7.1/10
904
21 user 6 critic

The Joker Is Wild (1957)

Approved | | Drama, Musical | October 1957 (USA)
Frank Sinatra plays Joe E. Lewis, a famous comedian of the 1930s-50s. When the movie opens, Lewis is a young, talented singer who performs in speakeasies. When he bolts one job for another,... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (book)
Reviews

Watch Now

$0.00 (SD) with Prime Video

Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In the post-war, the alcoholic and bitter veteran military and former writer Dave Hirsch returns from Chicago to his hometown Parkman, Indiana. He is followed by Ginnie Moorehead, a vulgar ... See full summary »

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Shirley MacLaine
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An impractical widower tries to hang onto his Miami hotel and his 12-year-old son.

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: Frank Sinatra, Edward G. Robinson, Eleanor Parker
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A strung-out junkie deals with a demoralizing drug addiction while his crippled wife and card sharks pull him down.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Frank Sinatra, Kim Novak, Eleanor Parker
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Charlie Reader is a successful theater agent. He is also successful with young ladies. One day he is visited by his old friend Joe, married with three children. Joe falls in love with ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Walters
Stars: Frank Sinatra, Debbie Reynolds, David Wayne
Adventure | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A crusty, eccentric priest recruits three reluctant convicts to help him rescue a children's leper colony from a Pacific island menaced by a smoldering volcano.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Frank Sinatra, Kerwin Mathews
Never So Few (1959)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

During WW2, the American O.S.S. mounts covert operations against the Japanese army in the jungles of Burma.

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Frank Sinatra, Gina Lollobrigida, Peter Lawford
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

After 17 years, things have got too predictable and stale. They argue, they visit a marriage counselor, Richard (drunk) visits a prostitute. They split up. After meeting other people, they ... See full summary »

Director: Bud Yorkin
Stars: Dick Van Dyke, Debbie Reynolds, Jason Robards
Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Danny Wilson and partner Mike make a meager living singing in dives and hustling pool. One night they meet entertainer Joy Carroll, who gets them a job at racketeer Nick Driscoll's posh ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph Pevney
Stars: Frank Sinatra, Shelley Winters, Alex Nicol
Les Girls (1957)
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

After writing a tell-all book about her days in the dance troupe "Barry Nichols and Les Girls", Sybil Wren (Kay Kendall) is sued for libeling her fellow dancer Angele (Taina Elg). A Rashomon... See full summary »

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Gene Kelly, Mitzi Gaynor, Kay Kendall
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The Wolves baseball team gets steamed when they find they've been inherited by one K.C. Higgins, a suspected "fathead" who intends to take an active interest in running the team. But K.C. ... See full summary »

Director: Busby Berkeley
Stars: Frank Sinatra, Esther Williams, Gene Kelly
Blue Skies (1946)
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Jed Potter looks back on a love triangle conducted over the course of years and between musical numbers. Dancer Jed loves showgirl Mary, who loves compulsive nightclub-opener Johnny, who ... See full summary »

Directors: Stuart Heisler, Mark Sandrich
Stars: Fred Astaire, Bing Crosby, Joan Caulfield
Drama | War | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Toward the end of World War II, two American soldiers fighting in Southern France become romantically involved with a young, American woman. Her background will reveal more about them than her.

Director: Delmer Daves
Stars: Frank Sinatra, Tony Curtis, Natalie Wood
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Joe E. Lewis
...
...
Letty Page
...
Austin Mack
...
...
Swifty Morgan
Barry Kelley ...
Captain Hugh McCarthy
...
Georgie Parker
Leonard Graves ...
Tim Coogan
...
Flora - Chorine
Hank Henry ...
Burlesque Comedian
...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Johnson (unconfirmed)
Edit

Storyline

Frank Sinatra plays Joe E. Lewis, a famous comedian of the 1930s-50s. When the movie opens, Lewis is a young, talented singer who performs in speakeasies. When he bolts one job for another, the mob boss who owns the first speakeasy has his thugs try to kill Lewis. Lewis survives, but his vocal cords are cut and he cannot sing. Several years later, his buddy tracks him down and tries to help him with little success. That attempt, though, leads to Lewis meeting Letty Page (Jeanne Crain). They fall in love and she inspires him to follow up on an offer to become a comedian (a result of his buddy's failed attempt to rejuvenate his singing career). Lewis has problems, though. The assault that nearly cost him his life also helped turn him into an alcoholic and an inveterate gambler. These two character defects become the basis for his act and help to make him a smash success. Unfortunately, they also work to wreak havoc in his personal life. Written by David Oboyski

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Musical

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

October 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

All the Way  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The song "June in January" was sung by Bing Crosby in the movie using his image behind a screen. See more »

Goofs

Towards the end, when Joe is receiving a pep talk from his "reflection" in the store glass window, his real reflection briefly appears beside it, thus revealing two reflections; one speaking, the other silent. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Batman: The Joker Is Wild (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

If I Could Be with You
(uncredited)
Music by James P. Johnson
Lyrics by Henry Creamer
Sung by Frank Sinatra
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A Competent Curiosity
11 February 2006 | by (Arizona) – See all my reviews

Comedian Joe E. Lewis is best remembered as a precursor of comedians like Rodney Dangerfield and Foster Brooks as well as a pal of Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. The common thread was creating one-liners that had something to do with drunks. He is sometimes confused with Joe E. Brown because of his name, though the two had little in common except being in the show business at about the same time. This film starring Frank Sinatra is therefore a kind of personal homage to a friend, one that would hold little interest as a story unless the viewer knew of the connection in advance. In starts sort of nowhere and goes sort of nowhere, relying for its interest on an unusually literate script and some really good direction and camera work. The best scene is one toward the beginning where Sinatra and a radiant Jeanne Crain meet behind a cyclorama in a theater and flirt with each other as the shadowy figures on the other side of the screen are partying. Twenty-first century viewers will find the dialogue, the sets, and the constant smoking and drinking very curious -- sometimes offensive to modern sensibilities. But that is a characteristic common to many films made between the beginning of "talkies" in about 1930 and the introduction of blockbuster mega-films in the late 1950's and early 1960's. The social diameters and definitions of acceptable behavior for women, black people, drunks, so-called burlesque shows, and "cafe society" and the like were either narrower or broader during that time than they are today. This is definitely not a film made from a play or novel requiring attention to literary unities. Still, it hangs together pretty well for anyone patient enough to concentrate on its more dramatic moments. Look for it on Turner Classic Movies.


12 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Needed on DVD, right? Romojo
need a copy gerriwithremax
How much of this was based on reality? philosophymom
Jackie Coogan!!! flashbacktogreatness
The Soundtrack sheenatra
On Watch Instantly! dengelke
Discuss The Joker Is Wild (1957) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?