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The Stooge
IMDB Rating: 6.8/10 from votes
Release: 31 December 1952 (USA) /

The Stooge

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Musical
Director: Fred F. Finklehoffe,
Stars: , , , , , ,
Synopsis: Bill Miller is an unsuccessful Broadway performer until his handlers convince him to enhance his act with a stooge - Ted Rogers, a guy positioned in the audience to be the butt of Bill's jokes. But Ted begins to steal the show. Bill's girlfriend and his pals tell him to make Ted an equal partner. Complications occur, while Bill sings and Ted gets the laughs. Written by erasmus

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Critic Reviews


It's hard to see why Hal Wallis and Paramount held this film for two years before releasing it. Maybe they wanted a few more straight out comedy hits for Martin and Lewis before giving this one to the public.

The story has a somewhat true background based on writer Sid Silvers's experience as just such a stooge for singer/vaudevillian Phil Baker. They however didn't stay a team for any length of time in the way Martin and Lewis did.

Martin has a singing/accordion act that is going nowhere until he hires a stooge with whom he can do shtick with from the audience. Of course The Stooge is Jerry Lewis.

The Stooge was an uncomfortable film for both of these guys. It exposes the cracks in their own relationship. What's ironic here is that because of television in the sixties, everyone knows just how funny Dean Martin could be on his own.

Dino's given a whole bunch of film standards to sing in this, mostly owned by Paramount. He recorded all of them and they wound up on his first long playing album from Capitol records along with That's Amore. I still have that album.

There's one new song written for the film, A Girl Named Mary and A Boy Named Bill. Dino sings it solo and with leading lady Polly Bergen. Of course they play Bill and Mary in the film. On the Capitol recording Dean ends it in a falsetto that puts him poaching in Frankie Valli territory. It's one of my favorites of his film songs.

Fans will no doubt recognize Frances Bavier, Aunt Bee herself, as Jerry's mom. And Jerry has some great moments with nervous Percy Helton and with slow burn short order cook Donald MacBride.

Hal Wallis was nervous for nothing. The Stooge is one of the best team efforts for Martin and Lewis.

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