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
Jerry Lewis in a sanitarium...and he's not a patient?
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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