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Living It Up [1954] [DVD]

4.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, Janet Leigh, Edward Arnold, Robin Edwards
  • Directors: Norman Taurog
  • Producers: Paul Jones
  • Format: PAL, Colour, Full Screen, Mono, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Danish, Dutch, French, Finnish, Norwegian, Spanish, Swedish
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Paramount Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 4 Jun. 2007
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000NTPCPG
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 47,409 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

When a man is misdiagnosed with fatal radium poisoning, a newspaper sets him up as a hero and brings him to New York for one last fl ing, with the full red carpet treatment.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Living It Up: US & UK Amazon, 19 June 2014; 4*

The story behind this Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis movie had already had a couple of workouts. First it appeared in 1937 as David O. Selznick’s comedy ‘Nothing Sacred’. Next, songsmiths Jule Styne and Bob Hilliard made the story into a 1953 Broadway musical called ‘Hazel Flagg’. The following year, Norman Taurog directed this film musical version.

Jerry Lewis is his usual zany (and, to me, rather irritating) self as Homer Flagg, station-master at the small town of Desert Hole, New Mexico. Homer dreams of going to New York and hops onto a train to get him there. When he is discovered and thrown off, he gets hold of an abandoned car to drive himself home. However, the car is supposedly radioactive so he checks in to the town’s doctor, Dr Harris (Dean Martin) thinking he might be suffering from radiation sickness. The doc initially mistakes the radiation from Homer’s luminous pocket watch for body radiation. The story gets local then national news coverage.

Oliver Stone (Fred Clark), the editor of the New York Morning chronicle, is persuaded by one of his reporters, Wally Cook (Janet Leigh), to offer Homer an all-expenses-paid trip to New York – with his personal physician, of course. They manage to keep up this charade for quite a while before the deception is uncovered. Dino has three songs to sing – ‘Kiss me, baby,’ the quite lovely ‘How do you speak to an angel’ with the gorgeous Miss Leigh in his arms (and accompanied by the soprano sax of Dick Stabile), and ‘Money burns a hole in my pocket’. Martin and Lewis make an entertaining duo in ‘Ev’ry street’s a boulevard in old New York’ and there’s a great ensemble dance number ‘You’re gonna dance with me’ in which Lewis is partnered by Sheree North (as herself). This is most enjoyable entertainment, without the cynical messages of the original productions.
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Despite being based on one of the funniest 30s screwball comedies, Nothing Sacred, and its Broadway musical adaptation Hazel Flagg, in the process of being reworked as a Dean Martin/Jerry Lewis vehicle, Living It Up seems to have mislaid most of the jokes and all of the black satire. In the original Carole Lombard was the girl from a smalltown hellhole misdiagnosed with radiation poisoning who gets her drunken doctor to keep quite about his mistake so she can get a free all-expenses paid trip to live out her `last' days in luxury in New York courtesy of Frederic March's disgraced reporter. This time round, Jerry Lewis is the small town railway worker who is mistakenly diagnosed by Dean Martin after driving a radioactive car from the Los Alamos test site and offered the trip by Janet Leigh's disgraced reporter, but the film seems to go out of its way to miss every comic opportunity. Whereas Lombard's town was the kind of nightmare burg where small children would run out and bite your leg and you had to pay people just to talk to you, Lewis' hometown is so small it doesn't even have a personality, and where Hecht and MacArthur's original never missed an opportunity to swipe at the cynicism of the press and the phoney sentimentality of the public, this pretty much ignores the former and coasts on the latter. Too often it relies on Lewis simply screeching instead of actually doing anything funny, never more so than in his big setpiece that sees him impersonate a Viennese, Chinese and French doctor simultaneously which only manages to be both loud and unfunny and leaves you sympathising with Sig Ruman, reprising his role as the exasperated Dr Emile Egelhofer from the original without ever really being given anything to do.Read more ›
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Excellent sound and vision as good as any present day dvd. Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis were also as funny as I remembered them a great film,
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Ordered as a gift for a friend. Will make a good Christmas present for somebody who loves Jerry Lewis.
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