Jerry Lewis Movies

Jerry Lewis has been making movies for the last 66 years

Jerry Lewis made movies for almost 70 years

Want to know the best Jerry Lewis movies?  How about the worst Jerry Lewis movies?  Curious about Jerry Lewis box office grosses or which Jerry Lewis movie picked up the most Oscar nominations? Need to know which Jerry Lewis movie got the best reviews from critics and audiences and which got the worst reviews? Well you have come to the right place….because we have all of that information.

“I get paid for what most kids get punished for.” –  Jerry Lewis

My wife strongly dislikes Adam Sandler‘s “man-child” movies….our boys, however loved those Sandler movies.  As I was researching this page, I started to think that years ago the exact same thing must have been happening when the newest Jerry Lewis (1926-2017) movie came out.  The moms of the world were probably rolling their eyes in disgust as they purchased their children movie tickets to see Lewis in action.  The desire of kids to see Jerry’s latest movie was stronger than the moms’ reluctance as his movies have grossed over $3.4 billion dollars when looking at adjusted domestic box office grosses and made him one of the biggest stars making movies from 1949 to 1965.  So when I was looking at my Request Hotline page…I figured it was time to do Søren‘s request and write an Ultimate Movie Ranking page on Jerry Lewis.

His IMDb page shows 74 acting credits, 22 directing credits, 19 producing credits and 17 writing credits from 1949-2016. This page will rank 47 Jerry Lewis movies from Best to Worst in six different sortable columns of information.  Television appearances, cameos and movies not released in North America were not included in the rankings.

Jerry Lewis in 1963' The Nutty Professor

Jerry Lewis in 1963′ The Nutty Professor

Jerry Lewis Movies Can Be Ranked 6 Ways In This Table

The really cool thing about this table is that it is “user-sortable”. Rank the movies anyway you want.

  • Sort Jerry Lewis movies by co-stars of his movies.
  • Sort Jerry Lewis movies by adjusted domestic box office grosses using current movie ticket cost
  • Sort Jerry Lewis movies by yearly domestic box office rank
  • Sort Jerry Lewis movies how they were received by critics and audiences.  60% rating or higher should indicate a good movie.
  • Sort by how many Oscar® nominations and many Oscar® wins each Jerry Lewis movie received and
  • Sort Jerry Lewis movies by Ultimate Movie Rankings (UMR) Score.  UMR Score puts box office, reviews and awards into a mathematical equation and gives each movie a score.
  • Use the search and sort button to make this page very interactive. For example type “Martin” in the search box and up pop the 16 movies that Dean Martin and Lewis made together.

Stats and Possibly Interesting Things From The Above Jerry Lewis Table

  1. Twenty-five Jerry Lewis movies crossed the magical $100 million domestic gross mark.  That is a percentage of 53.19% of his movies listed. Living It Up (1954) was his biggest box office ht when looking at adjusted domestic box office gross.
  2. An average Jerry Lewis movie grosses $101.00 million in adjusted box office gross.
  3. Using RottenTomatoes.com’s 60% fresh meter.  28 of Jerry Lewis’ movies are rated as good movies…or 59.57% of their movies. The King of Comedy (1983) is his highest rated movie while Hardly Working (1980) was his lowest rated movie.
  4. Two Jerry Lewis movie received at least one Oscar® nomination in any category…..or 4.25% of his movies.
  5. Zero Jerry Lewis movie won at least one Oscar® in any category…..or 0.00% of his movies.
  6. An average Ultimate Movie Ranking  (UMR) Score is 40.00.  31 Jerry Lewis movies scored higher than that average….or 65.95% of his movies. Living It Up (1954) got the the highest UMR Score while Which Way to the Front? (1970) got the lowest UMR Score.
Jerry Lewis in 1983's The King of Comedy...a role that should have gotten at an Oscar nomination

Jerry Lewis in 1983’s The King of Comedy…a role that should have gotten at an Oscar nomination

Possibly Interesting Facts About Jerry Lewis

1. Joseph Levitch was born in Newark, New Jersey in 1928.  He started using the name Joey Lewis when he started performing.  Dropped “Joey” and picked “Jerry” to avoid confusion with comedy Joe E. Brown and boxer Joe Lewis.

2. The big break of Jerry Lewis’ career was when he met singer, Dean Martin, in 1946. Their partnership went from night clubs to radio appearances to an Ed Sullivan television appearance to movies in about 2 and half years.  They would make a total of 17 movies (that includes one cameo) together from 1949 to 1956.  Everyone of their movies was a box office hit….16 for 16 …you can not get better than that.

3.  Jerry Lewis was a Top Ten Box Office Star 12 years.  With Dean Martin…they were ranked 2nd in 1951, 1st in 1952, 2nd in 1953, 2nd in 1954, 7th in 1955 and 6th in 1956.  Without Martin he was ranked 9th in 1957, 3rd in 1958, 9th in 1959, 7th in 1961, 7th in 1962 and 10th in 1963.

4.  Jerry Lewis was honored for his contribution and development of the first “Video Assist” for the motion picture camera in 1966. This allowed him to view his performance while directing himself in his films. This is used extensively today in filmmaking, known as “Video Village.”

5. Jerry Lewis is beloved in France.  He was presented the French Legion of Honor in 1984. Twice voted Best Foreign Director by the French film critics.  In 2009, Jerry Lewis received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.  His honorary Oscar® speech is in a You Tube video at the bottom of the page.

6.  Jerry Lewis taught a film directing class at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles for a number of years; his students included Steven Spielberg and George Lucas.

7.  Jerry Lewis hosted the annual Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon, from 1966 to 2010.   The telethon has raised over 2.6 billion dollars.  Lewis was nominated for a Nobel Prize for his work with the telethon.  When I was younger, you could not think about Labor Day without thinking about the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon.

8.  Jerry Lewis has been married twice; first to Patti Lewis from 1944 to 1983..they had six children. Lewis’ oldest son, Gary,  is the lead singer for Gary Lewis & The Playboys.  They had several pop hits in the 1960s.  His second marriage is to SanDee Pitnick. They have been married since 1983 and they have one child.

9.  Some Adam Sandler/Jerry Lewis stuff I found interesting.  (1) They both have specialized in “man-child” movies.  (2) Those “man-child” movies have been very successful at the box office.  (3) They both starred in a movie called That’s My Boy. The Lewis movie was in 1951 while Sandler’s movie was made in 2012.  (4) Darren McGavin and Johnny Depp are two actors that appeared in movies with both actors.

10.  Jerry Lewis starred and directed probably the most famous movie never to be released.  1972’s The Day The Clown Cried has been locked in a Lewis vault for over 40 years now and has been seen by very few people.  That might be changing in the near future (2025?).  Check out this link for further information.

Check out Jerry Lewis’s movie career compared to current and classic stars on our Most 100 Million Dollar Movies of All-Time page.

Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis were one of the most succesful screen teams ever

Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis were one of the most succesful screen teams ever

Taking A Deeper Look At Jerry Lewis & Dean Martin’s Movie Careers

  • Column 1 is name of category
  • Column 2 is how many movies they made
  • Column 3 is average adjusted domestic box office
  • Column 4 is average of critic/audience rating per movie
  • Column 5 is the total Oscar® nominations (all categories) for each movie
  • Column 6 is the total Oscar® wins (all categories) per movie
  • Column 7 is the average Ultimate Movie Ranking score per movie
RankCategoryMoviesAdjusted Box OfficeCritic Audience RatingOscar NomsOscar WinsUMR Score
Lewis and Martin16$121.68 million61.81%0045.97
Lewis Only30$50.56 million60.10%2031.21
Martin Only35$83.96 million59.61%27136.06

Conclusion? Both have fine solo careers but they were at their best when they were together.

For comments….all you need is a name and a comment….please ignore the rest.

Academy Award® and Oscar® are the registered trademarks of the Academy of Motion Arts and Sciences.  Golden Globe® is a registered trademarks.

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139 thoughts on “Jerry Lewis Movies

  1. Still sadden by his passing, but I’m glad I found this site. I’ve been searching for his BO numbers for awhile and I must say, they’re underwhelming. I thought Jerry was a bigger star than this, especially from the years 1957-1965. However, there are many things that surprised me. For instance, his biggest solo hit was 1959’s Don’t Give Up the Ship. I don’t think anybody outside of the Jerry Lewis fandom, or maybe even inside, are familiar with this film; yet, it topped films such as The Bellboy and The Nutty Professor. And speaking of The Nutty Professor, it performed way less than I thought it did. I guess it wasn’t a blockbuster, which is notably missing from Jerry’s film career. Always hits, but no blockbusters. Another shocker was The King of Comedy. It’s such a highly praised film and yet it only pulled in 7 figures. Robert De Niro did state about the film’s poor success that “…maybe wasn’t so well received because it gave off an aura of something that people didn’t want to look at or know.” I have to agree with this statement. Moviegoers want escapism from reality and a film such as this gives them a dose of reality. I would like to point out that One More Time and Mr. Saturday Night shouldn’t be included as Jerry films because the former Jerry only directed it and the latter was a cameo. I would also like to say that fact #5, specifically the part about him being beloved in France, is simply false. He gets a couple of honors there and some critics like him there and suddenly he’s beloved? The French only acknowledged Jerry, and he even said this himself, after he became a director. And rightfully so. Other than that, his films decreased in popularity over there, as well. Now onto the things that’s bothering me. As much as I love Dean, his fans are usually the first to degrade or downplay Jerry. You don’t have to like Jerry, but to turn your nose up at his talent and his success just makes you look bitter. And I think I know why you all are bitter: influence and impact. Jerry did less than Dean, and he still made just as big of an impact and is just as influential as Dean is. And it doesn’t just stop there, so let me set some things straight that I have seen both on this page and Dean’s page:

    1. Anybody stating that Jerry was holding Dean back from major success either a. don’t know much about Martin and Lewis, or b. are just plain ignorant. How was Jerry holding Dean back when Dean, just like Jerry, was struggling to make it before they got together? Don’t try to write the story as Dean was already some big star and Jerry clung onto him and brought him down cause that’s a false perception. Also, Martin and Lewis was deprived from Jerry’s brainchild Sex and Slapstick, so I think Jerry deserves way more respect than he’s given. Though, I would say that both men were being limited in that partnership. Dean was told to just be the straight man and Jerry was told to just make funny faces.

    2. I have constantly seen this thing about people thinking that Dean wouldn’t succeed after the split, while I’ve also seen that people thought Jerry wouldn’t succeed. Either way, both men proved those people wrong. That’s why I always said that splitting up was a good thing cause both showed that they were more than the straight man and the funny man. Dean was able to show his acting chops and Jerry was able to write, direct, produce, and take risk. However, I do agree with one commenter that they could’ve went on to do their solo projects and got together every once in awhile. And despite popular belief, the 1976 Telethon was not the first time they saw each other, or even spoke for that matter. They had mini reunions since 1958, both privately and publicly.

    3. You have to be delusional to say Jerry wasn’t successful. Success comes in many forms, so just because he wasn’t Dean successful doesn’t mean he wasn’t successful. He’s certainly more successful than those of you who say he’s not, so humble yourselves. And speaking of Dean, yes his films overall grossed more than Jerry’s because a. he did about 7 more films than Jerry did and he constantly worked, whereas, Jerry stopped cranking out films in the 70’s before making a kind of comeback in 1980 with Hardly Working, b. Dean was able to obtain blockbusters, which as I mentioned before, Jerry never had that pleasure, and c. Comedy started to change and Jerry’s style of comedy wasn’t as big of a draw as it used to be. However, when you look at both of their outputs between 1957-1965 not every Dean film out grossed every Jerry film. Also, 5 of Dean’s films lost money, and correct me if I’m wrong, that’s never happened to Jerry. Anyway, my point is that both men where pulling in 9 and 8 figure films and the grossing of those films was more back and forth than it seemed.

    4. The thing I dislike the most is people who have seen very few Jerry films, or none at all, and being quick to write his films off by saying “you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.” You’re missing out on some good films if you’re thinking that. I have seen 13 Jerry films (9 solo efforts and 4 Martin and Lewis) and I can honestly say none of those films were the same. Other than Jerry being the sympathetic, vulnerable, naïve character, what exactly is the same? Marilyn Monroe always played the dumb blonde, but does that mean all her films are the same? No. So, why is that attitude always applied to Jerry’s films? The thing about his films is that he perfectly blends comedy, pathos, and surrealism. And if you don’t understand that, then you won’t understand his films. Then again, it’s no different then how people think of him as an actor. Most praised his acting in The King of Comedy as if he’s never acted before, but it’s like Jerry said, “I’ve been acting for 50 f*****g years.” In my opinion, The Nutty Professor should have solidified him as an actor. He stepped in a dual role and he delivered.

    Anyhow, though I find Jerry’s BO numbers disappointing, I think he has one of the most interesting careers. It’s filled with ups and downs, and his solo filmography is very small compared to his contemporaries, yet he managed to have a big impact. And ’til this day, I’m in my twenties, my mother and father are in their fifties, and my grandfather is in his seventies, and Jerry still keeps us laughing. Just goes to show his affect, not only on kids, but multiple generations.

