“Rock-a-Bye” helps Jerry Lewis become a singer

24 03 2011

From Dean and Me, by Jerry Lewis (2005)

Back in July, as things were winding to a close with us, Dean turned down the lead in Warner Brothers’ movie version of “The Pajama Game.” We didn’t speak about it—we weren’t speaking about anything at the time. . . .

Regardless of the press, I was panicked: I felt incredibly alone and desperate. The fact that everyone around me seemed sure that I’d land on my feet made things worse. I didn’t know what the fuck I was going to do. Read the rest of this entry »

Jerry Lewis in the “Jazz Singer”

12 04 2010

From “Life with Father” by Krin Grabbard (in Enfant Terrible!: Jerry Lewis in American Film By Murray Pomerance)

The narrative of father-son tension was undoubtedly what attracted Lewis to the original Jazz Singer. As in all versions, Lewis’s rendering of the story does not confront anti-Semitism. The only problem remaining to face a Jewish entertainer is opposition from is father, thus placing even more weight on the oedipal narrative. But in Lewis’s version, little else remains from the original or even from the various remakes. Read the rest of this entry »