Rock-A-Bye Baby (film)

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For the nursery rhyme, see Rock-a-bye Baby.
Rock-A-Bye Baby
theatrical poster
Directed by Frank Tashlin
Produced by Jerry Lewis
Ernest D. Glucksman (associate)
Written by Preston Sturges
(previous screenplay)
Frank Tashlin
Starring Jerry Lewis
Marilyn Maxwell
Connie Stevens
Music by Harry Warren
(songs - music)
Sammy Cahn
(songs - lyrics)
Walter Scharf (score)
Cinematography Haskell B. Boggs
Edited by Alma Macrorie
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date
July 16, 1958 (Los Angeles)
July 23, 1958 (New York City)
Running time
103 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office 1,608,274 admissions (France)[1]

Rock-A-Bye Baby is a 1958 comedy film with songs, starring Jerry Lewis. A loose remake of Preston Sturges' 1944 film The Miracle of Morgan's Creek, the film was directed and written by Frank Tashlin, and features Marilyn Maxwell, Connie Stevens and Reginald Gardiner.


Clayton Poole (Jerry Lewis) is a small-town TV repairman whose former sweetheart, Carla Naples (Marilyn Maxwell), is now a famous movie star. Carla marries a Mexican bullfighter and becomes pregnant; her husband dies the day after the wedding. Her agent, Harold Herman (Reginald Gardiner) tries to avoid a scandal by sending Carla back to the town where she grew up. The cover story is that she is going into seclusion to prepare for her next role, the lead in the religious epic The White Virgin of the Nile. Carla turns to Clayton for help, and he agrees to care for the child once it is born.

Carla gives birth to triplets, and Clayton discovers that he has to be married before he can adopt them. He marries Carla's younger sister, Sandy (Connie Stevens), who is in love with him. The press learns that the triplets are Carla's, and Carla tells reporters that she and Clayton are secretly married. Now suspected of bigamy, Clayton goes into hiding with the triplets.

Nine months later, Sandy gives birth to quintuplets. A statue of Clayton and his five babies is erected in front of the town courthouse.[2][3][4]


Cast notes:

  • Two of the original Keystone Kops, Hank Mann and Chester Conklin have bit parts.
  • Jerry Lewis' son Gary Lewis plays "Clayton Poole" as a boy in a fantasy sequence.[5]
  • A picture of comedian Jack Benny was used as a photograph of "Carlos", the Mexican bullfighter that Carla married, and the father of her triplets.[5]
  • George Sanders is listed in some cast lists for the film,[6] but his part was cut before the movie was released, as was a small part played by Jerry Lewis' father, Danny.[5]

Songs and music[edit]

The songs in Rock-A-Bye Baby were written by Harry Warren (music) and Sammy Cahn (lyrics):[7][8]

  • "Rock-a-Bye Baby" - sung by Jerry Lewis[9]
  • "The Land of La-La-La" - sung by Jerry Lewis and Gary Lewis
  • "Love Is a Lonely Thing" - sung by Jerry Lewis
  • "Dormi, Dormi, Dormi (Sleep-Sleep-Sleep)" - sung by Salvatore Baccaloni and Jerry Lewis
  • "Why Can't He Care for Me?" - sung by Connie Stevens
  • "The White Virgin of the Nile" - sung by Marilyn Maxwell
  • "Rock My Baby, Rock" - sung by Jerry Lewis

Songs and music notes:

  • Another song by Warren and Cahn, "Me and My Baby", was written for the film but not used.[5]
  • The musical numbers in the film were staged by Nicholas Castle, Sr.[10]
  • Because of a musician's strike, Walter Scharf's score had to be recorded in Mexico City in March 1958, and causing union musicians to picket a preview of the film in Los Angeles on 3 June 1958. Some reports maintain that Lewis himself conducted the 100-piece orchestra.[5]
  • "Rock My Baby, Rock" is a spoof of rock and roll music, with Lewis fronting a group dressed and equipped in similar fashion to Bill Haley & His Comets, and incorporating a drum solo performed by Lewis.


Rock-A-Bye Baby was loosely based on Preston Sturges' 1944 film The Miracle of Morgan's Creek, which starred Eddie Bracken and Betty Hutton, and because of this Sturges received a writer's credit on the film, although he did not actually work on the project.

Rock-a-Bye Baby was filmed from 18 November 1957 through 8 January 1958,[11] and opened in Los Angeles on 16 July 1958, followed by a premiere in New York City on 23 July. It went in general release shortly afterwords.[12] The film was re-released in 1962 on a double bill with another Jerry Lewis film, Don't Give Up The Ship.[5]

Home media[edit]

The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray on February 14, 2012 through the Olive Films company.[13]


  1. ^ Box office information for film in France at Box Office Story
  2. ^ Adams, Les Plot summary (IMDB)[unreliable source?]
  3. ^ TCM Full synopsis
  4. ^ Brennan, Sandra Plot synopsis (Allmovie)
  5. ^ a b c d e f TCM Notes
  6. ^ Allmovie Cast
  7. ^ IMDB Soundtracks[unreliable source?]
  8. ^ TCM Music
  9. ^ This is not the song "Rock-a-Bye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody" by Jean Schwartz (music) and Sam M. Lewis and Joe Young (lyrics), dating from 1918, with which Jerry Lewis had a Top Ten hit in the 1950s. Nor is it (given the context of the film) the nursery rhyme of the same title.
  10. ^ TCM Full credits
  11. ^ IMDB Business data[unreliable source?]
  12. ^ TCM Overview
  13. ^[unreliable source?]

External links[edit]