MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 424 this week

The Nutty Professor (1963)

 -  Comedy | Sci-Fi  -  4 June 1963 (USA)
6.7
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.7/10 from 10,515 users  
Reviews: 76 user | 48 critic

To improve his social life, a nerdish professor drinks a potion that temporarily turns him into the handsome, but obnoxious, Buddy Love.

Director:

0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 20 Mar 2011
 
a list of 26 titles
created 10 Jul 2011
 
a list of 30 titles
created 25 May 2012
 
a list of 21 titles
created 17 Jun 2012
 
a list of 45 titles
created 11 Mar 2013
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Nutty Professor (1963)

The Nutty Professor (1963) on IMDb 6.7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Nutty Professor.

User Polls

1 win. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Bellboy (1960)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

In Miami Beach, the mute bellboy Stanley works at the luxurious Fontainebleau Hotel. In spite of being a serviceable and friendly employee, the clumsy Stanley gets successively into trouble with his mistakes.

Director: Jerry Lewis
Stars: Jerry Lewis, Alex Gerry, Bob Clayton
Comedy | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Grossly overweight Prof. Sherman Klump, desperate to lose weight takes a special chemical that turns him into the slim but obnoxious Buddy Love.

Director: Tom Shadyac
Stars: Eddie Murphy, Jada Pinkett Smith, James Coburn
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

After his girl leaves him for someone else, Herbert gets really depressed and starts searching for a job. He finally finds one in a big house which is inhabited by many, many women. Can he ... See full summary »

Director: Jerry Lewis
Stars: Jerry Lewis, Helen Traubel, Pat Stanley
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

When he flunks out of med school, Jerome Littlefield goes to work as an orderly in a private rest home where he wreaks havoc for everyone concerned. Dr. Jean Howard is the exasperated head ... See full summary »

Director: Frank Tashlin
Stars: Jerry Lewis, Glenda Farrell, Susan Oliver
The Caddy (1953)
Comedy | Musical | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Although gifted golfer Harvey Miller is too nervous to golf in public tournaments, he acts as coach and caddy for friend Joe Anthony.

Director: Norman Taurog
Stars: Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, Donna Reed
Comedy | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.3/10 X  

Professor Sherman Klump is getting married. And the Klump family could not be more delighted for him. But Buddy Love, his Mr. Hyde alter-ego from the first film, is back and trying to make ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Segal
Stars: Eddie Murphy, Janet Jackson, Larry Miller
The Colgate Comedy Hour (1950–1955)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

This was a Colgate sponsored Comedy hour that featured many notable Comedians and Entertainers of the era as Guest Stars.

Stars: Jerry Lewis, Dean Martin, Al Goodman
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A young heiress must choose between six uncles, one of which is up to no good and out to harm the girl's beloved bodyguard who practically raised her.

Director: Jerry Lewis
Stars: Jerry Lewis, Sebastian Cabot, Neil Hamilton
The Patsy (1964)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

When a star comedian dies, his comedy team, decides to train a nobody to fill the shoes of the Star in a big TV show (a Patsy). But the man they choose, bellboy Stanley Belt, cant do ... See full summary »

Director: Jerry Lewis
Stars: Jerry Lewis, Ina Balin, Everett Sloane
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Sidney Pythias is a bumbling janitor picked up by cop Mike Damon as a teenage gang member worth saving from delinquency. With Damon's help, Sidney works his way through the Police Academy to become a cop too.

Director: Don McGuire
Stars: Jerry Lewis, Martha Hyer, Darren McGavin
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Norman Phiffier works as a store clerk in a large department store. Clumsy and inept, he can't do anything right. Boy are they in trouble!

Director: Frank Tashlin
Stars: Jerry Lewis, Jill St. John, Ray Walston
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

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.

Director: Frank Tashlin
Stars: Jerry Lewis, Marie McDonald, Sessue Hayakawa
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Del Moore ...
...
Med Flory ...
...
Football Player / Student
...
...
Milton Frome ...
...
Bartender
...
English Student
David Landfield ...
College Student
Skip Ward ...
Football Player
Julie Parrish ...
College Student
...
Gibson, College Student
Edit

Storyline

Nerd. Milquetoast. Klutz. These are just three of the many undesirable words that can be used to describe Professor Julius Kelp. But all that changes when the chemistry expert invents a potion that transforms him into a suave, sexy chick magnet, whom Julius aptly names Buddy Love. Unfortunately, there's one side effect: Buddy can't control when he'll change back into Julius, an event that always happens at inopportune times. How will Julius/Buddy resolve his Jekyll-and-Hyde dilemma? Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Well, any scientist who makes a girl like this can't be all mad. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 June 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El profesor chiflado  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

According to one of the trailers for this film, "We don't care if you blab about the beginning of this picture; nor do we care if you give away the ending; but we do care if you reveal the middle. In fact, Jerry Lewis urges you to see this picture from the beginning, on penalty of losing your popcorn privileges." This spoofs Alfred Hitchcock's dictum that Psycho (1960) had to be seen from the beginning and his insistence that no latecomers be seated ("not even the [theatre] manager's brother"). See more »

Goofs

When Julius drinks his "potion" and transforms into the Hyde-like creature prior to the appearance of Buddy, Julius' bird alternates between being covered and uncovered several times between shots. This is particularly noticeable when the bird says, "I told you, Julius," and we cut to a long shot where the birdcage is covered. See more »

Quotes

Professor Julius Kelp: Well, just don't do something, sit there!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Battleship (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm in the Mood for Love
(uncredited)
Music by Jimmy McHugh
Lyrics by Dorothy Fields
Sung by Jerry Lewis
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Hidelle and Jerk?
2 June 2005 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

On the Nutty Professor DVD extras, Jerry Lewis says that he had been "enthralled with Jekyll and Hyde" since he was a kid. So it's only logical that he'd long to create this "Jekyll and Hyde comedy/musical". Oddly, The Nutty Professor tends to be read as only a comedy, in the modern colloquial sense of that genre term, as "a film that's supposed to make you laugh", but there's much more to it than that, and more intended than that. Which is probably a good thing, because even though I didn't laugh out loud very frequently while watching The Nutty Professor, I did enjoy it quite a bit, despite the flaws.

