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 ...
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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 anything right. The big TV show is getting closer, and Stanley gets worse all the time. Written by
Brian W Martz <B.Martz@Genie.com>
There isn't a big star that you can name who doesn't have an entourage. These folks have their careers rise and fall with the stars that time and circumstance has attached them to. But what does happen to these people if the star is taken out of the picture. Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley were known for their large entourages and I daresay right at this moment there any number of people trying to figure out what the future holds for them with Michael Jackson's demise.
The Patsy examines one such entourage who when its star, a popular comedian is killed in a plane crash, they will not just disperse. They function as a team and all they need is another star. Where to find one however.
And that's where Jerry Lewis comes in, an innocent schlep of a bellboy who comes in with an ice tray wreaking havoc in the typical Lewis manner. The rest of the film is devoted to how well they succeed in their objective.
As one of the last players under studio contract, Paramount kept in the black pretty much during the Fifties and Sixties because of Jerry Lewis. Either with Dino or later as a solo, Jerry's films made money and gradually he got creative control over them. In this one he directs as well.
It's not his best work, but it's still pretty good with some really hilarious performances. Jerry Lewis has a reputation as an egotist, but you would not know it in The Patsy, he was quite generous in giving time to the fine cast he assembled. The entourage consists of Everett Sloane, Phil Harris, Ina Balin, John Carradine, Keenan Wynn, and in his last film Peter Lorre. You're not going to hold too tight a rein on this group of scene stealers and Lewis doesn't even try.
Best scene in the film however is with Hans Conreid as a voice teacher the entourage hires for Lewis. It involves Jerry with a snooty Hans who is also an antique collector. Let's just say the laughs are equally for Hans as they are for Jerry.
And the ending is something that Mel Brooks could have used. In fact I'm not sure Brooks didn't appropriate an idea or two for some of his films.
The Patsy is a great introduction to Jerry Lewis and I know his fans count it among his best.
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