The Sad Sack For his second film post Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis did a live adaption of George Baker’s World War II comic strip The Sad Sack. It was a role perfectly suited to his talents though I have to say that it looked like David Wayne was standing in for Dino.
It was a fateful day that Wayne and buddy Joe Mantell reporting back to Louisiana’s Camp Calhoun ran into Lewis on the train who in his usual innocence befriends these two. Because of him they’re late for reporting back and that’s only the beginning.
In fact Lewis who is blessed with a photographic memory, but has the coordination of a goony bird has set an army record of most time in basic training. He’s become an army project in that army psychologist Phyllis Kirk is sent down from the Pentagon and she puts Wayne and Mantell into personally supervising him through basic training. Seeing Lewis qualify on the rifle range is the funniest sequence in the film. The Sad Sack
Once finished the whole platoon is assigned to an Air Force base in Morocco for security as some classified items involving a new army weapon have vanished. In fact the whole weapon has been taken, but its apart and bad guys George Dolenz and Peter Lorre don’t know how to put it together. But the guy with photographic memory does.
The Sad Sack is a perfect part for Lewis and I have to say that David Wayne without getting in the way of the star gives a droll, but unobtrusive performance. It’s definitely a Dean Martin part without the songs. Jerry even gets some romance here in the form of Liliane Montevecchi who plays a Moroccan belly dancer in league with the bad guys, but who has a change of heart when she meets The Sad Sack.
You have to see how Lewis, Wayne, and Mantell foil the bad guys. This is a really good role for Jerry and holds up very well for today.