Movie Article

Jerry Lewis: The Essential Movies

''Hollywood or Bust'' and ''The Nutty Professor'' are among the funnyman's finest

From slapstick to Scorsese, here are five of Jerry Lewis' finest:

Hollywood or Bust (1956)
Lewis' last onscreen duet with Martin is part road movie, part Tinseltown satire, with the still-boyish comedian as a nerdy film buff with a slobbering Great Dane.

The Bellboy (1960)
Lewis' directorial debut is a Chaplinesque series of slapstick gags centering on a spazzy, accident-prone hotel gofer dealing with haughty guests.

The Ladies Man (1961)
A technical marvel. Lewis plays a shy nudnick working in a lodging house for women. The set was a three-story dollhouse with director Lewis soaring on a crane-mounted camera.

The Nutty Professor (1963)
Lewis' personal favorite pits horn-rimmed nerd Prof. Julius Kelp against his Jekyll-and-Hyde alter ego, a lounge lizard named Buddy Love (a swipe at Martin?).

The King of Comedy (1983)
Martin Scorsese's bruise-black comedy about a wannabe stand-up (Robert De Niro) who's obsessed with a late-night talk-show host (Lewis). A masterpiece.

Originally posted Jan 23, 2009 Published in issue #1032-1033 Jan 30, 2009 Order article reprints