Lewis--who also directs--plays Professor Julius Kelp, a bizarrely nerdy-but-stupid chemistry professor. He has a knack for conducting dangerous, unauthorized experiments in the presence of students. At the beginning of the film, he blows up his classroom yet again. On a later day, a football student who was denied permission to leave class early for football practice responds by stuffing Kelp into a shelf. Beautiful student Stella Purdy (Stella Stevens) feels sorry for Kelp and helps him unstuff himself. Stevens skillfully has the slightest gleam in her eye while doing this so that we can tell that Purdy has an attraction to the strange-looking professor.

Spurred on by the incident--with both the physical abuse and the physical attraction as motivators, Kelp decides to give himself a make over. He first tries his luck at the local gym. When that doesn't work out so well he puts his chemistry knowledge to use and hits upon a potion that produces a Jekyll & Hyde transformation. The Nutty Professor has Kelp trying to balance the two personalities, with the expected calamitous but humorous results.

Although Lewis' Hyde character, "Buddy Love", is often said to be a skewering of his early comedy partner and pal Dean Martin, Lewis claims this wasn't the case. Both the nerd and the debonair but sublimely obnoxious hipster were supposedly amalgamations of different people Lewis had encountered over the years. Still, the similarities to Martin are difficult to deny; perhaps the character was partially a subconscious parody of Martin.

In any event, Love is entertaining to watch--he's something like a glossy trainwreck. Or maybe like a suave Satan in a silk suit. Lewis makes both characters complex in their differences from their respective stereotypes. Kelp is the stereotypical "absent-minded professor", only the absent-minded professor is usually a wiz at his academic subject. Lewis paints Kelp as primarily a wiz at being a slightly sympathetic dork, where his cockeyed chemistry successes are more accidental. Love is the stereotypical overbearing but attractive-to-the-women brute, yet Lewis is quick to imbue him with an odd combination of pathos and flair, so that Love ends up being both more fragile and more talented/intelligent.

Some of the material employing both characters is quite funny, but Lewis dwells on humor no more than a whole gamut of modes and emotions, from fairly serious horror material during the slightly overlong initial Jekyll/Hyde transformation to poignantly sad, touching scenes showing the crack in the Love armor. To an extent, the Jekyll/Hyde theme permeates the film in its shifting tones.

One of those modes that works surprisingly well is the musical material. Lewis hired the superb Les Brown and other great jazz musicians to provide songs. Les Brown's "Band of Renown" even makes an on screen appearance, performing a couple songs at a college dance. Lewis isn't the greatest singer, but he does a passable job with an alluring rendition of "That Old Black Magic". There's also a great version of "Stella by Starlight" in the background of a couple scenes.

The performances are quite good. Both Stevens and Del Moore, as Dr. Hamius R. Warfield, the college dean, easily hold their own next to Lewis, who does a remarkable job with the transformations. He's helped a lot by W. Wallace Kelley's cinematography. Kelley had a more than respectable, varied background, including camera experience on a couple Alfred Hitchcock films--To Catch A Thief (1955) and Vertigo (1958)--and Cecil B. DeMille's The Ten Commandments (1956). Kelley uses very subtle angle changes to make Kelp seem small and insignificant (aided by Lewis' physical contortions) while making Love seem like a big, macho guy.

The production design is also gorgeous. Lewis directs his crew to fill the film with bold, unusual color combinations--most overtly in the rainbow-colored paints on the lab floor during the first Jekyll/Hyde transformation, the nice overlaying of purples and reds in The Purple Pit club, and the great, unusual coordinations of Love's suits.

Whether you find The Nutty Professor hilarious or not, it has certainly been influential. Lewis considers this his best film. The American Film Institute placed The Nutty Professor at number ninety-nine on its list of the "100 Funniest American Films" ("100 Years/100 Laughs"). Both Adam Sandler and Jim Carrey have obviously been influenced by this film, as they have been by Lewis in general. And Andy Kaufman's disparate characters Latka Gravas (from 1978-1983's "Taxi") and Tony Clifton (a regular part of his live act) are direct parallels to Kelp and Love, even if Kaufman had other influences for those characters, as well.

The Nutty Professor is also a "message" film. The dual "morals" of the story, in addition to the less conspicuous subtexts dealing with personal identity, are to not be afraid to be your true self and to accept others for their true selves--to look deeper than the surface level.

Given such wide-ranging moods and aims, it's probably best to watch the film without genre expectations. That's not likely to make those averse to Lewis' shtick enjoy it any more, but for everyone else, The Nutty Professor is worth a look. It will surprise you with its diversity.


40 of 44 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Rip-off Polly_Sigh
How old are the students? Tuco_88
Terrified me as a child! cvezzo
The man-bird ctoprefect-2
Is it just me...? SuGaRkAnE_1959
Last Scene mollica1
Discuss The Nutty Professor (1963) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?