IMDb > Method to the Madness of Jerry Lewis (2011) (TV)
Method to the Madness of Jerry Lewis
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Method to the Madness of Jerry Lewis (2011) (TV) More at IMDbPro »


Overview

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Release Date:
17 December 2011 (USA) See more »
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Plot:
With Jerry Lewis (1926- )as executive producer, this is in essence an autobiography. It follows his... See more » | Add synopsis »
NewsDesk:
(6 articles)
User Reviews:
Jerry Me Lewis See more (6 total) »

Cast

 
Michael Andrew ... Himself

Alec Baldwin ... Himself

Richard Belzer ... Himself

Carol Burnett ... Herself

Chevy Chase ... Himself

Billy Crystal ... Himself

Woody Harrelson ... Himself
Lawrence Inglee ... Himself

John Landis ... Himself

Jerry Lewis ... Himself

Richard Lewis ... Himself

Nigel Lythgoe ... Himself

Deana Martin ... Herself

Eddie Murphy ... Himself
Lee Musiker ... Himself

Daniel Noah ... Himself

Carl Reiner ... Himself

Jerry Seinfeld ... Himself

Steven Spielberg ... Himself

Quentin Tarantino ... Himself

Directed by
Gregg Barson 
 
Produced by
Julie Ashton .... executive producer
Gregg Barson .... producer
Jerry Lewis .... executive producer
 
Cinematography by
Peter Good 
 
Film Editing by
James Ruxin  (as Jim Ruxin)
 
Art Department
Jacques Dupuy .... graphic design
 
Sound Department
Warren Kleiman .... re-recording mixer
Jeremy Settles .... sound mixer
 
Visual Effects by
Jacques Dupuy .... visual effects
 
Editorial Department
Nigel Campbell .... post-production coordinator
Alex Trocker .... on-line editor
Brian Ufberg .... additional editing
 
Music Department
Kenny Meriedeth .... music supervisor
 

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Runtime:
115 min
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FAQ

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Jerry Me Lewis, 4 April 2014
Author: jc-osms from United Kingdom

According to his various celebrity fans whose adulatory comments proliferate this (auto)biographical documentary, Jerry Lewis is apparently on the same level of comedic genius as Chaplin or Keaton. Unsurprisingly most if not all of his acolytes are American, including the likes of Eddie Murphy, Billy Crystal and Jerry Seinfeld to name but three, but perhaps not being American and missing out on the attendant comic books, cartoon shows, TV specials and telethons which kept him in the public eye Stateside, I don't think his star is considered quite as bright here in Britain. Me, I don't see him as being too much above Lou Costello or Britain's Norman Wisdom in comedic terms and the more his super-fans praised him up, the more resistant I found myself to agreeing with them.

Mind you, there's a bigger Lewis fan here than all of his celebrity friends put together and that's Lewis himself. Jerry tells one apocryphal-sounding story after another about how he saved Paramount Movies from extinction in the 60's, analysing his own "genius" (my quotation marks) and generally having us believe that he was a wonderful, kind, generous man from first to last who knew every member of his cast and crew by name. Note to self, Jerry, there's no honour in self-praise and for good measure he constantly name drops, boasting about his supposed influence on Spielberg, Lucas and Scorcese, even as I have to admit the first of the three is fulsome in his on-screen praise of Lewis here.

All that said, there are some lovely comic sequences from his movies but hyperbole still gets in the way - at one point an admirer swoons about Jerry making a car act funny, which the clip just doesn't back up. Of course in this revisionist story, Jerry and Dean amicably broke up and never stopped loving each other, their reunion at the behest of Frank Sinatra during a 1976 Lewis telethon is especially embarrassing with Martin so smashed drunk, he could have been making up with Jerry Lee Lewis and not notice.

Interspersing the story with snippets from a live Lewis in-person modern-day variety performance only shows that cinema was his best medium, although it hardly seems to matter to his sycophantic fans.

I get that Lewis was a big deal in the States and yes, in France too if it means that much to him, but this two hour long special, significantly co-produced by its star lacked a necessary distance and critical point of view and in the end seemed like one long version of "For I'm a jolly good fellow".

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