Living It Up
|Living It Up|
Original film poster
|Directed by||Norman Taurog|
|Produced by||Paul Jones|
|Written by||Ben Hecht
|Music by||Walter Scharf|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Release dates||July 23, 1954|
|Running time||100 min.|
|Box office||$4.25 million (US)|
The film was directed by Norman Taurog and produced by Paul Jones. The screenplay by Jack Rose and Melville Shavelson was based on the 1953 musical Hazel Flagg by Ben Hecht, in turn based on the story Letter to the Editor by James H. Street.
An earlier film, Nothing Sacred, had been made in 1937 by Selznick International Pictures (released through United Artists) with Carole Lombard and Fredric March, and directed by William A. Wellman. The 1954 version had original music by Walter Scharf, cinematography by Daniel L. Fapp, art direction by Albert Nozaki and Hal Pereira, and costume design by Edith Head.
One day he finds an abandoned automobile at an old atomic proving ground. His doctor and best friend, Steve Harris, diagnoses him with radiation poisoning and gives Homer three weeks to live.
A reporter for a New York newspaper, Wally Cook, hears of Homer's plight and convinces her editor, Oliver Stone, to provide an all-expenses paid trip to fulfil Homer's lifelong fantasy of seeing New York.
Steve, however, realizes that he made an error and Homer is only suffering from a sinus condition. Steve agrees to keep this new diagnosis a secret after Homer begs him ... particularly after meeting the attractive reporter. Steve announces that only he can provide medical treatment to Homer and must accompany him on the trip.
New York embraces Homer and he becomes a celebrity, with everyone following his every move in the paper. Homer even makes plans to marry Wally, despite the fact that she has fallen for Steve.
Meanwhile, editor Stone is anxious for Homer to die. Every day it is costing the newspaper money to support the dying man's extravagant requests, which includes ordering 3,000 shrimp cocktails for his hotel suite. Stone hires three specialists to examine Homer, who is given a clean bill of health.
To escape the fix that they have gotten themselves into, Homer fakes suicide. The newspaper gets the exclusive story. Wally gets married to Steve, and the two guys get new jobs in New York as street sweepers.
Living It Up was filmed from October 19 to December 18, 1953. Sig Ruman, who plays Dr. Emil Eggelhoffer, played the same role in the 1937 version.
|Dean Martin||Steve Harris|
|Jerry Lewis||Homer Flagg|
|Janet Leigh||Wally Cook|
|Edward Arnold||The Mayor|
|Fred Clark||Oliver Stone|
|Sheree North||Jitterbug Dancer|
|Sig Ruman||Dr. Emile Egelhofer|
|Richard Loo||Dr. Lee|
The film was included on a five-film DVD set, the Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis Collection: Volume Two, released on June 5, 2007.
- 'The Top Box-Office Hits of 1954', Variety Weekly, January 5, 1955