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Jerry Lewis: The Man Behind the Clown (2016)

TV Movie | 61 min | Documentary, Biography, Comedy

Since the early days, Jerry Lewis - in the line of Chaplin, Keaton and Laurel - had the masses laughing with his visual gags, pantomime sketches and signature slapstick humor. Yet Lewis was far more than just a clown. He was also a ...See moreSince the early days, Jerry Lewis - in the line of Chaplin, Keaton and Laurel - had the masses laughing with his visual gags, pantomime sketches and signature slapstick humor. Yet Lewis was far more than just a clown. He was also a groundbreaking filmmaker whose unquenchable curiosity led him to write, produce, stage and direct many of the films he appeared in, resulting in such adored classics as The Bellboy, The Ladies Man, The Errand Boy, and The Nutty Professor. By becoming a "total filmmaker," Lewis surpassed expectations as a comic performer and emerged as a driving force in Hollywood. He broke boundaries with his technical innovations, unique voice and keen visual eye, even garnering respect and praise overseas. However, American critics and the cultural elite tended to reject his abrasive art. While they viewed Lewis as nothing more than just a clown, others like the French recognized him as a true auteur, giving rise to questions that have perplexed American pop culture for over 50 years: Why do Europeans love Jerry Lewis? What is this inexplicable aversion Americans have towards him? Is he just a brash, anything-for-yuk buffoon? Or is he a creative genius? Who is the man behind the clown? See less
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Updated Jan 6, 2017

Release date
Sep 2, 2016 (United States)

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Cast

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22 cast members
Name STARmeter Known for
Jerry Lewis
Himself Himself   See fewer
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Martin Scorsese
Himself Himself   See fewer
Top 500
Sean Hayes
Himself Himself   See fewer
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Pierre Étaix
Himself Himself   See fewer
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Jean-Luc Godard
Himself (archive footage) Himself (archive footage)   See fewer
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Louis Malle
Himself (archive footage) Himself (archive footage)   See fewer
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Robert Benayoun
Himself (archive footage) Himself (archive footage)   See fewer
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Frank Krutnik
Himself Himself   See fewer
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Shaun Micallef
Himself Himself   See fewer
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Ted Okuda
Himself / Film Critic Himself / Film Critic   See fewer
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Mike Brant
Himself (archive footage) Himself (archive footage)   See fewer
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Dick Cavett
Himself (archive footage) Himself (archive footage)   See fewer
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Charles Chaplin
Himself (archive footage) Himself (archive footage)   See fewer
Top 5000
Sammy Davis Jr.
Himself (archive footage) Himself (archive footage)   See fewer
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Rae Beth Gordon
Herself / Author 'Why the French Love Jerry Lewis' Herself / Author 'Why the French Love Jerry Lewis'   See fewer
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Irving Kaye
Himself (archive footage) Himself (archive footage)   See fewer
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Michel Legrand
Himself (archive footage) Himself (archive footage)   See fewer
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Dean Martin
Himself (archive footage) Himself (archive footage)   See fewer
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Sammy Petrillo
Himself / Lookalike Jerry Lewis (archive footage) Himself / Lookalike Jerry Lewis (archive footage)   See fewer
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Frank Tashlin
Himself (archive footage) Himself (archive footage)   See fewer
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Ratings Breakdown

8.7 / 10 | 448 votes