HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Thunderclap
Zeiram
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Kimi
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Promare
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Winterhawk
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
B.N.A.
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Snatchers
Imperial Swordsman
Foxtrap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Nutty Professor, The Alter-Egomaniac
Year: 1963
Director: Jerry Lewis
Stars: Jerry Lewis, Stella Stevens, Del Moore, Kathleen Freeman, Med Flory, Norman Alden, Howard Morris, Elvia Allman, Milton Frome, Buddy Lester, Marvin Kaplan, David Landfield, Skip Ward, Julie Parrish, Henry Gibson, Les Brown, Richard Kiel, William Smith
Genre: ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 2 votes)
Review: Professor Julius Kelp (Jerry Lewis) works in the science department of this university, but he's somewhat accident prone and liable to mess up his experiments and demonstrations, as today when he mixes the incorrect amounts of chemicals to inadvertently create an explosive reaction. The dean, Dr Warfield (Del Moore), immediately sends for the fire brigade, and they break down the door of the classroom to let the students - and the smoke - out, although it's the dean's secretary (Kathleen Freeman) who notices Julius squashed under the door. Will he ever learn?

As far as his solo films went, The Nutty Professor was Lewis's biggest movie, a hit in its day and often held up as an example of his talent both behind and in front of the camera. It was a jokey variation on the old Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde story, although down the years many have found cause to question precisely how humorous Lewis was being, as there will always be those who wish to analyse the works of the great comedians to uncover the serious side to their personality, as if they could not accept that silly men could not have a dark side. In the case of this silly man, they might have had a point, however.

It was popular at the time to see Julius' split personality as a way of getting back at his former partner Dean Martin, with whom he had formed the double act which had brought them both such huge success, both on stage and on film. But now the overriding view of the character, or characters, is that both Kelp and his Buddy Love alter ego were just what they appeared to be: the two sides of Jerry Lewis, and, as the tales of his offscreen womanising emerged, with behaviour that suggested he was not as sweet as the well-meaning fools he preferred to play at the height of his career, you can understand that there could have been a measure of soul-searching going on in the mind of the comic.

Something along the lines of, how can women fall for my smooth-talking act in private when my public persona is such a goof? Certainly the key to the plot could be in the character of Stella Purdy (Stella Stevens), the student who Julius harbours a crush on, but believes is way out of his league. In his attempts to improve himself, he visits a gym leading to a few of Lewis trademark crazy sight gags, but after that fails he applies his knowledge and opts for a more chemical solution to his problems. The transformation sequence where he takes the potion is filmed surprisingly straight, as if he were not so much spoofing Jekyll and Hyde as making a faithful rendition, and the resulting Buddy Love could be seen as a kind of monster.

Well, his ego could, as he visits The Purple Pit nightclub and wows the patrons with his obnoxious charm, even performing at the piano in a Martin style, but our affections are directed by Stella. Lewis uses many closeups on Stevens' beautiful face to guide us as to how we react to both Kelp and Buddy, so we can see that they both have worth as she finds herself attracted to Love in spite of her better judgement - he has quite the line in flattering dialogue that dazzles her. There's never really much doubt as to which persona Stella will choose, as Lewis was aware that the audience would never forgive him if the cad won the day, but if The Nutty Professor was not one of his most consistently hilarious efforts, it was one of his most fascinating. It's easy to mock critics who try to divine so much meaning in Lewis's comedies, but in this case it's entirely justified as his preoccupation with why people are drawn to the charismatic even if they're pretty resistable otherwise speaks to so much about what we can't admit about celebrity. Music by Walter Scharf.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 6145 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (1)


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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
  Louise Hackett
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: