The Big Mouth (1967)

107 mins | Comedy | 21 June 1967

Director:

Jerry Lewis

Producer:

Jerry Lewis

Cinematographer:

Wallace Kelley

Production Designer:

Lyle Wheeler

Production Company:

Jerry Lewis Films
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HISTORY

The Big Mouth marked filmmaker and actor Jerry Lewis’s thirty-sixth feature-length motion picture. It was initially titled Ready, Set Die. Referring to it by that name, a news item in the 3 Oct 1966 DV stated that Lewis hoped to cast professional baseball player Sandy Koufax, and actors Don Drysdale, Maury Wills, and Lou Johnson. Actresses who were under consideration at the time included Nina Wayne and June Wilkinson, the 10 Nov 1966 DV noted.
       The 18 Nov 1966 DV announced a title change to The Big Mouth. Principal photography began shortly after on 5 Dec 1966, with location shooting in San Diego, CA, where Sea World served as a filming site. Production moved in late Dec 1966 to the Columbia Pictures studio lot in Hollywood, CA. An item in the 7 Dec 1966 DV noted that Lewis established a “‘wide-open set’ policy” during the shoot, encouraging members of the public to visit the filming locales. Columbia Pictures teamed with J. Floyd Andrews of Pacific Southwest Airlines to distribute “announcement cards” which invited passengers arriving in California to view the filming.
       Director of photography W. Wallace Kelley had to undergo an emergency appendectomy during production. The 16 Jan 1967 DV reported that he had been replaced by Ernest Laszlo.
       The film debuted in St. Louis, MO, on 21 Jun 1967. An advertisement in the 28 Jun 1967 Var touted the five-day opening at nine theaters around the city as the “biggest Jerry Lewis business ever,” with a box-office gross of $62,100. The picture went on to gross ... More Less

