The Big Mouth (1967) Poster


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A classic Lewis comedy
MOscarbradley20 March 2017
Why this Jerry Lewis comedy isn't better known or more widely available is a mystery since it's a classic and as consistently funny as anything he did. Here the slapstick verges on the surreal while its 'thriller' plot is virtually irrelevant. As well as starring, Jerry wrote, produced and directed and if it never amounts to anything more than a series of sketches they are, at least, very funny. It's certainly a movie ripe for rediscovery that, for now at least, will have to settle for ultimate cult status.
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"It certainly is smooth. Yes, a man can faint from such smoothness."
gclamson24 March 2005
"The Big Mouth" is one of the better Jery Lewis movies out there. While I have yet to see ALL of Lewis's earlier works, I have seen a good handful of the better known titles including "The Family Jewels" and "The Nutty Professor." This one is better than both. I always felt that it deserved more attention and props than "NP" (his most well known) simply because the humor was more consistent throughout and the comedic timing, especially with Jerry as Gerald Clamson, couldn't have been better. Some great examples include him and the bellhop during an awkward moment involving a tip. Another one involves him and an elderly Chinese man at the pearl shop at Sea World. His remark about Confucious is the stuff of legend. So is the man's reaction. I also felt that "NP" was lacking in good supporting characters that were wacky enough to hold there own against Clamson. This is why the movie fizzles and becomes somewhat stale early on. Nothing for him to play off of. "FJ" had plenty of characters, but they were all played by Jerry Lewis. In other words, that movie suffered from Lewis overload. "The Big Mouth" is a perfect balance of all these elements. Though it may lose some of its pacing around the second half, the movie is well worth at least a rental simply for the first. If you suddenly crave some good silliness that will actually make you laugh from time to time, this is the Jerry Lewis movie for you, if you can find it.

p.s.-for Hojean, this is the one you're thinking of.
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Tepid comedy.
gridoon6 January 2000
A tepid, extremely mild, fairly tedious, slightly overlong comedy. The first half has some reasonably funny bits (like the one that takes place in a phone-booth), but in the second half things get pretty desperate. Jerry Lewis himself is appealing when he is playing the "straight man", but irritating when he appears disguised. And the direction has no comic timing whatsoever.
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Not the best but an old fave
markcarlson22228 July 2002
I've lost track of all the times I've seen this one from the first 16mm print at a summer camp in 1970. But I always loved it, no matter how stupid and inane it really is. The plot holes and pure unbelievability of the film must be put aside just for the sillyness. A few things stand out. A cameo by Col. Harland Sanders of KFC, and a view of early Sea World in San Diego. When I worked there in 1985, I found all the places that the film was shot. And the best of all, is Charlie Callas' totally hilarious bit when he sees the appranently dead Sid Valentine (Lewis' other role) come to life again. He comes apart, as do his other friends, but with much more panache and skill. His stuttering, eye-popping gibberish is so funny you have to watch the same dialogue over and over again. It's a classic bit, and one that actually saves the film from being a total Lewis stinker. "That's him, thats him, that's aaaahh, that's im-POSSIBLE!"
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It is a great break from the routine movie, a chance to giggle and laugh.
tazbat-328 January 2003
Jerry Lewis is a transitionalist between Vaudevillian slapstick and today's one liner comedic actors. In the Big Mouth, Jerry executes his humor with finesse. Younger audiences perhaps wouldn't enjoy this movie due to its lack of explicit sex, strong language, and graphic violence. That is exactly what makes this movie attractive. It is a great break from the routine movie, a chance to giggle and laugh. It is a good story that could be remade today into a suspense or comedy. Jerry shows his ability to be a flexible actor. Susan Bay was likewise good for her first starring role.
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Many fine moments,best effort during run at Columbia.
yesfan201225 July 2013
When i view this film i tend to look at it from the directors lens.In this respect it has many positives,more so then if viewed strictly on comedic pacing and storyline.The opening scene has Clamson reeling in Valentine while fishing and is told about some diamonds and where they are hidden.This is the basic plot and the comedy spins from this premise,as such it can be thin but the direction by Lewis is the high point when watching this movie.There is the opening scene which leads from the beach with Clamson and Valentine into this beautiful helicopter shot which rises and sweeps away from the beach while the credits run and comes right back to the beach and the continuation of the scene.There is a scene of Clamson being stopped by the police and an argument over the various violations and there numbers.Clamson sits in the car while this argument ensues and Lewis has him framed in the scene with his face in the background framed by a cops arm on his hip in the foreground.The direction of Lewis in this movie is the star. So when you watch this movie look at it from the view of Lewis and how he is blocking the scenes and compare it to other comedies you like.You will see the deft use of colors and sound,also his use of language to make his movies very layered beyond just the punchline of the scene.The Big Mouth is filled with these Lewis touches,all the comedy might not work but it's his attempt to experiment that must be applauded.So give this movie a second look and don't just look for the comedic payoff but look for the setup through the deft lensing by Lewis and i think you'll have a greater appreciation of this film.
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The Big Mouth Proves that Empty Barrels Make A Lot of Noise 0*
edwagreen17 March 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Positively ridiculous Jerry Lewis 1967 vehicle where he becomes involved with diamond smugglers after encountering a dying person on the beach while fishing. The big joke is that the guy he encounters belongs to a smuggling ring and resembles Lewis.

