Martin and Lewis (TV Movie 2002) Poster

(2002 TV Movie)

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Good Film, except the premise is Fiction
verbusen16 July 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Full disclosure, I am not an Italian-American (although I did grow up in Little Italy New York City), nor am I a Jewish-American (although I tried to marry a Jewish-American woman once when very young and learned a lot of the religion in the process). So, with that in mind I am reviewing this as an Irish-American from New York City (Greenwich Village in the 1960's to 70's) who grew up there until age 17 and went on to greener pastures, now in Florida. I grew up a HUGE Jerry Lewis fan because they would play his films a LOT in New York City TV, even his solo efforts like; "Hook, Line, and Sinker", but especially films like, "The Bellboy", "The Nutty Professor" and "Cinderfella". I still like to watch Jerry but honestly have not watched 1/8 as much of him as I have watched Dean Martin the last 30 years. I love Dean. I worked overseas for a decade and would play Dean's Christmas album (on CD) to cheer me up. I really enjoyed "Ada" and was really underwhelmed by "The Young Lions", so I am objective about Dean but overall he is the boss for a fun time, good performance for me. (BTW, how did they both get out of the draft in WW2? Dean was too old? What about Jerry? Too frail? Not addressed in the film about their lives). When Dean lost his son in the military it broke my heart so yeah, I loved Dean, as a fan. When Jerry tried his comebacks on Broadway I would always cheer him on also, and was saddened when he gained weight and so happy that he overcame the illness that the drugs he was taking caused that gain. With that said, as a younger baby boomer, this is my recollection of events in the gossip circles. It was not a good split, and they were not friends for life as the movie implies. And Jerry was the D-bag, not Dean. Hey we all know about Jerry if anyone has followed their lives, the guy is a serious egomaniac; ask his son, Gary. I'm OK with the film up to the point that it really over implies this adultery on Dean's part. So I looked up where the script came from, and it's from Groucho Marx's son, Arthur Marx. Marx also did other "tell all" fiction on famous Hollywood types like Bob Hope (which has the same story-line of an adulterer out for only himself). I question, since Lewis was involved with this production whether ethnicity (Jewish-American) was a factor in the script? Fun to watch though and the eventual split with Dean and his wife is the real scene to watch for (made me cry), the rest of the film is anticlimactic. 6 of 10, not higher because it's fiction in a too biased view of Dean. PS, when the film does not do things as they occurred in real life; like Dean's marriage to Jeanne was in 1949 not later on after they had made many films in Hollywood together, that is FICTION.
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Awful biography
Irishmoviereviewer10 January 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I kinda felt disappointed that they choose Sean Hayes as Jerry Lewis because he doesn't have the attitude or the sound of the original voice as Lewis. If any bloke was playing as Lewis, he would definitely need to have their own humor as well as Jerry's!

I also was disappointed that Jeremy Northam had to lip sync Dean Martin's recording. Wouldn't it be better if he at least tried it out regardless if he was a singer or not? Seriously it made me lose interest in him as Martin!

It was great idea doing a drama documentary film about the comedy duo but they needed to have better actors in order that this film would make sense. No wonder this one didn't win awards because it didn't give much input on the characters! I see way better documentary drama films then!
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Great movie entertainment if you have any interest in Martin and Lewis
drjjmiller31 August 2015
If you don't know who Martin and Lewis are... well, it won't be your cup of tea. Still, nearly everyone knows who Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis are and many, many have seen one of their 14 movies or have seen their stage acts live or on TV or you tube.

Their movies and act was just fun.

Jerry Lewis made his name by being (as he would call himself) a "monkey". A zany man of comedy. He was terrific, unless you hate zany comics.

Dean Martin was a A-level singer with incredible comic sensibilities. Both went on after their historic break up and had even more success.

Break-up? This movie gives us their glorious 10 years together... but it is all leading up to that Great Divide. I can't call this a spoiler alert when the movie case clues us in from the get go.

