Jerry Lewis' Best Films by Tomatometer

by | March 15, 2018 | Comments

THE NUTTY PROFESSOR, Jerry Lewis, 1963. (Courtesy Everett Collection)
Rotten Tomatoes remembers late, great comedy legend of film, TV, and stage Jerry Lewis with a look back at his top 10 films with a Tomatometer score.

The Ladies' Man (1961) 100%

This Lewis-directed comedy about a lovelorn handyman who finds a job at a women-only boarding house has only 10 Tomatometer-eligible reviews, but a perfect score. “The movie exalts the modest pleasures of everyday people, but, along the way, Lewis reveals the madder music within that they whistle while they work,” wrote The New Yorker’s Richard Brody.

The King of Comedy (1983) 90%

Lewis shared the screen with Robert De Niro in the Martin Scorsese–directed satirical comedy/drama in which a comedian wannabe Rupert Pupkin (De Niro) kidnaps his idol, talk show host Jerry Langford (Lewis). “Brilliantly keeps viewers unmoored, the result of its consistently off-kilter tone,” Melissa Anderson of Village Voice wrote.

The Nutty Professor (1963) 88%

Starring and written and directed by Lewis, this Jekyll and Hyde tale about a bumbling inventor who creates a formula that turns him into a suave ladies man “Demonstrates that Jerry Lewis is the absolute master of screen space: There’s not a single indifferent shot in the film,” wrote John Beifuss of the Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tenn.).

Arizona Dream (1993) 87%

Costarring Johnny Depp (pre-Pirates of the Caribbean) and directed by Emir Kusturica (Time of the Gypsies), the film was called “as ripe a subject for therapy as for criticism” by the New York Times’ Janet Maslin. Lewis played Leo Sweetie, owner of a Cadillac dealership in Arizona who wants his nephew to take over the family business.

Scared Stiff (1953) 83%

A remake of a 1940 Bob Hope film, this crime caper paired Lewis with longtime collaborator Dean Martin for their ninth movie. Martin and Lewis are two men on the lam in the film about an American heiress who is warned off her inheritance of a Cuban mansion. Critic Dennis Schwartz called it “one of their better slapstick comedies.” Carmen Miranda also appeared.

The Caddy (1953) 80%

Lewis and Martin followed up Scared Stiff with this golf romp. “Norman Taurog’s golf comedy stars Martin and Lewis at the height of their popularity as a team, but the picture became better known for its Oscar-nominated song ‘That’s Amore,’ Dean’s first big hit,” wrote critic Emanuel Levy.

The Family Jewels (1965) 80%

For those who really love Lewis, this movie offers seven of him. A child heiress must choose a new daddy out of her father’s six living male relatives. “Lewis makes the camera a prism to break out the divergent, and even conflicting, strands of his own character,” wrote The New Yorker’s Brody.

The Patsy (1964) 80%

In another comedy written and directed by Lewis, he plays a bellhop whose circumstances turn around after a comedian dies and his management team go looking for a new star. “The Patsy reflects a genuine affection for the artisans and jacks-of-all-trades that make careers like Lewis’s possible,” wrote Eric Henderson of Slant Magazine.

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963) 73%

An all-star ensemble farce, the Stanley Kramer treasure hunt begins when a driver kicks the bucket during a traffic jam after cryptically telling those assembled that he’s buried some loot. Lewis appears in an uncredited cameo. “The comic competition is so keen that it is impossible to single out any one participant as outstanding,” according to Variety.

Artists and Models (1955) 75%

Another Lewis and Martin team-up, the film tells the story of a comic-book writer (Martin), who gains inspiration from his roommate’s (Lewis) elaborate nightmares. “[Director Frank] Tashlin’s splashy use of colour, and strong contributions from the female leads (including Anita Ekberg in a cameo), help to give the film its wacky, over-heated edge,” Time Out’s David Thompson wroteShirley MacLaine and Eva Gabor also appear.

Your favorite not on the list? Tell us about the Lewis film you love most in the comments.


Tag Cloud

Emmys cooking YouTube Premium 007 war Warner Bros. Podcast Winners Box Office Certified Fresh TCA Nickelodeon Syfy Adult Swim Polls and Games Song of Ice and Fire Marvel OWN Sony Pictures technology zombies APB E3 VH1 Disney ESPN Interview BBC Esquire Superheroe PBS Awards Toys sports Star Wars Western ABC Family robots TV Country DC Universe justice league binge vampires Infographic Reality Competition aliens Dark Horse Comics El Rey 2017 Walt Disney Pictures Freeform Calendar A&E romance TBS LGBTQ Comedy Central Hulu TLC dc Tumblr Grammys FOX President Trivia Super Bowl ratings Video Games Sundance Now NBC CNN Food Network politics serial killer Comedy Sci-Fi ITV MTV Biopics AMC adventure Drama Watching Series Rocky IFC Martial Arts The Arrangement YA Countdown GLAAD medical drama WGN Fantasy TIFF Columbia Pictures talk show Animation cats Mindy Kaling Tomatazos Thanksgiving MSNBC Musical crime Marathons SXSW composers BBC America dceu travel period drama Pirates golden globes finale Schedule Music Extras sitcom See It Skip It science fiction TruTV boxoffice discovery Fox News Musicals Trailer CBS Cosplay SundanceTV RT History based on movie Fall TV Pop Starz TCM DC Comics festivals Pixar Shondaland Best and Worst Election Masterpiece zombie diversity The CW DirecTV X-Men Spring TV Sneak Peek USA Premiere Dates Nat Geo 45 VICE doctor who Character Guide American Society of Cinematographers Lucasfilm 24 frames Summer TCA 2017 comiccon historical drama 2015 Rom-Com spy thriller Lionsgate E! FXX hist PaleyFest Crackle Disney Channel supernatural Winter TV political drama Nominations cinemax IFC Films 21st Century Fox Set visit crossover BET Writers Guild of America Mary Tyler Moore Sundance what to watch National Geographic USA Network YouTube Red Ghostbusters Ovation cults Teen San Diego Comic-Con 2016 Bravo Christmas dramedy transformers Reality FX Paramount Amazon Paramount Network Superheroes First Look GoT 20th Century Fox Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Ellie Kemper Comic Book CW Seed Acorn TV singing competition Holidays docudrama mutant unscripted crime drama crime thriller History GIFs social media ABC Netflix Action cops blaxploitation Spike Year in Review Cartoon Network Opinion CBS All Access Mystery Oscars Horror Universal SDCC Apple HBO DC streaming service Rock Creative Arts Emmys Showtime TV Land psycho NYCC Lifetime police drama thriller streaming Logo harry potter Star Trek Valentine's Day Red Carpet CMT Britbox biography TNT Kids & Family Photos