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Harold J. Stone,
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Lester is a clumsy and awkward TV repair man who is nevertheless gifted technically. In helping out a friend, he is drawn into a mystery involving a missing heir in a rich family. He begins to notice little things, like how much those family portraits look like him. Surely..no..he can't be...can he ?Written by
David Gibson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Frank Tashlin and Jerry Lewis did a very special film with It's Only Money. The film is a salute to those noir films of the Forties and Fifties with a generous helping of Jerry Lewis's comedy stylings.
Like Bob Hope in My Favorite Brunette, Jerry is a television repairman, but what he wants most of all is to be a private detective having devoured all the Mickey Spillane and Dashiell Hammett he could get his hands on in the orphanage he was raised in. Usually his hero, real life private eye Jesse White snubs Lewis, but comes a day when Lewis's talent and his profession come in handy on a case he's on.
It concerns a missing heir and if said heir can be found he'll inherit the fortune of an electronics tycoon. Otherwise the money will go to the tycoon's sister Mae Questal and her fiancé lawyer Zachary Scott when they tie the knot. Unbeknownst to all Scott has been shrewdly manipulating events and he wants the estate all to himself. And he's enlisted family chauffeur Jack Weston in his scheme.
To be sure this is a Jerry Lewis film and he got the lion's share of the laughs. I did so love his time on the pier 'helping' a woman catch a fish with his head and later on having her line snag him in the rear and saving him from a planned explosion courtesy of Weston. His show of gratitude was equally full of laughs.
But Frank Tashlin was generous all around with the players. Questal is pretty ditzy as an heiress without a clue, note that she keeps singing a whole flock of songs associated with Paramount classics like Isn't It Romantic, Cocktails For Two, and It's Easy to Remember. Weston has some good laughs as a hit man who just can't get the job done. Even Joan O'Brien who is the nurse for Questal and the love interest for Lewis has some funny moments.
This was Zachary Scott's farewell performance on the big screen. Scott in his salad years at Warner Brothers in the Forties and later on did some really serious slick villain roles. In this one however, Frank Tashlin discovered Scott's funny side and he did really well spoofing some of the parts he did in his starring days. A really good performance to go out on.
It's Only Money was one of Jerry Lewis's better solo films and his legion of fans especially the French will keep this special for centuries.
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