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. Hey, I just heard a few minutes ago that Jerry Lewis died. I gave some funds to the MDA yesterday outside the grocery store. I remember when Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin went their separate ways. I also remember the time that Dean Martin appeared as a surprise guest on the the MDA weekend show and they made up – AT LEAST ON TV. I also remember that Jerry Lewis went to the funeral of Dean Martin’s son who died in a plane crash. It is sad to see so many talented and older stars passing away. I was thinking of calling you and telling you bur you know already. Good site as always. THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES…….

    1. Hey Bern1960….thanks for sharing so many memories of Jerry Lewis, Dean Martin, MDA and how Sinatra got Dean and Jerry back for an appearance on the telethon….that was one of tv’s great moments. Yep…I knew of his passing….but it was from Flora’s comment. Thanks for thinking of me…..RIP Mr. Lewis.

      1. HI BRUCE1 Yes “beast at the box office” has stuck in my mind since you first used that phrase and indeed I had to avoid accidentally “pirating” it for use in my own posts. It’s an example of why I like your write-ups as well the stats as the former not only provide new information but although scholarly are always expressed in a friendly colloquial manner that the man-in-the street can understand. Of course I’ve never heard you speak and possibly when you go vocal you’re one of those mumblers that Steve bellyaches about !!!

        2 I bracket Lewis along with Elvis and Durbin as a performer who was very comfortable in churning out stand-alone movies. Although on a few occasions other important contemporary artists were in their movies there could be little doubt their films were for the most part respectively “Jerry” “Elvis” and “Deanna” flicks.

        3 Indeed even when the occasional additional important star was present [like Laughton in a couple of Durbin films] the other trio were still usually the focal point of the movies concerned. When someone said to Old Cantankerous that it was courteous and respectful of Sinatra, then at the peak of his powers, to forego top billing in the 1961 The Devil at Four O’Clock the old thespian growled back “Yeah but it’s still a Sinatra picture.”

        4 Anyway whilst as I’ve said before I usually welcome the pulling out of the Cogerson pages on the great stars for a fresh look I naturally could have done without that on this occasion. It was nevertheless appropriate that a movie site like this should mark Jerry’s sad passing and give its followers an opportunity to express their own respects in the matter Indeed it is amazing that he made it to 91 because I gather that from as far back as 1965 he was continually plagued with health problems ie for more than half of his life.

        5 Jerry studiously avoided party politics and said that he would always respect the office of President of the United States regardless of who occupied it and would not allow his own children to criticise the Presidency.

  2. Just found out that Jerry Lewis has died.
    I was never really a Jerry Lewis fan, I prefered his old partner Dean Martin.

    Still, we have so few living legends anymore.

    Rest in Peace Mr. Lewis.

    1. Hey Flora…..wow…..that is the first I am hearing about his passing. I agree so few legends are around anymore. Rest in Peace Mr. Lewis.

  3. John comment

    What thing which particularly interests me, as I recall all the publicity at the time, is the breakup with Dean Martin.

    My take is that in retrospect it was a good idea for both of them. Making exclusively Martin and Lewis films limited both. What is sad was that the breakup was so total. I think they should have done it like Crosby and Hope, each pursuing their own careers but getting together every few years for a Martin and Lewis film.

    1. 1 I remember the break up well as I had heard rumours about it and mentioned to a couple of work colleagues. One of them a know-it-all who fancied himself as a film buff told me I was talking nonsense and Martin & Lewis were inseparable. A week later the divorce was announced!

      2 I think the difference was that Hope and Crosby always remained on friendly terms but we were told that the Martin & Lewis rupture was very acrimonious Reports suggested that contrary to his screen persona Lewis was highly manipulative of Martin and Dean felt that their film routines were being organised more and more to his disadvantage so that his own career was being smothered. However several years after the split Sinatra got a scoop by bringing them both onto his TV show to do a routine together.

    2. Hey John…..interesting thoughts on the Martin and Lewis break up. I agree…your suggestion would have been a great way for Martin and Lewis to last a little longer as a team. In the end….I feel they both had pretty solid movie careers. Thanks for stopping by.

  4. 1 It’s said that Lewis is one of those performers whom you either love or loathe. Actually in a way I did both as I adored his films with Dino and liked the way in which Martin brought some balance to the zany proceedings, but I disliked him when he went solo except in Cinderfella which was of course a Cinderella take-off and when his detractors in that film wanted him to skivvy for them they would summon him by yelling “Fellaaah! Fellaaah!” and guess what that reminded me of in a more dramatic form?

    2 VIDEO (1) For me it’s difficult to write about Jerry’s movies because they are in the ‘when you’ve seen one you’ve seen the all’ category, but that’s where you with your pictorials have an advantage because a fine array of different posters can bring variety to matters, for example Visit to a Small Planet and two rather suggestive ones, Sailor Beware and At War with the Army(2) I loved the still from Scared Stiff with the skeleton as that was my favourite M & L film, and a rare one is the two of them posing with Shirley MacLaine and Dorothy Malone (3) there is nothing more effective than posters to bring out the fact that whether as the equal partner of Dino or as solo artist every Jerry Lewis movie was a stand-alone vehicle until Boeing Boeing with Curtis in 1965 which involved a great struggle for top billing between the two stars and your poster shows the silly propeller blade compromise that was reached (4) I was surprised that you and Bruce made King of Comedy Jerry’s No 1 film for critic/audience as it was and was not the type of film that Jerry’s main career was about. It is the only movie that you both have in your Top 5 (5) Anyway another enjoyable treat deserving 9.1 for great artwork.

    1. Thanks for checking out my Jerry Lewis video Bob, much appreciated. Looking at Bruce’s critics chart we have the same no.1 – King of Comedy – but the rest don’t match at all. I think that demonstrates how similar they all are in tone, there are no outright winners, everyone has a different favorite. The nearest Lewis has to a bonafide highly rated and respected comedy is The Nutty Professor and that came in 2nd on my chart and 6th on Bruce’s.

      I couldn’t leave out Martin Scorsese’s King of Comedy because Lewis received some decent reviews from American critics for that one, something that rarely ever happened on his comedies. In Europe he is lauded as one of the ‘Kings of Comedy’ especially in France but you get the impression that American critics actually dreaded sitting thru another one of his movies. 🙂
      I liked the films he made with Frank Tashlin who used to directed WB cartoons and Lewis was a sort of living cartoon, they worked well together. Tashlin also directed Son of Paleface and The Girl Can’t Help It.

      1. When I saw that you and Bruce had King of Comedy as a Lewis No 1 I was reminded of Col Hall’s line from the TV series Sgt Bilko in the late 1950s-

        “if they find out that Pte Duane Doberman has been voted the best looking soldier in the Army they’ll be queuing up outside the fort to see what the rest of us look like.”

        1. Hey Bob and Steve…..King of Comedy….is a forgotten classic….Lewis is outstanding..to bad he did not get an Oscar nomination for his work.

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