The Nutty Professor (1963)

107 mins | Comedy | 2 July 1963

Director:

Jerry Lewis

Cinematographer:

Wallace Kelley

Editor:

John Woodcock

Production Designers:

Hal Pereira, Walter Tyler

Production Company:

Jerry Lewis Enterprises
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HISTORY

The 20 Aug 1962 DV reported that comedian-filmmaker Jerry Lewis and producer Ernest D. Glucksman were traveling to Phoenix, AZ, that weekend to establish production headquarters. Principal photography was scheduled to begin 1 Oct 1962 at Arizona State University (ASU) in nearby Tempe, AZ. As noted in the 7 Sep 1962 DV, Lewis and Glucksman returned to Phoenix the previous day to scout locations at the Arizona Manor hotel. According to the 14 Sep 1962 DV, co-star Stella Stevens was completing her role for The Courtship of Eddie’s Father (1963, see entry) at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios (MGM) in Culver City, CA, while rehearsing with Lewis at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, CA. A full-page advertisement in the 9 Oct 1962 edition announced the start of principal photography that day. Also in that issue, columnist Army Archerd revealed that a “dream sequence,” featuring Stevens in a bikini, was removed from the screenplay by Paramount censors.
       As stated in the 19 Oct 1962 DV, Lewis stopped filming for fifteen minutes the previous day in honor of his late friend, Pete Freeman. The 22 Oct 1962 DV reported that Lewis took a two-hour break from production on 19 Oct 1962 to share his philosophies on filmmaking and marketing strategy. The comedian dismissed the tiny minority of “‘sophisticates’ in the world” who failed to appreciate his work, while noting the success of his twenty-seven previous releases.
       In the 30 Oct 1962 LAT, columnist Philip K. Scheuer described Lewis’s innovative monitor system, which enabled the filmmaker to observe his own performance as ... More Less

