The Disorderly Orderly (1964) - Plot Summary Poster


Showing all 3 items
Jump to:


  • When he flunks out of med school, Jerome Littlefield goes to work as an orderly in a private rest home where he wreaks havoc for everyone concerned. Dr. Jean Howard is the exasperated head of the sanitarium who almost becomes a patient after the antics of the frantic employee. When talkative patient Mrs. Fuzzibee happily and continuously relates her maladies to Jerome, he hilariously has psychosomatic symptoms that mirror those of the nutty woman. He discovers that his high school girl of his dreams, Susan Andrews has been brought to the sanitarium after a suicide attempt. He secretly pays for the destitute young woman's stay while helping to restore her confidence and self respect, much to the jealousy of his girlfriend, Julie Blair, a young and pretty nurse who has high hopes of becoming the future Mrs. Littlefield.

  • Jerome Littlefield works at a local hospital as an orderly. He was once a promising medical student but was forced to quit medical school when his empathy for his ill patients had him developing their symptoms. He's undergone sessions with a hospital psychiatrist and has the support of both his girlfriend, nurse Julie Blair, and the hospital administrator, Dr. Jean Howard, but no one has been able to get to the root of his problem. Jerome is surprised when his high school dream girl, Susan Andrews, is admitted to the hospital after a suicide attempt. She treats him very badly and as was the case in high school, has absolutely no idea who he is. When she is unable to pay her hospital bills, Jerome works all hours of the day and night to pay them anonymously. In the end, Susan proves to be the source of his problems and that realization paves the way to a brighter future.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • A bumbling, yet loveable, med student leaves medical school because of his neurotic sympathy pains that he shares with his patients. He takes a job at an exclusive posh sanitarium as an orderly. While he makes great efforts to be a model orderly, his good natured innate ineptness makes a shambles of the institution and tries the patience of the hospital staff. The harder he tries, the worse he makes things with sidesplitting funny results. While at the hospital, a significant figure from his long ago teenage past resurfaces. The results will have you in a flight of emotions from drama to slapstick to pathos. Only Jerry Lewis could pull this off in one of his best film works.

    Look for the wonderful Alice Pearce ("Gladys Kravtiz" of Bewitched) in the role as the hilarious hypochondriac "Mrs. Fuzzybee." Her scenes with Jerry are the funniest in the entire film.

See also

Taglines | Synopsis | Plot Keywords | Parents Guide

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed