|Dear DMFC : First I should tell you that I'm a senior in school
and 17. We saw two different Matt Helm movies that my friends had rented
last weekend, and remember hearing Dean Martin sing some songs in the background
of the videos. Today I found a couple of used cd's (Love songs by Dean and
Spotlight on Dean) in a cd store here in town, and only paid a dollar each
for them. I put them on in the car (we call stinky) and went to get my two
friends after class. For a couple of hours we cruised around until we heard
each and every tune. We were blown away. He is so apple pie! Right now we
are back at Rick's house (friend), and have downloaded your site that was
mentioned on one of the cd's. Tomorrow we are heading out on a quest for
more of the DM music.
(Blinky 'The Blastgate' Gamm - California)
Dear DMFC : I am not a big fan of Dean Martin's, but as a Christmas
gift, someone gave me one of those Dean Martin singing dolls. It's sort
of a cross between tackiness and classic humor that makes it so adorable.
Since I started to hear him sing "That's Amore" over and over,
I can't get the song out of my head. I go to bed singing That's Amore, I
get up singing That's Amore, I find that I'm even transposing words to the
song in place of what I am thinking. If ever there was a way to win a war
overseas, I think we could send in a bunch of these Dean Martin dolls and
drop them over the country. We could brainwash the enemy to death!
(F. Powers - Maryland)
Dear DMFC : Do you know about a book with famous quotes by Dean
Martin? Wasn't all of his jokes written for him by his television writers?
(Deb Nortic - Ohio)
Dear DMFC : I had just read the comment left by an anonymous poster
below. I am one of those people who subscribe to a few different Dean Martin
newsgroups, and am considered a lurker. A lurker is one who never says anything,
but just listens to what others say. I am also a member of your Dean Martin
Fan Center's Fan Club, and am also affiliated in the publishing business.
First of all, I have to say that your publication FAR outranks
any other magazine of it's type! (For those who don't know - a newsletter
is 16 pages or less and a magazine is 17 pages in content or more).
These newsgroups are very interesting to watch and read. Actually,
a FEW of the people who are in them are very loud in their words and opinions,
but have an interesting way to make themselves known without much trouble
at all. Nothing much positive comes from these groups about Dean except
a lot of complaining about what others are doing, and small talk about their
pets and parents. As a matter of fact, most of these people have traded
personal e-mail addresses and correspond with each other off-line to keep
their opinions and operations a secret.
One of the operations currently happening is the trading of recorded
music and video. Most of Dean's songs (such as the four Bear Family Box
Sets) are being traded back and forth for free instead of paying for it.
Their justification is that Dean's music should be enjoyed by everybody.
In reality, the music industry has taken a severe beating, and when no money
is being made - then projects and releases stop. I don't think Dean sang
his heart out for free. It was a job to him, like everything else, and he
worked hard for the money he made, and what he made for his family. These
newsgroup people speak very loudly, but when it comes down to spending a
few dollars on the man they all want to represent, they won't budge a thin
dime. How do they expect that anyone else will keep Dean's legacy alive
if no one can afford to invest in it? Don't they even think about that?
Now, the topic about your magazine not having enough Dean Martin
inside it's pages. Are they kidding? Your December 2002 issue has just devoted
16 pages to the Martin and Lewis movie "Jumping Jacks" , another
two pages to the Martin and Lewis TV movie, a full page of current Dean
Martin news, a letters to the editor section, and 14 pages on Bob Sidney
who is one of the most respected names in Hollywood. It was very interesting
to read about his relationship with Dean during the two movies he did with
Dean, The Silencers and Jumping Jacks, and the years during the Dean Martin
TV show, with pictures of Greg Garrison, Lee Hale, Neil Daniels (DMFC president),
Dean Martin's daughter Gail Martin, Dom DeLuise, Kammie Martin (who was
married to Craig Martin, Dean's son) and others who worked with and knew
Dean and the two movies he did with Dean (The Silencers and Jumping Jacks.)
I counted, and there were well over 150 photographs in that issue alone!
I for one, welcome the opportunity to read and hear about the people
who worked with Dean and what they have to say. The articles on the Golddiggers
are just as fascinating. It's interesting to see what has happened to them
since being one of Dean's Golddiggers. I sometimes think that some of these
people forget that Dean has been dead for seven years now, and that he is
not making any more records or personal appearances, and that if all they
want is to hear the same old stories, they can go to the library and check
out old movie star magazines. The approach that your magazine gives is refreshing.
