powered by AFI
An accident-prone bellboy's resemblance to Jerry Lewis causes rampant confusion.
At the luxurious Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida, guests are pampered by a large, well-trained staff. The hotel's precision is occasionally marred, however, by Stanley, an earnest but clumsy bellboy. Stanley, who never speaks, is instructed one day to remove everything from a car trunk belonging to two newly arrived guests. Because the car is a Volkswagen Bug, the engine, not the luggage, is in the trunk, and Stanley lugs the greasy machinery up to the startled guests. Soon after, desperate dieter Mrs. Hartung arrives, and hotel manager Ben Novak urges her not to eat candy so that she can lose weight. At the end of two weeks, the miraculously slim Mrs. Hartung prepares to depart, but her diet is foiled when Stanley gives her a goodbye present of a box of chocolates. Upon consuming the entire box, Mrs. Hartung regains all the weight she had lost. Another day, bell captain Bob Clayton, hoping to keep Stanley out of trouble, orders him alone to set up folding chairs in the immense ballroom for movie night. Chuckling over Stanley's impossible task, Bob shares the joke with fellow bell captain Art Stanley, but when they check on Stanley's progress, they discover that he has arranged thousands of chairs in only a few minutes. Later, the staff eagerly anticipate the arrival of movie star Jerry Lewis, who will be entertaining in the hotel's nightclub. Everyone gawks as Jerry and his huge entourage emerge from a single limo, then crowd in as Jerry informs Novak that he needs some space. Soon the bell staff are amazed by the resemblance between Jerry and Stanley and wonder if Stanley is a "Lamont Cranston" who can change identities. Entertainer Milton Berle, who is also staying at the Fontainebleau, is baffled by the uncanny resemblance, but, unable to explain it to Jerry, staggers off. Jerry is himself flabbergasted when a bellboy who looks just like Milton then hands him a message. Later, Stanley attempts to walk a huge pack of dogs belonging to guests, but as soon as he goes outside, the animals bolt. Unable to get his pals, bellboys Eddie, Herkie, Sonny and Dave, to help, Stanley joins them for an afternoon at the local dog racing park. When the race is about to start, however, the four men wonder where their wayward friend has disappeared to and are disappointed that the first race is canceled. Unknown to them, Stanley has rounded up all of the greyhounds for a walk. Back at the hotel, Bob telephones frantically, looking for Stanley, and when one staff member asks which Stanley, Bob retorts, "the only Stanley in the world." Much to Bob's amazement, a Stan Laurel impersonator then saunters by and attempts to help. Later, when Bob has to leave the bell desk, he asks Stanley to cover for him, but upon his return, discovers that the constantly ringing phones have driven the bellboy into a frenzy. Stanley's struggles continue, as one day he is battered by a quarreling couple, then lunches with a group of gangsters deliberating their next "hit." Later, Novak reminds Bob that his men's behavior must be exemplary. Despite Bob's assurance that he will keep the bellboys out of "strip joints," he joins the fellows on a drunken night out, when they enjoy the performances of scantily clad dancers and a song by the comedy group The Novelites. One afternoon, as Stanley winds his way through the guests lazing by the pool, he covers a sleeping man's face with a cloth to prevent sunburn. Unfortunately, the cloth Stanley used had an open-weave pattern, and the man, television personality Mr. Sedley, winds up with bizarre marks burned into his face. Stanley has another encounter near this swimming pool later when he eats in the staff dining room. Unknown to Stanley, a window between the pool and dining room been installed so that swimming guests can observe the staff. Perturbed by the swimmers' jibes, Stanley is further unsettled when the Laurel impersonator, fully clothed, walks along the bottom of the pool. Stanley's ensuing misadventures include being baffled by a guest loudly eating an invisible apple, mutilating a clay bust in an art exhibition and overpressing another guest's trousers until they resemble a plank of wood. One afternoon, Stanley learns that famed golfer Cary Middlecoff is playing in a tournament nearby. Stanley goes to the course and stands in the audience to observe the final hole, which will decide who will qualify for the $25,000 playoff. Just as Middlecoff is about to putt, Stanley, who is adjusting his camera, sets off a flash bulb and the golfer misses his shot. Stanley gets into trouble again when Novak sends him to the airport to retrieve a briefcase forgotten by an airplane pilot. Upon entering the airliner's cockpit, Stanley plays with the controls and soon is flying the plane and "buzzing" the hotel. A host of emergency services race to the runway for the inevitable crash-landing, but Stanley lands safely and nonchalantly walks away, whistling. Later, bell captain Nixon informs Bob that the bellboys are holding a meeting and Bob, fearing a strike, summons Novak. At the meeting, Stanley, fed up with the bickering, slams his hands down on the table. Before he can say anything, however, Novak storms in and accuses the innocent Stanley of being the ringleader. After Novak rebukes Stanley for his ingratitude and finally asks if he can talk, Stanley calmly replies that he can. When the astonished Novak then questions Stanley why no one has ever heard speak him before, Stanley states, "Because no one ever asked me."
Cast & Crew
|MPAA Ratings:||Premiere Info:||Los Angeles opening: 6 Jul 1960; New York opening: 20 Jul 1960|
|Release Date:||1960||Production Date:||
AFI; AFI-DVD; EB
EB has new DVD w/Lewis' commentary
|Color/B&W:||Black and White||Distributions Co:||Paramount Pictures Corp.|
|Sound:||Mono (Westrex Recording System)||Production Co:||Paramount Pictures Corp., Jerry Lewis Pictures Corp.|
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