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Thursday, November 9, 2006

Martin & Lewis Collection, Vol. 1

Posted on Thu, Nov 9, 2006 at 4:00 AM

Martin & Lewis Collection, Vol. 1
Studio: Paramount
WorkNameSort: Martin & Lewis Collection, Vol. 1
These films aren't nearly as artistically or comically inspired as the ones Lewis would later write and direct for himself, but each of the eight entries in The Martin & Lewis Collection Vol. 1 has its moments of genius. The suave ladies' man Martin is always the foil to Lewis' gangly, inept social outcast, who embarrasses his partner in the Army (Jumping Jacks), the Navy (Sailor Beware), posh country clubs (The Caddy), the college football field (That's My Boy), nightclubs (My Friend Irma and The Stooge) and so forth. To compensate, the various writers and directors inevitably provide Martin with ample opportunities to croon a few numbers, whether it's relevant to the plot or not. The humor of these pictures can be dated, but Lewis' madcap physicality, spastic gesticulations and unending cache of voice impersonations predate Robin Williams by decades. What's most bold about these films, though, is the homoerotic subtext in nearly all of them, most blatantly in The Caddy.

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