The Big Mouth (1967)
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p.s.-for Hojean, this is the one you're thinking of.
However, it is still worth a look – for three reasons.
First and most important, he re-creates his Nerd character (Professor Julius Kelp) from "The Nutty Professor" – imagine a DVD of deleted scenes from THAT – you would pay money to see those, would you not? This is the next best thing.
Second comes an extended shot of the late Charlie Callas (no relation to Maria) doing his "manic twitch" routine – it is almost worth watching this abomination for that alone. This was Charlie's ONLY film appearance and came about after they met on the Merv Griffin Show and he impressed Jerry so much, the latter promised to use him in his next project. Sadly, it turned out to be THIS.
Last is a bizarre, two-minute cameo from Harland Sanders – yes, the old cross-eyed "colonel" himself. Many people today are unaware that the character on the KFC logo was once actually a REAL PERSON and he makes a fleeting appearance in this dross.
Why? Well, perhaps HE was a fan of Jerry Lewis' movies – although it is unfortunate that he chose THIS one to make his film debut in
There are two groups after the diamonds and Lewis acts as he did in parts as the Nutty Professor. It's quite awful to say the least. Then, there is romance along the way. No surprise that the actress who played his love interest in the film was never heard from again. After making a movie as miserable as this, one would want to hide out.
Harold J. Stone appears as a gang leader. He is boisterous but is given poor material to work with.
Jerry died yesterday at age 91, God rest his soul. Do yourself a favor and go rent the underrated 1967's "Big Mouth", and watch a comic legend at his finest.
A stupid, embarrassing mess. Don't waste your time.
Lewis plays an accountancy clerk who catches a sea diver when fishing on the coast. The diver is a diamond thief and gives Lewis a map. The diver's confederates, who he has cheated, plan to assassinate him and get the map. Then follows a dull series of slow pratfalls.
Lewis stays at the Hilton while searching for the diamonds. How he can afford to is not shown (he's only an accountancy clerk remember).
One of the confederates is a Japanese who runs a "racket" selling plastic inserts in oysters as pearls – although in fact this is how manufactured pearls are made.
Lewis never finds the diamonds. The strong violence make it unsuitable for the most undemanding of children.
Product placement – Pepsi Cola.
Don't the actors have a read-through before they do a movie? You mean they actually read through this and still decided to make it? Were they all friends of his, or just kiss-ups, or both? I tried to force myself to watch this all the way through, but my mind kept wandering, day-dreaming about how much more pleasant it would be to have dental surgery without anesthesia. I guess it was that scraping sound that kept waking me from my daydreaming, the sound of a ten-foot pole against the bottom of the barrel.
There was a semblance of a redeeming factor in the part played by Charlie Callas; and I truly felt for Susan Bay: her career wasn't completely ruined by this though - Leonard Nimoy married her despite this movie. I would love to write a spoiler for this movie but it's impossible to spoil a rotten egg.
Then, after what seemed like days later, the movie finally ended and my first thought was "how did this movie ever get made?", my second thought, "that was two hours of my life I will never get back...". I have never been much of a Jerry Lewis fan, but The Big Mouth will now be The Big Reason why I am not.
"The Big Mouth" was perhaps the greatest inside joke on audiences since the 1938 radio broadcast of "War of the Worlds". Billed as a comedy, heavily promoted, widely distributed, and featuring Jerry Lewis (who played three roles and directed) this was a must see for our junior high group of cut-ups. We found the experience a surreal one. A comedy film where nobody in the theater laughed including us (absolutely no laughter). We caught on quicker than the adults that this was a complete sham but were spellbound waiting for a single funny sequence that would shatter the audience silence. It never happened.
Afterward we scanned newspaper and magazine reviews for some sign that a prominent reviewer was going to spill the beans and expose the "Emperor", but there was nothing. It was like the whole industry had clammed up by mutual agreement to allow Columbia to recover a portion of their investment. I suspect that this kind of industry-wide "quid pro quo" was fairly common in those days. Word of mouth (pun intended) in our town killed attendance within a few days, although some may have attended just to observe Hollywood finally bottoming out. "The Big Month" deserves a place in cinema history because it was this bottoming out process that opened the door for innovative stuff like "Bonnie & Clyde" and "Easy Rider" in mainstream theaters.
In fairness the chase sequences might have had some amusement value except they had been done much better by Harvey Lembeck (playing Eric Von Zipper) in countless beach movies released earlier in the decade.
The only saving grace at the time for us 14-year-olds was that Jeannine Riley (Billie Jo from "Petticoat Junction") was featured in several eye-scorching outfits. Hence the extra star.
Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.
When the film begins, Jerry is fishing and somehow hooks onto someone in a wetsuit. The guy ends up being a gangster who could be Jerry's double and he tells Jerry about some hidden loot. As for Jerry, he wants to do the right thing and tries to get police and others to listen to his account of catching the man...but no one seems willing to listen. And, as for the gangsters who shot the man Jerry caught, they are now looking for the fisherman because they think the dead man must have told him about the money. Despite this being the theme, the movie is almost plot less at times, a bit like "The Bellboy"...which isn't all bad since this earlier Lewis film is among his best. Now I am not saying all the silliness or Jerry's dressing up like the Nutty Professor work most of the time...but it is pleasant and diverting during much of the film. Overall, no bomb nor work of genius but a generally decent little film that will offer a few laughs...just a few. There certainly could have been more laughs and Charlie Callas was simply awful...but fortunately he was only used sparingly in the picture. Also awful was Lewis' embarrassingly bad imitation of Japanese folks...a definite low- point in the film...or in any film that came out that year.
By the way, look quickly and you might spot Rob Reiner in his film debut. You'll also see Colonel Sanders...though he is pretty obvious!