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The Errand Boy (1961)

Stanley Adams , Iris Adrian  |  NR |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Stanley Adams, Iris Adrian, Felicia Atkins, Pat Dahl, Brian Donlevy
  • Format: Black & White, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: October 12, 2004
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002NY8UI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,275 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Errand Boy" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Select Scene Commentary by Jerry Lewis and Steve Lawrence
  • Archival Materials
  • Theatrical Trailer

Editorial Reviews

In THE ERRAND BOY, Morty is hired by Paramutual Pictures as a spy to find out where the company's money is being spent. Working in the mailroom, Morty has access to the production lot and discovers that wherever he goes, havoc ensues in his effort to provide his new boss, Mr. Sneak, with the information he has requested.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Innocence in the face of commerce May 1, 2004
Format:VHS Tape
A knowing and multi-faceted critique of big-studio filmmaking, 'The Errand Boy' is one of Lewis's very best films (it is his third; his fifth, 'The Patsy', can be considered as a sort of sequel). Morty S. Tashman is hired as a spy by the moguls of a major studio because they want to learn how their money is spent. He proves to be a destructive force: just as the prologue had exposed the trickeries and illusions on which Hollywood films thrive, the following 80 minutes show Morty disrupting a few shootings, a voice-recording session, the work of script-girls, and more. He stands as the innocence the producers have lost in trying to make money and please everybody; it is quite easy to read him as 'Lewis the artist'. By the end of the film, Morty has become a Jerry Lewis-like star, proudly saluting his new fans behind dark glasses; he thus seems to have made a place for himself in a world he had previously reduced to pieces. This dichotomy is similar to the one of 'The Bellboy', Lewis's first film as a director: in that movie, the timid, free and inventive bellboy was contrasted with the swagger, aggressiveness and confinement of Lewis playing himself. The brilliant and cyclical final sequence offers an interesting alternative: by having Morty meet a clumsy boy resembling his 'pre-star' self, Lewis assures us that even if some can't escape the studio's mercantile traps, there will always be innocence to be spread in these calculations and falsities. Intelligent, and very funny.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Typical Lewis, almost his best. May 12, 2005
Format:DVD
A typical Jerry Lewis movie. As with most of his, if you don't like Lewis you won't like the movie, but also as with most of his films, it's packed with funny comedy that's mostly timeless and often imitated.
The cast includes Brian Donlevy (Cowboy, The Quatermass Experiment, Beau Geste, etc.), Howard McNear (Floyd the barber on The Andy Griffith Show), and Joe Besser (The Three Stooges, The Abbott & Costello Show).
The plot's not; just a flimsy frame for Jerry's shenanigans, of which there's enough to fill 90 minutes with laughs, plus a couple cute scenes with puppets. Jerry's hired ostensibly as an errand boy for a movie studio, but actually to spy for the upper management. He get's into plenty of slapstick trouble on the job but never accomplishes any spying.
But the comedy is not all slapstick by any means; much of it is poking fun at movie directors and supervisors, and other screwball comedy. One of my favorite bits is when three kids are ordering candy where Jerry's filling in at the studio cafeteria, and they send him up the same high ladder 3 times for different orders from the same giant glass jar of jelly beans. There's also a great basketball scene with the Dover Basketeers. But wait, there's more, including a cameo appearance by the Cartwrights of Bonanza, Lorne Greene, Michael Landon, Pernell Roberts, and Dan Blocker.
My favorite Jerry Lewis movies are "The Delicate Delinquent," "Way... Way Out," (which doesn't seem to be available anywhere) and of course "The Nutty Professor" (nothing against Eddy Murphy, but he's no Jerry Lewis). I think The Errand Boy is almost as good as these.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Mime Does His Thing July 15, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
Flawed but generally successful combination of pathos and 1930s slapstick: the most insecure guy on the planet is put in charge of internal security for a (wanna-be) major motion picture company. Jerry provides some of the funniest moments ever captured on film, as he stumbles from one department to the next, first an as an "extra", then as a mailroom delivery person. His attempts to find a quiet spot for lunch are worth the price of admission. But perhaps the best scene is the quietest: he finds himself in the prop department with a miniature clown who "comes to life" - it's a beautifully acted and effectively lit scene. However, there are are numerous elaborate sequences which prove fruitless, and the movie is overlong by about 15 minutes. And the character's ultimate "discovery" by the creative powers-that-be is bizarre in light of the fact that his presence has been unintentionally recorded on celluloid from day one. Despite the lost opportunities, TEB remains on a level with "The Nutty Professor" - a very entertaining and thoughtful effort.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jerry Lewis delivers in this movie! September 18, 2005
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
When this movie came out in 1961, Jerry Lewis deliver a humorous look into what really happens in Hollywood. 44 years later it is still relevent today as it was then. Lots of surprises in this movie including the music of Count Basie in the classic boardroom scene with Lewis mouthing off to the music. I enjoyed Lewis' work in this movie!!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Errand Boy Gets the Job Done October 16, 2004
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I had never seen this particular Jerry Lewis film until it recently came to DVD and wasn't sure what to expect. What I saw was nearly 90 minutes of the most biting satire I have ever seen propogated against Hollywood and I love it! It is incredible to think that this motion picture was made in 1961, it is more relevant now in many aspects than it was then.

