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Jerry Lewis

Jerry Lewis

Chris Fujiwara
Copyright Date: 2009
Pages: 176
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  • Book Info
    Jerry Lewis
    Book Description:

    Well known for his slapstick comedic style, Jerry Lewis has also delighted worldwide movie audiences with a directing career spanning five decades. One of American cinema's great innovators, Lewis made unmistakably personal films that often focused on an ideal masculine image and an anarchic, manic acting out of the inability to assume this image. Films such as The Bellboy, The Errand Boy, Three on a Couch, and The Big Mouth present a series of thematic variations on this tension, in which such questions as how to be a man, how to be popular, and how to maintain relationships are posed within frameworks that set up a liberating and exhilarating confusion of roles and norms. The Nutty Professor and The Patsy are especially profound and painful examinations of the difficulty experienced by Lewis's character in reconciling loving himself and being loved by others._x000B__x000B_With sharp, concise observations, Chris Fujiwara examines this visionary director of self-referential comedic masterpieces. The book also includes an enlightening interview with Lewis that offers unique commentary on the creation and study of comedy.

    eISBN: 978-0-252-09134-6
    Subjects: Film Studies

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-xii)
  3. An American Dream
    (pp. 1-100)

    Of Jerry Lewis’s beginnings as a comedian; of his fateful first encounter with Dean Martin in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in 1946; of the overnight success of their nightclub act; of their rise to stardom in films and on television; of the mounting tensions between them that led, after sixteen films together, to their breakup in 1956; of Lewis’s smooth transition to solo stardom; and of his ascent to the status of “total filmmaker” (director-producer-writer-actor) the chronicle has been told in so many books (of which Lewis’s ownDean and Me,co-written with James Kaplan, is the best) that it...

  4. An Interview with Jerry Lewis
    (pp. 101-134)

    (The following interview was conducted on July 28, 29, and 30, 2003, in San Diego.)

    CHRIS FUJIWARA: Could we start by talking about some of the directors you worked with early on, like Norman Taurog, George Marshall, and of course Frank Tashlin, and what you learned from them?

    JERRY LEWIS: I’ll tell you something interesting about Taurog. Taurog taught me some of the most important information for me to become a good director, and that was what not to do. I’m trying not to make it sound like he wasn’t good. He was a good director. He knew what to...

  5. Filmography
    (pp. 135-146)
  6. Bibliography
    (pp. 147-150)
  7. Index
    (pp. 151-158)
  8. Back Matter
    (pp. 159-164)