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The Errand Boy
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Errand Boy More at IMDbPro »

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9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

One Of Jerry's Finest

Author: Brian Washington (Sargebri@att.net) from Los Angeles, California
12 May 2004

This is probably one of the finest films Jerry Lewis did in the post Martin and Lewis era. In fact, this film is a pretty much a great parody of Hollywood and it manages to poke fun at what really goes on behind the scenes with many of its stars and how a lot of films are really produced. One scene that is particularly funny is the one in the recording studio. This pretty much reminded me of how a lot of actresses who couldn't sing had their voices dubbed by a professional singer (of course this could have been inspired by noted singer Marni Nixon who dubbed many of Hollywood's leading ladies including Audrey Hepburn and Natalie Wood). But the funniest scene was the one in the candy store in which Morty is constantly going up and down the ladder getting jelly beans for the three kids and finally explodes when the last kid asks for them. This film is definitely one of Jerry Lewis's best.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A Jerry Lewis Classic!!!!!!!

Author: curtaincall9000 from Long Island, NY
1 February 2003

i first saw pieces of this movie on AMC and just had to rent it. the story is so sweet and that's what it's such a great film. it's hard to decide what would be considered the best scenes, but these are my favorites: when jerry gets the jelly-beans for the 3 kids and when he talks to that puppet goose. these show the childlike innocence of jerry and how morty s tashman felt about the studio, [these are near the middle of the film]. i think that not only jerry-fans will like this movie but anyone looking for a good movie to sit back and enjoy! next to the nutty professor, this is jerry's best work! definetly a wonderful story to behold!

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

My favourite Jerry Lewis movie

Author: didi-5 from United Kingdom
5 June 2004

Those who dismiss 'The Errand Boy' as juvenile comedy in the vein of the awful Tom Green are way out of line - this film in particular is entertaining, genuinely funny, and acted and directed with charm by Jerry Lewis. Perhaps he was funnier in 'Who's Minding The Store' or 'The Nutty Professor', but this one remains my favourite.

It is the story of Morty, an underling at a Hollywood studio where he can cause as many problems as he can - in the canteen, on the sets, in the lift, as an unexpected extra during filming, and by overdubbing his own squeaky vocals over a finished soundtrack. The combined effect of all this is irresistable.

My favourite scene though is the one in the prop room, where Morty seeks advice from a couple of finger puppets about how to improve his life. Cliched, maybe, but unexpected amongst the silliness and really quite effective.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Donlevy's Folly makes for a wonderful comic triumph

9/10
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York
9 November 2011

Somewhere along the line Jerry Lewis who directed as well as starred in The Errand Boy forgot to put a coherent plot together. Normally that's something I look for first and foremost. But with the very thin premise that someone would hire Jerry to be an efficiency expert because no one would think a schnook like him would be suspected, Lewis succeeded in putting together a wonderful series of gags most of them involving not a word of dialog.

Because of that The Errand Boy rates right up there with the best of Jerry's work in film. Brian Donlevy plays the head of Paramutual Studios and he and the rest of the Paramutual clan hire this klutzy paperhanger to root out the inefficiency in operations at the studio which is costing them money. Again because no one would suspect Lewis of being any kind of a spy because no one would suspect of having any kind of brain. Pretty thin if you ask me.

Still if it weren't for Donlevy's folly we wouldn't get this marvelous film. Some wonderful comedy bits are far too numerous to mention, but some of my favorites were him taking Kathleen Freeman through the car wash and getting her properly waxed, the drowning sequence in the pool, his appearance as an extra in Sig Ruman's film causing Ruman the director to have a nervous breakdown. Best of all at the birthday party for star Iris Adrian, Jerry opening a yard high magnum of champagne which comes out with the force of a fire hose.

Because so little dialog is used, The Errand Boy is probably the film that critics most often cite when they say and I agree that Jerry Lewis could have been one of the classic silent screen star, right up there with Chaplin, Lloyd, and Keaton.

The Errand Boy ranks up with one of the best of Jerry Lewis's solo films and a must for his fans.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

One of my favorites also.

9/10
Author: TRRkey from Fla. USA
8 November 2006

Biting satire set up by the staid Brian Donlevy, and Howard McNear in his absolute best role, Jerry only exceeds this in "The Nutty Professor" with his 'Buddy Love' nightclub entrance and musical performance. Playing it straight as Jerry Langford in "King of Comedy" is also at the top of my list. "The Disorderly Orderly" and "Who's Minding the Store" are great entertainment also, {in my humble opinion} topping a list you all know. He and Mickey Rooney and a few others are the last of a vaudeville/burlesque tradition that we shall not see again. Jerry Lewis, the consummate comedian, actor, producer and director was able to bring genuinely funny and original material to the screen over and over again. Hats off to You, Jerry, a talent without peer.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

The fool in Hollywood

9/10
Author: Petri Pelkonen (petri_pelkonen@hotmail.com) from Finland
26 July 2006

