Tuesday, July 23, 2013

a never-again-duplicated.....dynamic between Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis that made their partnership magic

Hey pallies, likes we are fastly fastly approachin' two of the mostest of the most important dates in all of Dino-history...likes tomorrow, July 24 is the date in 1956 that the amazin' duo of Martin and Lewis broke the ties that bound 'em and ended their decade long comedic reign.   And, likes on July 25 we honour the date in 1946 that our most beloved Dino and Mr. Lewis  officially began their partnership.

 Likes today on the eve of these huge huge Dino-remembrances, we turn to the blog, "Thrilling Days Of Yesteryear" where blogger Ivan G. Shreve Jr. has scribed some dynamic devotion to our Dino and Jerry tagged, "Dynamic Duos in Classic Film Blogathon - Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis."  Likes usin' a variety of pixs and prose, Shreve does likes a joyous job of sharin' the fabulous film career that our Dino and Jerry shared in their 16---count 'em---16 big screen successes.  And, in addition, Mr. Shreve gives us an overview of Martin & Lewis's other amazin' efforts as well....radio, television, and night clubs.

ilovedinomartin salutes Mr. Ivan G. Shreve Jr. and all the pallies at "Thrilling Days Of Yesteryear for this excellent prose of the greatest comedic team in all of history.  Thanks for a great post helpin' us lead up to our honorin' of the humble beginnin's of Martin and Lewis and the sad endin's as well.  To checks this out in it's original format, simply clicks on the tag of this here Dino-gram.  Dino-always, ever, and only, DMP

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Dynamic Duos in Classic Film Blogathon – Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis: Together Both

The following is Thrilling Days of Yesteryear’s contribution to theDynamic Duos in Classic Film Blogathonhosted by Once upon a Screen and the Classic Movie Hub July 13-14.  For a complete list of the blogs participating and the personalities covered, click here.

In 1976, viewers who tuned into the annual MDA Labor Day Telethon got an unexpected surprise: twenty years after their acrimonious split, host Jerry Lewis was reunited with his former partner, actor-singer Dean Martin, when Martin’s fellow Rat Packer Francis Albert Sinatra brought him onto the show.  It was a big deal for fans of the duo, and it was a big deal for a thirteen-year-old kid who had become a belated fan by watching their classic movies in just about any venue that offered them (mostly TV at that time).

There are a good number of people who revere Jerry Lewis.  They are James Neibaur and the entire nation of France.  The rest find it difficult to tolerate the man’s excesses, though I have always been on record as saying that I don’t mind some of Lewis’ solo vehicles.  I gravitate mostly to the ones directed by Frank Tashlin—like Rock-a-Bye Baby(1958) and my personal favorite, It’$ Only Money (1962)—but I certainly wouldn’t object to an official DVD release of an underrated comedy, Don’t Give Up the Ship (1959).  My greatest love for Jerry Lewis was when for a decade—1946 through 1956—he partnered with Dean Martin and made some very funny movie comedies…not to mention some hilarious TV programs and occasionally a rib-tickling radio broadcast or two.

The duo who would eventually rocket to movie stardom in 1950—replacing Bud Abbott & Lou Costello as Hollywood’s top box-office comedy team—had their first encounter in 1945 at a club called The Glass Hat, where Dean sang and Jerry was emcee. They crossed paths again a year later (July 25, 1946), officially teaming up at Atlantic City’s 500 Club when Lewis suggested to the owner that he allow Martin to perform in place of the scheduled singer (who was unable to go on).  The two men had put together an act that went over like an epidemic of smallpox…and club owner Skinny D’Amato put the team on notice that if things didn’t improve by the second show they’d be looking elsewhere for work.

Dean and Jerry decided to “go for broke.”  While Dean was performing, Jerry came out dressed as a busboy and wreaked havoc during Martin’s performance—dropping an entire tray of dishes during one of his numbers.  They dug old vaudeville jokes out of their memory, performed slapstick and engaged in a spirited exchange of insults.  The audience ate it up.  Martin and Lewis became an “overnight success,” and took their new act from club to club until it was estimated they were pulling down close to $15,000 weekly in 1948 alone.

Though Martin & Lewis had a good deal of name recognition in the industry, they were still an unknown quantity to the general public—this would soon change. They were among the featured performers of Ed Sullivan’s premiere Toast of the Town telecast in 1948, and they made a well-received radio appearance on an October 26, 1948 Bob Hope Show that prompted NBC to offer them a contract. An audition recorded was produced on December 21, 1948, and that program (with guest Lucille Ball), edited to a half-hour, became the April 3, 1949 premiere broadcast of The Martin & Lewis Show.

