The Ladies Man

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The Ladies Man
The Ladies Man (1961 film poster).jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Jerry Lewis
Written byJerry Lewis
Bill Richmond
Produced byJerry Lewis
StarringJerry Lewis
Lillian Briggs
Helen Traubel
Kathleen Freeman
Buddy Lester
George Raft
Cinematography W. Wallace Kelley
Music by Walter Scharf
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date
  • June 28, 1961 (1961-06-28)
Running time
106 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$3.1 million [1]
Box office926,423 admissions (France) [2]

The Ladies Man is a 1961 American comedy film directed by and starring Jerry Lewis. It was released on June 28, 1961 by Paramount Pictures. [3]



Herbert H. Heebert is a young man who loses his girlfriend, swears off romance, and then takes a job at a genteel, women-only boarding house, run by Helen Wellenmellen. Although most of the women treat him like a servant, Fay helps him with his fear of women.


In addition, Lillian Briggs, the "Queen of Rock & Roll," made her Hollywood acting debut in this film and actor George Raft appeared in a cameo role. Patty Thomas plays herself a dancer. [4]


Mel Brooks worked on the screenplay. [5] He fought with Lewis and left the production. In Brooks's biography, he stated that the final draft screenplay only featured two of his scenes and asked the Writers Guild of America to make sure that he did not get given any credit. [6] Filming started in November 1960. [5] The main set is a four-story doll house-like interior of a mansion turned boarding house with a central courtyard allowing crane shots spanning its three and a half floors. The structure was several rooms deep at each level and in total 177 feet long, 154 wide and 36 feet high. [1] [7] The main set alone cost $500,000 to build (equivalent to $3.56 million in 2021). [1] After two weeks of filming, Lewis fired cinematographer Haskell Boggs, who had worked with him on most of his films, over a disagreement and replaced him with W. Wallace Kelley. [5]

The film features the real-life wedding of Daria Massey and David Lee Joesting. [5]


The film premiered in Brooklyn on June 28, 1961. In New York City, it opened on July 12 in a double-bill with Love in a Goldfish Bowl . [5]


Howard Thompson, in a review for The New York Times wrote: "Now, in all fairness to a frankly light-headed vehicle that dies on its feet, Mr. Lewis' latest gets off to a fresh and really funny beginning." However, after the first half-hour, "the remainder of the picture, with everyone else firmly relegated to the background, has Mr. Lewis shuffling and stumbling in full view, as if he and the movie were merely improvising." [3] Overall, it received mixed reviews in New York. [5] Based on a limited selection of non-contemporary reviews, on Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a 100% rating based on 10 reviews, with an average rating of 7.25/10. [8]

The film grossed $271,635 in its first week of release in New York. [5]

In 1998, Jonathan Rosenbaum of the Chicago Reader included the film in his unranked list of the best American films not included on the AFI Top 100. [9]

Herbert H. Heebert's line "Hey, lady!" was nominated for the American Film Institute's 2005 list AFI's 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes. [10]

Home media

The film was released on DVD on October 14, 2004 and again on July 15, 2014 in a 4-film collection, 4 Film Favorites: Jerry Lewis, with The Bellboy , The Errand Boy , and The Patsy .

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  1. 1 2 3 Hill, Gladwin (2 December 1960). "Comic Constructs Edifice for Film: Jerry Lewis Concocts a 40-Room Building for The Ladies Man". The New York Times . p. 33.
  2. Box office information for film at Box office story
  3. 1 2 Thompson, Howard (July 13, 1961). "Ladies' Man Heads New Double Bill". The New York Times.
  4. Vagg, Stephen (February 9, 2020). "Why Stars Stop Being Stars: George Raft". Filmink.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 The Ladies Man at the American Film Institute Catalog
  6. Brooks, Mel (2021). All About Me!. Century. pp. 137–138. ISBN   978-1-529-13507-7.
  7. "DVD Verdict Review - The Ladies Man (1961)". Archived from the original on 2005-02-20.
  8. "The Ladies' Man - Rotten Tomatoes".
  9. Rosenbaum, Jonathan (June 25, 1998). "List-o-Mania: Or, How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love American Movies". Chicago Reader . Archived from the original on April 13, 2020.
  10. "AFI's 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes Nominees" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-07-30.