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Film / The Bellboy

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A 1960 comedy film, starring and directed by Jerry Lewis (in his directorial debut). Lewis plays Stanley, an unspeaking, well-meaning but klutzy hotel bellboy whose eager efforts to please the guests inevitably lead to disastrous mishaps.

This film contains examples of:

  • As Himself: In addition to his role as Stanley, Jerry Lewis also appears as himself, visiting the hotel with a ridiculously large entourage. Milton Berle also appears as himself.
  • An Aesop: “You’ll never know the next guy’s story . . . unless you ask.”
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: When Stanley makes a delivery to a dressing room full of scantily-clad models, he averts his eyes to avoid peeking...then puts his hand over the camera lens to keep US from peeking.
  • The Cameo: Milton Berle.
  • Exact Words: The doorman instructs Stanley to "get everything out of the trunk" of a guest's car. Stanley opens the rear panel to discover that the car has a rear-mounted engine. Undaunted, he carries the entire engine up to the guest's room.
  • Exploding Calendar: A time passage is indicated by calendar pages flipping by, starting on February 26th...and proceeding to go up to February 37th before fading to the next scene.
  • Oh God, with the Verbing!: Jerry Lewis, As Himself, shouts "Stop with the brushing" three times to an over-helpful assistant.
  • Random Events Plot: Lampshaded in the introduction, in which a studio executive (played by Jack Kruschen) informs us that the film we are about to see contains "no story and no plot. It is actually a series of silly sequences."
  • Suddenly Speaking: After being silent throughout the entire film, Stanley finally speaks when directly asked "Can't you talk?"
  • Temporary Bulk Change: A heavy-set woman comes to the hotel in order to avoid temptation and stick to her diet. When she checks out several weeks later, she is much thinner (and played by a different actress). Unfortunately, Stanley decides to give her a parting gift of a box of chocolates. Cut to: The guest, having eaten the entire box in one sitting, has instantly reverted to her former weight.
  • Ultimate Job Security: Stanley manages to keep his job despite causing all manner of chaos.
  • The Voiceless: Stanley.
  • You Didn't Ask: "How is it we never heard you talk before?" "Because no one ever asked me."