17 Responses to “Steak”

  1. Christopher Says:

    the fat lady? the BAT LADY THE BAT LADY!

  2. I saw this when it first came out. It was a double feature with The Trouble With Harry. Pretty clear that Shirley was a force to be reckoned with.

  3. Absolutely! Shirley in a bat costume is pretty awe-inspiring. And Shirley in a bat costume in bondage… just wrong. So wrong it’s right.

    She’s also possibly the best leading lady Jer ever had (and he had some amazing ones — Stella Stevens comes to mind at once).

  4. She was a good match in <i.Artists and Models as she’s close to a female Jerry.

    Stella Stevesn, by contrast is Stella By Starlight

  5. Christopher Says:

    this movie really stands apart from the other Martin and Lewis films to me…Not too many comedies about the comic book industry…don’t forget Vincent the Vulture..”the GORE oozing out of his tail!”

  6. Edward Yang tipped his at to A&M at the beginning of A BRIGHTER SUMMER DAY.

  7. hat

    Blast you, moving train/crashy iPhone!

  8. I recently got to see ARTISTS AND MODELS and for me that is an all-time masterpiece, and Jerry Lewis gives one of cinema’s greatest performances.

    Tashlin was there before the 60s culture theorists – he made the best film about rock-and-roll, the best film about advertising, Artists and Models is something else, a ”trip” into the American subconscious of the 50s, which Tashlin does through comic books. The use of VistaVision is amazingly beautiful.

  9. Indeed. It’s one of his masterpieces along with Hollywood or Bust, The Disorderly Orderly, The Girl Can’t Help It and Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter.

  10. Don’t forget:


    and so on

  11. A lot of Tashlin’s cartoons were b&w and don’t get shown anymore, but there are a fair few on YouTube. I recommend this one:
    There are grace notes in even the weakest Tashlins, even The Private Navy of Sgt O’Farrell, which is mostly painful in the extreme. There are about five brilliant minutes in The Glass Bottom Boat, all crammed together about an hour in.

    Son of Paleface kind of warped my brain as a kid.

    Fiona was impressed by the idea of a female comic book artist, surely a rarity at the time the film’s set, though that’s no doubt mainly a plot contrivance rather than a statement. Dorothy Malone looks cute in her specs at her drawing board.

  12. The plot is one thing that doesn’t make a great deal of sense in ”Artists and Models” like Dorothy Malone writes comics for the money and then she becomes part of the anti-comics committee and it’s never really clarified. It’s very much in the style Von Ellstein warned against in The Bad and the Beautiful, “I can make this scene a climax, I can make every scene a climax” and that’s Tashlin in that film, yet thanks to Martin and Lewis, it works brilliantly. The film has a very dreamlike feel, as if the whole thing is taking place in the Jerry Lewis character’s imagination and the visual design is up for that, with Dean Martin making his ravings into bestselllers and the Cold War morons targetting him for death.

  13. Small wonder it influenced Jacques Rivette’s ”Celine and Julie Go Boating”…

  14. JLG was very enthusiastic about it also. It’s never explained how Lewis manages to dream government secrets, and the thriller plot crashes into the film after more than an hour, just to provide a climax which doesn’t settle anything apart from the romances. The comic book debate is entirely forgotten. I do like how the censors are as ridiculous as the comic book pros, and the prophetic way the sleazy publisher is called Murdoch (a favourite name of Tashlin’s, along with Schmidlap).

  15. It has the feel of a live-action MAD issue and yet what makes it so universal is the way the film is structured around the fact that almost everyone in the film is out to exploit Jerry Lewis who is essentially an innocent man-child. I think it’s Tashlin’s best, of the ones I’ve seen so far. It has an aesthetic achievement that’s singular.

  16. > dream government secrets

    That twist showed up again, later, in Philip K. Dick’s novel “The Zap Gun.”

  17. That’s a fascinating connection. While I doubt Tashlin knew Dick’s work, I somehow feel sure Dick saw some Jerry Lewis movies…

    It’s true, Arthur, everyone in the movie has secret designs on Jer, even Shirley MacLaine (nicely cast as a new age nut!) and despite having been supposedly perverted by comic books, he’s the only innocent.

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