You still have current news along with interviews from people who were there
and knew Dean. Again, no other fan club magazine goes the lengths that you
do. I guess it's that old adage, 'You can't please all of the people all
of the time'.
I have also noticed that your magazines' presentation differs from
issue to issue. In the previous issue, one devoted to a game of six-degrees
between Dean and the movie Grease - you still had a dozen photographs of
Dean along with five pages of his son Ricci Martin in concert and another
half dozen pages devoted to how the master tapes of Dean's variety shows
are being preserved. All of this is behind-the-scenes stuff that only the
REAL Dean Martin fans can appreciate. There is so much that you seem to
write about, it cannot all fit into one issue, and that's why each one that
arrives has different articles, ideas and concepts.
Before I had joined your fan club, I did some checking on my own.
I had found nothing but high praise for your club through other members,
and then I started learning about the many awards that you have won, and
how much the entertainment community embraces you. So, to those select few
complainers that want to complain about not having enough Dean, well maybe
that's a compliment to your magazine in hindsight. Most fans can't get enough
of their hero - and if they really were not interested, they could easily
cancel their subscription instead of complaining behind your back.
P.S. As another matter-of-fact: many of these constant posters
and complainers are actually under the ages of adulthood (being in their
teens) and a lot of the messages that are posted on one newsgroup are transposed
and copied over onto other newsgroups to give their voices the strength
they think they need in repetition.
So, thanks for your opinion Mister or Miss Anonymous. I have mine
too, and it's time that it was heard.
(Greg Hysap - New York)
Dear DMFC : We had such a big New Years celebration here at our
companies get-together a couple of weeks ago. It was on New Years day, as
everyone (43 employees) showed up with their spouses or friends. Most of
us are in our 30's and 40's and we all wanted to have a good time, but also
a safe time.
It was a great party and we even had a deejay bring music to serenade
us threw our fun. After the deejay set his equipment up, he was requested
by everyone to only play Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis songs.
The deejay had to send his assistant back to his studio to grab some more
Rat Pack sounds, but arrived in time to keep us listening to the tunes of
Frank, Dean and Sammy all evening.
Many stories about the Rat Pack were told, and everyone had such
wonderful memories of Dean Martin, especially from his TV show.
Anyway, after finding your website (from one of the co-workers
who attended) I wanted to tell you how much fun we had, and how much Dean
Martin and his music was a part of our fun celebration. Sincerely,
(Lisa Wellington - Washington)
Dear DMFC : I and my news group friends are tired of reading about
all these other people who knew and worked with Dean Martin in your magazine.
All we want to hear and read about about is Dean Martin. No one else.
Dear DMFC : I recently met a gentleman who works for a big music
publishing company and he told me that you people may have some rare early
recordings of Dean Martin's that have never been heard before. If that is
true, please make them available to all of us fans to listen to on cd.
(Jennifer O'dell - Maine)
Dear DMFC : Happy New Year to all. With all of the rumors concerning
Dean Martin's music, TV and movie appearances possibly coming out, this
is going to be a bountiful year!
(Melissa Kibler - Canada)
Dear DMFC : For Christmas my wife gave me four different box set
cd's with full color books covering the whole Dean Martin recordings of
his career. Please thank you center's president for making these available,
they are fantastic! I will be playing these until Valentine's day because
of so much material to hear (and read).
George Perrine - Georgia)
Dear DMFC : I know that you get a lot of Christmas postings from
so many fans, and that you can't print everything that gets sent in. I just
couldn't let my desires to wish everyone a Merry Christmas go by without
telling you this story.
I am a big Dean Martin fan, and yesterday I went to my local K-Mart
store to find one of the singing Dean Martin dolls I had seen in their newspaper
ad and on Regis Philbin's show last month. I was so lucky, because I had
found the last one they had and couldn't wait to get it home. It was going
to be my Christmas present to myself.
While I was still shopping, I overheard this young woman pushing
her little girl around in a wheelchair. The girl had a neckbrace on , and
her one arm was bandaged up to about eight inches round. I overheard the
young woman tell her little girl that she couldn't afford to get her the
Barbie doll she saw on the shelf, and that Santa was not going to be able
to get her much this year. As I turned the corner, I saw this woman's eyes
pouring out the tears as she tried to push her little girl away from the
toys, trying hard to hide her tears. A huge lump just swelled in my throat.
