User Reviews (22)

Add a Review

  • i first saw pieces of this movie on AMC and just had to rent it. the story is so sweet and that's what it's such a great film. it's hard to decide what would be considered the best scenes, but these are my favorites: when jerry gets the jelly-beans for the 3 kids and when he talks to that puppet goose. these show the childlike innocence of jerry and how morty s tashman felt about the studio, [these are near the middle of the film]. i think that not only jerry-fans will like this movie but anyone looking for a good movie to sit back and enjoy! next to the nutty professor, this is jerry's best work! definetly a wonderful story to behold!
  • Those who dismiss 'The Errand Boy' as juvenile comedy in the vein of the awful Tom Green are way out of line - this film in particular is entertaining, genuinely funny, and acted and directed with charm by Jerry Lewis. Perhaps he was funnier in 'Who's Minding The Store' or 'The Nutty Professor', but this one remains my favourite.

    It is the story of Morty, an underling at a Hollywood studio where he can cause as many problems as he can - in the canteen, on the sets, in the lift, as an unexpected extra during filming, and by overdubbing his own squeaky vocals over a finished soundtrack. The combined effect of all this is irresistable.

    My favourite scene though is the one in the prop room, where Morty seeks advice from a couple of finger puppets about how to improve his life. Cliched, maybe, but unexpected amongst the silliness and really quite effective.
  • This is probably one of the finest films Jerry Lewis did in the post Martin and Lewis era. In fact, this film is a pretty much a great parody of Hollywood and it manages to poke fun at what really goes on behind the scenes with many of its stars and how a lot of films are really produced. One scene that is particularly funny is the one in the recording studio. This pretty much reminded me of how a lot of actresses who couldn't sing had their voices dubbed by a professional singer (of course this could have been inspired by noted singer Marni Nixon who dubbed many of Hollywood's leading ladies including Audrey Hepburn and Natalie Wood). But the funniest scene was the one in the candy store in which Morty is constantly going up and down the ladder getting jelly beans for the three kids and finally explodes when the last kid asks for them. This film is definitely one of Jerry Lewis's best.
  • Jerry Lewis is Morty S. Tashman who is hired by Paramutual Pictures to be their spy.He gets to work in the mail room for Grumpy (Stanley Adams).Soon they notice it wasn't such a good idea to hire Morty.Morty causes a disaster after another at whatever he does.The funny man Jerry Lewis directed and wrote with Bill Richmond this hilarious movie.Jerry is at his funniest in this one, just like he is in many of his other movies.The supporting cast is great as well.There are talents like Brian Donlevy, Dexter McNear, Renée Taylor, Kathleen Freeman, Isobel Elsom, Iris Adrian, Del Moore, 'Snub' Pollard, Michael Landon and three other members from Bonanza.The Errand Boy (1961) is a party for Jerry Lewis fans, such as myself.The movie is filled and full of hilarious scenes, like Jerry in the elevator or in the candy store, when he has problems with pronouncing all those complicated names, when he gets accidentally to the movie set and gets carried away with the song...The list goes on and on until the movie ends.The movie can also be serious and sweet, when Jerry encounters with the hand puppet clown and ostrich.I think a good comedy can be funny and serious, maybe even at the same time.Serious moments don't worsen the comedy.Jerry Lewis has the capability of bringing both of those sides into his movies.Watch this movie.It will show you the both sides of Jerry Lewis, the king of comedy.
  • Somewhere along the line Jerry Lewis who directed as well as starred in The Errand Boy forgot to put a coherent plot together. Normally that's something I look for first and foremost. But with the very thin premise that someone would hire Jerry to be an efficiency expert because no one would think a schnook like him would be suspected, Lewis succeeded in putting together a wonderful series of gags most of them involving not a word of dialog.

    Because of that The Errand Boy rates right up there with the best of Jerry's work in film. Brian Donlevy plays the head of Paramutual Studios and he and the rest of the Paramutual clan hire this klutzy paperhanger to root out the inefficiency in operations at the studio which is costing them money. Again because no one would suspect Lewis of being any kind of a spy because no one would suspect of having any kind of brain. Pretty thin if you ask me.

    Still if it weren't for Donlevy's folly we wouldn't get this marvelous film. Some wonderful comedy bits are far too numerous to mention, but some of my favorites were him taking Kathleen Freeman through the car wash and getting her properly waxed, the drowning sequence in the pool, his appearance as an extra in Sig Ruman's film causing Ruman the director to have a nervous breakdown. Best of all at the birthday party for star Iris Adrian, Jerry opening a yard high magnum of champagne which comes out with the force of a fire hose.

    Because so little dialog is used, The Errand Boy is probably the film that critics most often cite when they say and I agree that Jerry Lewis could have been one of the classic silent screen star, right up there with Chaplin, Lloyd, and Keaton.

    The Errand Boy ranks up with one of the best of Jerry Lewis's solo films and a must for his fans.
  • I usually don't laugh out loud at jerry lewis movies, tho i almost always am entertained by him and appreciate his genius. The errand boy makes me repeatedly laugh out loud and has for almost 45 years. i never tire of the hilarious routines and i think its a shame that jerry was never nominated for his work. as far as I'm concerned, the Jim Carey's and Eddie Murphy's of the world should send jerry a cut of every check they get since they have stolen from him enormously. i usually don't agree with the french, but jerry is a genius and he did his great works with only the special effect of being jerry.The underwater diver scene and the Leo Durocher scene are classics as is the musical boardroom scene which never tires as many times as i have scene Jerry do it on the telathons
  • Jerry Lewis directs, co-writes and stars in The Errand Boy. Film finds the hapless Lewis hired as an errand boy behind the scenes at Paramutual Pictures. There's a method in the madness, had honcho Tom Paramutual (Brian Donlevy sadly under used) wants him to spy behind the scenes to see why the studio is loosing so much money. Chaos inevitably follows.

    Forget the plot, there actually isn't one to hang your hat on, film consists mostly of Lewis skits strung together as he takes us around the workings of the back lot of Paramount. There's a caustic edge to the piece, with Lewis and co-writer Bill Richmond gleefully saying that where film making is concerned, all that glitters is not gold. Some of the visual gags work, others not so, with a couple running far too long to actually work. But as always with Lewis, his best moments detract from the bad to leave the film entertaining for his fans, even if it struggles to stretch the premise over 90 minutes. 6/10
  • Biting satire set up by the staid Brian Donlevy, and Howard McNear in his absolute best role, Jerry only exceeds this in "The Nutty Professor" with his 'Buddy Love' nightclub entrance and musical performance. Playing it straight as Jerry Langford in "King of Comedy" is also at the top of my list. "The Disorderly Orderly" and "Who's Minding the Store" are great entertainment also, {in my humble opinion} topping a list you all know. He and Mickey Rooney and a few others are the last of a vaudeville/burlesque tradition that we shall not see again. Jerry Lewis, the consummate comedian, actor, producer and director was able to bring genuinely funny and original material to the screen over and over again. Hats off to You, Jerry, a talent without peer.
  • One of the first of many Jerry Lewis comedies that Paramount (Paramutual) Studios would produce throughout the late 50's and 60's. I disappointment to not have the movie in color, the black and white not only shows the movie's early roots, but the classic Hollywood esq. that the movie takes place in. In many ways, the movie opens and closes poking fun at the Hollywood system and the people in it. The ending showcases a moral that if you are in the right place at the right time and that you know the right people, you too can make it in Hollywood. \ Jerry Lewis has many moments throughout the movie. Many if not all re comical. His childlike qualities gives Lewis the reputation that he can do no wrong. Like most Jerry Lewis movies, he is not the only highlight. All of his movies have a strong central cast without any weak links. All the supporting characters (funny or not) are terrific. An interesting scene with the New York based filmmaker. In a way, it shows the different ethic that east coast has compared to the west coast. One of the more interesting parts of the movie, it is far from anything comical. It makes me wonder why Jerry Lewis included it in the film.....being from the east coast himself.
  • Jerry Lewis co-wrote, directed and stars in this comedy about a bumbler working at a movie studio (Paramutual Pictures). The film has no designs to be an effervescent romp about the underdog who makes good, and it has no desire to be a comedy with any subtext or believability whatsoever. It's just Jerry Lewis nonsense, with mugging and frothing at the mouth. There's a funny bit in a crowded elevator, and the Cartwrights from "Bonanza" have a great, wordless cameo, but it's no more than a series of sketches, most of them dim and juvenile. This type of geeky, child-in-a-man's-body slapstick never seems to fall out of favor, whether it be Lewis or Jim Carrey or Tom Green. It's an epidemic that some audiences actually embrace. *1/2 from ****
  • "The Errand Boy" is mostly an excuse for a series of silly gags, but it's good for a few laughs. Jerry Lewis plays a man who gets hired to spy for a movie company. Sure enough, in the process of spying, he just makes a mess everywhere he goes. Whether it's the armor suits or the champagne bottle, this guy is a walking disaster area. A precursor to Insp. Clouseau and Gilligan, if you will.

