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Hook, Line and Sinker
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Hook, Line and Sinker More at IMDbPro »

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18 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Underrated change-of-pace Jerry

Author: anonymous
17 July 1999

Underrated Lewis comedy is quite good in parts. The film begins as if it were a TV sitcom with Jerry "happily" married to Anne Francis (of TV's Honey West) with two children and living in none other than the set from TV's Bewitched. We see him trying to outwit a gopher in the garden (who in turn outwits Jerry), trying to unplug the kitchen sink, cope with too many family members in the bathroom, and deal with an unattentive baby-sitter. This is middle-aged Jerry, still zany but a responsible parent earning a good wage. Think Tim Allen on Home Improvement. His wife is both beautiful and smart bringing the art of the housewife's budget duties to almost Wall Street levels. A visit to his doctor reveals he is dying from heart problems. Jerry tells his wife and she suggests that he pretend to abandon the family and use his credit cards to travel around the world. She assures him that his $150,000 life insurance payoff to her would be protected because she can't be held for her husband's debt if he abandon's his family. In addition, she has put in ad in the paper stating she would no longer be liable for his debts and the doctor would testify that a dying man would be too distressed to make rational decisions. Though the audience is signaled that the wife and doctor are scamming poor Jerry, there is no ground work to suggest there was anything wrong with the marriage to warrant such evil action from his wife. I was a little lost for words until I got used to the situation change. I suppose modern audiences weaned on Pulp Fiction and Fargo would find this an asset. After I accepted the new premise I enjoyed the rest of the film, especially a fairly clever last twenty minutes. Jerry Lewis' performance is quite good balancing between drama and comedy. The plot twists are just right to keep the audience interested. Non-Lewis fans might be surprised.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Not Lewis' best work but still entertaining

Author: vchimpanzee
24 February 2011

The film starts out so seriously. A group of doctors and nurses in scrubs enter the operating room looking quite grim, as if they are about to save a patient's life. The gallery is filled with interested witnesses.

And then the patient is asked what happened. We don't see precisely what happened to him until much later, but I will say the procedure is related to fishing, hence the film's title.

In flashbacks, the story is told. Peter Ingersoll is an insurance agent who joins an emotionless, dedicated group marching into work as if part of a military unit at precisely 9 AM. He has a "Leave It to Beaver" family living in a "Leave It to Beaver" house. Well, not exactly. His kids treat him like a moron. Certainly not the impression one had of Ward.

Peter does some work around the house and gets into the usual Jerry Lewis type messes--a rodent in the garden, a stopped up sink (this gag is really funny). One gets the impression, though, that he's not really happy. For example, though this film has a G rating, we do get to see that Peter and Nancy have some ... trouble in the bedroom. Unlike Ward and June, we can imagine where this couple's kids came from.

Peter's good friend Scott is also his doctor. Scott tells Peter he has some sort of incurable condition that will give him only months to live (though there are no obvious symptoms). Peter decides to enjoy what life he has left. And being an insurance man, he has a great policy that will leave his wife secure after he dies. So Peter decides to run up $150,000 in debt on a lavish round-the-world fishing vacation, figuring the creditors will not go after a grieving widow.

There is a problem, though, which gives the film most of its comedy potential. I shouldn't give that away.

Anyone looking for the zany Jerry Lewis style might be disappointed. The two gags early in the movie, and a limbo dance in the Caribbean, are about all the examples of the classic Lewis style until the movie's second half. Lewis does get to display more of his trademark behavior pretending to be Fred Dobbs in Europe. Still, this is an entertaining and funny movie.

Peter Lawford is very good. The other leading actors do a good job, and there are some really silly scenes in Europe.

The film got a G rating, though it should be mentioned a couple is apparently naked in a hotel, with the appropriate parts covered. But this could mean anything--right? Something similar happens with Peter and his wife. And of course there is slapstick violence. But nothing really makes this film out of bounds for most kids.

I had a good time.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Good, just not his best.

Author: kctkeller from United States
30 July 2008

I saw this when I was about 12 or so and it kept me entertained throughout. Of course when you're a kid its probably a little easier to be entertained. But I was such a Jerry Lewis fan that basically he could do no wrong in my eyes. He's a comic genius, hands down, no question, so let it be written, so let it be done. There were some funny moments, it just wasn't his BEST work. Not EVERY movie an actor or actress makes can be their best film. But its reasonably funny and it SHOULD be able to be purchased by people who want it!! I would really like to know why it isn't on DVD or VHS! If it were one of his classic gem movies I could maybe understand it but its just an average Lewis film so why can't it be on VHS or DVD so we can get a copy. Some of us like ALL Jerry's stuff! If anyone can answer me regarding this, please do.

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11 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Unfortunately Not on VHS/DVD!Good Unnoticed Jerry Lewis Film!

Author: william from USA
8 September 2002

In this little known 1969 Jerry Lewis Film co-starring Peter Lawford.Jerry Lewis plays a an average normal American Family man from Suburbia who finds out he is dying from his deceptive Doctor friend"Peter Lawford"and goes on a mad worldwide spending spree.This is really good Jerry Lewis film that unfortunately isn't on vhs/dvd!

