The Nutty Professor - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Nutty Professor Reviews

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October 15, 2017
This film changed for me after I read "King of Comedy: The Life and Art Of Jerry Lewis" by Shawn Levy. Conventional wisdom at the time about this Jekyll and Hyde story about timid Prof. Julius Kelp creating a formula that turns him into brash ladies man Buddy Love is that Lewis was making a dig at his old comedy partner, Dean Martin. Levy posits that Lewis was not making a film mocking the behavior of Martin but was in actuality condemning (and apologizing for) his own real-life off-screen behavior as a loud-mouth, self-centered, know-it-all. SPOILER ALERT! At the end of the film, when timid Kelp apologizes to everyone for his behavior as Buddy Love and says, "I think that the lesson that I learned came just in time. I don't want to be something that I'm not. I didn't like being someone else. At the same time I'm very glad I was cause I found out something that I never knew. You might as well like yourself. Just think about all the time you're going to have to spend with you. And if you don't think too much of yourself, how do you expect others to?" This was Lewis making a extremely personal and candid confession about himself under the guise of Kelp, and re-watching this film knowing Lewis' personal history, this scene is utterly heartbreaking to watch. Most of Lewis' films have a tendency to get overly sappy and maudlin, but the sappiness in this film really works for me and which is why this is my favorite Lewis film. Additionally, the comedy is funnier than most of Lewis' films, which I usually find funny in kind of an odd clinical if not genuinely funny way. It's as if he's presenting a formula for how to make a comedy, which seems to work, but for whatever reason often seems forced and not consistently funny. But with "The Nutty Professor" it all works and I believe Lewis created a American film classic. Oh, and the one scene where Lewis is lifting weights and his arms get stretched out made my mind explode as a kid.
September 28, 2017
Jerry Lewis' near masterpiece in which he pulls out all the stops. A glorious colour filled, funny fantasy. So refreshing to see a comedy that doesn't need to yap at you at breakneck speed but one that takes its time and relishes every silly moment.
September 14, 2017
Possibly this is Lewis at his best, on Stella's better side!
½ September 11, 2017
I thought I should give Jerry Lewis a chance, seeing how he died and all, but you know, this was just too stupid for me. I mean, this was the famous one, right? Or is he better in other pictures that he directed? Or in those early films with Dean Martin? I'd really only seen him in The King of Comedy (1982) and Funny Bones (1995) and perhaps random other places (that telethon). I gave Bob Hope a chance and that didn't work out so bad. But here, despite the well-known premise (nerdy Professor Kelp drinks a potion that turns him into swanky egomaniac Buddy Love, a supposed rip on Dean Martin), everything was less than I expected. I pondered a bit on Jerry's direction of himself - he does "hold the beat" longer than expected, presumably to milk the laugh...or to create it. Things feel a bit made for TV - sort of children's humour - and the straight roles (i.e., Stella Stevens) are too credulous to accept. Jerry might be slightly preferable in the Buddy role, but to what end? Am I being too tough? We can agree to disagree on this one. For the record, I don't require all my comedy to be smart or sophisticated, but I do prefer it to be funny. Still, a couple of points for the concept, which might have been fresh once upon a time (and, no, I won't be checking the Eddie Murphy version anytime soon).
Super Reviewer
½ September 6, 2017
Shot in uber bright (nearly cartoon) colors and co-written, directed by and starring Jerry Lewis, here is the famous Doctor Jekyll, Mr. Hyde story made as close to personal therapy as could be. The humor is spotty and often mean spirited (something Stella Stevens somehow nullifies), but the overall entertainment intention drags itself through and only just barely. And this lukewarm appraisal by a longtime fan ...
½ August 20, 2017
Supposedly is Lewis' masterpiece.
August 20, 2017
The original version of the Jekyll and Hyde like comedy is over 50 years old and has been immortalised in more recent incarnations including by Eddie Murphy.
However the story is essentially the same.
A nerdy professor (Professor Klump) with an irritating voice and goofy teeth uses a chemical equation to transform himself into an altar ego as in Mr. Hyde.
The altar ego is called Buddy Love. A confident, musically talented homage to the Brat pack of the time such as Frank Sinatra.
Look out for a blink and you will miss it uncredited cameo by the late Richard Kiel. Kiel of course was massive and played henchman Jaws in two James Bond films.
Both Professor Kelp and Love are played by a comic of the period Jerry Lewis.
Both characters get the attention and later sympathy at the High School prom when Buddy Love starts to turn into his real identity Kelp.
