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Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis Collection, Volume Two (Pardners / Hollywood or Bust / Living It Up / You're Never Too Young / Artists and Models)

4.6 out of 5 stars 72 customer reviews

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(Jun 05, 2007)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

LIVING IT UP: The 1954 Martin-and-Lewis romp Living It Up is an amusing remake of the 1937 comedy classic Nothing Sacred. More specifically, it is the film version of the Broadway musical Hazel Flagg, which was based on Nothing Sacred. The heroine of the original undergoes a sex change to become feckless Homer Flagg (Jerry Lewis), who is led to believe that he's dying of radiation poisoning. Manhattan newspaperwoman Wally Cook (Janet Leigh), hoping to improve circulation of her paper, convinces her boss, Oliver Stone (Fred Clark), to fete Homer as a hero with an all-expenses-paid trip to the Big Apple. Meanwhile, Homer learns from local doctor Steve (Dean Martin) that he isn't dying at all. But Steve talks Homer into taking advantage of the celebrity treatment bestowed on him by Wally, and a good time is had by all — until medical specialist Dr. Egelhofer (Sig Rumann) insists upon examining Homer. Highlights include a hilarious bit at Yankee Stadium, and an energetic jitterbug number featuring Jerry Lewis and Sheree North. The handful of songs retained from Hazel Flagg include "Every Street's a Boulevard in Old New York."
YOU'RE NEVER TOO YOUNG: You're Never Too Young is a slapstick-with-songs remake of the 1944 Ray Milland/Ginger Rogers vehicle The Major and the Minor. Dean Martin plays the Milland part, while Ginger's shoes are filled by...Jerry Lewis? Lewis plays an apprentice barber who inadvertently crosses a homicidal jewel thief (Raymond Burr), and equally inadvertently hightails it out of town with the crook's jewels in his possession. Desperate to escape the crook's clutches, and lacking the necessary funds for a train ticket, Lewis disguises himself as a 12-year-old boy so he can travel half fare. He latches onto Dean, a music teacher heading for an all-girls school. After innumerable routines sparked by Lewis's adolescent disguise, the jewel thief catches up with him, leading to a rollicking climactic speedboat chase. Dean Martin has plenty of opportunities to serenade leading lady Diana Lynn (who'd played a supporting role in The Major and the Minor), while Jerry Lewis is in peak form doing his usual "waah-waah-waah" schtick. The original Billy Wilder/Charles Brackett script for The Major and the Minor was reshaped into You're Never Too Young by future bestselling novelist Sidney Sheldon.
ARTISTS AND MODELS: Bearing very little relation to the 1937 Paramount musical of the same name, Artists and Models is a lavish, girl-filled vehicle for the popular team of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. Martin plays Rick Todd, a comic-book artist who is under fire from his publisher (Eddie Mayehoff), who complains that Rick's work isn't gory enough. Lewis plays Eugene Fullstack, Rick's roommate, who while asleep dreams up elaborate comic-book plots and garishly costumed superheroes. Eugene's nightmares help Rick become a success; meanwhile, our two heroes romance their luscious neighbors, artist Dorothy Malone and rambunctious model Shirley MacLaine (who during one song wrestles Eugene to the floor and sits on his chest!) Eugene's overworked imagination somehow attracts the attention of a group of Russian spies, who attempt to abduct Eugene during the annual Artists and Models Ball. Director Frank Tashlin uses Artists and Models as an excuse for some of the wildest sight-gags seen in a mid-1950s film. At one point, the director contrives to stuff a gag in Shirley MacLaine's mouth. Tashlin also exhibits his ongoing fascination with female breasts and legs by giving ample screen time to the natural attributes of co-stars Anita Ekberg and Zsa Zsa Gabor. One of the best of the Martin/Lewis efforts, Artists and Models suffers only from being about 20 minutes too long.
PARDNERS: This Dean Martin-Jerry Lewis romp is liberally based on the 1936 Bing Crosby film Rhythm on the Range. Set around 1910, the film stars Lewis as the pampered son of female tycoon Agnes Moorehead. Yearning to return to the Wild West where his father was a famed peacekeeper, Lewis purchases a prize bull, destined for the ranch inherited by rodeo star Dean Martin. It so happens that Martin and Lewis' late fathers were "pardners", so Martin takes it upon himself to protect Lewis from the various and sundry tough hombres in the region. Through a series of bizarre plot convolutions, Lewis gains a reputation as a rootin' tootin' gunslinger, and in his hubris he decides to round up a gang of outlaws headed by Jeff Morrow. As a result, he nearly gets himself blown to smitherines, but Martin shows up in the nick of time to rescue Lewis and help him capture the bad guys. Lori Nelson and Jackie Loughery supply the film's peripheral romantic angle. Pardners ends with Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis turning to the camera and promising that they'll keep on making pictures for their faithful fans; ironically, the team was breaking up even while the cameras were turning.
HOLLYWOOD OR BUST: Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis made their last joint film appearance in the girl-filled musical Hollywood or Bust. The thinnish plot finds inveterate film fan Jerry making a cross-country journey to Tinseltown for the purpose of meeting his favorite screen star, the buxom Anita Ekberg (the film's title, need it be added, has a double meaning). Dean goes along for the ride, hoping to expand his bankroll during a Las Vegas stopover. The boys are joined by a third traveller, an enormous Great Dane named Mr. Bascomb; along the way, the trio becomes a quartet when pretty Pat Crowley hitches a ride. The finale takes place in Hollywood, naturally, as Jerry wreaks havoc at a film studio which looks suspiciously like Paramount. All reports indicate that Hollywood and Bust was an unhappy shoot, with Jerry Lewis behaving so obstreperously that director Frank Tashlin ordered him off the set and told him to go home until he learned to behave himself; to this day, Lewis cannot bring himself to watch the film. Happily, the animosity between the two stars never comes across on screen, and as a result Hollywood or Bust is a most enjoyable diversion.

