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OK, the second Of Jerry Lewis" films after the split up with Dean
Martin - and I was only 10 years old when I saw it. So naturally I
wanted to see Jerry succeed ( as well as Dean of course ) in his now
solo career. To my Mother's shock and amazement I hung an 8 1/2 by 10
inch photo of Liliane Montevecchi ( wearing that black sexy outfit from
the movie ) on my bedroom wall. Raging hormones at age 10 ??? Maybe LOL
But seriously I thought the movie was a riot. David Wayne and Joe Montell cracked me up as did Peter Lorre. Never stopped laughing. Funny thing though; I've never seen this movie repeated on TV. This is disappointing. That photo of Liliane stayed on my wall until it darn near wore out. Jerry's first movie after the split up was Delecate Delinquint which starred Darren McGavin.
The type of humor is probably dated by today's ( yuk ) standards but I can tell you for a fact that the entire theater audience laughed as hard and as long as I did.
So, if you get a chance to see this movie, I recommend it. It is in black and white but that's OK.
This is one of the most under rated films of all time!This film was very funny and was very entertaining and had the movie viewers concerned about the plot and the characters! It really delivered what the people expected from the Army comedy and then some!There was fun after hilarious fun and I do not understand why a lot of movie critcs do not see how well made the movie was.The only complaint I have about it is that it was done in black and white.But that is grasping for a negative right there.I hope people see this movie for what it is in the near future.A great classic comedy and to be rated as high as other classic comedies. It's pure enjoyment I tell you!
For his second film post Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis did a live adaption
of George Baker's World War II comic strip The Sad Sack. It was a role
perfectly suited to his talents though I have to say that it looked
like David Wayne was standing in for Dino.
It was a fateful day that Wayne and buddy Joe Mantell reporting back to Louisiana's Camp Calhoun ran into Lewis on the train who in his usual innocence befriends these two. Because of him they're late for reporting back and that's only the beginning.
In fact Lewis who is blessed with a photographic memory, but has the coordination of a goony bird has set an army record of most time in basic training. He's become an army project in that army psychologist Phyllis Kirk is sent down from the Pentagon and she puts Wayne and Mantell into personally supervising him through basic training. Seeing Lewis qualify on the rifle range is the funniest sequence in the film.
Once finished the whole platoon is assigned to an Air Force base in Morocco for security as some classified items involving a new army weapon have vanished. In fact the whole weapon has been taken, but its apart and bad guys George Dolenz and Peter Lorre don't know how to put it together. But the guy with photographic memory does.
The Sad Sack is a perfect part for Lewis and I have to say that David Wayne without getting in the way of the star gives a droll, but unobtrusive performance. It's definitely a Dean Martin part without the songs. Jerry even gets some romance here in the form of Liliane Montevecchi who plays a Moroccan belly dancer in league with the bad guys, but who has a change of heart when she meets The Sad Sack.
You have to see how Lewis, Wayne, and Mantell foil the bad guys. This is a really good role for Jerry and holds up very well for today.
I do believe the American critics simply prefer to dislike Jerry Lewis'
comedy, rather than seeing it for what it really is. The French on the
other hand laugh at what makes them laugh, without stopping to analyze
weather or not they should. Maybe that is why Lewis is still so popular in
France. If so, this film is a perfect example.
It is impossible to watch this film (dated though it is) and not laugh at the comic genius of Lewis. The man has the keen ability to leap between pathos and comedy without showing any signs of effort, or evident seams between the two. Like it or not American critics, that's comedic genius.
Try this film on for comedic size. You'll like it. And just sit back and laugh, don't analyze.
Aside from a god-awful opening tune sung by Lewis (ugh!), "The Sad
Sack" is an entertaining little film. Fresh from his breakup with
long-time partner, Dean Martin, the studio instead gave him David Wayne
AND Joe Mantell to fill the void. And considering that there isn't any
of the usual singing, things worked out just fine. However, don't
expect huge laughs from this one--just a pleasant little army comedy.
Lewis naturally plays the Sad Sack--a soldier who can't seem to do anything right. However, a dopey female Major takes him under her wing and gets a couple soldiers (Wayne and Mantell) to buddy up with Lewis and help him through basic training. Eventually, the trio is sent to North Africa where they have a series of mildly interesting adventures.
Like I said above, this is not a hilarious film but a nice little comedy. What I especially liked is that Lewis was far more likable and restrained than usual--without the excess mugging that sometimes ruined his later films. What you're left with is some nice acting, a decent script from this little time-passer. The only negative I noticed is that there are quite a few sexist remarks about the major--a product of the times in which it was made.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Just watched this, Jerry Lewis' second solo film after the breakup with Dean Martin, on YouTube. In this one, he plays the title character named Meredith C. Bixby, a Private. He's based on the cartoon character created by George Baker though I don't remember him having a name there. No matter. Anyway, Bixby is mainly the charge of Corporal Larry Dolan (David Wayne) and Pvt. Stan Wenaslawsky (Joe Mantell) as assigned by Sgt. Major Elmer Pulley (Gene Evans) and Maj. Shelton (Phyllis Kirk). As you can tell by the person's name playing the last part, she's a woman though obviously we're supposed to be surprised by that as is Dolan but he certainly doesn't waste time flirting with her! Obviously, his role was originally written with Dean in mind but since he broke up the team and was freelancing at other studios as well, it just wasn't going to be. I'll just say that there are some hilarious scenes for the first 30 or 45 minutes (especially when Jerry manages to defeat some bullies at a bar) and things are mostly moderately amusing after that but still, there's a feel good vibe throughout and when singer Liliane Montevecchi performs or Peter Lorre has to take orders from Lewis, the picture picks up considerably. Oh, and a player from some previous Martin & Lewis movies-Mary Treen, also from my favorite movie: It's a Wonderful Life-has a funny bit as Sgt. Hansen, who finds Jer and his two "friends" accidentally in the womens' barracks. So on that note, The Sad Sack is recommended.
The only memorable thing about this bland, tacky, cheap-looking comedy is Liliane Montevecchi. That this beautiful, spectacularly entertaining creature could have been intentionally included in this otherwise nastily drab picture is almost beyond belief. Peter Lorre is also brought in to jazz things up a bit, mostly to no avail, though thanks to his efforts one of his scenes with Jerry Lewis is very nearly funny.
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