Saturday, January 25, 2014

Who's Minding the Store? (1963)

Delightfully zany, madcap fun from Frank Tashlin and Jerry Lewis. An honest, hard-working (but accident-prone) young man is engaged to a department store heiress and must make good by working in her mother's store, where he is given a series of impossible tasks designed to trip him up.

One of the very best Tashlin-Lewis collaborations, filled with dozens of clever cartoon-like sight gags, expertly-timed slapstick, and sharp satire of the retail business. The kitschy atomic age set design is enhanced by the splendid Technicolor photography. The laughs come fast and furious as Lewis gives one of his finest performances, supported by a wonderful cast of character actors. The highlight: Lewis' "typewriter" routine set to the Leroy Anderson tune.

Directed by Frank Tashlin; produced by Paul Jones; written by Tashlin and Harry Tugend, from a story by Tugend; photographed by W. Wallace Kelley; music by Joseph J. Lilley. Starring Jerry Lewis, Jill St. John, Ray Walston, John McGiver, Agnes Moorehead, Kathleen Freeman, Fritz Feld, and Richard Deacon, among many others.

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