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Jerry Lewis: The "Legendary Jerry" Collection

Jerry Lewis    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 365.66
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This 10-DVD boxed set is a delight for anyone afflicted with a susceptibility to the fractured antics of Jerry Lewis, or "Le Roi du Crazy" to the French. This set emphasizes Lewis's busy period after the breakup with Dean Martin, when he was exerting more influence over his vehicles (six of the titles are directed by Jerry himself) and almost single-handedly keeping Paramount Pictures propped up with his box-office take. The set curiously includes one of the Martin-Lewis pictures, 1953's The Stooge, which has echoes of the real-life vibe between Jerry and Dino.

The other titles include Lewis's 1957 solo starring debut, The Delicate Delinquent, and his directing bow, The Bellboy (1960). The latter is an often-ingenious and plotless collection of gags with Jerry as a bellhop in Miami Beach's Fountainebleau Hotel. His character doesn't speak (making the connection with silent cinema more pointed), but in one uproarious sequence the obnoxious movie star "Jerry Lewis" comes to visit the hotel.

The Ladies Man puts Lewis alone in a boarding house full of women. This film's bizarre sexual politics (and its amazing cut-away set) helps explain why French critics such as Jean-Luc Godard consider Lewis a cinematic genius--Godard actually borrowed the cut-away set idea for his film Tout va bien. The Errand Boy is a cascade of gags strung together on the set of "Paramutual Pictures," a movie studio that employs Lewis's klutzy gofer; it features one of Jerry's best musical miming routines. The Patsy is another good one, as nebbish Jerry is drafted into impersonating a famous deceased celebrity, but by 1965's The Family Jewels the inspiration is flagging a bit.

Two of the titles are directed by Lewis's mentor, Frank Tashlin. Cinderfella works a sentimental variation on the fairy tale; it's slow and at times mawkish, but some of Lewis's physical stuff is top-notch. The Disorderly Orderly is livelier, with a hospital setting and some of Jerry's most inspired babbling. The box also includes Lewis's acknowledged high point, The Nutty Professor, in its special-edition form. Its Jekyll-and-Hyde story is still the funniest and weirdest premise Lewis ever had. There are other Lewis films out there, but this box is definitely the cream of the career. If some of the jokes haven't aged well (and those who can't stand his mugging won't be convinced even by this set), Lewis still seems a more interesting filmmaker than he's usually given credit for. Extras include some disappointing commentaries with Lewis and Steve Lawrence, plus a smattering of outtakes, some of them funny and/or revealing of Lewis's directing technique. --Robert Horton

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jerry Lewis is a LEGEND!!! Oct. 1 2007
How can you not love Jerry Lewis! The man is so talented. This box-set is amazing. It contains 10 Jerry Lewis movies, all important in his busy career. Some contain random extra material like old clips of behind the scenes and one is in a special edition filled with extras like a retrospective of Lewis' career and a small but interesting documentary on Jerry's methods. It is a superb deal for the price. You won't be able to get enough of Jerry! All movies are excellent, light-hearted, laugh out-loud funny with great references to Jerry's interests and influences like silent-era comic Stan Laurel or jazz music, especially the likes of Count Basie and his band, all making a cameo in Cinderfella. Jerry can act, sing, dance, do mimics, facial expressions, ad lib and create original and unpredictable gags like no one!

You can fell that Lewis had fun making us laugh and loved every minute of it, just like you will watching these movies. Without Jerry, there might be no Mr. Bean, no Jim Carrey, no Leslie Nielsen or no Mike Myers.

So forget about your troubles, pop-in a Jerry Lewis masterpiece and laugh, laugh, admire and laugh some more while watching the man do what he does best!

There will never be another Jerry Lewis!
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5.0 out of 5 stars excellent Sept. 10 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a must-have. The commentaries are good for the hardcore fans too. These aren't very likely to come out on Bluray, so get it!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Almost complete. July 24 2008
This is a superb collection and as usual Paramount left out the best one, "Rock-A-Bye-Baby". Where is this one?
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  68 reviews
38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jerry Mon Frer Dec 12 2005
By Gord Wilson - Published on Amazon.com
The author of a recent book in appreciation of Lewis' film work, Enfant Terrible! notes that he's been honored primarily not in the US but in France, by "those incomprehensible hedonistic strangers across the sea." This set affords an opportunity to reappraise his standing in the cinema, and I find myself falling in with the hedonistic strangers in appreciation of his considerable talents.

I can remember as a kid laughing my head off in the theater watching Who's Minding the Store? (not included in this set), but it wasn't until I saw Martin and Lewis on the Colgate Comedy Hour shows on DVD that I had any idea of his range and versatility. Then I saw the first Dean and Jerry movie, My Friend Irma, a film based on a radio show, and thoroughly forgettable but for one thing: the Martin/ Lewis interplay. Paramount long ago saw what I'm just finding out, and the duo made sixteen movies together.