    Low humor, you say? Maybe it is, but like I said, good for a few laughs; simply a way to pass time. The movie doesn't pretend to be a masterpiece. Also starring Brian Donlevy, Howard McNear, Kathleen Freeman, Stanley Adams and Doodles Weaver.
  • I rented this movie lately after determining from a long search that it had the bit I had remembered ever since I saw it in '61. That scene is the boardroom pantomime Jerry does to a big-band song. That piece did turn out to be as clever (though not as elaborate) as I had remembered. Check it out. It is about 75 minutes into the movie. I had forgotten the rest of the movie, and after seeing it last night, now I know why. I think only Jerry-fans will be able to sit through it all. The "story" is so choppy I kept thinking I must have fallen asleep and missed something. Jerry was pretty full of himself (and preachy) when he did this collection of skits.
  • I don't think "The Errand Boy" is a film everyone will love. The film is essentially plot less and it's made up of one silly skit after another. Additionally, some of the bits are pretty bad--with some serious overacting by Jerry Lewis. Yet, despite its faults, the film is pleasant and entertaining.

    I could describe the plot but frankly it never made sense and occupied little of the film. Suffice to say that dopey Morty (Lewis) is hired as an errand boy at a film studio and ends up repeatedly screwing up pretty much everything he does. And, in the end, there is a twist--a nice one at that.

    Very few people would notice that much of "The Errand Boy" was lifted from the Harold Lloyd feature "Movie Crazy". Part of the reason folks won't recognize this is that it's a rather obscure film--created in the talking picture era when he was no longer quite the star he was during the silent days. Additionally, the film has been seen, quite inaccurately, as a dud--whereas it's really a dandy film. Here, Lewis resurrects much of this old film and into it injects lots of silliness. Some of the silliness doesn't work (as was often the case, the timing was a problem--skits were something overdone and drawn out way too much--especially the ones involving mispronunciations) and some does. I really didn't enjoy the pathos in scenes involving puppets but must admit a few of the skits (such as Jerry in the pool) were quite funny. Overall, a VERY mixed bag and a film much like Lewis' other plot less film, "The Bell Boy" (which I actually prefer). Worth seeing if you are a fan.

    By the way, for classic TV buffs, you'll easily recognize Howard McNear (Floyd the Barber from "The Andy Griffith Show"). But, if you look closely, you'll also see Barry Livingston (Ernie from "My Three Sons") in a skit involving jellybeans.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Jerry Lewis assembled a large cast of veteran character actors, most of which only appear briefly, for his latest picture. Lewis once again directed himself and co-wrote the script with Bill Richmond. Make no mistake it's all Jerry Lewis both behind and in front of the camera.

    T.P Paramutual (Brian Donlevy) is chairing a meeting of the board of Paramutual Pictures. He is concerned over the excess spending within the studio and wants to plant a "spy" to search out the causes. He selects an inept paper hanger Morty S. Tashman (Lewis) for the job. He is to report through nervous Dexter Sneak (Howard McNear). You know what? This premise quickly disappears into Lewis' antics asnd the cause of the over spending is never revealed.

    Anyway, Morty is assigned to be an errand boy which means that he will be roaming throughout the studio disrupting everywhere he goes. His disgruntled grumpy boss (Stanley Adams) becomes increasingly frustrated with Morty's disruptive nature.

