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Cinderfella (1960)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Family, Fantasy | 18 December 1960 (USA)
This was Jerry Lewis' answer to the classic Cinderella story. When his father dies, poor Fella is left at the mercy of his snobbish stepmother and her two no-good sons, Maximilian and ... See full summary »

Director:

Frank Tashlin

Writer:

Frank Tashlin
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jerry Lewis ... Cinderfella
Ed Wynn ... Fairy Godfather
Judith Anderson ... Wicked Stepmother
Henry Silva ... Maximilian
Robert Hutton ... Rupert
Count Basie ... Count Basie
Joe Williams ... Band Vocalist
Anna Maria Alberghetti ... Princess Charming
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Storyline

This was Jerry Lewis' answer to the classic Cinderella story. When his father dies, poor Fella is left at the mercy of his snobbish stepmother and her two no-good sons, Maximilian and Rupert. As he slaves away for his nasty step-family, Maximilian and Rupert attempt to find a treasure Fella's father has supposedly hidden on the estate. Meanwhile, hoping to restore her dwindling fortunes, the stepmother plans a fancy ball in honor of the visiting Princess Charmein whom she hopes will marry Rupert. Eventually, Fella's Fairy Godfather shows up to convince him that he has a shot at winning the Princess himself. Written by phillindholm

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 December 1960 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Aschenblödel See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Some exteriors were shot at the Bel Air, California mansion also used in The Beverly Hillbillies (1962). See more »

Goofs

In the scene where Fella is pulling a tray up from the dumb-waiter, a hand is seen pulling away from the tray. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Lawyer: ...and being of sound mind, and in full possession of my faculties, and in the presence of the undersigned witnesses, I write my last will and testament. I leave my estate and all my worldly goods to my dear wife, Emily. In the knowledge that she will take loving care of my son, Fella.
See more »

Connections

Version of Cinderella or The Glass Slipper (1912) See more »

Soundtracks

Somebody
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Jack Brooks
Sung by Jerry Lewis
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Below par gender-bending fairy tale a la Jerry Lewis.
8 May 2001 | by gbrumburghSee all my reviews

Decades before there was a Jim Carrey, the movies unleashed another inspired nut case – Jerry Lewis – whose 50s and 60s Paramount Studio vehicles tended toward an oil-and-water mix of outrageous physical comedy and mawkish sentimentalism. 1960's "Cinderfella" is a casualty of that uneasy blend.

Taking the classic fairy tale and tailoring it to fit his talents, the stretch-faced, rubber-limbed comedian portrays "Fella," a poor, imbecilic, ostracized stepson who lives only to serve his cruel, absurdly wealthy stepmother (Judith Anderson) and her two greedy sons (Robert Hutton, Henry Silva) in their palatial mansion. The only reason they even allow Fella to still "bunk" at the mans (his bedroom is more the size of a closet) is that Fella's late father has hidden a vast fortune somewhere on the grounds of the estate and the step-kin think the dolt may know where it might be hidden.

Jerry is priceless when it comes to engineering clever, complex, high-energy sight gags. A testament to his versatility here is his miming flutist scene as he listens to a ditty on the radio in the kitchen (one of my all time favorite Lewis routines). The dinner scene where he caters to his family at an absurdly long dining table is another ingenious moment. Sprinkled throughout too are numerous well-timed bits, like the reading of the inscription off his father's ring, or (the frequently used) hair-combing bit, etc. But too much of the time, Jerry bogs the scenes down with cheap, slick, sentimental mush. He gets what I call "telethon tender" on us -- trying to work our heartstrings instead of our funnybones.

I remember the Marx Brothers having the annoying habit of breaking up their frantic comedy skits with "straight" musical numbers sung by some insipid ingenues that always took away from the fun. Same problem here...only worse! Lewis incorporates HIMSELF, a very mediocre singer, into these cloying musical numbers, and ten times out of ten they don't work. In "Cinderfella," he allows himself no less than FOUR soporific songs to indulge in, with one of those numbers, some silly nonsense about being a "people" instead of a "person", just unbearable. Jerry the Clown sells; Jerry the Lounge Lizard doesn't.

Judith Anderson is appropriately huffy and haughty and Henry Silva and Robert Hutton make a fine pair of oily villains, while proving good sports, too, as the unwitting victims of some of Jerry's mishaps. But the late, great Ed Wynn is wasted here as the "Fairy Godfather," mired in those gooey scenes I was talking about before. The demure, exceptionally lovely Anna Maria Alberghetti, who complements the lavish surroundings, appears too late in the proceedings to make any difference as the "Princess Charming" character who, for whatever reason, is smitten by the ungainly Fella. By the time she arrives, the film has lost its charm and humor, and we have lost our patience. It's too bad she didn't get to sing instead of Lewis.

I know it sounds like I'm not a fan at all of Jerry's, but I am! Like many producer/director/stars of his calibre, their egos get the best of them. Like Elvis Presley, most of his vehicles were not up to snuff. And in the case of "Cinderfella," Frank Tashlin may be credited with directing, but I think we all know who the director REALLY was on this set.

For those who appreciate Jerry as only the French can, I would suggest "The Disorderly Orderly," "The Ladies Man" and his most popular, "The Nutty Professor," to get a better feeling of this man's genius.


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