But WHY did they break up? Who did what? Why couldn't they keep the most popular and most profitable comedy duo of all time together. Yes, the movie quite adeptly walks us down that path... all the while entertaining us with the two legends. Enjoy!

UPDATE: Still love this movie. However, it is now nearly impossible to find. One place indicated that Jerry Lewis bought the rights to the movie to deep six it all. That doesn't make much sense, though, as Jerry Lewis is the one who worked with Sean Hayes to get his imitation of Jerry almost perfect. If he hated the script, you would think he wouldn't have helped out so much.

The Picture Image for the MOVIE "Martin and Lewis" on IMDb is the wrong picture for the movie. It shows a Colgate Television image of the real Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. This seems odd. there are lots of pictures of the two actors portraying their roles in this movie... they should update this to avoid the confusion.

Good luck finding this wonderful film. If you do find it somewhere (either online or in disc form) please post it here for others. I think I originally rented it from Netflix in DVD form... but perhaps it was something I saw on Amazon??? Unsure. It was good, however. I have recommended several times over the year and a half and people have loved it too. But now, now it is impossible to find. JJ
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Worst acting I've seen in years
wileyroad30 July 2013
Long story short: neither actor comes near capturing the spirit of the men they are playing, and even worse, if this movie were not about the famous duo, it would still stink. Sean Hayes is so far off base with his Lewis impersonation that it would be very difficult for anyone watching any of the scenes in isolation to even guess who he is playing, except maybe with those false choppers. But at least he looks a tiny bit like Lewis. Jeremy Northam, on the other hand, plays a smarmy version of Martin. You'd think that that would not be possible, but somehow he manages it. The saddest thing for me was seeing the club scenes where the audience's laughter comes across as completely undeserved. In the early scenes, "Lewis" is meant to flop, but in later scenes all that changes is that there is insincere laughter.

A 100% flop. I even switched the sound track to Spanish, hoping that the move would improve. A long shot that didn't work.
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Decent Look at the Duo
Michael_Elliott4 September 2012
Martin and Lewis (2002)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

Made-for-TV bio shows the rise and fall of Dean Martin (Jerry Northam) and Jerry Lewis' (Sean Hayes) working relationship, which made them a hit in movies and clubs but soon the two soured and their careers together ended. MARTIN AND LEWIS is a pretty entertaining film, all things considered. I'm sure a theatrical film could be even better as this here does seemed watered down at times but for the most part I think fans of the duo should enjoy this. One thing that greatly helps the film are the performances by the two leads. While it's impossible for anyone to actually do a Martin and Lewis performance, both Northam and Hayes at least get into the roles and deliver something that the viewer can at least accept as being the real people. It's hard to perform as someone so well known as these two men but I was still impressed with what we got. Northam really did a good job when it came time to show some of the demons that were haunting Martin. Hayes manages to do that maniac-style madness that Lewis has always been known for. The two of them also share some nice chemistry, which certainly comes across during the scenes where they're working together. I think the film works better when we're seeing the two off the stage as this is where most of the drama comes from. The stage acts are good but these here are certainly far away from the quality that the real Martin and Lewis delivered. The setting, costume and set designs and the atmosphere of the clubs are all right on the mark however.
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Loved this!
dancinqueen4710 August 2012
This was wonderful!

I agree with other reviewers who said Dean was made out to be the "bad guy" - this is upsetting to me, because I loved Dean Martin and think (as Elke Summer said many years ago, I believe on Carson, that Jerry Lewis is only really funny to kids and Frenchmen).

That said, Sean Hayes was absolutely magnificent in this - he couldn't have been better! I loved him in Will & Grace and after seeing him in this, I only love him more. I'm looking to seeing more of him.

Jeremy Northam played Dean (according to my memory of Dean) very well,too. My only problem with the casting of him is - although he is plenty good looking & did an excellent job of portraying Dean, he doesn't even approach Dean's handsome good looks & complete hotness. (You can probably tell I adored Dean Martin.)