Not only does this film have some of Jerry's best comedy--some of it coming from other actors--but it also features some rather touching dramatic moments.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sarcastic glance to movie business January 5, 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The third movie of Lewis as film director, also written ( in collaboration with Bill Richmond ) and performed by Lewis himself, follows the same scheme he invented for " The bellboy "; this is a comic film with the structure of a long cartoon and an almost inexistent but necessary plot ( Morty, an anonymous worker from Paramutual Pictures is hired by the major studio's moguls as spy to watch closely how the company's money is spent ), the basic support that allows Lewis to tack a collection of depurated and satirical sight-gags focused in an only stage: this time, in a very particular hell named Hollywood( the name of the movie studio where action takes place, Paramutual, is, of course, a deliberated sarcastic distorsion of Paramount Pictures ). " The errand boy " is a subversive ( still today )comic glance to movie industry where Lewis dismounts many secrets and lies of movie business. The film is plenty of delightful comic scenes like that one in which Morty ( Jerry Lewis ), sat in front of the table where the big boss manages the movie studio, develops a mocking caricature of the " big fishs " of film industry only with mimicry and the support of Count Basie's music.

Widescreen edition.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Over 5 Stars, Because this is very very very funny Movie to see Jerry...
I would recommend alot of friends to watch this movie, Because this may help to improve your health about laughing out loud and that why I choose to watch to make you relax . Read more
Published 2 months ago by David Kasperson
5.0 out of 5 stars Jerry Lewis During His Heyday
This is another one of the numerous movies made by Jerry Lewis during his post partnership breakup from Dean Martin and, like all the other films he made during the 60s and early... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Jerry lewis's best
You will be on the floor laughing at this movie ,also look mfor guest stars that show up.A must have
Published 3 months ago by Chris L. Lopez
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it
This movie was so insiteful and stands the test of time, I loved how Morty had such curiosity for where he worked. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Cynthiajotim
5.0 out of 5 stars NICE!!
I was concerned that this product would be a bad transfer version and I was pleasantly surprised that it was nothing like that at all. Read more
Published 7 months ago by MrNoBoDeE
5.0 out of 5 stars jerry lewis the errand boy
One again Jerry showed how creative and talented he was especially the scene in the board room. no one can beat his talent for comedy.
Published 9 months ago by kathleen hinchey
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Comedy
I love Jerry Lewis movies and this is one of my favorites. I bought it new and it was well packaged. I haven't watched it yet, but it's apart of my movie collection now.
Published 10 months ago by Nickbrh
4.0 out of 5 stars Really Funny Movie...
As a huge Jerry Lewis fan, this one surprised me. At first didn't think it was going to be all that funny. But as always, the brilliant Jerry Lewis pulls it off. I love it.
Published 11 months ago by Stephanie Wingard
4.0 out of 5 stars Jerry Lewis Fan
I liked this picture, but not as much as the Nutty Professor or Cinderfella. If you like Jerry Lewis, then you'll enjoy this one.
Published 11 months ago by M. Allen
5.0 out of 5 stars Jerry Lewis is a Classic
My boyfriend really loved this little, inexpensive gift. Lewis is one of his favorites and a classic, he laughed the entire movie.
Published 12 months ago by ckrn
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