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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

The Stooge (1953)



Reviews and Comments

Dean Martin plays a revue performer who lets success get to his head. He leaves his partners and tries to make it on his own; when that doesn't work, he brings in a stooge (guess who) to heckle from the audience. The plot is a little too neatly defined, perhaps, but it's stronger than that of most other Martin and Lewis films, and it's carried to a satisfying climax. But few watch Martin and Lewis for the plot. As comedy, this is one of the duo's funniest. The songs, which became more and more unwelcome by their later films, are catchy and integrated with the humor.

One of the reasons the story works is that the nature of the talent of the characters is almost identical to that of the real life stars, and therefore we believe it when we see Martin's character laying an egg by himself but becoming successful once Lewis' character joins the act. Dean Martin by himself wouldn't make it so well in comedy. After Martin and Lewis broke up, Lewis continued his successful career in comedy, but Martin was wise enough not to try. He had a fine career doing musicals and dramas and made noteworthy accomplishments in those genres, but that's an option not open to his character in this movie.