The Ladies Man

Wednesday, July 27 at 7:30 PM — The Auditorium at NEIU — 3701 W Bryn Mawr Ave
Tickets: $10 at the door

July 27 - Ladies Man

Directed by Jerry Lewis • 1961
Some may find it a bit presumptuous that a comedian best known for screeching babytalk cadences and falling on his ass in every scene could lay claim to the honorific “The Total FilmMaker,” but how else to describe the writer/director/producer/star behind a film as formally audacious, technically rigorous, and purely cinematic as Jerry Lewis’s The Ladies Man? Like so many of the movies Lewis directed at the height of his stardom, The Ladies Man has only the scantiest of plots: 35-year-old Herbert Herbert Heebert, excited to enter the world of adulthood after graduating top of his (junior) college class, swears off women forever when he finds out his girlfriend has been unfaithful. Now a committed bachelor, Herbert takes what seems like the perfect job, live-in help at a boarding house run by a pair of kindly older matrons, only to quickly realize he’ll be living alongside the worst thing imaginable: scores of gorgeous young ladies! Lewis dispenses with anything like a character arc for Herbert after the first reel, shooting the remainder of the film as a series of physical comedy set-pieces and elaborate musical production numbers that’ll see the implacably gynophobic Herbert ruining a live television broadcast, tangoing (literally) with George Raft, and facing unknowable horrors inside the house’s forbidden room, all on one of the greatest sets ever constructed in Hollywood: a life-sized dollhouse completely shorn of its fourth wall. (CW)
106 min • Paramount Pictures • 35mm from Chicago Film Society collections, permission Swank
Preceded by: “The Big Bounce” (Jerry Fairbanks, 1960) – 15 min – 35mm

NEXT UP: Menace II Society on Mon 8/1 at 7:00 PM @ Music Box