Dean and Jerry’s zany antics didn’t translate to radio too well.  The network was spending $10,000 a week and luring big-name guest stars—John Garfield, Henry Fonda, Burt Lancaster, Jane Russell—but audiences were lukewarm to the show, and it soon came to a close on January 30, 1950.  The future fan base of Martin and Lewis would become more acquainted with the team from movies and television—the duo were frequent hosts of NBC-TV’s The Colgate Comedy Hour, said by many to be the only medium that was really able to come close to capturing the spontaneity of their nightclub act (and surviving kinescopes demonstrate that Dean and Jer really had a ball on live TV).  When the team’s movies made them big box-office attractions, NBC had another go at a radio program with them beginning on October 5, 1951 for a two-year run.  Curiously, NBC chose to play up Martin’s role more than that of his partner's, renaming the series The Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis Show and introducing the crooner as the “master of ceremonies.”  Jerry would then make his “late” appearance shortly after Dean’s opening number. This version, still packed with top guest stars, ultimately folded its tent July 14, 1953.

While the duo were working on the first incarnation of their radio show, Paramount signed them to be the “comedy relief” in a picture based on a radio sitcom—My Friend Irma.  The 1949 film, which both men plugged on their radio broadcast, featured Marie Wilson as the titular pal from the radio hit that had been running on CBS since 1947.  The studio recast the role of Irma’s best bud Jane Stacy (played by Cathy Lewis on radio) with contractee Diana Lynn, and the part of Irma’s ne’er-do-well boyfriend Al (so memorably essayed over the ether by the great John Brown) went to another studio player, John Lund.  In fact, the only two performers who—along with Wilson—transitioned to the film version were Gloria Gordon (seen briefly as landlady Mrs. O’Reilly) and Hans Conried as Professor Kropotkin, the girls’ upstairs neighbor.  (Conried only got to play the part after the originally-cast Felix Bressart died during production.)  The film also featured Don DeFore (as the show’s Richard Rhinelander III), Kathryn Givney and Percy Helton (as Irma’s employer, Mr. Clyde—played by Alan Reed on the radio show but to be honest, I like Helton in the part).

My Friend Irma’s plot—concocted by the show’s creator, Cy Howard, and its chief scribe, Parke Levy—finds Jane angling to become the new secretary to Mr. Rhinelander because the gal’s got matrimony with a wealthy man on her mind.  (I’ve always believed that Paramount cast Lynn in this part to make the character seem a little less like a gold-digger.)  But Ms. Stacy falls for Steve Laird (Dean), an aspiring crooner (whom Al agrees to manage) but for now a drone at an orange juice stand along with his sidekick Seymour (Jerry).   Various misunderstandings and complications arise—instigated by Irma, the original “dumb blonde”—before Jane realizes that she needs to marry for love and not loot.  (Even then, the film’s closing gag keeps the two of them from tying the knot and living happily ever after.)

Not many people outside of old-time radio buffs remember My Friend Irma, so if it weren’t for the presence of Martin and Lewis it’s a sure bet the movie would be forgotten today.  There’s no denying that the duo are the major drawing card, though their hi-jinks are forced to take a back seat to the Irma-Jane action (only emerging when they recreate some of their nightclub act by performing Just for Fun).  Interestingly, the studio had originally wanted Jerry to play boyfriend Al, but they changed their minds and created the Seymour character to match his familiar persona.  (As much as I dislike Lund as Al—and I do, unquestionably—having Lewis play the part would be the textbook definition of bizarre.)  The success of the film led to a follow-up (the only sequel the team ever made), My Friend Irma Goes West(1950). 

West pretty much picks up where the first film left off, with Martin’s Laird still trying to succeed in show business and having little luck.  An appearance on a TV program (where Steve, Seymour and Al are paid off in spaghetti) attracts the attention of movie producer C.Y. Sanford (Charles Evans), who signs Steve to a movie contract…prompting the cast to go west, young man, go west by train.  Unfortunately, Mr. Sanford is a little funny in the head (he’s an escaped mental patient) and the journey to Hollywood is going to wind up in eventual heartbreak.  There are a few subplots, including a French starlet (played by French starlet Corinne Calvet) who’s got it bad for Steve—much to Jane’s annoyance—and a gang of racketeers (led by Lloyd Corrigan) who wind up taking Irma hostage towards the end of the movie…and soon learn why she’s been a source of aggravation to both her roommate and boyfriend all these years.

With the Irma movies under its belt, Hollywood was ready for the first starring feature for Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis.  It would come in the form of At War with the Army (1950), which was actually filmed before West but not released until December of that year (West was released in May).  The movie was made by independent producer Fred Finklehoffe and released by Paramount; Martin and Lewis had obtained in their Paramount contract an option to make one film a year outside the studio under the banner of their company, York Productions.  Not long after the release of the movie, the team found themselves embroiled in a messy legal battle (involving their salary payoff with the film) that ended only when they relinquished all financial interest in Army…and in exchange, they didn’t have to make any more “outside” pictures.  At War with the Army slipped into the public domain back in the 1970s, and for that reason it’s probably more accessible (on home video) than Dean and Jer’s other films.

Their first service comedy finds them at odds with one another: they’re childhood pals but Dean’s Vic Puccinella now outranks Alvin Korwin (Jerry)—Vic’s a sergeant, Alvin a lowly private.  The film was adapted from a stage play by James Allardice, and never moves beyond its theatrical origins; there’s not a lot of real “plot,” mostly a series of vignettes.   The movie’s credits include an “introduction” to Polly Bergen (who would later appear with the team in That’s My Boy and The Stooge) though she had made appearances (as a vocalist) in a couple of earlier vehicles—but it is the first film for Danny Dayton (as the supply sergeant) and Mike Kellin (as Sergeant McVey, Jerry’s nemesis), who reprised his stage role along with Kenneth Forbes.

Army and a 1951 Paramount release,That’s My Boy, essentially established Dean and Jerry as the number one movie comedy team in the nation.  Watching That’s My Boy today…it’s a little hard to figure out why this was the case.  Cy Howard, the man behind My Friend Irma, scripted the movie—which casts Jerry as the milquetoast son of a college football legend (Eddie Mayehoff, in the first of three movies he would make with Dean and Jer) who attends his pa’s alma mater and is unable to follow in his dad’s footsteps.  Mayehoff is paying Dean’s way through school (Dean is a hot football prospect, destined to become All-American) and Eddie wants in return is for Dean to help son Jerry make something of himself on the gridiron.  It probably played funny with audiences back in in the time of its original release…but it hasn’t aged well—it’s more maudlin than tee-hee.

The team’s following feature more than made up for the excesses of That’s My Boy:Sailor Beware (1952), their second service comedy, has always been one of my favorites (and in fact, depending on what day of the week you ask, I’ll probably name it as my all-time fave).  This time Dean and Jerry cut loose in the Navy (in fact, the working title was At Sea with the Navy), with Jerry the luckless boob whose romantical prospects with a frosty cabaret singer (Corinne Calvet) are the focus of a king-sized bet in his platoon (Jerry must receive a kiss from Corinne, who has a reputation of spurning all sailors), instituted by bullying sergeant Robert Strauss.

Sailor Beware was based on a 1933 play written by Kenyon Nicholson (and Charles Robinson) that had been previously filmed as The Fleet’s In (1942)—the film that provided Betty Hutton with one of her breakthrough roles…so it’s kind of Kismet that she has a cameo in Sailor (as “Hetty Button”).  But Martin and Lewis really made the remake their own, including such classic routines as the Army induction scenes (Jerry, who’s already donated at a blood bank, stymies the medicos when they attempt to take a blood sample and get nothing but water) and a riotously funny boxing sequence that’s similar to the one in Abbott & Costello’s Buck Privates (1941).  (You might recognize James Dean as one of the hangers-on in the locker room.)

I have a soft spot for Sailor Beware because it was the film that introduced me to the reality that all those old movies I had been watching on TV actually had a first life in theaters; I learned this when I saw Beware on ABC’s Monday Night Movie and was flummoxed at how my father, who was watching it with me, was able to predict what would happen next.  (He came clean and told me he saw the film when he was in the service.)  Beware was directed by Hal Walker, who had also directed At War with the Army, and was co-scripted by Army’soriginal playwright, James Allardice.

