As a result of his severe clumsiness and goofy demeanor, Littlefield fits right in with the patients, and is often mistaken for them.
The hugely successful collaboration between Jerry Lewis and director Frank Tashlin (including Artists and Models
and The Geisha Boy
) came to an end with this knockabout hospital comedy, which contains a raft of Tashlin's patented sight gags. Jerry plays an orderly with a strange fixation on a depressed patient (Susan Oliver), but the point of the movie is watching Lewis wrestle with laundry bags or contorting with agony as he empathizes with the intestinal maladies of patients. This is one of Lewis's funniest movies for babbling, too ("Oh, friction--burning"). Meanwhile, Tashlin brings his cartoon sensibility to freestanding bits, such as the montage of wind chimes that ends with a skeleton chattering in the breeze, or the inordinately loud crunch of an apple in a hospital quiet zone. All in all, a good laugh-per-minute ratio in the slapstick realm. Plus Sammy Davis Jr. sings the title song, a weirdly Rat Packish number. --Robert Horton