    1. Hey Brit
      1. First of all….thank you for such a well thought out and detailed comment….it was enjoyable to read.
      2. Glad you found our Jerry page. It has been one of the most popular pages we have ever written….closing in on the Top 10 here at this website.
      3. I think lots of people are still sadden by his death. I was just watching a You Tube video of him doing his typewriter bit…….it had the young and old Jerry doing the routine….both great stuff.
      4. We try to include a performer’s entire career so movies like One More Time and Mr. Saturday Night made the page as we include directed movies….and his part in Mr. Saturday Night was slightly bigger than a cameo.
      5. As for his box office totals…..I would say they are pretty impressive….on my 1950s star page…he cracks the Top 6….with over 3 billion in adjusted gross….he dropped in the 1960s…but still almost made the Top 50…..http://www.ultimatemovierankings.com/top-movie-stars-1950s/
      6. As for people saying bad stuff on Jerry….pretty sure that has not happened on this webpage….and a quick look at the Dean page does not show anybody slamming Jerry.
      7. The Jerry and Dean team was one of the most popular of all-time….and will probably never be done again….two people making 15 blockbusters together in less than 10 years.
      8. I love the King Of Comedy….but it was ignored when it was in theaters……HBO gave it a nice boost when it played there all the time in the early 1980s.
      9. The power of Jerry….he has been entertaining and making people happy for 70 years….and his legacy will continue to do that.
      Thanks again for some great feedback.

      1. Hi, Cogerson.

        1. I want to say thanks for taking the time out to read my comment (I know it’s a lot lol) and for responding back.

        2. It’s strange that when looking up Mr. Saturday Night they have Jerry down as a cameo, though you say his part was “slightly bigger” than that. And I’m so use to him directing the films that he’s starring in that I tend to overlook a film like One More Time, but thanks for the clarification.

        3. Thanks for the link, but it proves my point. To go from being a top 10 star to being a barely top 50 star in the next decade is disappointing. And don’t get me wrong, 3 billion is amazing, but he was no longer that big star he once was. It’s like I said, a change in comedy, and the direction of films was taking on a more realistic approach, had a lot to do with his decline. It also makes me wonder had he taken Jack Lemmon’s role in Some Like It Hot would that have made a difference in his career.

        4. Maybe the comments I was seeing was much older, but the downplaying of Jerry and his success is there. And to be clear, it’s more in a smug, sly type of way instead of a “Jerry sucks” type of way; if that makes sense. And I know with Jerry it kills people to give credit where it’s due, especially because his movies are seen as kiddie films and his reputation wasn’t the best.

        5. I agree that what Dean and Jerry did would never happen again. And though there have been great comedic duos before and after, I still regard Martin and Lewis as the best.

        6. That is so true about what you said about Jerry’s legacy. He may have had his flaws and pissed off a lot of people in the process, but at the same time, he made millions of people laugh. He brought the type of laughter that’s so desperately needed in today’s world.

  2. A little late, but Jerry Lewis’ passing is very sad to me. He provided so much fun in my childhood. Rest In Peace. Another legend leaves us.

    1. Hey SteinHOF…..good thoughts on Mr. Lewis. I agree with you 100%….yet another legend leaves us. Rest in Peace….Mr. Lewis.

  3. How come jerry lewis movies arent on tv now everyone needs a good laugh now being the the usa is in such need bring them on…

    1. Hey Joann….that is a great question. Maybe his passing and The overwhelming response to his death will get more movies on tv. I am a huge movie lover…..his Martin movies were massive hits in the 1950s……yet rarely did I see his movies on tv growing up or now. Hopefully it will get better in the future. RIP.

  4. He was the ultimate Genius. He made the world a happier place and kids just laughed and laughed at this Brilliant man. Today the world is a sadder place in his passing. But all good things come to and end. If he is with Dean and friends he will keep them laughing through ETERNITY’

    1. Hey Gus…great comment. I agree with all of your points, he made the world a better place….through his humor and his charity work. He will be missed…but it is a pleasing thought of him hanging out with Dean and so many others. RIP Mr. Lewis.

  5. loved him and he was the perfection of brilliance will be sadly missed make them laught in heaven Jerry —–REST IN LAUGHTER xoxoxo

    1. Hey J.R….thanks for sharing your thoughts on Jerry Lewis….I like the rest in laughter part of your comment…..R.I.L.

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