It's on Netflix streaming - I encourage you to watch it!
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An entertaining and seemingly factual TV movie that leaves you wanting more...
Isaac585528 March 2007
MARTIN & LEWIS was the 2002 TV movie that traced the rise and eventual destruction of one of the greatest show business teams in Hollywood history. Even though I have always felt Martin and Lewis are worthy subjects of a theatrical biopic, I will take this over nothing. This movie starts in the 1940's and showcases the beginning of both of these show business legends and implies that both were struggling and about to go under when, according to this film, both were booked at the same club and Lewis inserted himself into Martin's act and the audience thought they were so funny together that they became an act that sold out nightclubs and eventually segued into a lucrative movie career. I don't know for sure how close it is to the truth, but this film depicts Jerry Lewis as an insecure, career-driven ego maniac who sincerely thought he was the brains of the act and that they would be nowhere without him and Martin is the guy who just sort of allowed Lewis to push and prod him through their success until Lewis' ego got to be too much for Dean to take. Whether or not this is what really happened, I guess only Dean and Jerry can say for sure, but it made for an immensely entertaining TV movie that had me riveted from start to finish. Sean Hayes received an Emmy nomination for his nearly flawless recreation of Jerry Lewis, from an insecure unknown comic begging for his dad's approval to the egomaniac whose insecurities, paranoia, and control issues drove Martin and everyone else to the edge. Jeremy Northam's powerhouse turn as Dean Martin matches Hayes note for note. Martin's singing voice is dubbed in for the musical sequences, but the rest is Northam, who brings Martin's easy and laid back persona beautifully to life here. He may not really resemble Martin physically, but Martin's personality, spirit and even his speaking voice were on the money for me here and the interaction between Northam and Hayes is kinetic here...a joy to watch. Mention should also be made of Paula Cale as Dean's first wife, Bettya and to Kate Levering as Dean's second wife, Jeanne. This TV movie was a triumph and one of the few times I wished a film could have been longer. This one definitely left me wanting more. I'm still hoping it will inspire a theatrical look at this legendary team.
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above average TV fare if you're interested in the 50s
fcasnette26 May 2006
I was pulled into this movie, despite a clichéd and standard TV movie type script. This was probably due to the performances and good recreation of the times.

Sean Hayes does not look like Jerry Lewis but made a good stab at recreating his manic energy and routines. Only in the dramatic scenes did I feel a lack of insight in his performance.

Jeremy Northam convinced admirably with his laid back Dean Martin, unfortunately he had little material to work with script wise but got across Dino's couldn't care less attitude which rolled along for years with Lewis until he could take no more.

I think the fault with the movie was that it was made when only one of the duo has passed on, so perhaps there were Lewis traits that had to be down graded at the expense of Martin. However to be fair they did show some of Lewis's control freakery and joke stealing that led to the final breakup.

Still for a TV movie it was definitely above average, these 2 stars were huge successes in their partnership days, and each went on to show their own brand of showbiz genius as they went their separate ways afterwards. In the end a rather sad story.
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The guy who played Dino
ultra_falcon1 August 2005
Great actor don't get me wrong, but he hardly sounds like Dean when he talks. He's pretty good a lip syncing. I saw him in NYC once...

Either way they should of gotten Joe Montegna for Dean, being that he's portrayed Dino in a movie already and Brad Garrett should of done that little appearance by Jackie Gleason, also being that he played Jackie Gleason on "Gleason" that CBS movie. Casting, with the exception of Jerry Lewis, wasn't that good.

The movie itself was good though. I especially like how they portrayed last show. The way that slowed everything down a bit and had "Oh Marie" playing, which is good song too.