Surely even the French, with their legendary love of all things Jerry Lewis, will be sated by the Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis Collection: Vol. 2, a three-disc package containing five comedy-musicals released on DVD for the first time. It would be a supreme stretch to call any of the five films in question (You're Never Too Young, Artists and Models, Living It Up, Pardners, and Hollywood or Bust) a classic, but then, anyone looking for challenging storylines and deep characterizations probably wouldn't be here in the first place. What the films offer instead are various breezy diversions, in the form of Martin, the suave, smooth talking cad and crooner; a parade of lovely young women (Dorothy Malone, Anita Ekberg, Janet Leigh, and Shirley MacLaine among them); some terrific musical numbers that are the highlights of their respective films; and, of course, the antics of Lewis, whose capacity for slapshtick and mugging is apparently inexhaustible. By this time (the mid-1950s), the two had already fit comfortably into their respective personae, with Lewis as the naïve, ingenuous rube and Martin right there to take advantage of him. In Artists and Models, Martin's aspiring painter cops ideas from the frenzied dreams of his comics-obsessed roommate (Lewis, natch) and creates a hit comic of his own, a simple story that's derailed by an absurd and unnecessary subplot involving the U.S. government and some enemy agents. Living It Up, adapted from an earlier musical called Nothing Sacred, finds Lewis cajoled by Martin, his doctor (talk about a stretch!), into pretending that he's suffering from radiation poisoning so they can both enjoy a lavish trip to New York courtesy of a newspaper trying to boost circulation by playing up the "dying" man's plight. Hollywood or Bust, a combination road picture and gentle spoof of the movie biz, casts Martin as a gambler and con man accompanying film fanatic Lewis on a trip to Tinseltown, while Pardners is a Wild West romp ("Jerry Lewis as a gunslinger" about sums it up) and You're Never Too Young puts Lewis totally in his element as he impersonates a 12-year-old boy in order to escape bad guy Raymond Burr. The plots are thin, at best, and the songs are hardly Oscar caliber. Still, the two stars have an undeniable chemistry, and the musical set pieces are highly entertaining, most notably a sort of pas de duh (sic) between Lewis and MacLaine in Artists and Models and an eye-popping, show-stopping dance number in Living It Up. In the end, it all basically comes down to one's capacity to endure Lewis' manic mannerisms (it's worth noting that by Hollywood or Bust, the pair's last collaboration, he's pretty thoroughly upstaged by a Great Dane). If even this cornucopia isn't sufficient, perhaps a move to France is in order. The set contains no bonus material. --Sam Graham

