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Don't Raise the Bridge, Lower the River (1968)

 -  Comedy  -  12 July 1968 (USA)
4.7
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Ratings: 4.7/10 from 381 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 5 critic

An American plans to bilk the British out of some considerable money with the help of an English con artist.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Title: Don't Raise the Bridge, Lower the River (1968)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
George Lester
...
H. William Homer
Jacqueline Pearce ...
Pamela Lester
...
Fred Davies
...
Lucille Beatty
Nicholas Parsons ...
Dudley Heath
...
Dr. Spink
Colin Gordon ...
Mr. Hartford
...
Dr. Pinto
Sandra Caron ...
Pinto's Nurse
...
Spink's Nurse
Harold Goodwin ...
Six-Eyes Wiener
Nike Arrighi ...
Portuguese Waitress
John Barrard ...
Zebra Man
Pippa Benedict ...
Fern Averback
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Storyline

George Lester is a man who is chasing rainbows, looking for the pot of gold at the end. When his wife, Pamela grows tired of being dragged all over the world, she leaves him. While she is away, George converts her family home into a discotheque, when she returns, she threatens to send George to jail for fraud, cause she didn't give her approval. George needing some fast bucks, decides to turn to an old cohort of his, William Homer but Willy's a little short. George then decides to steal the plans to a new drill, Pamela's suitor, Dudley Heath is working on. But when George gets the mumps, he can't make it to the meeting place and refuses to give Willy the plans unless he gives him the cash first. And the buyers won't give unless they see the merchandise first. Written by rcs0411@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 July 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Spinner  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Pippa Benedict is dubbed. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Godzilla vs. Megalon (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Don't Raise the Bridge, Lower the River
Lyrics by Hal Shaper
Sung by Danny Street
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not fabulous....
1 December 2012 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

One of Jerry Lewis' best solo efforts was "The Bellboy". It has very little in the way of plot but featured lots and lots of vignettes--most of which were pretty funny. The jokes came one after another after another and even if one fell flat, it was soon followed by another. "Don't Raise the Bridge, Lower the River" is the opposite. There is LOTS of plot (too much) and because the plot is so darn complicated, there doesn't seem to be a lot of room for laughs. It's not a terrible film...but it certainly isn't a very good effort from Lewis.

I will try to explain the plot. It is complicated and confusing....so here goes. Jerry marries and takes his wife all over the world for three years--taking her on one adventure after another. The problem is that there's no normalcy for her--and the marriage is all about Jerry and his adventures. So, after she tires of his self-absorption, she sues for divorce and leaves him. In the interim, Jerry turns her lovely home into a Chop Suey palace and discotheque! She returns and is naturally furious--especially since he took out a lone in BOTH their names. She vows to have him jailed and he insists that he will win her back--even when she introduces him to her new boyfriend.

As for the boyfriend, he works in the oil industry and he's invented a new drill. Jerry's very larcenous friend (Terry-Thomas) is intrigued when Jerry proposes a way to earn back the money Jerry owes his wife--to steal the boyfriend's plans for the drill and sell it to the Arabs. BUT, after Jerry sneaks into the company and photographs the plans, he gets the mumps and cannot fly to meet the Arabs. Now here is where the film gets WAY too complicated. He comes up with a scheme where they'll blackmail a local doctor to implant microfilm into an air steward's mouth AND make sure the painkiller wears off at about the time the poor man arrives in Lisbon on a flight. And, the dentist is to give the man a card for an 'associate' (actually a very crooked dentist) in Lisbon in case there are any complications--and he has rigged it so there will surely be a serious complication. Then, at the crooked dentist's office in Lisbon, Terry-Thomas and the Arabs look into the man's mouth to read the plans. BUT, Jerry has only sent half the plan--and the Arabs are NOT pleased. From here, it gets even MORE complicated....all of which tend to confuse the audience and leave you wondering how the plot got this convoluted. As a result of its lack of humor, I think this one merits a 4. I only give it a 4 because Terry-Thomas was pretty good in the movie. Overall, not terrible but not at all good.

By the way, although Lewis himself directed most of his films during the 1960s, this one was directed by Jerry Paris--the same guy who played 'Jerry Helper' on "The Dick Van Dyke Show" as well as director of many comedies over the years. And, the script was also not written by Lewis--making this a rare case where all Lewis had to do was act in the film.


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