The Disorderly Orderly

This 1964 Jerry Lewis vehicle is the sixth and last directed by his gifted mentor, Frank Tashlin, though it resembles Lewis’s own directorial efforts in its focus on pain (it’s set almost exclusively in a hospital) and its trading of satire for surreal fantasy, improbably infused with brassy showbiz gusto (Sammy Davis Jr. sings the title tune). There’s also a Lewis-like emphasis on bizarre sound gags and abrasive villains (Everett Sloane as a Scrooge type) that contrasts with Tashlin’s cartoonish imagery and relative tolerance for fools and assholes. But Lewis’s infantile mannerisms are overtaken by the director, who treats the hero as a grown-up struggling with neurotic identification empathy, and the movie’s finale, with its cascading shopping carts, could only have come from Tashlin. With Glenda Farrell, Karen Sharpe, Kathleen Freeman, and Susan Oliver. 89 min. (JR)

This entry was posted in Featured Texts. Bookmark the permalink.