Jerry Lewis is Morty S. Tashman who is hired by Paramutual Pictures to be their spy.He gets to work in the mail room for Grumpy (Stanley Adams).Soon they notice it wasn't such a good idea to hire Morty.Morty causes a disaster after another at whatever he does.The funny man Jerry Lewis directed and wrote with Bill Richmond this hilarious movie.Jerry is at his funniest in this one, just like he is in many of his other movies.The supporting cast is great as well.There are talents like Brian Donlevy, Dexter McNear, Renée Taylor, Kathleen Freeman, Isobel Elsom, Iris Adrian, Del Moore, 'Snub' Pollard, Michael Landon and three other members from Bonanza.The Errand Boy (1961) is a party for Jerry Lewis fans, such as myself.The movie is filled and full of hilarious scenes, like Jerry in the elevator or in the candy store, when he has problems with pronouncing all those complicated names, when he gets accidentally to the movie set and gets carried away with the song...The list goes on and on until the movie ends.The movie can also be serious and sweet, when Jerry encounters with the hand puppet clown and ostrich.I think a good comedy can be funny and serious, maybe even at the same time.Serious moments don't worsen the comedy.Jerry Lewis has the capability of bringing both of those sides into his movies.Watch this movie.It will show you the both sides of Jerry Lewis, the king of comedy.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Silly, plot less, ofter overacted but still enjoyable.

6/10
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
25 July 2013

I don't think "The Errand Boy" is a film everyone will love. The film is essentially plot less and it's made up of one silly skit after another. Additionally, some of the bits are pretty bad--with some serious overacting by Jerry Lewis. Yet, despite its faults, the film is pleasant and entertaining.

I could describe the plot but frankly it never made sense and occupied little of the film. Suffice to say that dopey Morty (Lewis) is hired as an errand boy at a film studio and ends up repeatedly screwing up pretty much everything he does. And, in the end, there is a twist--a nice one at that.

Very few people would notice that much of "The Errand Boy" was lifted from the Harold Lloyd feature "Movie Crazy". Part of the reason folks won't recognize this is that it's a rather obscure film--created in the talking picture era when he was no longer quite the star he was during the silent days. Additionally, the film has been seen, quite inaccurately, as a dud--whereas it's really a dandy film. Here, Lewis resurrects much of this old film and into it injects lots of silliness. Some of the silliness doesn't work (as was often the case, the timing was a problem--skits were something overdone and drawn out way too much--especially the ones involving mispronunciations) and some does. I really didn't enjoy the pathos in scenes involving puppets but must admit a few of the skits (such as Jerry in the pool) were quite funny. Overall, a VERY mixed bag and a film much like Lewis' other plot less film, "The Bell Boy" (which I actually prefer). Worth seeing if you are a fan.

By the way, for classic TV buffs, you'll easily recognize Howard McNear (Floyd the Barber from "The Andy Griffith Show"). But, if you look closely, you'll also see Barry Livingston (Ernie from "My Three Sons") in a skit involving jellybeans.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Morty S. Tashman (the S stands for scared)

6/10
Author: JohnRouseMerriottChard from United Kingdom
14 April 2012

Jerry Lewis directs, co-writes and stars in The Errand Boy. Film finds the hapless Lewis hired as an errand boy behind the scenes at Paramutual Pictures. There's a method in the madness, had honcho Tom Paramutual (Brian Donlevy sadly under used) wants him to spy behind the scenes to see why the studio is loosing so much money. Chaos inevitably follows.

Forget the plot, there actually isn't one to hang your hat on, film consists mostly of Lewis skits strung together as he takes us around the workings of the back lot of Paramount. There's a caustic edge to the piece, with Lewis and co-writer Bill Richmond gleefully saying that where film making is concerned, all that glitters is not gold. Some of the visual gags work, others not so, with a couple running far too long to actually work. But as always with Lewis, his best moments detract from the bad to leave the film entertaining for his fans, even if it struggles to stretch the premise over 90 minutes. 6/10

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

The king of all comedies

10/10
Author: bmkaisil from United States
14 April 2005

I usually don't laugh out loud at jerry lewis movies, tho i almost always am entertained by him and appreciate his genius. The errand boy makes me repeatedly laugh out loud and has for almost 45 years. i never tire of the hilarious routines and i think its a shame that jerry was never nominated for his work. as far as I'm concerned, the Jim Carey's and Eddie Murphy's of the world should send jerry a cut of every check they get since they have stolen from him enormously. i usually don't agree with the french, but jerry is a genius and he did his great works with only the special effect of being jerry.The underwater diver scene and the Leo Durocher scene are classics as is the musical boardroom scene which never tires as many times as i have scene Jerry do it on the telathons

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Anti-Hollywood / Pro-Success

8/10
Author: caspian1978 from Boston, MA
31 March 2005

One of the first of many Jerry Lewis comedies that Paramount (Paramutual) Studios would produce throughout the late 50's and 60's. I disappointment to not have the movie in color, the black and white not only shows the movie's early roots, but the classic Hollywood esq. that the movie takes place in. In many ways, the movie opens and closes poking fun at the Hollywood system and the people in it. The ending showcases a moral that if you are in the right place at the right time and that you know the right people, you too can make it in Hollywood. \ Jerry Lewis has many moments throughout the movie. Many if not all re comical. His childlike qualities gives Lewis the reputation that he can do no wrong. Like most Jerry Lewis movies, he is not the only highlight. All of his movies have a strong central cast without any weak links. All the supporting characters (funny or not) are terrific. An interesting scene with the New York based filmmaker. In a way, it shows the different ethic that east coast has compared to the west coast. One of the more interesting parts of the movie, it is far from anything comical. It makes me wonder why Jerry Lewis included it in the film.....being from the east coast himself.

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