6 May 2018 | Hey_Sweden
Adequate, unmemorable Jerry Lewis vehicle.
The premise here is pretty familiar: family man and insurance company employee Peter Ingersoll (Jerry Lewis) is told that he's dying by his doctor and supposed "friend" Scott Carter (Peter Lawford). Thinking that he has mere months to live, Peter follows his wife's suggestion to go on an expensive vacation on his company's dime. Peter racks up about six figures in debt, and then is tracked down by Scott, who tells him, guess what? I made a mistake, and you're not dying. Now Peter is embroiled in a variety of fraudulent schemes to avoid any sort of consequences.
"Hook, Line and Sucker" was, in this viewers' humble opinion, one of Jerry's lesser vehicles from this era. The fact that the scenario is routine stuff is just one problem, but the screenwriter, Rod Amateau, and director, George Marshall, don't develop things in any truly interesting or funny ways, and the whole story is mostly uninspired. There are some solid laughs at the outset, as well as a pretty amusing punchline at the end, but overall this is far from Jerry's best.
Jerry gives it a reasonably good performance, falling back on some classic Jerry zaniness. His "heart attack" is hilariously stupid, and when he's required to play the role of an "Australian" character, it's real eye-rolling stuff. He gets decent support from Lawford, and the gorgeous Anne Francis, as Peters' homemaker wife. Jennifer Edwards (daughter of filmmaker Blake Edwards) and Jimmy Miller play Peters' kids, and there is a brief role for Jerry's longtime repertory player Kathleen Freeman as an inattentive babysitter.
This delivers some laughs, and has a fairly bright wrap-up, but there are no genuine comedy fireworks to speak of.
Five out of 10.