Of course being so old it is difficult for modern audiences to grasp the humour but the storyline is essentially the same as the remakes.
Colourful film but old!
Love learns that he is a monster inside Kelp who although bullied by a variety of people prefers his original identity.
I have awarded three stars simply because of the films age has diluted some of the Jerry Lewis comedy. However it can't be doubted the message the film is trying to portray that being a 'cool', bully like persona is not all it's cracked up to be.
Lewis talent at the time cannot be disputed.
Think of a 1960s Steve Coogan. Even Eddie Murphy is aging!
July 4, 2017
The best nutty professor out of the three, it has a fantastic performance by Jerry Lewis, and a good sense of humor unlike the other ones.
½ January 18, 2017
This comedy features and focuses on the many comic talents of Jerry Lewis. I enjoyed the opening, and there were quite a few laughs to be had in the early part of the film. But the character changes brought with them far too many songs, accompanied with slower sections, and I found myself losing focus. 1001
½ January 2, 2017
I'll be chipping away slowly at the 100 films in Danny Peary's book Cult Movies now that my video store is kaput.
The most interesting point in the essay is that, okay, it's obvious that Buddy Love is making fun of Dino and the Rat Pack, but isn't it interesting/creepy that he's also a lot like sanctimonious telethon latter Lewis?
Peary stresses that Lewis's comedy was experimental; sometimes producing duds and embarrassment for fans. I think in that light, it's more enjoyable.
November 25, 2016
It's Jerry's original! Now with a sequel / remake and a failed Broadway musical - it's a must! On Blu-ray.
½ November 7, 2016
I am not sure that Jerry Lewis' broad comedy is for me. I gave this movie a whirl and while I get it...and it had a few chuckles...it is mostly too dated and doesn't really have me busting a gut too often. If you like really broad comedy from the olden days, maybe this will grab you, but it didn't really grab me.
October 10, 2016
The movie featured the best of Jerry Lewis. Its easy to make an audience cry but very difficult to make them laugh. Nobody did it better then Jerry Lewis.
½ October 9, 2016
The first twenty minutes are so are excruciatingly slow, and the movie only picks up when Jerry Lewis transforms into Buddy Love. The performance is amazing, but the laughs are few. I do like the concept but the movie is scattershot and Professor Kelp is overly annoying.
October 1, 2016
The Nutty Professor (1963) C-107m. ??? D: Jerry Lewis. Jerry Lewis, Stella Stevens, Del Moore. Nifty comedy about nerdish professor Lewis who creates potion that turns him into an irresistible stud--but watch out for the side effects Jerry! Often hilarious; considered by many to be Lewis' best film. Remade (with Eddie Murphy) in 1996.
½ August 20, 2016
While it's a little creepy that Jerry Lewis likes a student, it's still a classic comedy and story that'll bring lots of laughs.
Super Reviewer
June 24, 2016
Jerry Lewis' magnum opus, a riotously funny classic comedy that he wonderfully directed and co-wrote. It's concerns a homely, nearsighted chemistry professor named Dr. Julius Kelp, played sensationally by Jerry Lewis in a masterful comic performance, he is constantly ridiculed by his students and fellow colleagues and totally ignored by all the ladies. Well all that is about to forever change, because he has concocted an amazing potion that will transform him into a handsome, creosote-haired, self-assured, hard-drinking lady-killer named "Buddy Love." But this Jekyll-and-Hyde routine will soon have serious consequences for the bumbling professor Kelp when the girl of his dreams, one of his students, superbly played by the gorgeous Stella Stevens, begins to fall for the conceited, super-cool Buddy Love. Astute direction by Lewis, with marvelously supporting performances by Del Moore, Kathleen Freeman, Med Flory, Norman Alden, Howard Morris, Ellvia Allman, Marvin Kaplan, Buddy Lester, Henry Gibson, and Richard Kiel. Striking cinematography by W. Wallace Kelly. There are some truly hilarious slight gags and slapstick sequences. A comic masterpiece that is a must-see! Highly Recommended.
October 29, 2015
I personally love this classic comedy. It's clever, it takes risk and it hits the mark really well. It does at times seem kind of confusing, and I do think the remake is more of a completed film, this one I think is more memorable and clever in it's humor.
Super Reviewer
½ September 20, 2015
Just as good as the remake.
½ March 22, 2015
Faultless right up until the last five minutes, when it degrades into glib neatness and loses the humanity which is its main attraction.
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