Cinderfella (1960) ⭐️⭐️

Director: Frank Tashlin. Cast: Jerry LewisEd WynnJudith Anderson.

I have a strange and deep connection to Jerry Lewis: He was probably one of my earliest way into films at a time (a long long time ago… ) when Italian TV would play his films in prime time (I know.. weird.. bey it was the 70s after all). When I was 5 or 6 I used to love him, despite my mom complaining about his screechy voice… (yes even in his dubbed version he sounded screechy) and even though the singing bits bored me to death, I couldn’t get enough of him. Today my son and I ventured into this one, which I don’t think I had ever seen (He chose it among the full collection we have).

I recognise Jerry Lewis has a bit of a marmite effect on people, but beyond the over-the-top acting (or reacting), that high pitch voice and some pretty dodgy films, there’s no denying that when he’s at the top of his game, he’s up there among the best comedians who ever lived. This film contains just a couple of “golden moments”: a scene where he plays along to some music from a radio with invisible drums and various other instruments (which he did better in one-off his TV sketches) and his dance entrance to the Ball.Cinderfella has actually a rather lavish production design, but unfortunately the large sets and the sumptuous exterior locations can’t make up for the paper-thin story (Cinderella with reverse-sexes) , some over-indulgent jokes (most of which go on for way too long) and the extended time-fillers of people walking in wide shots from one side of the screen to the other.

The film does’t feel like it has enough in it to fill its mere 90 minutes and crowbars in some pretty lousy musical bits. One thing is sure: Jerry Lewis is no Dean Martin when it comes to singing and he should have probably sticked to crazy dancing.

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