A K-Mart employee saw me watching her and she walked by me and
whispered that the woman just lost her husband in a car accident a month
earlier, and her little girl was in the car and was hurt pretty bad. They
were still not sure if her arm was going to be saved. She also said that
the K-Mart store was going to donate a gift card to them, because the woman
did not have any insurance, and losing her husband put her into a world
of debt, let alone her whole life had been devastated in a quick moment.
When I heard this, I was the one who broke down and cried. I quickly
dried my face and ran over to the same shelf they were looking at and grabbed
the Barbie Doll. I also grabbed up about a half dozen more toys, and got
the employee to quickly help me pay for them. I ran back to where the little
girl was and handed her and her Mom the bags I bought. The woman was so
stunned and I managed to tell her that someone wanted her to have these
things. As I handed the toys to her Mom, I noticed the little girl was staring
at the Dean Martin doll that I had also bought for myself. I said to her,
"Do you know who this is?", and of course she replied "no".
I said, "Do you like it?", as I pulled it out from my bag to show
her the whole thing. Her face lit up, and without pausing I said, "This
is Dean Martin". He's a singer, and helped me forget my troubles whenever
I was sad." I then handed her the Dean Martin doll and yelled "Merry
Christmas" as I ran as fast as possible to leave the store before her
mother could react or say no.
I'm not telling you this story for any personal admiration or gain.
I'm telling you this story because, I too, lost my Dad when I was a little
girl in the very same way, a car accident. If it were not for Dean Martin's
songs and TV shows, I don't know if I would have made it thought all those
terrible sad and lonely times trying to grow up having my own Dad taken
so suddenly. I loved my Dad so dearly.
Dean Martin: you have just helped another child in this world making
her smile at Christmas time, the same holiday that you passed away. I feel
so good inside and knew in my heart that you were smiling down on this little
girl and her Mom. God Bless you Dean. Please don't use my name if by any
chance you print this.
(Anonymous - Oregon)
Dear DMFC : As I listen to Dean sing Let it Snow, I want to wish
everyone at the Fan Center, all of Dean's fans, and the Martin family a
very Happy Holiday, and only good thoughts and wishes for the New Year.
I love you all.
(Kate Meno - Connecticut)
Dear DMFC : To all of Dean Martin's family: His voice has a once
in a lifetime quality and my Dad died this year of on February 22, 2002
and when I listen to Dean's music it makes me feel closer to my Dad. I love
Dean's music as much as my Dad did. Dean Martin had true class with or without
money. I wish all of his relatives the best. P.S. As I am writing this e-mail,
I am listening to Dean Martin - a music icon.
(Marie Spencer - Florida)
Dear DMFC : Hello there! My name is Maheen Wickramasinghe and I
am an 18 year old blind boy. I live in Ontario, Canada and I have always
been a huge fan of Dino. I was born on September 16, 1984 in Sri Lanka and
I have been blind all my life. Dean has one of the most beautiful voices
I have ever heard and there will be another like him. I much prefer his
country recordings he did in the 60's. Not like Frank, Dean sang a variety
of styles and his country material is probably the best I have ever heard.
I wish I could have those expensive box sets the Bear Family have put together
of every recording Dino ever made. I would really love to hear from any
fans out there! I might be the youngest fan of Dino because many 18 year
olds today listen to all this terrible rap garbage which I can't even stand.
Well, God bless you and I will look forward to hearing from anyone of you!
Most sincerely yours, (Maheen - Canada)
Dear DMFC : I just wanted to take a few moments to reflect on the
day that Dean passed away which was Christmas morning seven years ago. It
doesn't seem that long ago. Maybe that's because he is still with us everyday
in spirit with his music in many new movies, as well as hearing his tunes
on the radio and seeing his many movies on cable. We all miss you Dean!
(Lowell Mattan - Oregon)
Dear DMFC : Hi, we are heading to another part of our country to
spend Christmas with my husband's family, but I just wanted to post a Merry
Christmas to everyone in "Marshmallow World". These uncertain
times make any special occasion even more special. I'm sure it is a time
of mixed feelings for Dean's family, friends and fans, but we are still
(always) thankful for his music and contribution to the entertainment world.
(Ann Hockey - Canada)
Dear DMFC : I agree the Tosches book was a hatchet job, but the
quote "You can talk about love all you want. You're just a dollar sign
to me" is even mentioned in Jerry Lewis's autobiography IN PERSON.
