The star of this movie was the comedian, Jerry Lewis, who is also an actor and singer. He began as part of the comedy due ‘Martin and Lewis’ with Dean Martin and then went on to star on his own in nightclubs, concert stages, television, recordings and films. He was well acclaimed with lifetime achievement awards from American Comedy Awards, Los Angeles Film Critics Association, Venice Film Festival and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
This movie was released July 20, 1960 and his character was a mute bellboy who was working in a fancy hotel in Miami Beach and is constantly causing problems. He also had a second, cameo role in this film playing himself, walking through the hotel with an entire entourage! However, according to Miss Norma’s Diary entry on September 2, 1960,:
“’The Bellboy’ wasn’t very good at all“. . .
‘The Bellboy’ was also Jerry Lewis’s directorial debut. The main character is named Stanley and he does not speak until the end of the movie and appears to simply get involved in one ridiculous situation after another. Before production, Lewis enlisted the advice of his friend, Stan Laurel, about the script. Stan used to work on silent films and was a master of English pantomime. With that said, Jerry named his main character ‘Stanly’ after him and also created another character who appears throughout the movie who looks like him.
Jerry was pressured by Paramount to have a movie from him released by the summer. One movie was already completed, ‘Cinderfella’, last December in 1959 but Jerry wanted to hold off on its release until Christmas. Paramount only agreed on it if Jerry would still release a movie during the summer as they wished. So, he came up with ‘The Bellboy’. Therefore, this movie appears to be an afterthought, or else, a negotiating piece that was concocted to protect the release date that he wanted for his movie, ‘Cinderfella’.
Also, Jerry Lewis continued to perform at nightclubs during the evening after he was done shooting this film all day. Let’s take a look at a clip: