Don't Raise the Bridge, Lower the River

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Don't Raise the Bridge, Lower the River
Cinema poster
Directed by Jerry Paris
Screenplay by Max Wilk
Based onMax Wilk
(From the novel)
("Don't Raise The Bridge, Lower The River")
Produced by Walter Shenson
Starring Jerry Lewis
Cinematography Otto Heller
Edited by Bill Lenny
Music by David Whitaker
Walter Shenson Productions
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date
  • 12 July 1968 (1968-07-12)
Running time
100 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
Box office$1,100,000 (US/ Canada) [1]
316,754 admissions (France) [2]

Don't Raise the Bridge, Lower the River is a 1968 British comedy film produced by Walter Shenson and starring Jerry Lewis. [3] It was released on 12 July 1968 by Columbia Pictures and is based on Max Wilk's novel of the same name, with the original Connecticut locale moved to Swinging London and Portugal.



George Lester is an American living in Britain. His passion is get-rich-quick schemes, and they have caused financial and personal grief for him and his wife, Pamela, who is considering divorce if he continues with them.

Willy Homer is a conman who plans to help George raise some quick cash by selling plans for a drill to a group of Arabs. The plans, which were stolen, are smuggled to Lisbon with help from his accomplice, Fred Davies. As they are about to trade the plans, they realise that they are being double-crossed. A series of chases follows, and eventually the plans are revealed to be worthless to everyone.

Distraught, George finds comfort in his wife and promises to never embark on any more schemes, but Willy shows up at his door with another one.



Filming took place between 15 May and 30 June 1967. The director, Jerry Paris, has a cameo as the umpire at a baseball game.

Home media

The film has been released twice on Region 1 DVD, on 8 July 2003 and again in a Jerry Lewis Triple Feature collection with Three on a Couch and Hook, Line & Sinker on 16 January 2018.

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  1. "Big Rental Films of 1968", Variety, 8 January 1969 p 15. Please note this figure is a rental accruing to distributors.
  2. Jerry Lewis films French box office information at Box Office Story
  3. Weiler, A.H. "Jerry Lewis in 'Don't Raise the Bridge, Lower the River'". The New York Times. No. July 13, 1968. Retrieved 6 December 2020.