HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Frozen II
White Sheik, The
Whalebone Box, The
Hunt, The
Invisible Man, The
Honey Boy
System Crasher
Judy & Punch
Bacurau
Battling Butler
Vivarium
Seven Chances
Dogs Don't Wear Pants
Navigator, The
Knives Out
Hit!
Charlie's Angels
Passport to Shame
Le Mans '66
Keep Fit
Doctor Sleep
Friend or Foe
Brass Target
Mine and the Minotaur, The
Sky Pirates
Syncopation
Sea Children, The
Ghost of a Chance, A
Go Kart Go
Great Buster, The
Seventy Deadly Pills
Wings of Mystery
Treasure at the Mill
VFW
Crime Wave
Terminator: Dark Fate
Slithis
Antonio Gaudi
Oscar, The
Color Out of Space
   
 
Newest Articles
It's! Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 3 on Blu-ray
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
Ozploitation Icon: Interview with Roger Ward
Godzilla Goes to Hollywood
Demy-Wave: The Essential Jacques Demy on Blu-ray
The Makings of a Winner: Play It Cool! on Blu-ray
Sony Channel's Before They Were Famous: A Galaxy of Stars
Start Worrying and Hate the Bomb: Fail-Safe on Blu-ray
Completely Different: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 2 on Blu-ray
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
   
 
  Disorderly Orderly, The Empathy Overload
Year: 1964
Director: Frank Tashlin
Stars: Jerry Lewis, Glenda Farrell, Susan Oliver, Karen Sharpe, Kathleen Freeman, Everett Sloane, Del Moore, Alice Pearce, Milton Frome, John Macchia, Jack E. Leonard, Barbara Nichols, Muriel Landers, Frank J. Scannell, Mike Mazurki
Genre: ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: Throughout history there have been many men of great potential who faltered just as their moment of glory was nigh, say, the man of war who fled the battlefield, the mountaineer who fell off the summit, and the doctor who ran away from the operating room when he became too squeamish. But which of these men will we be following? How about the medical man, one Jerome Littlefield (Jerry Lewis) who is now an orderly at a sanatarium, and has the habit of causing chaos wherever he goes, much to the chagrin of the staff...

For many movie buffs, Lewis never had a better director than Frank Tashlin, one most attuned to the star's comic sensibilities, and that included Lewis himself when he helmed his own vehicles. The Disorderly Orderly was their final collaboration, and as with all of their efforts together saw the comedian used as a cartoon character by the director and writer, only with sentimental interludes which some have found the major turn-off in his work, although here Lewis appeared to be wanting to say something sincere about the business of making people laugh. Basically, Lewis here was sympathetic because he cared too much, goddammit.

This led to scenes both amusing and those intended to be tearjerking since Jerome suffers too much empathy, so he grimaces when he hears about any kind of illness or injury and goes through a host of tics and convulsions as he tries to cope with the thought of another human being undergoing pain. Naturally this didn't quite get in the way of the slapstick, which was bountiful and arrived in sketchlike instalments where Jerome, for example does his best to fix the television in a patient's room only to unleash a blizzard when the snow on the screen breaks through. Business like that illustrated Tashlin's accustomed invention with the gags, but it was the cloying schmaltz which might have proved a problem.

This wasn't the sole cinematic outing for Lewis's softer side, but was a real sticking point for so many audiences these days that many only need to hear the name Jerry Lewis and assume they won't like his movies, even the ones with such inspired routines as we found here. But give him a chance, and ignore his odd lack of humour when you saw him interviewed - he was incredibly serious about his work - and you might find you responded to what he was up to. Here the character Jerome channels his good deeds into is suicidal patient Susan, played by Susan Oliver who remains best known now for appearing as a still, painted green, at the end of umpteen episodes of the original Star Trek show.

Susan is a spiky, hostile and weirdly out of sync personality with Lewis's usual world: although he would drive people in the story up the wall with his antics, they would rarely go out of their way to be malicious and spiteful towards him with the intention of hurting him emotionally. Not so with this damaged soul who spits bile at Jerome's appeals to her better nature, not knowing that he is the one paying for her treatment and working his fingers to the bone to raise the funds - he loved her from afar in high school, but it's also worth noting the Barack Obama-ish healthcare for all message inherent in the script: being aware of Lewis's charity endeavours you can tell this was a subject close to his heart. However, there was another woman in Jerome's life, and she's nurse Julie (Karen Sharpe, most familiar as Hollywood superproducer Stanley Kramer's wife), creating a love triangle whose resolution is all too obvious. Throw in the ever-reliable Kathleen Freeman as a battleaxe and Glenda Farrell as the understanding administrator and you had a very female-centric comedy from Lewis; not a bad farewell to Tashlin. Music by Joseph J. Lilley.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2398 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Frank Tashlin  (1913 - 1972)

American director whose films were heavily influenced by his years spent working in cartoons. In his 20s and 30s, Tashlin worked at both Disney and Warner Brothers in their animation studios, before moving into comedy scriptwriting in the late 1940s, on films like Bob Hope's The Paleface. Tashlin moved into directing popular live-action comedies soon after, with Hope in Son of Paleface, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis in Artists and Models and Hollywood or Bust, and most notably Jayne Mansfield in The Girl Can't Help It and Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? These films were full of inventive, sometimes surreal touches, and used many of the techniques Tashlin had learnt as an animator. Continued to work during the sixties, but without the success of the previous decade.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
   

 

Last Updated: