Both the last movie that Jerry Lewis would make for Columbia Pictures and the last movie directed by George Marshall, who directed his first film in 1916, Hook, Line & Sinker comes at a strange time in Hollywood, when studios were trying to find something, anything to save their bottom line.
Shot on the Columbia Ranch using the exterior of TV’s Gidget’s house and the interior soundstages of Bewitched, part of this film feels like a TV movie. And another part is some kind of quasi-giallo where Lewis’ goofball character steals money and fakes his own death.
You read that right.
And much like an Italian psychosexual detective story, the movie begins at the end, where Peter Ingersoll (Lewis) is on an operating table, surrounded by doctors, stunned by what they are seeing. Yet to explain how he got here, he has to tell how his supposed best friend Dr. Scott Carter (Peter Lawford) told him he had a month to live and how his wife Nancy (Anne Francis, Forbidden Planet) told him to use his company credit cards to fish out his last days and he told none of them that this was a bad idea.
Carter compounds the problem by explaining that now Peter isn’t going to die, but he will go to jail because he used company funds to pay his bills and if he fakes his death, his wife will get $150,000. All he has to do is hide seven years until the statute of limitations is up, but there are immediate problems, like Dr. Carter and Anne getting married.
Which is how Peter got to Chile, as he went on vacation after he ruined their plans and ended up with a swordfish stuck in his chest.
Writer David Davis would go on to create The Bob Newhart Show and Taxi, as well as develop Rhoda. He worked on this with Rod Amateau, who would go on to direct The Statue, episodes of Supertrain and Enos and perhaps most importantly, produce, direct and write The Garbage Pail Kids Movie.
Mill Creek’s new Through the Decades: 1960s Collection has twelve movies: How to Ruin a Marriage and Save Your Life, The Notorious Landlady, Under the Yum Yum Tree, The Chase, Good Neighbor Sam, Baby the Rain Must Fall, Lilith, Genghis Khan, Mickey One, Who Was That Lady? and Luv. You can get it from Deep Discount.