Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Had to send off to Italy to get a copy of this 1955 Jerry Lewis/Dean Martin combo on DVD, but it was worth the effort. Directed by Frank Tashlin and filmed in glorious VistaVision, Artists & Models was always my favourite of the Lewis and Martin comedies when I was a kid - its mixture of slapstick comedy and comic book industry setting made it irresistible, and having not seen it for a good 20+ years I was happy to see how well it held up. Like many of the pair's films it has some embarrassing moments, and some of the musical numbers and extended Lewis comedy skits become a bit torturous, but it has some genuinely likeable characters, beautifully lush production design, and a terrific performance from Shirley MacLaine that is as sexy as it is kooky (not to mention energetic). 56 years after it's release, it has also transformed itself into a nostalgic and endearing time capsule that reflects the moral outrage and concern that was directed towards violent crime and horror comics at the time.