Jerry Lewis: The Man Behind the Clown

Watch Jerry Lewis: The Man Behind the Clown

  • 2016
  • 1 hr 1 min
  • 7.5  (899)

Jerry Lewis: The Man Behind the Clown is a captivating documentary that explores the life and career of the beloved comedian, actor, filmmaker, and philanthropist Jerry Lewis. Directed by Gregory Monro, the film features interviews with Lewis himself, as well as with his family, friends, colleagues, and admirers, including Martin Scorsese, Sean Hayes, and more.

The documentary delves into Lewis's childhood in Newark, New Jersey, as the son of Russian-Jewish immigrants, and his early days in show business, when he teamed up with singer Dean Martin in 1946 to become one of the most popular comedy duos of all time. Monro uses archival footage and photos to illustrate Lewis and Martin's hilarious acts, which included films such as Martin and Lewis's My Friend Irma and The Caddy.

However, the film does not only focus on Lewis's career highlights, but also on his struggles and controversies. Lewis was known for his excessive behavior and his temper tantrums on set, which often caused tension between cast and crew members. He was also criticized for his treatment of women, and for his use of racially insensitive language in his earlier works.

Monro does not shy away from these topics, but he also gives Lewis the chance to explain himself and to offer his regrets. Throughout the documentary, Lewis is shown to be a complex, multidimensional figure, who had a troubled personal life, but who was also a tireless performer and a generous philanthropist. He explains how his own childhood traumas, such as a strained relationship with his mother and a painful spinal bifida surgery, influenced his work, and how he used comedy as a way to cope with his inner demons.

The film also explores Lewis's innovative work as a filmmaker, particularly his use of technology and special effects in films such as The Bellboy, The Nutty Professor, and The Ladies Man. Lewis was a pioneer in the field of video assist, which allowed him to watch and direct his own performance on camera, and he also created a system to synchronize sound and picture during editing.

Monro does an excellent job of showcasing Lewis's talent and creativity, while also giving credit to the other artists and technicians who helped him bring his vision to life. He uses clips from Lewis's films, behind-the-scenes footage, and interviews with his collaborators to illustrate his innovative techniques and his influence on the comedy genre.

Overall, Jerry Lewis: The Man Behind the Clown is a fascinating and heartfelt tribute to a true icon of American entertainment. It offers a nuanced and honest portrait of a man who brought joy and laughter to millions of people, but who also faced his share of struggles and controversies. Whether you are a longtime fan of Jerry Lewis or a newcomer to his work, this documentary will leave you with a deep appreciation for his legacy and his contributions to the world of comedy.

Jerry Lewis: The Man Behind the Clown is a 2016 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 1 minute. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.5.

Jerry Lewis: The Man Behind the Clown
Where to Watch Jerry Lewis: The Man Behind the Clown
Jerry Lewis: The Man Behind the Clown is available to watch free on Pluto TV, Vudu Free and Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Jerry Lewis: The Man Behind the Clown for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • Runtime
    1 hr 1 min
  • IMDB Rating
    7.5  (899)