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Barbara is a very rich girl who falls in love with Norman Phiffier, a poor young man. She doesn't tell him who she really is and prepares to marry him. But, Mrs. Tuttle (Barbara's mother) doesn't want her daughter to mary such a poor man. So, she hires Norman at one of her big stores, and gives him the most difficult and disgusting works. She hopes that seeing Norman humiliated, Barbara will finally leave him. But things don't work exactly this way...Written by
Chris Makrozahopoulos <email@example.com>
This was the seventh of eight Jerry Lewis films directed by former cartoon director Frank Tashlin. See more »
freeze frame when Norman Phiffier (Jerry Lewis) punctures the vacuum balloon and you will see the following : a blank white frame, , a frame of a Coleman camping supplies setting on a table with what could be flames across the top, three frames of clouds of dust, an upside down production still showing Jerry Lewis standing on the ladder left hand resting on his side and his right hand holding the knife resting on the top of the ladder beneath the vacuum balloon before it was punctured looking off camera, a solid black frame and a frame of Barbara Tuttle and her dad standing behind the shelves of dishes. See more »
Who's Minding The Store was once a favorite movie of mine as a kid. Then I grew up and renounced Jerry and all his works. But AMC was recently running a mini-Jerry Lewis festival and this film was in it, so I couldn't resist taking a look back and I have to say this one holds up surprisingly well. Jerry plays the eternal bumbling idiot who's in love with an heiress to a department store fortune. One problem though, her mother is aware of the romance (through the use of private detectives), doesn't approve and wants to break it up any way she can. The upshot is that Jerry is given a job at the department store doing the most impossible unpleasant tasks imaginable so that he will appear a failure in front in his new fiancee.
As Jerry Lewis movies go, this one is actually pretty good for a lot of reasons. It has a big-time supporting cast, for one thing, as opposed to Jerry playing six roles by himself in various modes of stupidity. The script is funny- that is, the vignettes of Jerry moving from one disaster to another in different sections of the store. And the slapstick is well-executed without being brutal or forced. Agnes Moorehead is great as the evil would-be mother-in-law, playing a slightly more cosmpolitan version of the character she played in "Bewitched". John McGiver is very good as the cuckolded husband, Jill St. John appropriately nurturing as the girlfriend, and Ray Walston, who, to me, is nothing but a show-biz benchwarmer, is a howl as the whimpering flunky store manager who's complicit in the scheme. As for the best bits, the running gag of the hapless policeman on the blunt end of Jerry's screw-ups is well done, Nancy Kulp is absolutely hilarious in a scene as a famous big-game hunter, and at the top of the pile, Jerry does his classic typewriter bit, where he mimics the movements of a typist set to music. This is a not good, but great routine, a truly inspired bit that is worthy of being described as genius.
On the negative side, I couldn't help but think that the message of the film (the man is king of his castle, etc. etc.) mostly fits Jerry's worldview that women are worth little more than sex toys and kitchen utensils. This sort of thing may have been quaint in 1963, but it's downright prehistoric now. But if you can shake off the sexism, this film has a lot of good laughs. It might even be the Citizen Kane of Jerry Lewis movies. And since Agnes Moorehead was in both pictures, I may be on to something. 2 1/2 ** out of 4, but for a Lewis picture, that's a rave.
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