And I like that song "Side by side" they sung at the end as well.
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This is awful!
Murphy-228 July 2005
Okay, tell me the truth....the people who have written these glowing reviews are complete Martin & Lewis fanatics. This is one of the worst "true" stories ever made. Sean Hayes stinks as Jerry Lewis. He doesn't look like Jerry, can't move like Jerry, and sure can't mug like Jerry. And Jeremy Northam as Dean Martin? Please...Dean was cool...Northam is not. Not only doesn't he look like Dean, sound like Dean, or move like Dean, he plays him with no charm or style. His acting is worse than Sean Hayes and thats sinking pretty low. Anyone who can rate this movie above a 1 either never saw the real Martin & Lewis or is a complete fan. I like Martin & Lewis movies....but by the REAL guys, not these fakes.
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One-sided story filled with inaccuracies, mostly in regards to Dean Martin
Amanda9 May 2005
Let me state from the start that this film certainly could have been worse. With that said, it was far from a stellar offering. The actor that played Jerry Lewis did a good job. However, the actor that played Dean Martin didn't looked at all like him. But that's just casting. The problems with this film is much deeper. To make it brief, the film is a one-sided story filled with inaccuracies, mostly in regards to Dean Martin, his life, his attitudes, and his contributions to, and feeling about, the Martin & Lewis partnership. It's easy to see why Jerry Lewis liked this film. To be fair, the film does touch on Lewis' jealousies of Martin and his need to always be the center of attention. However, it only does so in passing, and avoids really getting into the huge role Lewis' jealousies and bad attitude played in breaking up the team. Furthermore, its portrayal of Dean Martin, and his personal life, is riddled with clichés. Anyone who knows the least thing about the real Dean Martin - not the roles he played in his films or his nightclub act - can easily point out where the film substitutes fiction for truth because it makes a more interesting story, and makes Lewis come out looking better. In short, if you're looking for the truth, this film does not deliver.
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martin and lewis rocks
millsierocks27 December 2004
this movie was an excellent bio pic about the martin and lewis duo. the movie was well planned and was so close to actual events that really happened. nothing in that movie was made up. jerry lewis was played by sean hayes. hayes delivered a wonderful performance and was very much like his character jack mcfarland from will and grace. the resemblance did not hurt his performance at all though. jeremy northam who played dean martin was an excellent choice for the role but i think a little more practice with miming the words to the songs would not hurt. all in all i highly regard this movie as it is so close to the truth unlike some movies which twist the truth so much. i rate this movie very highly because the story line was 100% true and the acting was very convincing. on a scale of 1 to 10 i rate this a 10. it was a very good movie
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good film...good acting
ScaredStiff8530 April 2003
i saw this film when it first premired on T.V. i thought it was a lot better than some of the reviews i had read about it. the acting i thought was flawless. Sean Hayes proved to me that he is more than Jack on "Will and Grace." he is the only actor who looks anything like Jerry Lewis. i thought Jeremy Northam did a great job as Dean Martin. at first i didn't think he looked anything like him but i watched it again and i can see he does. the rest of the cast did a wonderful job as well. so all in all good film...good acting. 8 out of 10
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the true story of the post-war comedy team
halmp-115 April 2003
Save for a slight alteration of a fact in the genesis of the Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis saga, this made-for-television bio-pic is perfect in its story and depictions. The alteration concerns how the duo got together for what would be the triggering of their memorable 10-year partnership. The film shows Lewis, about to bomb himself out of his engagement at the 500 Club in Atlantic City, phoning Martin's (first) agent, Lou Perry. Lewis specifically asks him to send Dean to reprise their earlier-shown, spur-of-the-moment, stage collaboration (at the Havana-Madrid Club). In reality, it was the compassionate Perry who, upon receiving a frantic call from a sobbing Jerry Lewis asking for help, decides to send Dean Martin to the rescue. The result correctly is shown to be alchemic, and, for at first better-then-worse, the Martin and Lewis team is truly born. In 1973, Arthur Marx penned an outstanding bio-novel about the duo, "Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime." As Marx, the writers/producers of this film are admirably unafraid to present full character profiles of Martin and Lewis. As human beings, the performers sometimes glaringly left much to be desired. Jeremy Northam and Sean Hayes, as Dean and Jerry, give excellent performances, as do Paula Gale and Kate Levering as Martin's first and second wives, Betty and Jeanne. This is a first-rate production, not the least of its values is its capturing of the post-war cultural flavor of the period in which the Martin and Lewis tandem flourished.
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Comedy through a nostalgic haze
rsyung26 November 2002
I found this made-for-tv biopic somewhat of a let-down. While not exactly a Martin and Lewis fan, I can appreciate the chemistry between them, and the unfettered physical comedy of Lewis. I didn't really see it here. Everything seemed so labored. Another problem, admittedly not of the movie's doing, is that it's so hard to do convincing re-creations of their routines when they are still so visible on film. Such re-creations pale in comparison to the real thing, and unfortunately, they made up 75% of this film. In spite of opinions to the contrary, I think it would have been best to concentrate on the private lives and behind-the-scenes machinations of the team instead of making them obligatory backstory. If we cut through the nostalgic haze, "Martin and Lewis" can be seen for what it is--a poor attempt to bring back an example of the Golden Age of Comedy, to a medium where good comedy, slapstick or otherwise, is in such short supply.
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Wonder what Dean would have thought
oscar_4425 November 2002
It's difficult to judge the accuracy of a movie when you know one of the profiles isn't around to defend himself. I am not a Jerry Lewis fan and this movie did nothing to change that opinion. Although, Sean Hayes was wonderful.
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Anti-Dean Martin film is a let-down
jtpaladin25 November 2002
I think a better title for "Martin & Lewis" would have been, "Dean Martin was nothing without Jerry Lewis". Sadly, this was not true.