The Big Mouth marked filmmaker and actor Jerry Lewis’s thirty-sixth feature-length motion picture. It was initially titled Ready, Set Die. Referring to it by that name, a news item in the 3 Oct 1966 DV stated that Lewis hoped to cast professional baseball player Sandy Koufax, and actors Don Drysdale, Maury Wills, and Lou Johnson. Actresses who were under consideration at the time included Nina Wayne and June Wilkinson, the 10 Nov 1966 DV noted.
       The 18 Nov 1966 DV announced a title change to The Big Mouth. Principal photography began shortly after on 5 Dec 1966, with location shooting in San Diego, CA, where Sea World served as a filming site. Production moved in late Dec 1966 to the Columbia Pictures studio lot in Hollywood, CA. An item in the 7 Dec 1966 DV noted that Lewis established a “‘wide-open set’ policy” during the shoot, encouraging members of the public to visit the filming locales. Columbia Pictures teamed with J. Floyd Andrews of Pacific Southwest Airlines to distribute “announcement cards” which invited passengers arriving in California to view the filming.
       Director of photography W. Wallace Kelley had to undergo an emergency appendectomy during production. The 16 Jan 1967 DV reported that he had been replaced by Ernest Laszlo.
       The film debuted in St. Louis, MO, on 21 Jun 1967. An advertisement in the 28 Jun 1967 Var touted the five-day opening at nine theaters around the city as the “biggest Jerry Lewis business ever,” with a box-office gross of $62,100. The picture went on to gross $2 million in film rentals by early 1968, as noted in a 3 Jan 1968 Var box-office chart.
       Costumes for Lewis were provided by Sy Devore, according to an item in the 13 Dec 1966 DV. John Macchia served as Lewis’s double, as stated in the 26 Dec 1966 LAT, and the following actors were listed as cast members in DV and LAT items published between Nov 1966 and Feb 1967: Barbara Burgess; Gayle Hunnicutt; Kathleen Freeman; Charo (a.k.a. Charo Cugat); Harry Fleer; Roland La Starza; Rob Reiner; Col. Harland Sanders; Mike Williams; Iris Ratner; Percy Helton; and Pepper Curtis. A news brief in the 26 Apr 1967 Var noted that Mac St. Johns acted as publicity coordinator. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
3 Oct 1966
p. 2.
Daily Variety
10 Nov 1966
p. 2.
Daily Variety
18 Nov 1966
p. 8.
Daily Variety
23 Nov 1966
p. 8.
Daily Variety
1 Dec 1966
p. 3.
Daily Variety
7 Dec 1966
p. 2.
Daily Variety
8 Dec 1966
p. 11.
Daily Variety
9 Dec 1966
p. 10.
Daily Variety
13 Dec 1966
p. 2.
Daily Variety
14 Dec 1966
p. 4.
Daily Variety
27 Dec 1966
p. 2.
Daily Variety
16 Jan 1967
p. 11.
Daily Variety
1 Feb 1967
p. 4.
Daily Variety
3 Feb 1967
p. 16.
Daily Variety
22 Jun 1967
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
25 Nov 1966
Section D, p. 30.
Los Angeles Times
26 Dec 1966
Section D, p. 1, 9.
Los Angeles Times
4 Jan 1967
Section D, p. 8.
Los Angeles Times
24 Jan 1967
Section D, p. 10.
Los Angeles Times
6 Feb 1967
Section D, p. 25.
Los Angeles Times
1 Jul 1967
Section B, p. 9.
Los Angeles Times
14 Jul 1967
Section C, p. 15.
New York Times
12 Jul 1967.
---
New York Times
13 Jul 1967.
---
Variety
26 Apr 1967
p. 30.
Variety
28 Jun 1967
p. 13.
Variety
3 Jan 1968
p. 25.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Jerry Lewis Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
1st & 2nd asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Addl photog
ART DIRECTOR
Prod des
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
COSTUMES
Cost des
Men's ward
MUSIC
Mus comp & cond
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Makeup
Hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit prod mgr
Scr supv
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Ready, Set, Die
Release Date:
21 June 1967
Premiere Information:
St. Louis opening: 21 June 1967
Los Angeles opening: 1 July 1967
New York opening: 12 July 1967
Production Date:
began 5 December 1966
Copyright Claimant:
Jerry Lewis Films
Copyright Date:
1 June 1967
Copyright Number:
LP34743
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Pathé
Duration(in mins):
107
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

While surf fishing in the Pacific Ocean, eccentric Gerald Clamson hooks a frogman on his line. The frogman, who looks exactly like Gerald, mumbles something about stolen diamonds hidden in or around a nearby hotel and then warns Gerald to run before he is caught by pursuing gangsters. Attempting to solve the mystery, Gerald finds the hotel and is unable to get a room, but he meets a pretty airline hostess, Suzie, and an attractive social director, Bambi, who is in league with the gangsters. When the list of treasure seekers grows to two rival gangs and other disreputable people, as well as the police, Gerald assumes various disguises in the hope of outwitting his would-be captors. Mayhem is added to confusion as all concerned become involved in a mad chase through San Diego that ends when the crooks follow a false lead that lands them in the ocean. Although Gerald never recovers the diamonds, he is more than willing to settle for the adoring ... +


While surf fishing in the Pacific Ocean, eccentric Gerald Clamson hooks a frogman on his line. The frogman, who looks exactly like Gerald, mumbles something about stolen diamonds hidden in or around a nearby hotel and then warns Gerald to run before he is caught by pursuing gangsters. Attempting to solve the mystery, Gerald finds the hotel and is unable to get a room, but he meets a pretty airline hostess, Suzie, and an attractive social director, Bambi, who is in league with the gangsters. When the list of treasure seekers grows to two rival gangs and other disreputable people, as well as the police, Gerald assumes various disguises in the hope of outwitting his would-be captors. Mayhem is added to confusion as all concerned become involved in a mad chase through San Diego that ends when the crooks follow a false lead that lands them in the ocean. Although Gerald never recovers the diamonds, he is more than willing to settle for the adoring Suzie. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.