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, Shirley Maclaine, Dorothy Malone, Eva Gabor
  • Directors: Norman Taurog
  • Format: Box set, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: June 5, 2007
  • Run Time: 489 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000NOK0MQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #120,872 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I was there when they made this, I was 16 and looked 16, but they thought I was 18 looking 16. It was summer vacation and my music teacher got me the gig. I drove to Hollywood at 5 in the morning everyday for 2 weeks, I was in one shot, at the school when Dean says "here comes the reception committe now".. a girls band starts out and the music was "face the music", I even remember the words. As I said I was there for 2 weeks, and made 50 dollars a day. We sat on the sidelines and waited in case they needed us for anything else but that one shot, so I made good friends, good money, and good memories. Dean would show up at the last min. and go over a few things, and boom the music would start they would film his song and dance and off he would go. Jerry on the other hand would go over and over his lines and his dances and stay long after to play with the crew. One time a very nicely dressed older man came on the set, Jerry was dancing and all of a sudden he knocked this mans hat off, pulled him down on a bench and began to cut his tie off, I stood there with my mouth open and all of the crew were in stitches, I found out later that he was one of the producers, and Jerry buys him hats and ties galore, and so he felt, I guess, he could distroy any of them he wanted. That was a summer I will never forget, they gave everyone Christmas gifts (Canasta Cards with their faces on them) and some other things, and to this day I remember it just like it was yesterday. By the way it was a cute movie!!!!... Orlean (Cookie) Hoyt
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Hi Folks

these films look fabulous!! Many of them are VISTAVISION which was the absolute highest grade quality/size negative format from the 50's era.

I'm not going to deduct stars for what Isn't in this set...that's lame...this is 5 very well presented movies with many many laughs..some great songs and loads of fun...for a bit over $20? Geeez , how can you resist?

I can't explain Martin & Lewis to you ...if you don't know their work..start with volume 1 then this one..and don't avoid the Legendary Jerry set as its wonderful as well. Kids out there? Think Adam Sandler invented that character of his? watch Jerry...

and Dean is still the big brother we all wished we as heck and very protective of his idiot friend.
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The last five films made by Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis in the 1950s make for fine family viewing, full of outrageous silliness. Lewis always plays the loud, irrepressible big kid to Martin's smooth crooner.

My favorite of the bunch is "Hollywood or Bust," in which rich kid Jerry teams up with con artist Dean for a cross-country road trip with lots of songs, girls, and a happy ending at a movie premiere. "Living It Up" finds Jerry mistakenly diagnosed with a fatal disease; a New York newspaper brings him to the Big Apple to document his last days. Dean plays his doctor who falls for reporter Janet Leigh. In "Pardners," the boys head out west to help a gal who's trying to keep her ranch from being taken over by the bad guys. Jerry masquerades as a 12-year old to escape a diamond thief in "You're Never Too Young," and ends up hiding in a girls' school where Dean is the music teacher. In "Artists and Models," the boys are roommates; Dean is an artist and Jerry dreams about superheroes. They fall in love with Dorothy Malone and Shirley MacLaine who live upstairs.

There's nothing even remotely resembling sophistication in either plot or acting; it's all over-the-top, madcap hi-jinks that the kids are sure to enjoy. Jerry is very funny and steals all his scenes, Dean sings two or three dreamy ballads, and there's some innocent romance in each movie. A nice collection for Saturday afternoon viewing.
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Most fans and critics agree, the last eight Martin & Lewis comedies are not the quality that the first eight are. In fact, Jerry Lewis has stated many times that he himself has never watched "Hollywood or Bust", because it is "too painful", indeed, the behind-the-scenes bickering between the two is apparent in the films.

To some degree, "Three Ring Circus" is no loss, because it is notorious for fighting between Jerry and Dean. However, "Money from Home" should certainly be avaliable, it is Dean and Jerry's first color motion picture, and only 3D.

The titles that are avaliable on this collection include fan favorites: "Artists and Models" and "Living It Up". One crtitic wrote, in ENFANTE TERRIBLE (see books) that "Rain Main" is a remake of "Hollywood or Bust". "You're Never Too Young" is my personal favorite of this bunch.

Being a completist, I certainly will be getting this set, but I would love for Paramount--and other companies--to continue releasing Jerry's solo catalogue, we still need: "Rock-a-Bye Baby", "The Geisha Boy", "Visit to a Small Planet", "Who's Minding the Store?", "Three on a Couch", "Which Way to the Front?", "Hardly Working", "Smorgasbord", and "Fight for Life".
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A nice collection of old movies, none by themselves are worth watching unless you are fans of the Matin/Lewis style antics of yesteryear and want to take a trip down memory lane. However, if you pay attention through the flicks you WILL get a chance to enjoy moments of comic brilliance by Jerry, albeit sporadically.
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