The 20 Aug 1962 DV reported that comedian-filmmaker Jerry Lewis and producer Ernest D. Glucksman were traveling to Phoenix, AZ, that weekend to establish production headquarters. Principal photography was scheduled to begin 1 Oct 1962 at Arizona State University (ASU) in nearby Tempe, AZ. As noted in the 7 Sep 1962 DV, Lewis and Glucksman returned to Phoenix the previous day to scout locations at the Arizona Manor hotel. According to the 14 Sep 1962 DV, co-star Stella Stevens was completing her role for The Courtship of Eddie’s Father (1963, see entry) at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios (MGM) in Culver City, CA, while rehearsing with Lewis at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, CA. A full-page advertisement in the 9 Oct 1962 edition announced the start of principal photography that day. Also in that issue, columnist Army Archerd revealed that a “dream sequence,” featuring Stevens in a bikini, was removed from the screenplay by Paramount censors.
       As stated in the 19 Oct 1962 DV, Lewis stopped filming for fifteen minutes the previous day in honor of his late friend, Pete Freeman. The 22 Oct 1962 DV reported that Lewis took a two-hour break from production on 19 Oct 1962 to share his philosophies on filmmaking and marketing strategy. The comedian dismissed the tiny minority of “‘sophisticates’ in the world” who failed to appreciate his work, while noting the success of his twenty-seven previous releases.
       In the 30 Oct 1962 LAT, columnist Philip K. Scheuer described Lewis’s innovative monitor system, which enabled the filmmaker to observe his own performance as well as those of his fellow cast members. The system consisted of film cameras equipped with small television cameras, which transmitted images to monitor screens located around the set.
       The 7 Nov 1962 DV announced that Stella Stevens would join the company on location at ASU from 15 – 17 Nov 1962, even though she was not needed on set. Lewis explained that her presence added “an important feeling of authenticity.” She was, however, scheduled to accompany Lewis in a live performance at the university’s stadium. Other cast members, including Les Brown and his Band of Renown, would also appear in the show.
       One month later, the 7 Dec 1962 DV reported that Lewis planned to edit the picture during his three-week engagement at Harrah’s hotel in Lake Tahoe, NV, beginning 27 Dec 1962. Assisting Lewis were Glucksman, associate producer Arthur P. Schmidt, production manager William C. Davidson, film editor John Woodcock, uncredited assistant editor Rusty Wells, and an unidentified projectionist. Lewis also arranged to have the necessary equipment shipped to the hotel. Photography was scheduled to be completed by 21 Dec 1962. On 29 Jan 1963, DV listed The Nutty Professor among Paramount productions that were ready for release.
       In the 14 Nov 1962 edition, comedian Henry Gibson appeared in a full-page advertisement, accompanied by a small alligator and a short verse explaining why he enjoyed appearing in the film. Another followed in the 4 Dec 1962 DV, from members of the Screen Extras Guild (SEG), thanking Lewis for keeping his productions in Hollywood. Les Brown and his orchestra also expressed their gratitude in the 5 Dec 1962 DV. Lewis responded in that same issue, thanking his entire cast and crew.
       Casting announcements included the following: singer Judi Thor in her screen debut (28 Sep 1962 DV); Billy Bletcher (17 Oct 1962 DV); Romo Vincent (17 Oct 1962 LAT); former baseball player Bobby Payne (18 Oct 1962 DV); Selette Cole and Joey Jackson (23 Oct 1962 LAT); Clay Tanner, Hollis Morrison, and Suzanne Noel (25 Oct 1962 DV); Bob Donner (30 Oct 1962 DV); John Macchia (6 Nov 1962 DV); Les Brown, Jr., Nicky Blair, Seymour Cassell, and William Meader (12 Nov 1962 DV); Myron Kaplan (13 Nov 1962 DV); Mike Ross and Betty Todd Baron (17 Dec 1962 DV); Jimmie Horan (21 Dec 1962 DV); Richard Kiel and Hugh Cannon (22 Mar 1963 DV). The 16 Nov 1962 DV noted that actors Skip Ward, Med Flory, David Landfield, and Norman Alden, all cast as football players, were invited to join the ASU team for a 17 Nov 1962 game against New Mexico State University. The 27 Jan 1963 LAT credited June Foray as the voice of the title character’s mynah bird.
       A news item in the 22 Jan 1963 DV reported that aspiring screenwriter Lor-Ann Land filed a plagiarism suit against Lewis for $1.5 million. In King of Comedy: The Life and Art of Jerry Lewis, biographer Shawn Levy revealed that Lewis and Land met at a soda fountain in 1962. Land told the comedian that she had written a screenplay, titled Treat Me Beat, with him in mind, and Lewis asked her to send a copy to his office. Months later, while The Nutty Professor was in production, Land became convinced that it was based in part on her screenplay. Although the plagiarism charge was dismissed, the judge determined that Lewis might have entered into a verbal contract with Land. A settlement was reached out of court.
       The Nutty Professor premiered 2 Jul 1963 at the Academy Award Theater in Hollywood. Proceeds benefitted the Mary and Joseph League. The New York City opening followed on 14 Jul 1963, where it was double-billed with the British musical, Play It Cool (1962). Although reviews were generally positive, the 16 May 1963 DV described Lewis’s attempts at pathos as “flat and pretentious.” The 24 May 1963 DV noted that Lewis chartered an airplane for a six-week promotional tour of twenty-four U.S. cities. Accompanied by “a full musical contingent,” Lewis gave at least two performances per day, on stage at indoor theaters, and on concession-stand roofs at drive-ins. According to the 9 Jul 1963 ^edition, the film earned approximately $230,000 during its opening week in Los Angeles, CA, and $3.3 million in rentals over the next six months, as stated in the 8 Jan 1964 Var.
