Friday, March 24, 2006

A Disorderly Diversion

I took a break from Bullitt to watch Jerry Lewis in The Disorderly Orderly, as I was feeling down and in the need of a little "Hey, Laaaadddyyyyy!!!!" You have to hand it to Lewis, he's never boring to watch onscreen. Predictably, placing him as the title character working at a sanitarium offers plenty of chances for Jerry to cause an abundance of chaos during the film's 89-minute running time. There's a few sentimental passages that don't work, but fortunately with Frank Tashlin at the helm in dual roles as screenwriter and director, the laughs come fast and frequent, as Tashlin always seems to have an inventive sight gag at the ready when the pace threatens to sag. Lewis regular Kathleen Freeman is on hand, again suffering the consequences of Jerry's shenanigans, while Glenda Farrell amazingly manages to create a warm, likable character amid the crazy proceedings, at least until the frenetic chase finale, where everything and everyone gets crazy (it's something to see). Sammy Davis, Jr. sings and swings the title tune. Definitely one of Lewis' funniest solo efforts, with Jerry, Tashlin and Farrell sharing the MVP award.


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