The team’s final service comedy, Jumping Jacks, was also released in 1952—Jerry’s the former stage partner of Dean, who’s enlisted in the Army in hopes of joining the paratroopers, and in helping out his bud with an Army show finds himself dragooned into masquerading as a private (Richard Erdman) when the production is enthusiastically thumbed-up by general Ray Teal.  Not quite as good as Sailor Beware (but better than At War with the Army), Jacks is a moderately amusing comedy that brings back Robert Strauss as Dean and Jer’s commanding officer (interestingly, he likes Jerry despite the fact Jer’s a screw-up) and Don DeFore as one of Dean’s fellow soldiers.  The movie was originally scripted by Robert Lees and Fred Rinaldo back in the 1940s (it was offered to Bob Hope and Danny Kaye; both turned it down) which explains why it feels more like an Abbott & Costello knock-off (particularly the last part of the movie, where the war games sequence is very much like the one in Buck Privates).

Martin and Lewis decided to break the formulaic pattern of their films in 1953 with The Stooge.  In this comedy-drama, crooner Dean severs ties with his vaudeville partner (Richard Erdman) to try going it alone as a solo act…but soon finds he’s as welcome as a proctology exam as far as audiences are concerned.  His agent, played by Eddie Mayehoff, suggests he find a “stooge” for his act—a guy who’ll be on the receiving end of his comic abuse, and that of course will be Master Jerome Lewis.  Lewis makes the act a hit, though Martin seems unable to admit this (refusing to give his partner credit)…even causing friction between his beloved, played by Polly Bergen.  The Stoogewas named as Lewis’ favorite among the vehicles he made with his partner…though personally I’m not a huge fan of the film; it was actually filmed in 1951 but withheld by Paramount for two years because of their concern at Dean’s character being an unlikable jerk.

That same year saw the release of The Caddy, another oddball comedy-drama with Jerry as the titular club carrier; he has an aptitude for the game but also has a phobia about playing in front of crowds so he teaches the game to Dean…who becomes a champion but also un dickhead formidable, treating Jerry like a commoner among his new high society friends (including would-be girlfriend Donna Reed).  In the course of the film, Dean and Jerry’s characters find they’re more suited as nightclub performers than duffers—the odd denouement of this one finds them coming face to face with the real Martin and Lewis!

Leonard Maltin rated The Caddy in his Classic Movie Guide one-and-a-half stars; I don’t think it’s as terrible as all that (though the X-rated audio outtakes of the trailer they made to promote the film are funnier) but it does seem as though Paramount cobbled this together just so they could include golf legends Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Byron Nelson, and Julius Boros.   The Caddy is probably remembered best as the film in which Dean sings That’s Amore—which became one of the crooner’s signature tunes and also an Academy Award nominee for Best Original Song (it lost to Secret Love from Calamity Jane).

A Martin and Lewis film released that same year (a New Year’s Eve premiere; the film went into general release in February of 1954) that doesn’t hold up as well as it once did isMoney from Home—the team’s first Technicolor film (though not their first color film appearance—that was a cameo in the Bing Crosby-Bob Hope romp Road to Rio) and only movie released in 3-D.  Dean and Jer do Damon Runyon in a tale that finds the two of them involved in gangsters and the sport of kings…with Jerry masquerading as a jockey (played by an inebriated Richard Haydn) and Dean romancing a horse owner in Marjie Miller.  I revisited this one earlier this week in preparation for the blogathon and while it was a favorite as a youngster, I kept having trouble buying Gerald Mohras a jockey (let alone Lewis) though the always-welcome Sheldon Leonard is great as the film’s heavy, gangster “Jumbo” Schneider.

Also released in 1953 wasScared Stiff, a remake of Bob Hope’s classic 1940 comedyThe Ghost Breakers, which I discussed at length in a blog post here so I’ll skip over the analysis.  Since I also didn’t get an opportunity to revisit 3 Ring Circus (1954)—the only M&L comedy not available on DVD for unspecified reasons—I’ll pass that one by, too; I saw it many years ago but I don’t want to rely on an imperfect memory (for what it’s worth, I don’t remember it being very good).

In his book Movie Comedy Teams, Leonard Maltin namedLiving It Up (1954) as his choice for the best of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis’ sixteen films together.  I have to admit that Len is right on this one; it’s a gem of a comedy based on the source material for Nothing Sacred (1937) (Living is more an adaption of the 1953 musical, Hazel Flagg)—and I know I get into trouble when I say this, but Living It Upis also a rare example of a movie outshining its original (I’m anticipating a threatening telegram from Carole & Co. any minute now).  Jerry plays the Carole Lombard role in a wacky tale of his and Dean’s (Martin plays his physician) attempts to take advantage of a New York newspaper’s offer to show Jerry the town when they mistakenly think he’s dying of radiation poisoning.

