Jerry Lewis, philosopher. Few filmmakers are as precise in their conception of scenes and their creation of the images that bring them to life; few rework and deepen a set of ideas as obsessively throughout their careers; few put themselves on camera as bravely and vulnerably; and few conjure such a bold identification with their viewers. All of these remarkable cinematic traits are on view in “The Patsy.”
I am not sure which is [Lewis'] best or even my own personal favourite. I love the two early black-and-whites, The Bellboy and The Errand Boy (1961), and when I think of his colour films The Ladies Man(1961) most often comes to mind. But if you were to watch only one of his movies, The Patsy would be a good dip of the toe into Lewis waters, since it includes almost all of the thematic, formal, and stylistic qualities that have made Lewis so beloved.