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Saturday, February 7, 2015

Scared Stiff (1953)

A nightclub singer (Dean Martin) and his pal, a busboy (Jerry Lewis) at the club, flee to Cuba to avoid a hit put out on them from a mobster (Leonard Strong) after he catches the singer fooling around with the gangster's mistress (Dorothy Malone). It doesn't hurt that an attractive blonde (Lizabeth Scott) is also going to Cuba where she's inherited a haunted mansion. Another case of a director remaking his own movie, director George Marshall guides Martin and Lewis through this remake of his 1940 THE GHOST BREAKERS with Bob Hope. Only this time, Hope's role is split between Martin and Lewis while Lewis also takes on Willie Best's part from the previous film. I'm partial to comedy horror films and while I may prefer GHOST BREAKERS, the formula works again just fine. Scott (who just passed away) may have been a noir icon but she was no comedienne and lacks Paulette Goddard's finesse from the first movie. Lewis is in fine form and had me cackling away and this is the film where he does his hysterical Carmen Miranda impression. With Carmen Miranda (the real one), Earl Holliman, George Dolenz, William Ching and Henry Brandon.

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