       In 1996, Universal released a remake of the film, also titled The Nutty Professor . Based on the screenplay by Jerry Lewis and Bill Richmond, the film was directed by Tom Shadyac and starred Eddie Murphy and Jada Pinkett Smith. Lewis served as an executive producer on the 1996 film as well as on its 2000 sequel, Nutty Professor II: The Klumps , which was directed by Peter Segal and starred Murphy and Janet Jackson. In Jun 2006, Lewis announced that he would be producing and directed a Broadway musical based on the 1963 film and that it would star unknown actor Michael Andrews. As of 2010, the project remained unproduced.
       The Nutty Professor marked the feature film debut of actor-comedian Henry Gibson (1935--2009), who appeared in numerous films and television programs throughout his career, including the popular satirical television series Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In , on which he was a regular from 1968--1971. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
30 Aug 1962
p. 4.
Daily Variety
7 Sep 1962
p. 11.
Daily Variety
10 Sep 1962
p. 2.
Daily Variety
14 Sep 1962
p. 9.
Daily Variety
28 Sep 1962
p. 14.
Daily Variety
9 Oct 1962
p. 2, 5.
Daily Variety
17 Oct 1962
p. 4.
Daily Variety
18 Oct 1962
p. 7.
Daily Variety
19 Oct 1962
p. 2.
Daily Variety
22 Oct 1962
p. 1.
Daily Variety
25 Oct 1962
p. 4.
Daily Variety
30 Oct 1962
p. 4.
Daily Variety
6 Nov 1962
p. 10.
Daily Variety
7 Nov 1962
p. 4.
Daily Variety
10 Nov 1962
p. 10.
Daily Variety
12 Nov 1962
p. 4.
Daily Variety
13 Nov 1962
p. 4.
Daily Variety
14 Nov 1962
p. 7.
Daily Variety
16 Nov 1962
p. 6.
Daily Variety
24 Nov 1962
p. 7.
Daily Variety
4 Dec 1962
p. 5.
Daily Variety
5 Dec 1962
p. 5.
Daily Variety
7 Dec 1962
p. 7.
Daily Variety
17 Dec 1962
p. 4.
Daily Variety
21 Dec 1962
p. 19.
Daily Variety
22 Jan 1963
p. 2.
Daily Variety
29 Jan 1963
p. 4.
Daily Variety
22 Mar 1963
p. 18.
Daily Variety
16 May 1963
p. 3.
Daily Variety
24 May 1963
p. 3.
Daily Variety
19 Jun 1963
p. 3.
Daily Variety
26 Jun 1963
p. 3.
Daily Variety
9 Jul 1963
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
17 Oct 1962
Section D, p. 11.
Los Angeles Times
23 Oct 1962
Section C, p. 8.
Los Angeles Times
30 Oct 1962
Section C, p. 9.
Los Angeles Times
27 Jan 1963
Section E, p. 5.
Los Angeles Times
17 Jun 1963
Section D, p. 13.
Los Angeles Times
5 Jul 1963
Section D, p. 12.
New York Times
14 Jul 1963
p. 69.
New York Times
18 Jul 1963
p. 15.
Variety
8 Jan 1964
p. 37.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Jerry Lewis Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Asst cam
Col cons
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost des
Men's ward
Men's ward
Ward
MUSIC
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Makeup
Hairstyles
Hairstyles
PRODUCTION MISC
Asst prod mgr
Scr supv
Scr supv
Asst to the prod
Dial dir
Casting dir
SOURCES
SONGS
"We've Got a World That Swings," words and music by Louis Y. Brown and Lil Mattis.
DETAILS
Release Date:
2 July 1963
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles premiere: 2 July 1963
New York opening: 14 July 1963
Production Date:
9 October--late December 1962
Copyright Claimant:
Jerry Lewis Enterprises
Copyright Date:
4 June 1963
Copyright Number:
LP25315
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
107
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Eccentric maladroit Prof. Julius Kelp often gets into trouble with the dean of the large university where he teaches chemistry because his experiments frequently result in the demolition of his laboratory. Wishing to impress Stella Purdy, a beautiful student sympathetic to his difficulties, Kelp tries gym exercises and chemical formulas to improve his appearance. He stumbles on to a mixture that transforms him into singer Buddy Love, a swaggering, handsome bully; and in that personality, he tries to make love to Stella, who is alternately repelled and fascinated. Whenever the effect of the potion wears off, however, he must dash to his laboratory lest he change back to Professor Kelp. At the senior prom, where Kelp is ordered to act as chaperon and is also slated to appear as Buddy Love, the formula wears off during Buddy's number, and his personality reverts to that of the professor. Stella realizes that Buddy is really Professor Kelp and confesses that she has always preferred the quiet, sensitive professor to brash Buddy Love. The two make plans to be ... +


Eccentric maladroit Prof. Julius Kelp often gets into trouble with the dean of the large university where he teaches chemistry because his experiments frequently result in the demolition of his laboratory. Wishing to impress Stella Purdy, a beautiful student sympathetic to his difficulties, Kelp tries gym exercises and chemical formulas to improve his appearance. He stumbles on to a mixture that transforms him into singer Buddy Love, a swaggering, handsome bully; and in that personality, he tries to make love to Stella, who is alternately repelled and fascinated. Whenever the effect of the potion wears off, however, he must dash to his laboratory lest he change back to Professor Kelp. At the senior prom, where Kelp is ordered to act as chaperon and is also slated to appear as Buddy Love, the formula wears off during Buddy's number, and his personality reverts to that of the professor. Stella realizes that Buddy is really Professor Kelp and confesses that she has always preferred the quiet, sensitive professor to brash Buddy Love. The two make plans to be married. +

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

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