The Bellboy (1960)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Comedy of Errors, Satire, Slapstick  |   Release Date - Jul 20, 1960 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 72 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

Fans of Jerry Lewis will, of course, love The Bellboy. But what's surprising is that even people who are relatively immune to his charms may find themselves chuckling several times during the course of the film. It isn't that Bellboy is a great film, or that it features dazzlingly original comic ideas. Quite the opposite: it seems that, because Lewis had to make this film VERY quickly, he simply pulled together bits and pieces from here and there and trusted to luck that everything would come out well. Thus, Bellboy has a looseness that is quite appealing, a devil-may-care attitude that is genuine rather than fake, and this makes it much easier to watch than some of Lewis' more thought-out or ambitious efforts. Bellboy is filled with gags we've seen in some form hundreds of times, but they're presented guilelessly here. They may not inspire guffaws, but they should bring at least a smile to the lips. It's also enjoyable to see Lewis working in a plotless film; his character remains the same throughout, but without having to be chained to the exigencies of plot, his work is lighter and more enjoyable. True, some sketches definitely go on too long, and some jokes simply fall flat. But there's enough here to keep one moderately entertained, even if one is not a Lewis lover.