It's no surprise that Lewis said he loved this film. At the same time, I'm sure if Martin were alive today, he would feel he had just been roasted, in a bad way.

It seems as though this film was actually written by Jerry Lewis or by fans of Lewis angry at Dean Martin. The portrayal of Dean Martin in this film as an alcoholic, philandering, friend of mobsters is wholly inaccurate. This TV-movie would have you believe that without Lewis, Martin would have gone down in flames early in his career. Again, this is simply not true. Dean Martin was already a success when Lewis came along with sole comic routine. Further proof against this fallacy is the fact that Martin went on, after the dissolution of the partnership, to a very successful career in films and music.

The real story as to why this partnership broke-up? Jerry Lewis was an insecure, money-grubbing, control-freak that would steal Martin's lines and would be jealous of any attention Martin would get. Does this TV-film allude to any of this? To its' credit, yes, it does, but the films' writers dire need to try and show a balanced reason for why the comedy team broke up moves past these issues far too fast and attacks Martin in ways that have no connection to reality.

The worst part of all this is that I didn't even find myself laughing at any of the "comic" bits that were in this film. I think if you're going to make a film about one of the most successful comedy teams in history, you should at least make some of it funny.
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Actors outshine medium...
babcockt25 November 2002
More and more, as the evolution of television leaps forward with such groundbreaking shows as 24, Band of Brothers and 6 Feet Under, we are taught how antiquated and limited your basic TV Movie has become. No better example here in MARTIN AND LEWIS which in years past would shine as your basic movie-of-the-week. But now, with those shining comparisons, it seems like a low-budget, commercial-laden highlight reel of a much longer and complex tale. That being said, the one thing that does rise above it's medium here is the talents of both Northam and Hayes. Jeremy Northam has a twinkle in his eye as he dances around the murmuring voice cadences of Dean Martin (who seems to be positing that Martin sounded drunk even when he wasn't...if that is possible). I don't know another actor who could so effortlessly play Martin's playful masculinity. Unfortunately the actor is forced to go from 0-60 because he must portray divorce, conflict and then playful boozer in scenes back-to-back. The same can be said of Hayes ,who has the unenviable job of homaging an actor still alive and is under that scrutiny (with the apparent well-wishing Lewis on-hand). Both actors live up to their spot-on casting but the production seems bogged down by it's limited time-length and by the length of ground it needs to cover (which it wearily tries to compensate for by endless scrolls of posters portraying the countless films these two did together). All in all, a great effort but, once again, it leaves one asking..."Why didn't they do this on HBO?" which is less a criticism of the movie than of network programming altogether.
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cliches from beginning to end
DaveZ25 November 2002
The film is bio-pic cliches from beginning to end, but it reeled me in and kept me watching. There are definite parallels to the Jackie Gleason tv movie which aired just a few weeks ago (unhappy, womanizing, drunk makes good in 50's show business); ironically, Gleason shows up at the end of this story.