(Rodney Rawlings - Canada)
Dear DMFC, As Christmas is just around the corner I decided to
buy an album to get me in the mood. Obviously it had to be a Dean album,
so I bought 'A Winter Romance', WOW!!!! What an album! I recommend it to
everyone who loves Christmas. I've never felt Christmasier. I love 'Let
it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!' and just melt when I hear Dean |
sing 'White Christmas' ! Dino Rules 4ever! Keep up the good work DMFC.
(Jaclyn Ulyatt - England) Dear DMFC : I love this website, it is great.... Dean Martin lives in us....and never forgotten (Anonymous)
Dear DMFC : I just rented "Airport" on DVD and wanted to comment on it. Since I am 26, I sort of missed these big epic disaster movies that came out like "Earthquake" and the "Poseidon Adventure". I read somewhere that "Airport" was the movie that started the whole thing, so I gave it a chance. Wow, this was a great movie! Made without any super special effects it can still relate to audiences in a time like today when flying is still a worry to all. Dean Martin's role as the airline captain was excellent. I believed him all the way through, as Burt Lancaster as the airport chief. Everyone had an important role, and was believable. I might decide to keep this dvd and pay for it's loss instated of returning it. Thank you for the place to express my thought. (Dan Baer - New Mexico) Dear DMFC: I recently purchased the CD "Christmas with the Rat Pack" and was not at all happy to discover that the wrong version of "White Christmas" was used, despite what the album's liner notes said. One of the main reasons I bought the album was to get the 1966 version of the song, not the 1959 version. This is just a warning to all those who plan on buying this cd. I would better recommend "Making Spirits Bright" if you want a good holiday cd of songs. (Bob Clemens - Idaho) The made-for-television bio-pic "Martin and Lewis : Every End Has a Beginning" aired on the CBS network November 24th, 2002. We have received a record amount of E-mail... and are expecting an equal amount of letters as well. One hour into the airing of "Martin and Lewis" (in the Eastern U.S. States) we had logged 665 E-mail messages. After the U.S. West Coast showing we had received over 1600 E-mail transmissions, and that number is still counting! Nothing in our history has prompted as much interest in communicating. Because a majority of the statements and questions were repetitious, we have decided to post a handful of them on our bulletin board. Our organization strives hard to keep everything on the 'positive' up-beat side... but when you hear the following updated statistics, you will be amazed... Four percent of the responses favored the movie. Nine percent of the responses were neutral (only asking questions or wanting to know more about Dean or the team). Eighty-seven percent of the responses disliked the movie. Out of the 87 percent that disliked the movie... the words 'terrible' and 'hated' were the most used. Many felt this was another attempt to mold the memory of Dean Martin into a path that has been exploited for a while now. Because of this huge outpour of mail, we felt compelled to publish your views and opinions... Hence, here are some of the posts: Dear DMFC : Hello, I usually visit the web site once a week and today is the first chance I've had to see the responses to Sunday's Martin and Lewis TV movie on CBS. I didn't think the movie was all that bad when I first saw it, although I did feel that Dean Martin definitely came out on the short end and was played as a cold, totally self-centered and colorless caricature rather than a flesh-and-blood human being.
After thinking about the film this week and reading the other posts, I do have to agree the movie was a big disappointment. In retrospect, about the only positive things I can say about it is that I felt the two scenes depicting the team's first efforts together before an audience, as when Jerry interrupts Dean's act by posing as a clumsy busboy and their first night together at the 500 Club in Atlantic City were pretty funny. Also, the set decorators did a good job recreating the 500 Club exterior and the costumes were nice, but that's about it. I've never read the book by Nick Tosches that's been mentioned, but there's a good reason for that. I recall looking it over for a few minutes in a bookstore several years ago. The quick look made it quite clear the biography was a hostile hatchet job on Dean Martin. I especially remember the highlighting of Dean's alleged statement to Jerry: "You can talk about 'love' all you want. You're just a dollar sign to me." Thanks to Jim Reese for pointing out the fallacy of that remark.
That quote and other aspects of the screenplay gave me the impression that that book was probably the writers' primary source material--talk about slipshod research! If Dean were really as cold-hearted and distant as he was portrayed in the book and this movie, why would he have bothered going to the trouble to gain legal custody of his children from his first marriage (no mean feat in the 1950s)? Why would Jeanne have stayed married to him as long as she did? Why would they have resumed a friendly relationship ten years after their divorce? Why would Ricci Martin have written his book about his father in the way that he did?
