In Miami Beach, the mute bellboy Stanley works at the luxurious Fontainebleau Hotel. In spite of being a serviceable and friendly employee, the clumsy Stanley gets successively into trouble with his mistakes.
This film is not currently playing on MUBI but 30 other great films are. See what's now showing
Jerry Lewis tries to do Jacques Tati. If only it had been written by Tati instead of Lewis. Unfortunately all the jokes fall flat. What is remarkable about this film is the way it looks. All the shots are framed and shot beautifully, which I loved, but that isn't what we need from a comedy, is it?
Anarchic surreal masterpiece that satirizes all of whom enter the premises of the lobby. The jaded working class is continually ignored by the lazy bougie upper class who snooze while Lewis alternately breaks his back like a slave and not giving a fuck. My first Jerry Lewis. What a genius.
Great great heir of the most troubled and absolute comicality, the one by Marx, Keaton and Tati - and there will be a closer film to this one that "Les Vacances de Mr. Hulot"?. In a film where the gags machine is tuned to the most absolute unreasonable nonsense, Lewis appropriates the space of a décor to subvert it and overthrow fiction, leaving us one of the most modernist debuts that imagination could allow.
Lewis, both in a macrocosmic & microcosmic sense, is trying as an artist to bend, make tensile, peculiarize. I'm not entirely sure how to phrase it as this is the first of his I've really seen, but every moment feels on fire, inspired, showing an almost post-structural kind of excess of gesture, landscape, countenance, sound, and identity. It's all very displaced, very suspended. Feels profoundly new and fresh.
Jerry Lewis plays it mostly silent in this hilarious early sixties gag-o-rama. I love how beautifully graceful each joke is set up and how nonsensical the humor can get! The chaplin character showing up in the middle of this madness was probably one of the most inspired directing decisions I've ever seen. Also, the cinematography is well done. I always love a good looking comedy and this looks crispy as fuck!
It took me a while to understand Lewis' humor that most of it is intended as offbeat and strange rather than laugh out loud which is an interesting contrast to recent comedies. That being said this is Lewis' strangest and most experimental film even announcing it's lack of plot in the opening. Interestingly enough sections of it even comment on Lewis as a celebrity almost like a precusor to 'The King of Comedy'.
Sort of reminds of Pierre Etaix, where theres no real plot, just comedy bits strewn together. Some bits work, some dont, but in the rapid fire joke stylings of the Marx bros even if you don't laugh at one scenario, a new one begins before you realize. Can't imagine what it would have been like to experience this in 1960. Radically different from the studio system. One of Jerrys best. 4.5 stars