    Of the large cast, only Donlevy and Adams have substantial roles Some of the people he disrupts along the way include: Fritz Feld and Sig Ruman (Eric von Stroheim anyone?) as frustrated directors, Dick Wesson (totally wasted) as an Assistant Director, Herb Vigran as a cigar smoking man in the crowded elevator, Bill Richmond in the same scene, Lewis regulars Del Moore as an announcer and Milton Frome as a sound editor, Iris Adrian as the actress being "honored" at the finale as well as, Kenneth MacDonald, Joe Besser, Richard Bakalyan, Doodles Weaver, Regis Toomey, Benny Rubin Renee Taylor, Kathleen Freeman among others in minor roles.

    Some highlights include the aforementioned crowded elevator, Lewis selling jelly beans to three youngsters, a illplaced scene with a sock puppet, cameos by the cast of TVs "Bonanza" and Leo Durocher. The scene at the end where Robert Ivers gets on his soap box and praises the new wave of film makers is a bit out of place. Ivers ,Wesson and Besser watching "The Errand Boy" and lauding the discovery of a new talent (Morty) doesn't make sense within the context of the film and I found the final scene to be a bit corny.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    From a painter to a comedy star, Jerry was always at his usual best! It was always funny seeing him interrupt a lot of the "behind the scenes" that took place in the studios. It was really fun on where he'll disrupt next. I liked so much at the beginning where he accidentally got involved in a party scene and he sang really loudly from the singer who was suppose to be entertaining in the scene.

    I found Howard McNear who played Dexter Sneak was really funny as he was very eccentric with his fast talking and his crazy behavior! It's too bad he was an unrated actor because he really deserved more for being in this movie! He should've been Jerry Lewis' sidekick if he had the chance to make us all laugh!

    If you like movies and comedy, this one is for you!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Disappointing! Given the promise of the movie's central idea, plus the wide latitude available to take the mickey out of Hollywood (as at least a dozen films have done so amusingly in the past), Jerry Lewis seems determined – aside from two sequences – to play his Hollywood studio errand boy in a distinctly minor key. True, we do encounter some heavy slapstick and far-too-broad satire, and there is some wistful yet rather too obvious, cutesy stuff with puppets. But the way the movie is constructed as a series of sketches strung together on the thinnest of threads, will ensure that nearly all viewers are in the running to find something to complain about. Some of the sketches – crowded into an elevator, climbing a ladder to get jelly beans for kids – don't have any connections with a movie studio at all. In short, I feel that an opportunity for some really amusing satire was lost. I regard The Patsy as more consistently amusing. That movie also had a superior support cast. Sig Ruman is glimpsed but briefly here. However, Stanley Adams as the mail room chief is amusingly choleric. On the other hand, Howard McNear way overdoes the sycophant, while Brian Donleby delivers one of his duller, stiffer performances. Iris Adrian, however, is always welcome. Disappointingly, production values are only average "A". It's a pity there were no more surprise guest stars than Lorne Greene and company. As a director, Lewis uses lots of close-ups, but is generally efficient despite the jerky continuity. The lighting photography, however, is unusually dark and somber for a comedy.
  • Having seen this through much younger eyes a few decades ago, my faulty memory banks recall this as being: A) much funnier than I think it is now, and B) in glorious Technicolor, which it obviously wasn't.

    All great comedians steal from each other, and many of the sight gags here owe so much to the great Ernie Kovacs, (who himself owed everyone from Buster Keaton to Harold Lloyd to old Warners cartoons and comedic shorts). That said, Jerry puts his own unique stamp on every gag, in that way which is what only the most gifted comics can pull off.

    The recording studio sequence is much funnier than I remember it, and I would willingly sit through the first act just to get to it. There are a lot of dull spots, strange interludes that are compelling if somewhat jarring in the context of things, (his encounter with the 'live' puppets), and just a tad preachy, (the confrontation between T.P. Paramutual (Brian Donlevy) and his 'toadies' in the screening room.

    Overall, I don't know if I would hail it as a masterpiece, (I will leave that task to Parisian critics,) but it's one helluva lot funnier than a lot of the crap coming out of Hollyweird these days.

