AMAD: Money From Home (1953)
Me and my big mouth. I’d get rid of it except it’s a handy place to keep my teeth.
Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with today’s installment of A Movie A Day.
[For those now joining us, A Movie A Day is my attempt at filling in gaps in my film knowledge. My DVD collection is thousands strong, many of them films I haven’t seen yet, but picked up as I scoured used DVD stores. Each day I’ll pull a previously unseen film from my collection or from my DVR and discuss it here. Each movie will have some sort of connection to the one before it, be it cast or crew member.]
Okay, so short-short version of AMAD today. I was out of the house at 9am for an interview with CITY OF EMBER’s Gil Kenan and then at the Alamo all day for the finale of Fantastic Fest then directly off to the Longhorn Caverns for the closing night party where I got to shake Bill Murray’s hand and get all schoolgirl giddy. I got home just after 3am and hadn’t checked my email all day. So when I got through the 1200 or so backlog of email, I popped in today’s AMAD called MONEY FROM HOME.
I just finished it and I’m nearly 23 hours awake, so now I’m going to play it fast and loose, getting as many of my exhausted thoughts down as I can before I slip into my movie-coma for what I will assume will be the entirety of Friday.
We jump to the Martin and Lewis comedy from the director of yesterday’s HOUDINI George Marshall. This marks the first Jerry Lewis movie of the column, but far from the first Dean Martin movie. I’m familiar with their work together, but I think this may be the first Martin and Lewis comedy I’ve seen. Don’t hold me to that, but my hazy sleep-lusting brain won’t pull up a title of a Martin & Lewis movie I’ve seen prior to this one.
I do know that I always loved the idea of these two paired. I’m particularly a big Dino fan, but haven’t seen enough Lewis to commit. I see how he can irritate the fuck out of people, but there’s something so endearing in how over-the-top he goes, just how hard he tries to get his audience to laugh that I can’t help but give myself over to his incredibly unique slapstick comedy.
However, I will say that I don’t think I could take Jerry Lewis in more than small doses. I think even I would end up irritated if I had myself a Lewis marathon.
In this picture he plays an assistant Veternarian and loony cousin to smooth-talking shuckster “Honey Talk” Nelson (Dean Martin) who finds himself in a bad scenario as his IOUs spread all over town after a particularly long bad luck streak are all bought up by local gangster Jumbo Schneider (Sheldon Leonard). Jumbo uses his image and influence to force Dino into using his charms on the blonde and beautiful owner of a particular horse thought to be the front runner in an upcoming race.
Marjie Millar plays this woman and because of Honey Talk’s reputation for being a ladykiller, he’s the ideal man to worm his way into her life and get her to throw the race or drop out fully, allowing the horse the gangster wants to win a strong chance.
But none of that really matters. This movie isn’t about the plot, which is basically just the coatrack to hang a dozen different Martin & Lewis bits on. We have a gut-laughing brilliant scene as Lewis plays romantic, singing outside of Millar’s window… of course he’s just lip-synching as Dino sings for him, the melody playing on Millar’s radio. She turns the station and we see Lewis go from lip-synching romantic ballads to Opera to crazy Spanish music to a work-out routine.
We also have a sequence where Lewis is disguised as one of the veiled brides of The Poojah, a Muslim millionaire traveling by train who mistakes the costumed Lewis for one of his harem and essentially stalks him around a train car, trying to get his rape on.
And then there’s the crazy finale where Jerry Lewis somehow ends up being the Jockey on the horse that all the characters need to win the race, defeating the evil gangsters, etc, etc.
It’s a nutty movie, silly beyond belief. Hell, silly above anything else, but that silliness is kind of what drew me into it and kept me watching as the sun was beginning to come up.
Plus there’s a character, one of Jumbo’s goons, named “The Big Midget.” I’m sorry, that’s just brilliant.
Final Thoughts: I really wish I could go a little more indepth on this one, but this is the final movie overlapping Fantastic Fest, so I shouldn’t be off for the next few weeks. I actually quite enjoyed this movie, but it’s not for everyone. If you don’t like Jerry Lewis then this film certainly won’t change your mind. In fact, it’ll probably make you want to put your fist through the television, but if you do dig on Jerry Lewis, you’ll love it. Young Lewis being fucking insane (he sings to a monkey at one point. No shit) and Dino being the great straight man who at times can barely hide his laughter just oozes charm and charisma. Overall, it’s a slight movie… candy, if you will. This won’t stick with me, but damn if I didn’t enjoy the hell of it while I was watching.
The schedule for the next 7 days is:
Friday, September 26th: PAPA’S DELICATE CONDITION (1963)
Saturday, September 27th: DILLINGER (1945)
Sunday, September 28th: BATTLE OF THE BULGE (1965)
Monday, September 29th: DAISY KENYON (1947)
Tuesday, September 30th: LAURA (1944)
Yay, sleep! Here I come!
Tomorrow is another George Marshall movie… I guess I’ll have to make a point of talking about his work on PAPA’S DELICATE CONDITION, a rather obscure ‘60s comedy starring Jackie Gleason and Glynis Johns since this will be the third movie of his in a row we cover.
Tomorrow or Saturday I’ll have the page of all the horror titles that are going in the random Horror Movie A Day that’ll run from October 1st through October 31st. Some fun stuff in there, I hope.
Okay, the coma begins in about 4 minutes… I’ll see you folks on the other side, hopefully… and I’ll just have to accept that I may awaken with some scary Christopher Walken future-sensing powers…
June 2nd: Harper
June 3rd: The Drowning Pool
June 4th: Papillon
June 5th: Gun Crazy
June 6th: Never So Few
June 7th: A Hole In The Head
June 8th: Some Came Running
June 9th: Rio Bravo
June 10th: Point Blank
June 11th: Pocket Money
June 12th: Cool Hand Luke
June 13th: The Asphalt Jungle
June 14th: Clash By Night
June 15th: Scarlet Street
June 16th: Killer Bait (aka Too Late For Tears)
June 17th: Robinson Crusoe On Mars
June 18th: City For Conquest
June 19th: San Quentin
June 20th: 42nd Street
June 21st: Dames
June 22nd: Gold Diggers of 1935
June 23rd: Murder, My Sweet
June 24th: Born To Kill
June 25th: The Sound of Music
June 26th: Torn Curtain
June 27th: The Left Handed Gun
June 28th: Caligula
June 29th: The Elephant Man
June 30th: The Good Father
July 1st: Shock Treatment
July 2nd: Flashback
July 3rd: Klute
July 4th: On Golden Pond
July 5th: The Cowboys
July 6th: The Alamo
July 7th: Sands of Iwo Jima
July 8th: Wake of the Red Witch
July 9th: D.O.A.
July 10th: Shadow of A Doubt
July 11th: The Matchmaker
July 12th: The Black Hole
July 13th: Vengeance Is Mine
July 14th: Strange Invaders
July 15th: Sleuth
July 16th: Frenzy
July 17th: Kingdom of Heaven: The Director’s Cut
July 18th: Cadillac Man
July 19th: The Sure Thing
July 20th: Moving Violations
July 21st: Meatballs
July 22nd: Cast a Giant Shadow
July 23rd: Out of the Past
July 24th: The Big Steal
July 25th: Where Danger Lives
July 26th: Crossfire
July 27th: Ricco, The Mean Machine
July 28th: In Harm’s Way
July 29th: Firecreek
July 30th: The Cheyenne Social Club
July 31st: The Man Who Knew Too Much
August 1st: The Spirit of St. Louis
August 2nd: Von Ryan’s Express
August 3rd: Can-Can
August 4th: Desperate Characters
August 5th: The Possession of Joel Delaney
August 6th: Quackser Fortune Has A Cousin In The Bronx
August 7th: Start the Revolution Without Me
August 8th: Hell Is A City
August 9th: The Pied Piper
August 10th: Partners
August 11th: Barry Lyndon
August 12th: The Skull
August 13th: The Hellfire Club
August 14th: Blood of the Vampire
August 15th: Terror of the Tongs
August 16th: Pirates of Blood River
August 17th: The Devil-Ship Pirates
August 18th: Jess Franco’s Count Dracula
August 19th: Dracula A.D. 1972
August 20th: The Stranglers of Bombay
August 21st: Man, Woman & Child
August 22nd: The Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane
August 23rd: The Young Philadelphians
August 24th: The Rack
August 25th: Until They Sail
August 26th: Somebody Up There Likes Me
August 27th: The Set-Up
August 28th: The Devil & Daniel Webster
August 29th: Cat People
August 30th: The Curse of the Cat People
August 31st: The 7th Victim
September 1st: The Ghost Ship
September 2nd: Isle of the Dead
September 3rd: Bedlam
September 4th: Black Sabbath
September 5th: Black Sunday
September 6th: Twitch of the Death Nerve
September 7th: Tragic Ceremony
September 8th: Lisa & The Devil
September 9th: Baron Blood
September 10th: A Shot In The Dark
September 11th: The Pink Panther
September 12th: The Return of the Pink Panther
September 13th: The Pink Panther Strikes Again
September 14th: Revenge of the Pink Panther
September 15th: Trail of the Pink Panther
September 16th: The Real Glory
September 17th: The Winning of Barbara Worth
September 18th: The Cowboy and the Lady
September 19th: Dakota
September 20th: Red River
September 21st: Terminal Station
September 22nd: The Search
September 23rd: Act of Violence
September 24th: Houdini
Readers Talkbackcomments powered by Disqus
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Sept. 26, 2008, 8:22 a.m. CST
Sept. 26, 2008, 10:09 a.m. CST
Can't be worse than "Comin at Ya!"
Sept. 26, 2008, 10:45 a.m. CST
if dweebs are gonna post the script of GB on the murray tb, jerry can get some quotage.
Sept. 26, 2008, 11:04 a.m. CST
get some damned sleep, Quint!
Sept. 26, 2008, 11:08 a.m. CST
by Grammaton Cleric Binks
but I have respect for all the work he does for Musular Dystrophy. The French love him for some reason, but then again, they're sheltering Polanski.
Sept. 26, 2008, 12:19 p.m. CST
and then decided he should get top billing and broke up the act. He never had a hit again. He finally resorted to skimming money for sick kids to pay his bills - a noble charity but borne out of his own personal debts.
Sept. 26, 2008, 1:30 p.m. CST
Really, they were pretty decent. One can see where Jim Carrey admired and owed much to the man.
Sept. 26, 2008, 1:46 p.m. CST
Sept. 27, 2008, 3:38 a.m. CST
by Napoleon Park
The Delicate Delinquent. Jer' shows a sensitive and likable side, though it still has it's funny Jerry Lewis moments as well. A great B&W flick, well worth finding.
Capone: It was a very nice chat, yes. [Both Laugh]
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