And regarding Dean's relationship with Jerry Lewis, if he were so cold-hearted, uncaring and insensitive, why would he have taken the trouble, twenty years after their breakup, to make an appearance with Frank Sinatra on Jerry's 1976 Labor Day Muscular Dystrophy Telethon, in which, as the tape clearly shows, Dean walks on stage, embraces Jerry and plants a kiss on his cheek (I still remember the amazement and delight clearly visible on Jerry's face and Dean appeared quite happy as well)? Yes, that could have been mere stage dressing on Dean's part, but from what I've read and heard in interviews about him over the years, including from Jerry himself, that seems very unlikely. Why would Jerry have bothered to attend Dino Paul's funeral in 1987 in the quiet, unobtrusive manner that he did? Why would a cold and uncaring person as Dean was portrayed in the movie have bothered to thank someone like Jerry for such an act? I could go further, but I think I've made my point.
The feelings of disappointment took a little longer to sink in with me, but they became strong enough that I felt compelled to watch a real Martin and Lewis movie a day or so after viewing the CBS film to capture the real magic of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. Whatever human foibles Dean Martin had and occasionally displayed in his life, as all of us do, I'll always be a very big fan of his, both as a performer and a human being. Clearly, there were personality conflicts between these two men and tensions rose as time went on and both felt the desire to stretch their creative wings elsewhere. However, one consistent thing I've noticed in the serious, as opposed to exploitative (such as the Tosches book) discussions of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis is their mutual respect and as time ultimately proved and Dean said to Jerry onstage at Bally's Hotel/Casino in Las Vegas when the latter made a surprise appearance to help Dean celebrate his 72nd birthday in 1989, love that existed between them underneath. Thanks for the opportunity to share my views.
(Brian Battor - Missouri) Dear DMFC: This is in answer to the letter by Kerry O'Brien. We all know that Dean was human. Actually, he was probably more human and down to earth than most other celebrities. Most of us as fans really don't care about his marital status or if he fooled around once in a while. Most people's marriages end up in divorce in this country anyway, and most women dreamed of Dean fooling around with them anyway. (I think If you want to examine Dean's marital life, then examine Jerry's as well. It's not much different, but it's funny how most don't associate the difference because they are not 'slapped in the face' with it through TV bio productions. I think the point that most Dean Martin fans want to make is that they are tired of seeing the emphasis put on Dean's negative aspects under a microscope, yet his attributes and contributions are seen through a pair of binoculars turned around backwards. (A reversal of what some people have been subjecting Jerry Lewis' name to over the decades.) Dean had a way of getting his sex appeal and fun nature across without having to bully his way. This is what made Dean Martin: "DEAN MARTIN"! This is what Dean Martin fans want and EXPECT to see. At least some balance, instated of ANOTHER focus on the crap. (Tina Stanford - Virginia) Dear DMFC : I think most people that have made positive comments tend to state that the movie depicted Dean as he was. Why do they think that was the way Dean was? Simple: they believe everything they read over the years in the National Enquirer and glanced through the dark Nick Tosches book. Now they know all about the REAL Dean, so when another TV movie gets told, and they use these sources, then it must be right-on. How about asking most people who were a bit older and lived through the REAL Dean Martin experience themselves. They will be able to tell you that no one ever said unflattering words about Dean. He was admired and loved by all that knew him and worked with him. If he was such a scoundrel and ass back then, why didn't a sole ever say it when they had the chance? Simple: people forget. They have all used the stories they have read by people who were out to make a buck after Dean had retired and even passed away (take this movie for instance). Of course Jerry Lewis fans will love this movie. After years of isolation, now he lends a hand into the production of this. Well folks, In the next few months you'll be amazed to see what money making ventures Jerry has planned for us to spend on hard-earned money on. Maybe lending a hand to a production that he didn't have to sink any money into is a good attempt at fee publicity, even at the expense of his ex-partner almost fifty years ago. I love Jerry Lewis' work, he was good at it and knew what the public wanted back then. He made millions and he deserved every penny of it. Not many people have made it in the world of show business as Dean or Jerry had. Maybe it's time to see a movie made about Jerry's life and what caused the downhill spiral he took that most people don't know about. We've already seen too many crappy versions of Dean's early years! Anyway, I was happy that they attempted this film. Martin and Lewis deserve