Only their last film in that series is included in this set, The Stooge, from 1953, in which, as Leonard Maltin has noted, Lewis shows hidden depths as an actor. His first solo outing, The Delicate Delinquent (1957) is surprisingly poignant, with only intermittent comic bits. This unimaginably rich set of ten films from 1953 to 1965 may not convert staid critics on this side of the Atlantic, but it certainly will prove the Lewis lover's cup of tea. The films are on ten single sided DVDs in five slimline cases which fit in a box set. The slim cases are too thin to comfortably hold two discs, however, and plastic pieces had broken off in all the cases I opened. The DVDs were still OK though (single sided discs are tougher than double sided ones), and except for that problem this is an attractively packaged set.

The ten films are in widescreen, four in black and white and six in color. In chronological order they are: The Stooge (1953, black and white), The Delicate Delinquent (1957, black and white), The Bell Boy (1960, black and white), Cinderfella (1960, color, with Ed Wynn as the fairy godfather), The Errand Boy (1961, black and white), The Ladies Man (1961, color), The Nutty Professor (1963, color, special edition), The Patsy (1964, color), The Disorderly Orderly (1964, color, with an opening song by Sammy Davis Jr.), and The Family Jewels (1965, color, in which Lewis plays six roles). There's not much information on the box, but many films include trailers and extra features, listed inside the DVD cases. The piece de resistance is a personal note from Jerry slipped into the box, expressing his hope that the Martin/ Lewis films will also soon make it to DVD. A sentiment we fans, mon ami, fervently echo.
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Le Jerry! Sept. 8 2005
By joseph Corey - Published on Amazon.com
I'm thrilled that Paramount has boxed up their 10 Jerry Lewis titles and cut the price. The titles include The Bellboy, Cinderfella, The Delicate Delinquent, The Disorderly Orderly, The Errand Boy, The Family Jewels, The Ladies Man, The Nutty Professor, The Patsy and The Stooge.

I've been entertianed by most of these films - having checked out the single releases - but was unwilling to buy them for $15 a pop. But now the price is right and I will be able to torture my children with Jerry on the loose.

While the bonus features on most aren't overwhelming, they seem enlightening to understand what Jerry was doing at the time. He was an innovator using video monitors to help direct himself.

I do hope Paramount is able to put out a good low priced boxset of the Jerry Lewis - Dean Martin comedies.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Living Legend Shines Bright Sept. 22 2006
By Mark Ebert - Published on Amazon.com
These ten classic motion pictures were issued (or re-issued in the case of "The Nutty Professor") individually on DVD in 2004 and one year later arrived in this collectible box set. The films are gems with several standouts:

The Stooge (1953)--This is the only pairing in this compilation with Dean Martin and may have been selected because Mr. Lewis says it is his favorite of the sixteen films he made with Dean.

The Delicate Delinquent (1957)--His first film without Dean Martin has more of a dramatic tinge and can still be relatable almost fifty years later for his societal themes which--for the most part--have stayed with us.

The Bellboy (1960)--Jerry's directorial debut is this zany, intriguing film about a madcap Bellboy who refrains from speaking because he "has never been asked". One of the best scenes in this film is Jerry playing himself and proving that stardom isn't all it is cracked up to be.

The Ladies Man (1961)--Every man in the world who has ever been dumped can relate to this witty and wonderful saga about Herbert H. Heebert as he attempts to live without love in a house full of girls.

The Errand Boy (1961)--Wonder why the French love Jerry Lewis? Watch the puppet segments of this film and you'll understand--you'll love him, too.

The Nuttty Professor (1963)--This film can still scare children today (when Professor Kelp transforms into Buddy Love for the first time). It can also delight with tons of humor.

The Disorderly Orderly (1964)--A medical film with humor and heart and what may prove to be the best romantic storyline to be discovered in a Jerry Lewis classic.

The Family Jewels (1965)--This last installment (chronologically) is for the family and among seven delightful Jerry Lewises (you'll see what I mean) features the wonderful Donna Butterworth starring as the little orphan heiress.

I anticipated these films on DVD for a long time (I bought a DVD player in 2001 because of such films). If you want to relive some classics, or enjoy them for the first time, what's your wait? At this price you can afford these terrific movies and enjoy them for generations.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stands The Test of Time Nov. 22 2005
By Trevor L - Published on Amazon.com
In a nutshell: excellent video quality and a selection of some of Jerry's best movies. This is a "must own" for anyone with a sense of humor. This isn't a cheapo fake "box set". The sleeves are nicely put together with nice graphics. You get some extra goodies and a letter from Jerry himself. Kids and grownups alike will love these movies. Buy a few copies and encourage them to produce more.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BIg Zach!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! www.bigzach.com Jan. 5 2006
A Kid's Review - Published on Amazon.com
THis is hilarious! I cracked up when i saw these movies. My favorite ones are the Bellboy,Family Jewels, the disorderly orderly, the ladies man, and the deliquent deliquent. THose i think are the funniest and are Jerry Lewis's greatest performances. This is the best box set ever and has truly ingenious comedy from one of the best comedic actors of all time!
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