DirectorJerry Lewis Music directorWalter Scharf Duration CountryUnited States
Release dateJuly 20, 1960 (1960-07-20) CastJerry Lewis (Stanley / Himself), Alex Gerry (Mr. Novak, Hotel Manager), Bob Clayton (Bob, Bell Captain), Sonnie Sands (Sonnie, Bellboy (as Sonny Sands)), Eddie Shaeffer (Eddie, Bellboy), Herkie Styles (Herkie, Bellboy) Similar moviesBlackhat, Salt, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Shining, Youth, Straight Outta Compton
TaglineIt's a Series of Silly Sequences and One of Jerry's All-Time Great Comedy Performances!
Jerry lewis the bellboy clip
The Bellboy is a 1960 comedy film written, produced, directed by and starring Jerry Lewis. It was released on July 20, 1960 by Paramount Pictures and marked Lewis's directorial debut.
A studio executive (Jack Kruschen in an uncredited role) introduces the movie, explaining that it has no plot, but simply shows Stanley the hotel bellboy (played by Lewis) getting in one ridiculous situation after another, and that the movie is "so funny" before breaking out into hysterical laughter. Stanley does not speak, except at the very end of the movie. Lewis also appears in a speaking role playing himself escorted by a large entourage.
Principal photography took place from February 8 to March 5, 1960 and marked Jerry Lewis's debut as a director. Filming took place at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida; Lewis would film during the day and perform in the nightclub at night.
Before he began, Lewis consulted his friend Stan Laurel about the script. Since Laurel had worked in silent films and was a master of English pantomime, he offered suggestions. It is unknown if Lewis used any of Laurel's ideas in the production. But it is believed Lewis paid homage to the comic by naming his character 'Stanley' after him. A Stan Laurel lookalike character also appears throughout the story, portrayed by writer and impressionist Bill Richmond.
The film marked the pioneering use of a video assist system, providing Lewis a way to see the action even though he was in the scene.
Paramount wanted to have a Jerry Lewis movie for summer release (in North America). The movie that it wanted to release was Cinderfella, which had finished shooting in December 1959. Lewis wanted to hold back the release of that movie for the Christmas 1960 holiday and Paramount only agreed if Jerry could deliver another movie for summer. Therefore, while playing an engagement in Miami Beach, Lewis came up with this.
Milton Berle was in town performing at another hotel while Lewis was shooting the picture and agreed to make an appearance as himself and in a dual role as another bellboy. Comedian (and future co-writer with Lewis on many of Jerry's subsequent films) Bill Richmond does several cameos as Stan Laurel. Professional golfer Cary Middlecoff, the "Golf Doctor," appeared as himself. Jerry Lewis also appears as a fictional version of himself (credited in the opening credits as "Joe Levitch", which is his birth name).
Box office and other revenue
The film grossed about $10 million in the USA alone.
U.S. and Canada rentals reached $3.7 million.
In popular culture
This film is referenced by Alex Hopper (Taylor Kitsch), and Captain Nagata (Tadanobu Asano), from the 2012 film, Battleship.
This film is referenced in Four Rooms within Quentin Tarantino's segment.
This film was released on DVD on October 12, 2004.