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Monday, February 22, 2021

The Stooge (1953)

Set in 1930, a singer (Dean Martin) who is part of an act breaks up with his partner (Richard Erdman) to go solo. When his single act flops, he takes on an awkward kid (Jerry Lewis) as a stooge and his act suddenly becomes a smash. But his ego prevents him from giving the kid any billing or recognition. Directed by Norman Taurog (GIRL CRAZY), this is the most serious of the 16 movies Martin and Lewis made together. Oh, it's definitely a comedy but there's a darker undercurrent with Lewis (who appears to be a case of arrested development) being exploited by Martin and then there's Martin's alcoholism which threatens to sabotage the act. In fact, the movie was held back from release by Paramount for over a year because they were uncertain how audiences would react to Martin's treatment of Lewis. With Polly Bergen, Eddie Mayehoff, Marion Marshall and Frances Bavier.

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