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6 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

OK, but not Jerrys best work.

Author: kc_keller from United States
3 April 2006

I saw this film for the 1st time at age 10 and I just loved it. My 11 yr. old loved it too. Jerry tries a bit different role here. At first he's a more believable, realistic person, probably tired by now of playing a lovable but bumbling idiot, then as the movie progresses, he starts to slip back into his more lovable, funny guy, routine on his fishing trips. The whole story is told to a group of doctors by Jerry and you wonder what landed him in a hospital all during the movie. The ending reveals it and is surely slap stick humor, but leaves you smiling and wanting another Jerry Lewis film to watch. I noticed the Bewitched set instantly, even at age 10. Good movie just not his best!

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10 out of 18 people found the following review useful:


Author: Marco Trevisiol from Melbourne, Australia
16 June 1999

If anybody is ever wondering why Jerry Lewis' film career stalled in the early 1970's one need only look at this fiasco. While the central plotline isn't particularly fresh the potential for comedy is there but the makers of this film never find it. The lowpoint in a film of many lows must be the wooden performance of Anne Francis, who perhaps thought she was still a mannequin from "The Twilight Zone".

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Black Comedy- Hold the Comedy

Author: Bolesroor from New York, NY USA
16 March 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

So Jerry Lewis plays a suburban husband/father with annoying kids and a wooden wife who can balance the hell out of the checkbook. His friend the doctor tells him he's dying of a heart defect and has only weeks to live. What does Jerry do? He agrees with his weeping wife that he'll live his last days to their fullest, going on a solo fishing trip and living the good life until the inevitable end. He finances this last vacation with his wallet full of credit cards, and why not? He won't be around when the bills arrive! This might be the film's one sly comment on the age of plastic debt and consumerist wet dreams. Maybe I'm being generous...

Anyway Jerry eventually discovers his doctor pal was lying about the heart condition so he could get Jerry out of the picture and go after Jerry's wife. Did I mention said wife is conveniently, secretly, and implausibly in love and in league with said doctor? She is, and if you're not laughing by now we've at least got one thing in common.

I find Jerry Lewis' career ironic... or maybe infuriating. He endeared himself to the audience with a moronic persona and then revealed himself to be the most pretentious, arrogant, self-important "artiste" ever to grace the stage.

Temporary rage aside, I am a Jerry Lewis fan who could not find one great Jerry Lewis moment in this movie. "Hook, Line & Sinker" stands as a bitter indictment of marriage and suburbia without any tension-relieving laughs... it's a black comedy without the comedy. Jerry could do better, and so can you. Pass and seek out his earlier, funnier films: The Bellboy, The Errand Boy, etc!


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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

surely the alternative title is kook's tour?

Author: davegrenfell from london, england
10 April 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

this took about five views before i got used enough to it not to feel it was too cynical to be funny. Jerry's attitude to house and kids is somewhat terrible to say the least. There isn't really enough plot to keep things going, so the film tends to drag. And jerry doesn't get enough revenge, or at least his revenge isn't clever enough to make it all worthwhile in the end. He should be fighting to get everything back and come up with some scheme so outrageous that it is at least as complex and nasty as the scheme inflicted on him. Just putting a black corpse in a coffin isn't enough. Get a gang together! Make it into the sting! Let's stitch that sob to the wall!

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8 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Hook, Line and Stinker

Author: wes-connors from Los Angeles
2 October 2007

Jerry Lewis (as Peter Ingersoll) is in a hospital, with a medical team ready to operate on him, and a bunch of people who seem like an audience reacting, as he tells his story: He had a TV situation comedy-like family, complete with a TV show set out of "Bewitched". His doctor Peter Lawford (as Scott Carter) tells Mr. Lewis that, due to a bad heart, he has only months to live. Lewis' wife Anne Francis (as Nancy) suggests he spend his last months traveling and spending credit card money...

The plot of this movie doesn't have any discernible logic. Lewis, Lawford, and Francis carry on what the filmmakers thought was a funny situation? You can follow along with the happenings, but it doesn't make any sense; and, it certainly isn't funny. The one "joke" that may jolt you comes at the end of the film. However, it doesn't have much to do with the story (other than the obvious fact that Jerry Lewis enjoys fishing). A better idea might have been for Lewis to stop making movies like this, get some good writers, and do a real TV comedy.

** Hook, Line and Sinker (5/7/69) George Marshall ~ Jerry Lewis, Peter Lawford, Anne Francis

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6 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

good start, but falls off

Author: Robert D. Ruplenas
8 October 1999

I have tried any number of times to understand why the French think Jerry Lewis is the comic equivalent of Charlie Chaplin. I always fail. His sophomoric mugging always leaves me cold. Therefore I was surprised to see him in a new vein in this flick which I caught on American Movie Classics. Gone is the juvenile horseplay of his earlier films with Dean Martin. We have here a more restrained and mature comic style, shown to good form at the start of the movie, which is a series of set pieces showing off comic aspects of life in suburbia. Unfortunately, the film goes downhill as it deals with his extravagant fishing trip.

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