Big Mouth, The (1967)

Big Mouth, The (1967)

“It certainly is smooth. Yes, a man can faint from such smoothness.”

A tourist (Jerry Lewis) is mistaken for a jewel thief and pursued by two different gangs.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Comedy
  • Gangsters
  • Jerry Lewis Films
  • Mistaken Identities

Response to Peary’s Review:
It’s not clear why Peary includes this boring, unfunny Jerry Lewis title in his GFTFF, since he readily acknowledges that “there is not enough visual comedy or slapstick,” that Lewis’s character is, unfortunately, “less out-of-control than usual”:

and that the “love scenes with Susan Bay are embarrassingly sappy”.

At nearly two hours, the movie goes on for far too long, and, as Peary notes, has “too many scenes at Sea World”.

With that said, it has a number of fans, and is certainly worth checking out if you’re enamored with Lewis’s wacky impersonations — there are plenty here.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Fine cinematography

Must See?
No. This is only must-see viewing for die-hard Jerry Lewis fans.


2 thoughts on “Big Mouth, The (1967)

  1. Sure it’s overlong and all, but it does feature some of the FUNNIEST scenes (in my humble opinion) in all of Lewis’ :

    1) The whole opening credits sequence features THE WILDEST and hilariously NEVER-ENDING piece of Jazz music EVER !! (You think it’s gonna stop once the credits are over but NO WAY ! It just goes on and on (drum solo and all) until Jerry fishes his alter-ego frogman out of the sea.

    2) the reactions of each the gang members after seeing Lewis (thinking he was dead) are a riot (especially Charly Callas speaking BACKWARDS !! :-))))


  2. Not a must. Good Lord, no.

    I’ll concede this much: there is a place in cinema for dumb comedy. But, of course, there is dumb that still manages to have merit, and then – like this movie – there’s dumber.

    Maybe Peary includes it here because it might have been a crowd-pleaser in its day; I don’t know about that. But in our day, it has had its day, whatever day that may have been.

    The humor on display is forced. Co-writer Lewis is actually, on some level, so unsure of his footing that he has resurrected his ‘Nutty Professor’ character – who did genuinely succeed so well a few years earlier – to keep the antics from being simply abysmal.

    Since we don’t get what we need in dialogue, it is hoped that cascades of goofy faces will pick up the slack. As a breather from those, we’re given a drippy love interest sidebar – with poor, unfortunate Ms. Bay doing her best to be perky.

    Of course, I am again revealing personal taste to a degree. After all, the legacy of Lewis films of this type gave way to the ‘bountiful oeuvre’ of Jim Carrey, who – to a current point – has been phenomenally successful parading similar stupid hijinks.

    It is true that the best of comedy is certainly much harder to produce than drama. For evidence of just how hard, watch ‘The Big Mouth’.

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