Hollywood or Bust

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Hollywood or Bust
Directed by Frank Tashlin
Written by Erna Lazarus
Produced by Hal B. Wallis
Starring Dean Martin
Jerry Lewis
Pat Crowley
Maxie Rosenbloom
Anita Ekberg
Cinematography Daniel Fapp
Edited byHoward A. Smith
Music by Walter Scharf
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date
  • December 6, 1956 (1956-12-06)
Running time
95 minutes
CountryUnited States
Language English
Box office$3.3 million (US) [1]
1,801,970 admissions (France) [2]

Hollywood or Bust is a 1956 American semi-musical comedy film starring the team of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. The picture was filmed from April 16 to June 19, 1956, and released on December 6, 1956, by Paramount Pictures, almost five months after the Martin and Lewis partnership split up.



Malcolm Smith wins a brand new automobile (a 1956 Chrysler New Yorker convertible) at a movie theatre raffle. Steve Wiley, a gambler from New York, obtains a counterfeit of the winning ticket and also claims that the car is his. The theatre manager declares them both winners and that they can split the car any way that they want. Steve needs to sell the car to pay off a gambling debt, but Malcolm wants to drive it to Hollywood to meet actress Anita Ekberg.

Steve claims to know Ekberg, and agrees to drive to Hollywood with Malcolm, secretly planning to steal the car. Malcolm brings along his dog, a huge Great Dane named Mr. Bascomb who foils Steve in his many attempts to make off with the car.

Along the way they pick up Terry, an aspiring dancer, who has a job waiting for her in Las Vegas. Once there, Malcolm gets his "lucky feeling" and wins $10,000 ($99,700 today) at a casino. In addition, the woman of his dreams, Anita Ekberg, is also at the hotel and Malcolm finally gets to meet her, with hilarious results.

Steve begins to show a change of heart. He not only agrees to go along with Malcolm to Hollywood without stealing the car, but he also proposes to Terry.

Malcolm spoils the mood by telling them that he no longer has any of his casino winnings, having used it on a gift for Anita. Steve decides to retrieve the gift and they head to Paramount Pictures to locate her. After some back-lot adventures, they find Anita, who agrees to return the gift in exchange for the services of Mr. Bascomb in her next movie.




This was the last film that Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin appeared in together. According to Lewis in his autobiography Dean and Me, he and Martin did not speak to each other off-camera during the entire film shoot. In addition, Lewis claimed that this was the only one of his films that he had never seen, citing it as too painful to watch.

The service station scenes were filmed on Live Oak Street in Thousand Oaks, California. [4]

Home media

The film was included on a five-film DVD set, the Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis Collection: Volume Two, released on June 5, 2007.


Martin and Lewis Lewis and Martin.jpg
Martin and Lewis

In Paramount's film The Godfather (1972), a scene of the Las Vegas strip, including a shot of the Sands Hotel marquee showing an appearance by Martin and Lewis, was taken from this film.

In Paramount's musical film Grease (1978), during the drive-in theater scene, a clip of the theatrical trailer for the film is shown, as projected on the drive-in's screen.

See also

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  1. "Top Grosses of 1957", Variety, 8 January 1958: 30
  2. Box office information for film in France at Box Office Story
  3. "Minta Durfee Filmography". Turner Classic Movies. Archived from the original on October 19, 2015. Retrieved March 13, 2020.
  4. Bidwell, Carol A. (1989). The Conejo Valley: Old and New Frontiers. Windsor Publications. Page 112. ISBN   9780897812993.