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The Stooge (1951)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Musical | 31 December 1952 (USA)
Egotistical vaudevillian Bill Miller basks in the limelight with his successful musical-comedy act, but his success is due to his unheralded second banana.

Director:

Norman Taurog

Writers:

Fred F. Finklehoffe (screenplay), Martin Rackin (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Dean Martin ... Bill Miller
Jerry Lewis ... Theodore 'Ted' Rogers
Polly Bergen ... Mary Turner Miller
Marion Marshall Marion Marshall ... Genevieve 'Frecklehead' Tait
Eddie Mayehoff Eddie Mayehoff ... Leo Lyman
Richard Erdman ... Ben Bailey
Frances Bavier ... Mrs. Rogers
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Storyline

Bill Miller is an unsuccessful Broadway performer until his handlers convince him to enhance his act with a stooge - Ted Rogers, a guy positioned in the audience to be the butt of Bill's jokes. But Ted begins to steal the show. Bill's girlfriend and his pals tell him to make Ted an equal partner. Complications occur, while Bill sings and Ted gets the laughs. Written by erasmus

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A RIOTOUS MUSICAL RAMPAGE! (original print ad - all caps)


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 December 1952 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Prügelknabe See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Wallis-Hazen See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Though filmed in 1951, it was held up release till 1953 because Paramount was unsure of its box office appeal due to its extensive dramatic moments. See more »

Quotes

Sam Robertson: [Referring to Ted Rogers] Tell me the truth, Miss Regan, do you honestly think he's human?
Miss Regan, Robertson's Secretary: I've heard people bet both ways.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Blacklist: Miles McGrath (No. 65) (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Who's Your Little Whoo-zis?
(uncredited)
Lyrics by Walter Hirsch
Music by Al Goering and Ben Bernie
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Good, But Uncomfortable
11 July 2007 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

It's hard to see why Hal Wallis and Paramount held this film for two years before releasing it. Maybe they wanted a few more straight out comedy hits for Martin and Lewis before giving this one to the public.

The story has a somewhat true background based on writer Sid Silvers's experience as just such a stooge for singer/vaudevillian Phil Baker. They however didn't stay a team for any length of time in the way Martin and Lewis did.

Martin has a singing/accordion act that is going nowhere until he hires a stooge with whom he can do shtick with from the audience. Of course The Stooge is Jerry Lewis.

The Stooge was an uncomfortable film for both of these guys. It exposes the cracks in their own relationship. What's ironic here is that because of television in the sixties, everyone knows just how funny Dean Martin could be on his own.

Dino's given a whole bunch of film standards to sing in this, mostly owned by Paramount. He recorded all of them and they wound up on his first long playing album from Capitol records along with That's Amore. I still have that album.

There's one new song written for the film, A Girl Named Mary and A Boy Named Bill. Dino sings it solo and with leading lady Polly Bergen. Of course they play Bill and Mary in the film. On the Capitol recording Dean ends it in a falsetto that puts him poaching in Frankie Valli territory. It's one of my favorites of his film songs.

Fans will no doubt recognize Frances Bavier, Aunt Bee herself, as Jerry's mom. And Jerry has some great moments with nervous Percy Helton and with slow burn short order cook Donald MacBride.

Hal Wallis was nervous for nothing. The Stooge is one of the best team efforts for Martin and Lewis.


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