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Scared Stiff

Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis provide a free-wheeling round of slapstick hilarity - the kind they do so well - in Scared Stiff, new version of the old Paul Dickey-Charles W. Goddard play [The Ghost Breakers]. Script has its chief setting on a lonely, zombie-haunted island off the coast of Cuba.

Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis provide a free-wheeling round of slapstick hilarity – the kind they do so well – in Scared Stiff, new version of the old Paul Dickey-Charles W. Goddard play [The Ghost Breakers]. Script has its chief setting on a lonely, zombie-haunted island off the coast of Cuba.

Preliminaries are concerned with Martin, a cabaret singer, and his awkward chum (Lewis) back in New York, where they get mixed up with a gangster’s girl (Dorothy Malone) and, in fleeing a gangland ride, meet up with Lizabeth Scott, hieress to the island. M&L decide to go along with her as protection against mysterious men who are attempting to keep her from claiming her inheritance.

Oddly enough, a comedy highlight in the picture is handled by uncredited Frank Fontaine, playing a drunk who thinks Martin is a ventriloquist when he is caught talking to Lewis, hidden in a trunk at dock-side. The comedy team is in its element in the story’s slap-stick harum-scarum. Scott handles herself niftily and Carmen Miranda shows up well. Malone’s chores in the early footage are carried out delightfully as a gal who likes to kiss, even if it does displease her gangster boyfriend.

Scared Stiff

  • Production: Paramount. Director George Marshall; Producer Hal B. Wallis; Screenplay Herbert Baker, Walter De Leon, Ed Simmons, Norman Lear; Camera Ernest Laszlo; Editor Warren Low; Music Leith Stevens; Art Director Hal Pereira, Franz Bachelin
  • Crew: (B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1953. Running time: 106 MIN.
  • With: Dean Martin Jerry Lewis Lizabeth Scott Carmen Miranda Dorothy Malone George Dolenz
  • Music By: