This one is pretty good.
I didn’t give it much of a chance at first.
Sometimes black and white movies are hard to watch.
[if you grew up on color]
Kinda like silent films are hard to watch.
[if you grew up on sound]
And sorta how Shakespeare is hard to read.
[if you grew up on comic books]
This one doesn’t rival the top dog [The Nutty Professor].
It doesn’t begin to touch the neck-and-neck silver medalist Cinderfella.
But it’s a whole lot better than The Family Jewels.
Which is to say, black and white sometimes trumps color.
The Family Jewels had everything it needed.
Except that it’s a mediocre film.
The Bellboy has nothing it needed.
Kinda like Psycho.
But it OVERACHIEVES for its resource level.
What is most significant about The Bellboy is that it truly has NO PLOT.
It does, however, have characters.
[particularly Stanley (Jerry Lewis)]
So then, taking the French love of Jerry Lewis into account, one might say that The Bellboy is a rather intellectual (!) series of situations after the manner of Debord.
Or further, that The Bellboy is a long-form work of nonsense in the mold of Finnegans Wake.
Whichever comparison is most fitting, The Bellboy stands up as a watchable, enjoyable movie.
One more thing…
There ARE true (true!) flashes of genius in this film.
The sequence with Milton Berle.
Bits with Stan Laurel (and Stanley [Lewis]).
Prefiguring Peter Sellers by way of multiple characters (Lewis playing himself as well as the bellboy Stanley).
The Jerry Lewis oeuvre is very interesting indeed.