I was never able to stop seeing Sean Hayes as `Jack' (from `Will and Grace') instead of as Lewis, although that is not to say that he did a particularly bad job in this role. Jeremy Northam used a very strange accent as Dean Martin, which I found particularly distracting; he did a lousy job lip-synching to the songs, and for some reason, most of the remaining dialogue seemed dubbed, too.

I never would have guessed that pre-Martin Lewis was `doing Andy Kaufman' -- 25 years before Andy Kaufman did it.
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duesouth142025 November 2002
I was really looking forward to this movie as I have always liked Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. However, this movie was SO one sided it was sickening. This film shows all the good sides of Jerry Lewis and all the BAD sides of Dean Martin. I wasn't surprised to learn that Jerry Lewis was a consultant on the film and that he was quite pleased with was very biased. I will say I thought the actors did an excellent job with tough roles to play.
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The life of the comedy pair, plays out as a tragedy
bigdogtx25 November 2002
Actors (so runs one school of thought) are miserably malleable people who's principal talent is their ability to simply morph into their stage characters. Look no further than this movie, for a prime example of such. Martin and Lewis (ably played by Northam and Hayes), shallow folk with little real talent who through happenstance fortuitously hit the show business equivalent of the lottery, cannot handle relationships, their success, or each other. In the end, the pair's life of comedy plays out as a tragedy.
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Poignant, authentic and hysterical
stickymuse24 November 2002
I was riveted by the story and the acting. Excellent procuction values. Sean Hayes was fantastic, delivering a true breakthrough performance. Jeremy Northam and Paula Cale exhibited a sense of the period and volatility of the situation without venturing into cliche. Bravo!! Beautifully directed and produced.
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A great movie, and also accurate.
indiesuperman24 November 2002
This movie was so great. Sean Hayes played Jerry Lewis almost flawlessly. The story was accurate and the movie was well made. Though they only had 2 hours to get the whole story, it was almost all in there. The most important parts were covered. This movie was AWESOME. I hope they put it on DVD.
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As fine as a performance as I've seen on tv
J.E. Miller24 November 2002
T.V. Movies are rarely as noteworthy as those we see on the silver screen, this collaboration is an exception. Sean Hayes depicted Jerry Lewis to a tee, and if he doesn't garner an Emmy nomination for this, then I decree the Emmys are fixed. Jeremy Northam also gave a stellar performance as the stoic Dean Martin. If you enjoy a good biographical epic, then this picture is definitely one to see.
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Good acting-believable time-piece.
spencerthetracy24 November 2002
Biopics can be a dangerous and tricky business, especially when actors portray other actors. In this case all was well. The acting was good and the sets were well planned. Sean Hayes was perfectly cast as the zany Jerry Lewis. Jeremy Northam, on the same hand, had that dangerous charm that the early Dean Martin was known for. However, his lip-synching was occasionally far off and when speaking he often sounded distractedly more like Humphrey Bogart than Dean Martin.

Overall, the energy and the mood was well maintained, and we got to see inside the lives of two wonderful talents from the past.

Hats off!
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