Hook, Line and Sinker Film Details
Overview: A man (Jerry Lewis) is told by his doctor (Peter Lawford), and best friend, that he has a terminal illness. At his wife’s urging, he lives life to the fullest, racking up insurmountable debts. When the damage is done, his friend the
Tagline: Jerry’s Living It Up Like Crazy!
Review: The film starts out so seriously. A group of doctors and nurses in scrubs enter the operating room looking quite grim, as if they are about to save a patient’s life. The gallery is filled with interested witnesses. And then the patient is asked what happened. We don’t see precisely what happened to him until much later, but I will say the procedure is related to fishing, hence the film’s title. In flashbacks, the story is told. Peter Ingersoll is an insurance agent who joins an emotionless, dedicated group marching into work as if part of a military unit at precisely 9 AM. He has a “Leave It to Beaver” family living in a “Leave It to Beaver” house. Well, not exactly. His kids treat him like a moron. Certainly not the impression one had of Ward. Peter does some work around the house and gets into the usual Jerry Lewis type messes–a rodent in the garden, a stopped up sink (this gag is really funny). One gets the impression, though, that he’s not really happy. For example, though this film has a G rating, we do get to see that Peter and Nancy have some … trouble in the bedroom. Unlike Ward and June, we can imagine where this couple’s kids came from. Peter’s good friend Scott is also his doctor. Scott tells Peter he has some sort of incurable condition that will give him only months to live (though there are no obvious symptoms). Peter decides to enjoy what life he has left. And being an insurance man, he has a great policy that will leave his wife secure after he dies. So Peter decides to run up $150,000 in debt on a lavish round-the-world fishing vacation, figuring the creditors will not go after a grieving widow. There is a problem, though, which gives the film most of its comedy potential. I shouldn’t give that away. Anyone looking for the zany Jerry Lewis style might be disappointed. The two gags early in the movie, and a limbo dance in the Caribbean, are about all the examples of the classic Lewis style until the movie’s second half. Lewis does get to display more of his trademark behavior pretending to be Fred Dobbs in Europe. Still, this is an entertaining and funny movie. Peter Lawford is very good. The other leading actors do a good job, and there are some really silly scenes in Europe. The film got a G rating, though it should be mentioned a couple is apparently naked in a hotel, with the appropriate parts covered. But this could mean anything–right? Something similar happens with Peter and his wife. And of course there is slapstick violence. But nothing really makes this film out of bounds for most kids. I had a good time.
Country: United States
Duration: 91 min
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