The Stooge

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The Stooge
Directed by Norman Taurog
Written by Fred Finklehoffe
Martin Rackin
Produced by Hal B. Wallis
Starring Dean Martin
Jerry Lewis
Polly Bergen
Marion Marshall
Eddie Mayehoff
Cinematography Daniel L. Fapp
Edited by Warren Low
Music by Joseph J. Lilley
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • December 31, 1952 (1952-12-31)(limited)
  • February 25, 1953 (1953-02-25)(Stanford Theatre, Palo Alto, California)
Running time
100 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$3.5 million (US) [2]
37,424 admissions (France) [3]

The Stooge is a 1952 American comedy film directed by Norman Taurog and starring the comedy team of Martin and Lewis. The film was released nationally in the United States in February 1953 by Paramount Pictures.



In 1930, entertainer Bill Miller believes that he has the ability to become a solo performer. He and his partner Ben Bailey split up and go their separate ways. Miller fails miserably, and his manager Leo Lyman thinks it would be a good idea to perform with a "stooge." Enter Ted Rogers, who plays an accident-prone foil for Miller. Soon afterwards, Miller's act is a hit.

Along the way, Rogers is unaware that he is the real reason the act is a success and becomes very loyal to Miller. Even though he receives no billing, he defends his "partner" when others suggest he is being taken advantage of by Miller.

Eventually, even Miller's wife Mary is ashamed of his treatment of Rogers, going so far as to threaten him with divorce. Miller is more determined than ever to prove he can make it as a single and fires Rogers, but promptly regrets his decision as his first performance as a true solo artist flops. He addresses the audience, apologizing and admitting that the "stooge" was the true heart and soul of the act. Rogers, who is sitting in the audience, comes to his rescue by joining him onstage and the two finally become true partners.



The Stooge was filmed between February 19 and March 24, 1951, and although it was filmed before two other Martin and Lewis films, Sailor Beware and Jumping Jacks , this film was withheld from distribution by Paramount because they were concerned about the audience's reaction to the way Martin treated Lewis in the movie. Lewis has stated that this is his favorite Martin and Lewis film.

Home media

The Stooge has been released four times on DVD. It was originally released on October 12, 2004. Two years later it was included on an eight-film DVD set, the Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis Collection: Volume One, released on October 31, 2006. In June 2018, it was released as part of a 10 film collection of Jerry Lewis films on DVD, and again on March 15, 2021.

On November 10, 2020, it was released on Blu-ray by Paramount. [4]

In other media

Comic books

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  1. Stanford Theatre Playdates 1953
  2. 'The Top Box Office Hits of 1953', Variety, January 13, 1954
  3. Jerry Lewis films French box office information at Box Office Story
  4. "The Stooge - Blu-ray". Blu-Ray.Com. Retrieved 6 November 2020.
  5. "Movie Love #13". Grand Comics Database.