Method to the Madness of Jerry Lewis

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Movie Info

He is one of the most controversial filmmakers alive - at once praised by the French as a genius and an auteur, eschewed by American critics who dismiss his comedy as "low-brow," acknowledged by observers for his decades of philanthropic work with the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and notorious on both sides of the Atlantic for his on-set perfectionism and his insistence on traveling to vast lengths to get scenes, performances and gags right. He's also, unsurprisingly, as complex and multifaceted as anyone in the entertainment industry. But what is the truth about Jerry Lewis, that belies this series of contradictions? In this documentary profile of the entertainer, director Gregg Barson sets out to answer that question via candid interviews with the subject himself, plus insights by contemporaries including Phyllis Diller, Jerry Seinfeld and Billy Crystal.

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Critic Reviews for Method to the Madness of Jerry Lewis

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (10)

  • Whatever Method leaves out, most of what it includes is worth a look.

    Aug 13, 2012 | Full Review…
  • The old clips are still a hoot, but there's a limit to how much compressed air a viewer can take, listening to a bunch of old men talk about how funny their friend was.

    Aug 13, 2012 | Full Review…
  • Barson has made a doc too narrow in scope, with about as much substance as a meringue pie in the face.

    Aug 13, 2012

    Brian Lowry

    Top Critic
  • The documentary's camera captures the lensmen from an angle designed to make a tiny swarm of shutterbugs appear like a teeming plague, and you quickly begin to distrust the film's perspective in the most literal sense.

    Aug 13, 2012 | Full Review…

    Troy Patterson

    Top Critic
  • The weakness of this documentary is that it doesn't give us Mr. Lewis, warts and all.

    Aug 13, 2012 | Full Review…
  • Strong too is a desire to praise him by fellow comedians, who may have regarded the making of this film as a chance to pay tribute while the object of their admiration was fully able to appreciate it.

    Aug 13, 2012 | Full Review…

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