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The Disorderly Orderly (1964)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Romance | 1 February 1965 (Sweden)
When he flunks out of med school, Jerome Littlefield goes to work as an orderly in a private rest home where he wreaks havoc for everyone concerned. Dr. Jean Howard is the exasperated head ... See full summary »

Director:

Frank Tashlin

Writers:

Frank Tashlin (screenplay), Norm Liebmann (story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jerry Lewis ... Jerome Littlefield
Glenda Farrell ... Dr. Jean Howard
Susan Oliver ... Susan Andrews
Karen Sharpe ... Julie Blair
Kathleen Freeman ... Nurse Maggie Higgins
Everett Sloane ... Mr. Tuffington
Del Moore ... Dr. Davenport
Alice Pearce ... Mrs. Fuzzibee
Milton Frome ... Board Member
John Macchia John Macchia ... Orderly
Jack E. Leonard ... Fat Jack
Barbara Nichols ... Miss Marlowe
Muriel Landers ... Millicent
Frank J. Scannell Frank J. Scannell ... Milton M. Mealy (as Frank Scannell)
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Storyline

When he flunks out of med school, Jerome Littlefield goes to work as an orderly in a private rest home where he wreaks havoc for everyone concerned. Dr. Jean Howard is the exasperated head of the sanitarium who almost becomes a patient after the antics of the frantic employee. When talkative patient Mrs. Fuzzibee happily and continuously relates her maladies to Jerome, he hilariously has psychosomatic symptoms that mirror those of the nutty woman. He discovers that his high school girl of his dreams, Susan Andrews has been brought to the sanitarium after a suicide attempt. He secretly pays for the destitute young woman's stay while helping to restore her confidence and self respect, much to the jealousy of his girlfriend, Julie Blair, a young and pretty nurse who has high hopes of becoming the future Mrs. Littlefield. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Jerry's a mad medicine man on the ward-path in a hospital that should have known better! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 February 1965 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Tölpel vom Dienst See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Jerome is wrapping the patient with tape, the assisting nurse looks directly at the camera twice. See more »

Goofs

After Jerome falls into the laundry chute, a clear silhouette of a crew member is visible inside. See more »

Quotes

Julie Blair: Can you drive an ambulance?
Nurse Higgins: Well, in the Army I drove a tank...
See more »

Connections

Featured in Los Angeles Plays Itself (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

The Disorderly Orderly
by Earl Shuman and Leon Carr
Sung by Sammy Davis Jr.
Sammy Davis thru the courtesy of Reprise Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"That Boy Is An Accident"
24 October 2011 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

When Jerry Lewis had a strong director like Frank Tashlin who had his own ideas about comedy both could turn in a really good film. The Disorderly Orderly ranks up there as one of Lewis's best solo films.

The Disorderly Orderly casts Jerry as a would be doctor who but for one thing might have his MD degree, he's a natural born klutz. He's working at a private hospital where every task he's given turns into a disaster. He'd be fired but for the fact that the hospital head Glenda Farrell was once involved with Jerry's father and she looks on him as a child with special needs. The head nurse played by Lewis film regular Kathleen Freeman would like to strangle him as does Everett Sloane the chairman of the hospital board after a couple of encounters with him.

It's a psychological block that Jerry has, he empathizes too much with the patients and he tries too hard. The scene that brings that out is when he has to listen to Alice Pearce as one of the patients go through her laundry list of ailments. Lewis's reactions are positively hysterical.

Truth be told not everything is his fault. There's a surreal scene where Jerry is trying to fix patient Barbara Nichols's television of the snow showing. He opens it up and an arctic blast comes through the television. Truly not his fault, but also very funny.

As it turns out the cause of his complex arrives at the hospital in the person of Susan Oliver who was a prom queen back in his high school who Jerry didn't have the nerve to approach. Contact with her cures him though not the way you think or what you think.

Lewis's performance hits on all levels from the screamingly funny to a sad kind of pathos especially involving Oliver. His relationship with her as an innocent reminds me a lot of Lou Costello in several of his films.

The last ten minutes involving a chase scene with two ambulances reminds me of the chase in The Bank Dick later revived in In Society. There's also a nice cameo from Jack E. Leonard as another patient who gets the better of Jerry.

The Disorderly Orderly is an absolute must for Jerry Lewis fans of yesterday and today, it belongs at the top of his comedy classics.


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