Janet Leigh plays the reporter that Fredric March essayed inSacred, and Fred Clark is at his apoplectic best as the editor (Walter Connolly inSacred) who gleefully exploits Jerry’s malady for circulation sake.  The comedy sequences in this film rank as some of the team’s best (the Yankee Stadium bit is a classic) and the ending of the film is much stronger (and more cynical) than the original.  (Though I will admit it falters momentarily when Lewis impersonates an Asian doctor, doing his “Big-Teeth” shtick.)  Living It Up also features my favorite song (from theHazel Flagg musical) from any Martin & Lewis film (as a kid, my interest would drift during the musical numbers…and in some of their films things have not changed), Every Street’s a Boulevard in Old New York.

The team continued reworking old classics with 1955’s You’re Never Too Young—a remake of The Major and the Minor(1942), though the screenplay by future potboiler novelist/I Dream of Jeannie creator Sidney Sheldon doesn’t mention Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett—only the author of the original play, Edward Childs Carpenter.  Again, I will flirt with heresy and admit that I prefer Young to Minor (the Ginger Rogers-Ray Milland film has always come across a little creepy to me—and I say this as someone who worships Wilder); Jerry continues his gender-bending by taking on the Rogers part as the adult who poses as a child in order to get a cheaper rate on train fare; he gets mixed up with a gangster (Raymond Burr) who’s just murdered a jeweler and made off with a honkin’ big diamond…so Jerry hides out at a girls’ school where Dean is an instructor (and where he suspects there’s more to Jer than meets the eye).  Actress Diana Lynn, who appeared in the first two Martin & Lewis films, also stars in Young…and she also appeared in Minorwhen it was released in 1942.  (Synchronicity!) 

I must come clean and admit that I’m not as enamored ofPardners (1956) as I once was—possibly due to my re-watching it for the blogathon.  It’s the duo’s last trip to Remake City (it’s loosely based on 1936’s Rhythm on the Range) with Dean and Jer playing dual characters in this western comedy; Wade Kingsley (Lewis) and Slim Mosely (Martin) are in a skirmish with the villainous Dan Hollis (John Baragrey), who’s attempting to take over Wade’s ranch.  The two men head out the door for a final showdown…but Wade first has to kiss his infant son goodbye, since wife Mathilda (Agnes Moorehead) is headed back East, tired of the dangers living out West.  Gunned down by Hollis, Wade and Slim hope to be avenged by their sons.

With the passage of several years, Wade, Jr. is the pampered son of the wealthy Mathilda (now a captain of industry), who begs Slim, Jr. to take him out West when Slim and Wade’s cousin Carol (Lori Nelson) come to New York to ask Mathilda about buying a prized bull for their ranch.  Wade buys “Cuddles,” and Slim agrees to become his “partner”—they head back to the woolly West and things get a bit hairy when Sam Hollis (son of Dan) continues in his father’s business by trying to take the ranch so he can sell the land to the government.  With the luck that only befalls Jerry Lewis and fools, Wade and Slim end up rounding up the bad guys…and the film ends on a bizarre note with the two men breaking the fourth wall and thanking the audience for coming to see their picture.   In revisiting this movie, I found the plot wafer thin but there are some truly funny sequences in this one—the highlight being Jerry’s humiliation of henchman Jeff Morrow in a saloon (which sort of forecasts his laterNutty Professor character, Buddy Love).

By the time this film went into production, rumors were rampant that the team was headed for splitsville; Martin had started to chafe at his straight man role, unhappy with playing colorless romantic leads…and Lewis didn’t help matters any with his insistence on concentrating on pathos as if he were a second Chaplin and focusing much of the comedy on himself.  Martin fulfilled the rest of his Paramount contract but told his partner that he was “nothing to me but a fucking dollar sign.”  On the day that Pardners was released (July 25, 1956), Martin and Lewis performed for the last time at New York's Copacabana.