There are two groups after the diamonds and Lewis acts as he did in parts as the Nutty Professor. It's quite awful to say the least. Then, there is romance along the way. No surprise that the actress who played his love interest in the film was never heard from again. After making a movie as miserable as this, one would want to hide out.

Harold J. Stone appears as a gang leader. He is boisterous but is given poor material to work with.
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Three reasons for watching this monstrosity
morpheusatloppers24 February 2014
Warning: Spoilers
If you are a Jerry Lewis fan, you have probably heard that this film – made in the Golden Year of 1967 – is the biggest pile of poop he ever made (although we have yet to see his "The Day The Clown Cried" and it is unlikely we will – at least, while Jerry lives). And that would be a fair description of this turkey.

However, it is still worth a look – for three reasons.

First and most important, he re-creates his Nerd character (Professor Julius Kelp) from "The Nutty Professor" – imagine a DVD of deleted scenes from THAT – you would pay money to see those, would you not? This is the next best thing.

Second comes an extended shot of the late Charlie Callas (no relation to Maria) doing his "manic twitch" routine – it is almost worth watching this abomination for that alone. This was Charlie's ONLY film appearance and came about after they met on the Merv Griffin Show and he impressed Jerry so much, the latter promised to use him in his next project. Sadly, it turned out to be THIS.

Last is a bizarre, two-minute cameo from Harland Sanders – yes, the old cross-eyed "colonel" himself. Many people today are unaware that the character on the KFC logo was once actually a REAL PERSON and he makes a fleeting appearance in this dross.

Why? Well, perhaps HE was a fan of Jerry Lewis' movies – although it is unfortunate that he chose THIS one to make his film debut in
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One of Jerry's weirdest & best movie!
eugenesandor12 October 2006
Warning: Spoilers
The Big Mouth has always been one of my favorite Jerry Lewis movies. Jerry surrounds himself with the cream of the crop of character actors in this one. The manner in which each actor goes crazy after seeing Jerry, (thinking he's dead), makes this movie, truly, one of Jerry's most bizarre and funny! The Kabuki scene, with Jerry in white make-up and "frightwig" is priceless! The original score by Harry Betts is first class. This film is classic "1967", (referring to films released that year like "Casino Royale", "Danger:Diabolik",etc.). I would love to see a special edition DVD release of this, with commentary from Jerry & Charlie Callas. In my dreams!
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Rest In Peace, JL. "The Big Mouth" is Big Fun!!!
bscottcork21 August 2017
Warning: Spoilers
***Spoiler Alert*** People hating on this movie are not true JL fans. This film may not be on par with his magnum opus, 1963's "The Nutty Professor" and everything he did afterwards should be viewed in that light. However, "The Big Mouth" is comedy gold; especially the scenes involving fellow comedy-legend, the rubber-faced, double-talking, cross-eyed manic magic of Charlie Callas. Heck, the 3 parts where Lewis hides out from the Mob inside a kabuki theater, onstage joining the cast in full kabuki-makeup, ad-libbing gibberish Japanese lines is absolutely side-splitting entertainment and still makes me convulse in laughter 50 years later.