more notoriety and accolades for what they accomplished. Unfortunately this movie fell short of being a true quality piece of work. No excuses, it just wasn't good. By the way, the Nielsen ratings scored Martin and Lewis in 31st place under "Pennsylvania Miners", "My Wife and Kids" and a rerun of "The Santa Clause" (which came in 14th). It got a 13.13 share (multiply that number by one million to see the actual people tuned in). Maybe nobody really cares anymore - or maybe people are just a bit smarter. (Kim Moore - Minnesota) Dear DMFC : First off, thanks for a place to be able to post thoughts, and it seems like there are a great many others doing the same thing on the M&L movie. Some brief thoughts. First, two hours (really 95 minutes without commercials) could never do justice, to either of these men, let alone cover ten years. Overall, the movie did favor Dean, and stayed fairly faithful to the Authur Marx book (Jerry stealing Dean's ad-libs,the My Friend Irma incident, faking illness, trying to run the show and have the attention centered on him), one had to sit through almost an hour or so to get to these scenes. It was unfortunate that in the first twenty minutes Dean was portrayed as a womanizer. There is no doubt this did occur, but it was between his break-up with his first wife and meeting the second Mrs. Martin. It also occurred many years later in their marriage, but the movie played loose with facts. Additionally, his first wife was an alcoholic, which the movie only alluded to and you would miss if you didn't see the Patty Lewis character notice the Betty Martin character drinking in the nightclub (where also portrayed Jeannie Martin as a marriage buster). There is some evidence that Dean was detached from other emotionally (interviews with his second wife and some colleagues confirm this-however others comments are more positive). I believe the Jeremy Northam selection was a positive one, but no one could truly capture Dean, so it was an uphill battle. I did appreciate actually hearing Dean vocalize the songs. It is too bad the comedy routines were not more fully flushed out as well. This seemed glossed over. I wonder what people who are not familiar with M&L were thinking watching this. It truly did not seem funny, yet again, the true essence of M&L is in their chemistry, and that just couldn't be captured in this movie.
On the positive note, almost 13 million people saw the movie. Exposure to Dean's music and bits of pieces of his life are better than not having anything out there at all. It is up to the viewer to find out more, like visiting this site, and other places. Thanks for reading.
(Steven Silverman - California) Dear DMFC: I feel amiss in conveying my thoughts to Mr. Reese, and perhaps, other Dino fans. I suspect some of us have placed Dean on such a high pedestal, we forget he was human. On one hand, we deny Dean's infidelities, and on the otherhand, we defend them (because Betty was an alcoholic). Dean was as human as the rest of us, who committed acts of good and bad, and there should be no shame in acknowleging that fact. Regardless of the merits of the Nick Tosches' book and other such works, I believe Dean's second wife has admitted, on film, that she had an affair with Dean while he was married, and that Dean had affairs during her marriage to Dean. While the movie did indeed accent this aspect of his life, it also portayed the better side of Dean - showing tender moments with his second wife and kids, Dean being the only one who visited Jerry in the hospital, and Dean defending Jerry's insult to a mobster. I think the disappointment with his fans (who are obviously but understandably biased) in this movie is that we hoped for a tribute, which would highlight only the wonderful things we see in Dean. Consequently, any attempt by the film makers to be objective would disappoint our subjective standards. I love Dean just as much as the rest of you, but we must understand that when it came to marital commitment, for better or for worse, Dean missed the charts several times.
(Kerry O'Brien) Dear DMFC : Thought the actors were good. Movie terrible. (Kyle Wied) Dear DMFC : This was a truly horrible production that depicted Dean as vacuous and completed self-centered in a performance that was as flat as a Prairie highway. (David Krayden - Executive Assistant to Brian Fitzpatrick, M.P. Prince Albert - Canada) Dear DMFC : I didn't know much about these two men until I watched the special about Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. Although the movie sometimes didn't answer certain questions, like why Jerry was sad in his hotel room when Dean told him they were on top of the world, or what happened with Jerry's Dad who could not give him acknowledgment for what he had achieved. Even Betty, Dean's first wife disappeared without a trace. Other than missing answers, I think it did a good job showing what scoundrels these two men really were and how they used people and each other to climb to the top. Very interesting. (Joe Backman - Arizona) Dear DMFC : Wow! How can something billed as Martin and Lewis be so absolutely unfunny, unenjoyable and unmagical? I know that their story could have been told much better, and deserved the grand treatment that befits two legendary personalities.
