Medical student Jerome Littlefield works as an orderly at a private clinic where he creates havoc due to his ineptitude.


Frank Tashlin


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





Cast overview, first billed only:
Jerry Lewis ... Jerome Littlefield
Glenda Farrell ... Dr. Jean Howard
Susan Oliver ... Susan Andrews
Everett Sloane ... Mr. Tuffington
Karen Sharpe ... Julie Blair
Kathleen Freeman ... Nurse Maggie Higgins
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
Danny Costello Danny Costello ... First Ambulance Driver
Michael Ross ... First Ambulance Intern
Benny Rubin ... Waiter


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


BOY! were they shorthanded at the hospital! See more »


Comedy | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


In the travel agency's window is a sign that reads, "TWA movie-in-flight: Jerry Lewis in 'The Disorderly Orderly'". See more »


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


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


Featured in North (1994) See more »


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

User Reviews

Jerry Lewis in a sanitarium...and he's not a patient?
12 September 2010 | by moonspinner55See all my reviews

Medical school flunky Jerry Lewis, who turns to jelly when patients talk about their grisly ailments, finds himself employed as an orderly at a private hospital/sanitarium/rest home (the script can't decide which it is). There's a drill sergeant head nurse who shouts at Jerry, a resident manager who dotes on Jerry, a corporation head who wants to fire Jerry, and a student nurse who wants to marry Jerry. In between all this, Lewis crosses his eyes and knocks things over. Some of this slapstick might be funnier if director Frank Tashlin knew how to follow through on a gag--and had possibly found a way to reel Lewis in. The glossy production is bright, the supporting players are good, and there's a funny, frantic chase through the streets and into a supermarket at the finale. Tashlin's outrageous sense of satire is occasionally clever, but it can't really bolster the dim-wittedness of Lewis' geek act, nor the cartoony screwball bits (as when Lewis cracks open a bad TV set and creates a snowy blizzard in a hospital room). Lewis-addicts are obviously the film's prime audience; for everyone else, a few scattered laughs amongst the high-decibel shouting and mugging. ** from ****

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Release Date:

1 February 1965 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

The Disorderly Orderly See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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