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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Comedy > Biography > Filmmaking > Performing > Show Business > Method To The Madness Of Jerry Lewis (2011/Encore/Anchor Bay DVD)

Method To The Madness Of Jerry Lewis (2011/Encore/Anchor Bay DVD)

 

Picture: C+†††† Sound: C+†††† Extras: D†††† Documentary: B

 

 

In the United States, Jerry Lewis is usually thought of as the longtime representative of raising money for Muscular Dystrophy until very recently when he parted ways with the organization he made a fortune for and a success out of.He is also known as a comedian, but too few actually know the man, the artist and his incredible successes.Gregg Barsonís Method To The Madness Of Jerry Lewis (2011) is a long overdue documentary look at the survivor and his landmark career.

 

With a father in show business, Lewis became interested in the same and decided he could become a comic performer.That was 80 years ago!After some success, he paired up with the singer Dean Martin and as a duo, they became the biggest such success since Abbott & Costello with hit movies, a hit TV show, hit tours, radio show, a comic book and much more.A massive success, their chemistry was like no other, so after many years, Lewis shocked the industry when he decided he was leaving and they broke up, not to speak with each other for years.

 

Many wondered if Martin would succeed on his own, but he did and he thrived, as did Lewis, who became a solo star and film director, continuing at Paramount Pictures and making them another fortune.Though not taken seriously in the U.S., his films were considered more artistic in countries like France where they understood his deconstructionist approach and Lewis tried other ventures, including launching a family-friendly movie chain that did not work out.

 

But his work and brand of comedy was something we had never seen before, he was hilarious, clever, outrageous, subversive and broke al the rules to that time.In the nearly 2 hours here, some of the biggest names in show business get specific about his work, influences, greatest moments and much more.Lewis is interviewed throughout being very candid and having more to say than even fans might expect.This also becomes a character study of the industry itself and what it is to be a great performer, so if you are serious about comedy, entertainment and want to see and hear about some things you definitely have not before, this is a must-see show.

 

 

The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image is a mix of new HD footage with 35mm film clips, older film clips, analog video, kinescope footage and still that are edited together very well and make for solid viewing, but that also makes the quality mixed, especially in lower def DVD.Still, it is always fun to watch.The lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 is the same with a mix of new stereo audio, old stereo audio and many degrees of monophonic audio, so the makers just spread the sound around as much as possible.That is fine for what it is and expected for such a documentary.There are no extras.

 

 

-†† Nicholas Sheffo


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