The Sad Sack

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The Sad Sack
Original film poster
Directed byGeorge Marshall
Produced byHal B. Wallis
Written byGeorge Baker
Edmund Beloin
Nate Monaster
StarringJerry Lewis
David Wayne
Phyllis Kirk
Peter Lorre
Music byWalter Scharf
CinematographyLoyal Griggs
Edited byArchie Marshek
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • November 27, 1957 (1957-11-27)
Running time
95 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$3.5 million (US rentals)[1]
1,878,519 admissions (France)[2]

The Sad Sack is a 1957 Paramount Pictures comedy film based on the Harvey Comics character of the same name, created by George Baker. The film stars Jerry Lewis and Peter Lorre.


Private Meredith Bixby (Lewis) simply cannot fall in line with army procedure, even though he has had 17 months of training. A psychologist (Phyllis Kirk), is assigned to turn him into a good soldier, so she enlists two fellow servicemen to help Bixby with his training. About the only thing that he can do right is remember things with his photographic memory.

Eventually they are assigned to a base in Morocco. One night they all head off to a bar where Bixby gets drunk on "Moroccan Delights", which he thinks are malteds. He gets involved with a femme fatale (Liliane Montevecchi) and is kidnapped by some Arabian renegades.

Abdul (Peter Lorre) guards Bixby and makes him assemble a stolen cannon, knowing that Bixby had already memorized the assembly instructions back at the base. Bixby is eventually rescued by his fellow soldiers and they are all presented with medals of honor. Unfortunately, when Bixby mishandles a rifle that suddenly goes off, he damages the drinking glasses of the General and two visiting French officers. The trio (who are drinking a toast) are not hurt, but misfit Bixby gets punished with KP duty, peeling potatoes.



The film is based upon George Baker's comic book character. Hal Wallis purchased the movie rights with the intention of it starring the comedy team Martin and Lewis, but they split up before filming began. The Sad Sack was shot between March 18 and May 31, 1957 and released on November 27. It was re-released in 1962 as a double feature with another Jerry Lewis vehicle, The Delicate Delinquent, they being the first two movies Lewis made without Dean Martin.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Top Grosses of 1957", Variety, 8 January 1958: 30
  2. ^ Jerry Lewis films French box office information at Box Office Story

External links[edit]