Arts & Entertainment

Jerry Lewis: The Man Behind The Clown

For some, his buffoonish antics had little appeal. But for many, Jerry Lewis was regarded a comic genius. In the film Jerry Lewis: The Man Behind The Clown, screening as part of the Jewish International Film Festival, the comedian, born Joseph Levitch, talks candidly about his early life, family, his career and of course his show business partner, Dean Martin.

The one-hour documentary chronicles Lewis’ career, from his very early slapstick days, to the star-aligned teaming with Dean Martin, to his pinnacle years as a filmmaker, when he wrote, directed and starred in movies that became classics.

In a montage of archival footage, interviews with some notable Hollywood identities and some Australian celebrities, and commentary by Lewis himself, we are shown an artist who took humour seriously and whose talents went well beyond contorted faces and a silly voice.

This is for fans of nostalgia, fans of comedy, and of course, fans of Jerry Lewis. (RB)

★★★1/2

Oct 26–Nov 23. Jewish International Film Festival: Event Cinemas, Bondi Junction and Hayden Orpheum, Cremorne. Tickets & info: www.jiff.com.au

BY RITA BRATOVICH

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