    I'd recommend it, but not over THE LADIES' MAN. Now THERE is a funny movie!
  • Ghenghy4 July 2002
    This is one of his most daring and creative ventures along with The Bellboy. Not much dialogue, just over the top sight gags and general hilarity. What do you people expect? This is Jerry Lewis in top form and it just doesn't get any better. The only thing funnier than his movies are the ridiculous criticisms of his films on this sight. Hello people...this is Jerry Lewis OK! It's too bad that his egocentric persona alienated several generations that didn't grow up looking forward to his next project. The Errand Boy stands alone as one of the most innovative comedies of all time and anyone that can muster some objectivity will appreciate his work for what it is. I personally think this is one of the funniest movies of all time and I rank it as Jerry's best work, although the Academy may disagree. 10/10
  • The Errand Boy (1961) was another writer-actor-director outing from Jerry Lewis. He stars as a dim-witted billboard worker who's turned into a spy for the head of Paramutual Studios. His job is to work as an errand boy and find out why the studio is spending so much money. Whilst on the job he learns about the inner workings of the movie industry and more about himself in the process. Can he survive working for such a demanding business?

    Love him or hate him, you can't say Jerry Lewis is unoriginal. After a slow start, the movie kicks into high gear when the gags begin. Besides being an entertaining film, you also get a good look at the actual inner workings of a movie studio. There's even a couple of funny cameos and surprises. Personally, I don't like Jerry Lewis' work with Dean Martin and his solo outings. But when he's the actor-writer-director, he's a real hoot!

    I have to highly recommend this movie. If you like comedies or strange films, then this one's for you!

  • Well I didn't see the full version of this movie until a couple of years ago. I know it from a 1970s cut-down to 18 minutes Super 8mm film version I saw many times,long ago. Those were the days...

    We need to work our way through a self-centered and self serving Jerry Lewis. As an earlier comment correctly stated, Jerry Lewis didn't manage to come up with the "not too bright underdog with a golden heart, trying to live the American dream, facing many obstacles but making it in the end" - story, even though this was clearly his idea of the storyline. You can call me names for my next statement: Sylvester Stallone did that thing much better (even though not through a comedy) in his first two "Rocky" movies.

    Anyway, this still is a Jerry Lewis classic with many great scenes. Undoubtedly the best being him doing a perfectly-in-sync routine to "Blues in Hoss Flat", as usual impeccably performed by the great Count Basie big band.

    Some other material such as the radio that won't stop playing even when smashed to bits has been done much better in 1940s Warner Brothers cartoon shorts.

    The two scenes where Morty (Jerry Lewis) meets "living" puppets are rather painful and reminiscent of Charles Chaplin's later work (Limelight etc.) It's in the "crying Clown" tradition and rather out of place in this otherwise funny and inventive movie. The puppets, a little clown and in a later scene a talking female ostrich, magically coming to life (yet obviously performed by rather average puppeteers) in a comedy are the only beings who really understand our "hero"? I'm afraid this is very weak material.

    Jerry Lewis also has his "serius" moment in movies like "Cinderfella", and they are totally out of place as well. But that is a classic: a comedian trying to show his (or her) serious side. I will be tolerant and understanding (=forgiving).

    If you are a Jerry Lewis fan, "The Errand boy" is a must see in any case. Jerry lewis definitely was (and remains) a great inspiration to contemporary film comedians such as Steve Martin and Jim Carrey.
  • charro193028 July 2010
    Mr Lewis is of an acquired taste but for anyone with a shred of a sense of humour, he is one of the kings. If this is NOT his best movie, it's certainly in the top 3.

    One or two of the routines are copied from other comedians but the rest are just pure genius. Check out the scene in the board room where Jerry does a great mime to a Count Basie track.

    Unfortunately, there is the usual sentiment which slows the comedy down and I personally find that boring and a bit off putting but when the comedy returns it's well worth waiting for.

    I would place this movie up there with The Nutty Professor and It's Only Money (a film I REALLY do think is underrated).

    If you've never seen a Jerry Lewis film you could do a lot worse than start with this and don't let any of Jerry detractors put you off - judge for yourself.

    The man's an idiot but a brilliant idiot!!!
  • THE ERRAND BOY (1961) ** Jerry as a goofy movie studio employee mistakenly hired as an efficiency expert.