HOLLYWOOD OR BUST
1956, Paramount, 95 min, Dir: Frank Tashlin

The final big-screen pairing of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis is this hilarious road movie. When a new car is raffled off, both film buff Malcolm Smith (Jerry Lewis) and gambler Steve Wiley (Dean Martin) claim the prize and agree to share it on a cross-country trip to Tinseltown, where Malcolm hopes to meet his favorite actress (Anita Ekberg). With an aspiring dancer (Pat Crowley) and a Great Dane (“Mr. Bascomb”) as fellow travelers, it’s a thoroughly entertaining ride given plenty of cartoon-like zing by animator Tashlin.


ARTISTS AND MODELS
1955, Paramount, 109 min, Dir: Frank Tashlin

Former Looney Tunes director Frank Tashlin was the perfect choice to helm this wacky tale about comic books and their creators. In one of the last and best films of their highly successful partnership, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis play an aspiring artist and his comics-obsessed roommate; Dorothy Malone and Shirley MacLaine (in her second feature) provide romantic interest. Along with prime Lewis slapstick, Dino gets to croon some wonderful songs by Harry Warren and Jack Brooks.


PURPLE RAIN
1984, Warner Bros., 111 min, Dir: Albert Magnoli

Prince ascended to superstardom with his big-screen debut as The Kid, frontman of rock-R&B band The Revolution. Burdened with a troubled home life, The Kid also must contend with a rival bandleader (a wonderfully charismatic Morris Day) out to steal both his slot at a Minneapolis nightclub and his new girlfriend (Apollonia Kotero). Given the setting, there are plenty of electrifying performances here, and Prince’s Oscar-winning score includes such classics as “Let's Go Crazy,” “When Doves Cry” and the title song.


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