Jerry died yesterday at age 91, God rest his soul. Do yourself a favor and go rent the underrated 1967's "Big Mouth", and watch a comic legend at his finest.
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daumas21 June 1999
Jerry Lewis remains as one of the best comedians/actors of Hollywood. As usual, Lewis is a goofy man who decides to take a vacation to fish. But He finds a "copy" of himself who is a criminal who run away from his partners with Jewels. The rest, you can imagine....
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Of all the bad Jerry Lewis films, this is one of the worst
frankfob24 June 2013
Brainless, witless, infantile Jerry Lewis idiocy, worse than most. Poorly written, ineptly directed--Lewis' directorial style seems to be mostly "keep the camera on me as much as possible"--braying "comedy" has Lewis being a dead ringer for a mobster who cheated his associates out of some diamonds and was murdered by them, but they see Lewis and mistake him for the guy they think they killed. Along with his usual bag of completely unfunny "tricks", he pulls out his offensive squinty-eyed, buck-toothed Japanese "character", obviously finding nothing wrong with this incredibly racist characterization.

A stupid, embarrassing mess. Don't waste your time.
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dsewizzrd-19 September 2012
This slow moving train wreck was produced and directed by the star, Jerry Lewis. No one else would touch it.

Lewis plays an accountancy clerk who catches a sea diver when fishing on the coast. The diver is a diamond thief and gives Lewis a map. The diver's confederates, who he has cheated, plan to assassinate him and get the map. Then follows a dull series of slow pratfalls.

Lewis stays at the Hilton while searching for the diamonds. How he can afford to is not shown (he's only an accountancy clerk remember).

One of the confederates is a Japanese who runs a "racket" selling plastic inserts in oysters as pearls – although in fact this is how manufactured pearls are made.

Lewis never finds the diamonds. The strong violence make it unsuitable for the most undemanding of children.

Product placement – Pepsi Cola.
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"You bungling moron!"
moonspinner559 September 2011
Jerry Lewis directed, co-wrote, and stars in this half-wit gangster comedy about a bank auditor who takes a fishing holiday and gets mixed up with jewel thieves who are after buried diamonds; turns out he's also the dead ringer for an allegedly-deceased crime syndicate boss...though that's not the reason Jerry spends half the movie in disguise as his bespectacled "Nutty Professor" character. Sloppy, stupid, braying farce, the kind of star-vehicle which hopes to ring laughs out of every silly gesture or cross-eyed reaction. Lewis plays the kind of fisherman who can't even push a sailboat away from the dock without falling into the water. Frank DeVol as Bogart (our deadpan narrator) is an unusual touch, and Colonel Sanders has a funny (if pointless) cameo. Otherwise, this "Big Mouth" is just an empty hole. * from ****
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ouch... this was painful
alisotom12 September 2014
Wow, this movie was actually painful to watch. "Cringeworthy" is an understatement. First of all, I was surprised that Hilton allowed the use of its name considering the part of the front desk clerk.

Don't the actors have a read-through before they do a movie? You mean they actually read through this and still decided to make it? Were they all friends of his, or just kiss-ups, or both? I tried to force myself to watch this all the way through, but my mind kept wandering, day-dreaming about how much more pleasant it would be to have dental surgery without anesthesia. I guess it was that scraping sound that kept waking me from my daydreaming, the sound of a ten-foot pole against the bottom of the barrel.

There was a semblance of a redeeming factor in the part played by Charlie Callas; and I truly felt for Susan Bay: her career wasn't completely ruined by this though - Leonard Nimoy married her despite this movie. I would love to write a spoiler for this movie but it's impossible to spoil a rotten egg.

Then, after what seemed like days later, the movie finally ended and my first thought was "how did this movie ever get made?", my second thought, "that was two hours of my life I will never get back...". I have never been much of a Jerry Lewis fan, but The Big Mouth will now be The Big Reason why I am not.
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Just how many times can one do this?
lee_eisenberg15 April 2006
This time, Jerry Lewis plays reporter Gerald Clamson, who just happens to be a dead ringer for Sid Valentine, wanted by a crime syndicate. The only thing is, Valentine is supposed to be dead, so when the thugs see Clamson, you can imagine what sorts of things they do! Mistaken identity seems to be a frequent source of comedy (or drama; see "North by Northwest"). So even though "The Big Mouth" is nothing special, it's good for a few laughs. Most of the laughs come from what happens with the thugs when they see Clamson. But one also gets the feeling that Lewis was sort of losing his ability to come up with anything new after this. And now that we know what sort of a person he is in real life, that weakens it. But overall, this one's pretty funny.
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no laughs, just stomach turning and racist
monsieurzy19 July 2005
I saw this film on first release and I remember being sickened by it...the early scene of jerry pulling his gangster double out of the beach (he's caught him in the back with fishing hooks), lots of blood...and this is supposed to be a family film?? ..later buddy lester is so shocked by seeing what he thinks is the dead gangster rejuvenated, that he ends up spitting out his own teeth, and spends the rest of the film going around with bloody gums, mumbling...kee-rist, what the hell was jerry lewis thinking??? ..the scenes with jerry as an Asian actor, spouting a lot of gibberish is just embarrassing. ..and is anyone else annoyed by the DVD releases of all these early lewis films?.. the narration is basically steve lawrence guffawing and praising jerry for every single frame, and asking him repeatedly for an explanation of the videotape camera system (which jerry gladly talks about over and over) ..anyway, I do like The Nutty Professor and The Ladies Man, but this one is a disaster
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You'll Cringe and then You'll Cringe Again
aimless-4624 June 2013
"An Emperor who cares for nothing but his appearance and attire hires two tailors who promise him the finest suit of clothes from a fabric invisible to anyone who is unfit for his position or "just hopelessly stupid". The Emperor cannot see the cloth himself, but pretends that he can for fear of appearing unfit for his position; his ministers do the same. When the swindlers report that the suit is finished, they mime dressing him and the Emperor then marches in procession before his subjects, who play along with the pretense. Suddenly, a child in the crowd, too young to understand the desirability of keeping up the pretense, blurts out that the Emperor is wearing nothing at all......".

"The Big Mouth" was perhaps the greatest inside joke on audiences since the 1938 radio broadcast of "War of the Worlds". Billed as a comedy, heavily promoted, widely distributed, and featuring Jerry Lewis (who played three roles and directed) this was a must see for our junior high group of cut-ups. We found the experience a surreal one. A comedy film where nobody in the theater laughed including us (absolutely no laughter). We caught on quicker than the adults that this was a complete sham but were spellbound waiting for a single funny sequence that would shatter the audience silence. It never happened.

Afterward we scanned newspaper and magazine reviews for some sign that a prominent reviewer was going to spill the beans and expose the "Emperor", but there was nothing. It was like the whole industry had clammed up by mutual agreement to allow Columbia to recover a portion of their investment. I suspect that this kind of industry-wide "quid pro quo" was fairly common in those days. Word of mouth (pun intended) in our town killed attendance within a few days, although some may have attended just to observe Hollywood finally bottoming out. "The Big Month" deserves a place in cinema history because it was this bottoming out process that opened the door for innovative stuff like "Bonnie & Clyde" and "Easy Rider" in mainstream theaters.

In fairness the chase sequences might have had some amusement value except they had been done much better by Harvey Lembeck (playing Eric Von Zipper) in countless beach movies released earlier in the decade.

