Hollywood or Bust

Take a Technicolor trip across America with Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin! For their last film together, Frank Tashlin throws the odd couple (Lewis a movie freak with popcorn for brains, and Martin a recently reformed bookie) into a Cadillac aimed west. Off they go into the Saturday Evening Post countryside (singing “just grab a valise full and go where it's peaceful”), through an array of old movie sets, along a highway lined with Beautiful Girls, and past other assorted Tashlin poetic fantasies, all firmly rooted in the slippery surface of the American mass media. And all transformed through his color photography and sad-eyed amusement into something more, what Truffaut called “a lesson in good cinema that takes a slap at Hollywood's mediocrities,” not only through what it satirizes, but by the superior artistry behind the slap. Anita Ekberg appears as the ultimate fantasy: herself. (J.B.)

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