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The Nutty Professor
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The Nutty Professor (1963) More at IMDbPro »

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The Nutty Professor -- Jerry Lewis plays a timid, nearsighted chemistry teacher who discovers a magical potion that can transform him into a suave and handsome Romeo. The Jekyll and Hyde game works well enough until the concoction starts to wear off at the most embarrassing times.


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6.7/10   12,211 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Down 2% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Jerry Lewis (written by) and
Bill Richmond (written by)
View company contact information for The Nutty Professor on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
4 June 1963 (USA) See more »
What does he become? What kind of monster? See more »
To improve his social life, a nerdish professor drinks a potion that temporarily turns him into the handsome, but obnoxious, Buddy Love. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 win See more »
(14 articles)
User Reviews:
Hidelle and Jerk? See more (83 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Jerry Lewis ... Professor Julius Kelp / Buddy Love

Stella Stevens ... Stella Purdy

Del Moore ... Dr. Mortimer S. Warfield

Kathleen Freeman ... Millie Lemmon
Med Flory ... Warzewski - Football Player

Norman Alden ... Football Player / Student

Howard Morris ... Mr. Elmer Kelp

Elvia Allman ... Edwina Kelp
Milton Frome ... Dr. M. Sheppard Leevee

Buddy Lester ... Bartender

Marvin Kaplan ... English Student
David Landfield ... College Student
Skip Ward ... Football Player
Julie Parrish ... College Student

Henry Gibson ... Gibson, College Student
Les Brown and His Band of Renown ... Themselves
Les Brown ... Band Leader
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Murray Alper ... Gym Attendant (uncredited)
Roger Bacon ... Student (uncredited)
Todd Barron ... Boy in Bowling Alley (uncredited)
Mel Berger ... Moon-faced Man (uncredited)
Nicky Blair ... Student (uncredited)
Billy Bletcher ... Plumber (uncredited)
Les Brown Jr. ... Student (uncredited)
Stumpy Brown ... Band Member (uncredited)
Mushy Callahan ... Cab Driver (uncredited)
Hugh Cannon ... Man in Gym (uncredited)

Seymour Cassel ... Bored Man (uncredited)
Selette Cole ... College Student (uncredited)
Lorinne Crawford ... Girl (uncredited)

George DeNormand ... Faculty Member (uncredited)

Robert Donner ... College Student (uncredited)
Dominic Fidelibus ... College Student (uncredited)
Fritz Ford ... Gym Member (uncredited)
Joseph Forte ... Faculty Member (uncredited)

Art Gilmore ... Narrator (voice) (uncredited)

Gavin Gordon ... Clothing Salesman (uncredited)
Bob Harvey ... College Student (uncredited)
Terry Higgins ... Purple Pit Cigarette Girl (uncredited)

Stephanie Hill ... Waitress (uncredited)
Stuart Holmes ... Faculty Member at Senior Prom (uncredited)

Jimmie Horan ... Birdman (uncredited)
Robert Keys ... Policeman (uncredited)

Richard Kiel ... Man in Gym (uncredited)
Wallace Earl Laven ... Bored Girl (uncredited)

Carl M. Leviness ... Faculty Member (uncredited)
Gary Lewis ... Boy (uncredited)

Caryl Lincoln ... Faculty Member (uncredited)
Charles Macari ... College Student (uncredited)
John Macchia ... College Student (uncredited)
Mike Mahoney ... Man in Bowling Alley (uncredited)
Marilyn Malloy ... Girl (uncredited)
Mickey Manners ... College Student (uncredited)
William Meader ... Bartender (uncredited)
Hollis Morrison ... Man (uncredited)

Forbes Murray ... Faculty Member (uncredited)
Suzanne Noel ... Girl (uncredited)
Paddy O'Hara ... Nurse (uncredited)
Susan Odin ... Cotton Pickin' Girl (uncredited)
Bob Pane ... College Student (uncredited)
Max Power ... Cop (uncredited)
Paul Power ... Faculty Member (uncredited)
Emil Richards ... Musician - Percussionist (uncredited)
Bill Richmond ... Man in Booth (uncredited)
Clark Ross ... Faculty Member (uncredited)
Michael Ross ... Weight Lifter at Gym (uncredited)
Phillip Shaw ... Man (uncredited)

Bert Stevens ... Purple Pit Customer (uncredited)
Kelly Stevenson ... Natalie (uncredited)
Clay Tanner ... Man (uncredited)
Judi Thor ... College Student (uncredited)

Roger Torrey ... Football Player (uncredited)

Doodles Weaver ... Rube (uncredited)

Dave Willock ... Purple Pit Customer (uncredited)
Karen Yadley ... Girl (uncredited)

Celeste Yarnall ... College Student (uncredited)

Francine York ... College Student (uncredited)

Directed by
Jerry Lewis 
Writing credits
Jerry Lewis (written by) and
Bill Richmond (written by)

Produced by
Ernest D. Glucksman .... producer
Arthur P. Schmidt .... associate producer
Original Music by
Walter Scharf (music scored by)
Cinematography by
W. Wallace Kelley (director of photography)
Film Editing by
John Woodcock 
Casting by
Edward R. Morse (uncredited)
Art Direction by
Hal Pereira 
Walter H. Tyler  (as Walter Tyler)
Set Decoration by
Robert R. Benton  (as Robert Benton)
Sam Comer 
Costume Design by
Edith Head 
Makeup Department
Nellie Manley .... hair style supervisor
Jack Stone .... makeup artist
Wally Westmore .... makeup supervisor
Agnes Flanagan .... hair stylist (uncredited)
Production Management
Hal Bell .... assistant production manager
William Davidson .... production manager (as Bill Davidson)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Ralph Axness .... assistant director
Jack Barry .... assistant director (uncredited)
William R. Poole .... assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Martin Pendleton .... property master
Sound Department
Charles Grenzbach .... sound recordist
Hugo Grenzbach .... sound recordist
Bud Parman .... boom operator (uncredited)
Bill Wistrom .... sound editor (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Paul K. Lerpae .... special photographic effects
Bob May .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
James Grant .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Carl Manoogian .... key grip (uncredited)
Kyme Meade .... camera operator (uncredited)
Sterling Smith .... still photographer (uncredited)
Murray Young .... key grip (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Sy Devore .... wardrobe: men
Nat Wise .... wardrobe: men
James M. George .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Ruth Stella .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Music Department
Walter Scharf .... conductor
Other crew
Marshall Katz .... assistant to producer
Richard Mueller .... Technicolor color consultant
Marvin Weldon .... dialogue coach
Dorothy Yutzi .... script supervisor
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
107 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Argentina:Atp | Australia:PG | Brazil:Livre | Canada:PG | Denmark:11 | Finland:K-8 | France:Tous publics | Iceland:L | Ireland:G | Italy:T | Netherlands:AL | Norway:11 | Portugal:M/12 (R-10) (re-rating) | Spain:T | Sweden:11 | UK:U (original rating) | UK:PG (re-rating) (1988) | USA:Approved (MPAA rating: certificate #20376) | West Germany:12

Did You Know?

Film debut of Henry Gibson.See more »
Continuity: When Professor Kelp is at his desk writing in his journal, the clock on the wall is not running. When he drinks the formula later that evening, during his transformation into Buddy Love, the clock is running.See more »
Buddy Love:Have some, baby?See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in "Skins: JJ (#3.7)" (2009)See more »
I'm in the Mood for LoveSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
43 out of 48 people found the following review useful.
Hidelle and Jerk?, 2 June 2005
Author: Brandt Sponseller from New York City

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.

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