10 April 2008 | bkoganbing
Dean And Jerry Go To Havana With Carmen Miranda
Paramount once again rehashes another of their old hits for Martin and Lewis in Scared Stiff. In one respect Scared Stiff is an improvement over The Ghostbreakers that starred Bob Hope and Paulette Goddard back in the day. At least in this one Willie Best is not playing a horrible racial stereotype.
Other than that and to accommodate Best's role for Jerry Lewis and Hope's role for Dean Martin, it's not too much different from The Ghostbreakers. I have no doubt that producer Hal Wallis dug some of the old Paramount sets for the original out of mothballs for this one. The castle where the last twenty minutes are played looks way too much like the first film to be a duplicate.
Dino got shortchanged in the vocal department, the original songs by Mack David and Jerry Livingston yielded no hits for him. Jerry does a homage to Carmen Miranda who was around on the set to see it. This film marked her farewell screen appearance and I give her credit in that she doesn't let Martin and Lewis upstage her one bit.
Dorothy Malone had a small role as a chorus cutie and favorite of gangster Leonard Strong who was the reason why Dean and Jerry were fleeing to Cuba and got mixed up in Lizabeth Scott's troubles. Malone mentioned that she had recently lost a brother and that Dean personally asked she be cast in the part and helped her through the film. She always remembered his kindness. She also said that Dean and Jerry seemed to be quite cool to each other and the eventual breakup was no surprise to her.
The boys were lucky to have George Marshall who had directed The Ghostbreakers back in the day to also direct this one. If you liked the Bob Hope film, you'll probably like this one.
It even has an unbilled appearance of Bob Hope with another guy who sang a few songs for Paramount back in the day.