MOVIE REVIEWS

Artists and Models (1955)

ADD TO MY FAVORITES
7/10 NR 01 hr 49 min

November 7, 1955

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By John Chard January 30, 2017

Happiness is just a state of mind my friend...when you pretend.

Rick Todd and Eugene Fullstack share an apartment, Rick is a struggling artist and Eugene is a comic book fan with very few marbles! Both men are struggling to earn money, but when Eugene starts telling the comic book adventures of Vincent the Vulture in his sleep, Rick spies an opportunity to make some money. Trouble is is that the gorgeous Bessie Sparrowbrush and Abigail Parker are about to enter the boys lives, and with the secret services from different countries interested in Eugene's dreams as well, love and government interests are going to meet head on, with the result being chaos!

Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis were a double act that had as many ups as they did downs, but something about their partnership tapped into the fluff entertainment market that entertained millions with a blend of crooning and idiotic pratfalling. Here with Artists And Models they manage to create an ode to joy that positively quakes with fun from the very first tremor of the opening sequence. If we were to dissect the film and analyse it piece by piece it would probably come up short of being a technical wonder and a genius smart piece of film making, but really why would anyone want to do that? Surely we enter a film like this in the hope of being taken away from the world? And few films in this genre can better lay claim to being odes to joy, love, friendship and care free abandon, all in one foul swoop. To me personally there is only Singing In The Rain that can portray better the beauty of living your life, Artists And Models has everything one needs to cure the blues.

Sparkling as it does in Vistavision, Artists and Models delights the eyes as much as it lifts the heart, technically it actually does score high and it's boosted by a cast on optimum form. Jerry Lewis is hated as much as he is adored, I guess his bumbling buffoonery annoys if taken in regular doses, but when he was on form he is nothing short of a comic genius. Witness here in this film the quintessential Jerry Lewis turn, from a quite brilliant telephone to bath sequence via mime, to an interplay musical sequence with the fabulous Shirley MacLaine, that could surely make the dead raise a smile.

Then there is Dino Paul Crocetti, those Italian looks so beloved by the ladies, sickeningly going hand in hand with a voice apparently sent from high above. Enjoy here a special sequence as Dean sings and dances with the children (sadly uncredited), every inch of the frame is filled with what makes the world go around. Shirley Maclaine, Dorothy Malone and the ever enjoyable Eddie Mayehoff all combine to make this one of the pinnacles of the Dean & Jerry partnership, it may not be your preferred genre, but everyone should let such an ode to joy into their lives just once, surely? 9/10

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