“Okay, Hollywood — here we come!”
An in-debt gambler (Dean Martin) cons his way into winning a convertible, hoping to sell it and pay his bookie off — but he must share his prize with the real winner, a nerdy movie buff (Jerry Lewis) whose goal in life is to travel to Hollywood and win the heart of Anita Ekberg.
Frank Tashlin directed this final outing by comedic partners Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, who at this point in their joint career had reached a notorious crisis point (Lewis actually claims he’s never seen this movie, given the negative memories it evokes for him.) Peary labels it a “personal recommendation” in the back of his book, and it was a favorite of Truffaut — but while there are occasional moments of inspired hilarity (an early hold-up by a deceptively innocent hitch-hiker; Lewis “feeling lucky” and winning oodles of money at a craps table), it’s ultimately — like the rest of the Lewis and Martin films I’ve seen so far — a mixed comedic bag, one which eventually wears out its welcome. The film’s most inspired moment — pure Tashlin — comes fairly early, when the duo are driving through the countryside, singing, and see sexy dames every which way who represent the joys of “country living”; it’s truly surreal, and worth the price of a rental alone.
P.S. Redheaded Pat Crowley (who I’d never seen before) is a refreshingly wholesome presence as Martin’s romantic lead; why didn’t her silver screen career go any further?
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- The surreal “day in the country” musical sequence
- Pat Crowley as Terry Roberts
- Random moments of inspired humor
No. Listed as a Cult Movie and a Personal Recommendation in the back of Peary’s book.