Gilbert Wooley is a second-rate magician who is sent to entertain the troops in the pacific. During his time in Japan he becomes attached to a little orphan boy. Written by
David Gibson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The most interesting item in the film is the appearance of the real "Los Angeles Dodgers" who made an appearance in the film playing an exhibition baseball game in Japan. This film appearance was directly after the Dodgers abruptly moved to Los Angeles from Brooklyn which probably enraged New York filmgoers at the time. See more »
Because of its Japanese location somebody at Paramount decided to entitle this film Geisha Boy even though geishas are hardly involved in the story. That was a tradition of B westerns back in the day. But this is hardly a film that is a grind them out B western. Geisha Boy is one of Jerry Lewis's best solo film, he and Frank Tashlin as director work a masterpiece here.
Although some familiar players are in the cast, what drives Geisha Boy is the great chemistry between Lewis and young Robert Hiriano. Lewis plays a magician who sometimes isn't up to the task of magic. He gets himself on a USO tour in the Far East with headliner Marie McDonald. But gets himself thrown off that quick enough. But along the way Hiriano and his aunt Nobu McCarthy make his acquaintance because Nobu is the official interpreter. The little boy who is an orphan is withdrawn, but responds to Jerry. The two develop a real bond that equals that of Charlie Chaplin and Jackie Coogan. Their scenes are real and not maudlin and some of the best direction that Frank Tashlin ever did.
Lewis also had to work real hard for his second co-star to not steal any scenes. His devoted companion and helper in his magic act is a rabbit named Harry Hare. I doubt that a real rabbit could be so well trained so I'm sure Paramount's special effects were called in. Still those scenes are also special.
Marie McDonald known as 'the Body' back in the day is one full figured gal. But as the star of the tour, she has a couple of great scenes with Lewis. In fact her descent from the plane as Lewis tries to apologize to her for an incident on the plane I won't go into will provide tons of laughs. She was a great foil for Jerry, one of the best he ever had.
Though it is firmly established in the Fifties, Geisha Boy has some really timeless comedy and pathos some of the best ever done by Jerry Lewis. Geisha Boy is definitely one of his best films.
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