This is not a plug for anything, but when I was in school studying screenwriting, I completed a script on the same subject which I called The Straight Man. In order to write it, I read every book, every article, everything I could dig up on the subject. I watched their movies, together and apart. I interviewed people here in L.A. who knew Dean, people who told me that they used to run into him at his kids' ball games. It is embarrassing that this movie could have been using one or two books as the basis.
Sure, there were a few things that I learned while researching that tarnished my rose-colored view of the dynamic comedy team, but I grappled with those things, delved deep into the minds of the characters that I wrote, and found honest, human, vulnerable men inside. The movie captured none of that, nor the excitement that my mother conveyed that she felt standing in the throng which stopped traffic on State Street when Martin and Lewis poked their heads out an upper-story window of the Chicago Theater.
It is such a disappointment to say that I hated the movie, but I did. I will watch it again, just so I can be sure as to all the reasons why. And I will dust off and read my old script that I wisely put away after I decided that no one could live up to playing the parts of these two gigantic men. I always say that the best movies are the ones you see where you want to live in that world, inhabit it, and watch again and again. In the case of Martin and Lewis, I wanted to get off at the first stop and go back home!
(Andrea Mauk - California) Dear DMFC : Somehow I kept thinking, "Good Cop / Bad Cop" watching this movie and trying to figure out why it was even made and so hugely advertised. (Sharon Marino - New Jersey) Dear DMFC : I saw a poster on the side of a bus for the Martin and Lewis special. Someone had put glasses on Dean and colored Jerry's teeth in and gave him big fat hands with a marking pen. I would die to have been able to steal it off the side of the bus and display it on my wall in front of my house! (L. Conroy - California) Dear DMFC : I saw the post that Kerry O'Brien left here and wanted to bring up some points because of it. He actually liked the movie because of some facts he had quoted. Like the rest of the public... the facts they base their opinions on are taken from sources like what this TV movie is going to become itself. Dumping his first wife and having many affairs are what has become commonplace views. The real truth is that Betty was an alcoholic and incapable of giving Dean (and the kids) the compassion they deserved, at least this is all in the court transcripts when Dean adopted the four children he had with Betty. A love affair goes sour. The majority of marriages today end in divorce. None of us were there to really know how they fell out of love for each other, but the movie sure showed Dean being the bad guy in a huge way. (By the way, Betty died of cancer many years ago). And as for his 'many affairs'... not so. Most of Dean's 'affairs' occurred when he was a single man BETWEEN marriages, or while separated. Dean had a huge amount of opportunity, but didn't stray like he could have. The myth of his playboy image crossed over into his real life thanks to the tabloids, and many women who made references AFTER he passed away to get themselves a little bit of fame from fabricating a story that no one can dispute nowadays. Where were all of these FACTUAL stories when Dean was alive? The team also broke up because of many more reasons than simply outlined in the TV movie script. This duo spent ten years together rushed through life and what was happening to them. If you spend time and study all of the legal documents and contracts, your head would spin! Everyone wanted a piece of them, and "Martin & Lewis" company became such a big fast sports car going 200 miles an hour. The only way to save themselves was to open the door and jump out at the nearest curve, despite the fun of whizzing around in a Ferrari. They were so busy with driving the car, they couldn't look out the window and enjoy the scenery. This is what led them to get on each other's nerves more than anything. They didn't hate each other, as much as they hated being cooped up together with the windows rolled up and not getting a breath of fresh air. They both needed to get out at a rest stop and stretch their legs. They hated what they had become. It has been widely known that Martin and Lewis were at their best when they appeared on stage in the beginning... before it was a corporation and they were told what to say and how to say it. Yes, a lot of the differences between Jerry wanting to run the show and Dean laying back was true. I think if a movie were to simply focus on a relationship and the contrasts between two men, then it should not have made using the images of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis unless they divulged the entire story, not just a carbon copy of a bad book that had a lot of contrived dialogue. Who was it that quoted Dean as saying, "You're Just a Dollar Sign To Me?"... read that book again (between the lines of quotes) and you'll see that it's maybe a thought from someone else's pen, not Dean's mouth, but then again... Dean can't defend himself even if he would waste his time wanting to. It's such a shame that some people will like this movie, because what they have come to view. Their "Dean Martin" is from what they have read about in books by others who were not really there, but can make anything believable. (Jim Reese - Vermont)