Pardners would not be the last M&L film to be released, however—Hollywood or Bustreached theaters in December of 1956, though its production was rather troubled in that during filming, Dean and Jerry refused to speak to each other anytime the two of them were off the set.  (Lewis says this is the only M&L film he’s never watched.)  It’s essentially Dean and Jerry “on the road”—Dean’s a sharpie whose plans to collect on a free car given away at a movie “bank night” are stymied when Jerry turns out to have the legitimate winning ticket.  The two of them head cross country to Hollywood (Jerry has dreams of meeting actress Anita Ekberg) with Jerry’s gi-normous Great Dane, picking up lovely Patricia Crowley along the way.

Hollywood was directed by Frank Tashlin—who would later go on to direct Lewis in a number of solo vehicles including The Geisha Boy(1958) and The Disorderly Orderly (1964).  Tashlin was also at the helm of what may very well be my personal pick of the Martin-Lewis vehicles,Artists and Models (1955).  Dean’s a struggling artist who can’t hold onto a steady job thanks to sidekick Jerry—whose steady diet of reading comic books is responsible for their losing jobs, plus he keeps Dean up at night with his nightmares.  The nightmares also affect a pair of tenants that live in the team’s apartment building: Dorothy Malone, the woman who draws the character in the comic books giving Jerry nocturnal fits, and her roommate Shirley MacLaine, the secretary at the comic book company (who also poses as the character in Malone’s comic creation).

At the same time Malone is trying to distance herself from the comic book business, Dean is hired by her boss (a hilarious performance from M&L regular Eddie Mayehoff) as an artist…and he decides to use Jerry’s comic book fantasies as fodder for his creations.  Jerry’s “Vincent the Vulture” apparently has a secret rocket formula (X34 minus 5R1 plus 6-X36) that’s similar to the one being actively sought by not only U.S. agents but foreign ones as well.  Eva Gabor is a Hungarian spy who attempts to pry the secret loose from Jerry, but everything comes out in the wash at the end.  I remember seeing Artists and Models on the CBS Late Movieas a kid and doing a Tex Avery reaction at both the skimpy outfits worn by the females (a Tashlin trademark, as you know) and much of the innuendo—it’s definitely the most “adult” of the Dean and Jerry films.  But it’s also a wonderful satire of 1950s pop culture: you’ve got Cold War politics, the space race and the “Seduction of the Innocent” concerns that comic books were warping the minds of impressionable youth.

There are a lot of in-jokes in this comedy as well: references to The Honeymooners andRear Window, and a funny throwaway when Malone and MacLaine acknowledge that Martin’s character sings “a lot like that guy who had the hit with That’s Amore.”  (A song from this film, Inamorata, would also be a big pop smash for Martin as well.)  But I think what amuses me most about Artists is that despite Dean’s attitude that he was going to walk through this stuff until his contract was done, there are a number of times in the film (and in some of the later vehicles as well) where his nonchalance steals the show from his partner.  (The classic comedy sequence inArtists, where Jerry runs up and down several flights of stairs relaying messages to roommate Dean, is supposed to be Lewis’ show but Martin walks off with it in an instant with an exasperated “What did hesay?!!”)

The relationship between the duo in Artists and Models remains for me the reason why I’d much rather sit down and watch Sailor Beware or Jumping Jacks than some of Lewis’ critically-praised solo vehicles like The Bellboy (1960) and The Ladies Man(1961).  There was a never-again-duplicated dynamic between Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis that made their partnership magic (if only for a decade): Dean the older brother and authority figure, Jerry the younger bro and mischievous kid.  Losing Martin made Lewis’ solo work a little lopsided—and though Jerry tried to compensate (Darren McGavin played what was reportedly going to be Dean’s role in the first solo Lewis vehicle,The Delicate Delinquent) with great supporting players like Del Moore and Kathleen Freeman, he just wasn’t able to capture lightning in a bottle a second time.  After their reunion at the MDA Telethon in 1976, Lewis says he spoke with his former partner at least once a day after that; he attended Dean’s son’s funeral (Dean Paul Martin was killed in a plane crash) in 1987 (though he retreated to the background because he knew the paparazzi would make it a Martin-Lewis reunion) and in 1989, came on stage in Las Vegas with a birthday cake to celebrate Dino’s 72nd birthday.  “Why we broke up, I'll never know,” Jerry said after thanking his friend for all the joy he brought into the world.  It would be their last public appearance together before Martin’s death in 1995.

I’ll never know why they broke up, either.  But we have their movies, and that is the greatest gift of all.


Madison said...

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dino martin peters said...

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