The only saving grace at the time for us 14-year-olds was that Jeannine Riley (Billie Jo from "Petticoat Junction") was featured in several eye-scorching outfits. Hence the extra star.

Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.
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Big time diamond smugglers get on Jerry's case
helpless_dancer20 June 1999
Smugglers have a falling out, and one of them high-tails it with the loot. When the gang finds out that Jerry unknowingly received the stones, they pull out all stops to get at him. That should have been easy, but the fools are more inept than Jerry. Of course, along the way Jerry falls in love. An amusing film.
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Episodic and mildly amusing...but nothing more.
MartinHafer18 March 2016
I read the reviews for this film before I tried watching and I found my reaction was somewhere in the middle. Some described it as being among Jerry Lewis' worst films, though I think films like "Which Way to the Front?", "Cracking Up", "Slapstick of Another Kind" and "Three on a Couch" are much, much worse. And, it certainly is no work of great genius like some have said. It's a decent little time-passer with a few faults.

When the film begins, Jerry is fishing and somehow hooks onto someone in a wetsuit. The guy ends up being a gangster who could be Jerry's double and he tells Jerry about some hidden loot. As for Jerry, he wants to do the right thing and tries to get police and others to listen to his account of catching the man...but no one seems willing to listen. And, as for the gangsters who shot the man Jerry caught, they are now looking for the fisherman because they think the dead man must have told him about the money. Despite this being the theme, the movie is almost plot less at times, a bit like "The Bellboy"...which isn't all bad since this earlier Lewis film is among his best. Now I am not saying all the silliness or Jerry's dressing up like the Nutty Professor work most of the time...but it is pleasant and diverting during much of the film. Overall, no bomb nor work of genius but a generally decent little film that will offer a few laughs...just a few. There certainly could have been more laughs and Charlie Callas was simply awful...but fortunately he was only used sparingly in the picture. Also awful was Lewis' embarrassingly bad imitation of Japanese folks...a definite low- point in the film...or in any film that came out that year.

By the way, look quickly and you might spot Rob Reiner in his film debut. You'll also see Colonel Sanders...though he is pretty obvious!
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The Big Mouth was a pretty enjoyable Jerry Lewis comedy I watched on YouTube
tavm20 August 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Having just watched this on YouTube, there were plenty of good and bad things about this movie. The Good: supporting performances of Del Moore as hotel clerk Mr. Hodges who gets the brunt of Jerry Lewis' accidents, Charlie Callas as one of the gangster's hoods Rex who does his nervous shtick when he finds Jerry's doppelanger hood is still "alive", and especially John Nolan who plays "FBI Agent" Webster-you'll figure out why I put quotes around his title. There's also funny scenes of Jerry in a phone booth trying to get to the police as well as of police officers arguing what a certain code means as Jerry is stopped while speeding. And I did like Jerry both when he's "normal" and in disguise. The Bad: The Asian stereotypes. It's especially embarrassing to see "Star Trek" player George Takei playing this kind of role as a henchman who suffers a tragic fate. Also, I didn't like the dialogue exchange between Lewis and leading lady Susan Bay about his "problem". Such double entendre has no place in a family comedy like this (I know, there's some violence but somehow that's more acceptable here). And the chase climax was pretty lame. Overall, this was pretty enjoyable despite some of the more objectionable material I cited. So on that note, I did like The Big Mouth. P.S. I didn't recognize Rob Reiner or Charo in their cameos so either I missed them or IMDb got it wrong. (I'm not really accusing this site, just wondering where either Reiner or Charo could have been in the movie) Oh, and one more thing: supporting player Buddy Lester is from my birthtown of Chicago, Ill.
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arfdawg-125 April 2020
The movie is just really stupid and Lewis mus his way through with his usual megalomaniacal way.

I give this three stars only because I have to admit he was technically a great director. He knew how to frame a shot and his timing was impeccable. Too bad he had too big an ego to see that the material sucked.
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