. The narrative is lumpy (it's just a bunch of episodes strung together), but McGavin is surprisingly paternal with Lewis, which eventually leads to a curiously sober conclusion, one that won't please fans hoping for another wild Jerry Lewis outing. ** from ****

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

roam the streets

Author: Lee Eisenberg ( from Portland, Oregon, USA
21 September 2011

Jerry Lewis's first movie without Dean Martin casts him as a juvenile delinquent hired by a cop (Darren McGavin) to become a cop. "The Delicate Delinquent" is the typical sort of movie that Lewis was making around that time. It's mostly an excuse for him to act silly, sometimes via facial expressions. There's nothing special about the movie, although it does provide a few laughs. Without a doubt, Lewis reached his apex with "The Nutty Professor".

Martha Hyer (who later got married to Lewis's producer Hal Wallis) provides a foil for both Lewis and McGavin. Watch for a young Frank Gorshin (best known as the Riddler on the 1960s "Batman" series) as a gang member.

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