jerry lewis

Ann Gabriel | GoGaGaH

The younger generation nowadays might not know about this veteran comedy actor, who has genuinely made a mark in the hearts of all his fans. Jerry Lewis  (born Joseph Levitch, March 16, 1926) is an American actor, comedian, singer, film producer, film director, screenwriter and humanitarian. He is well-known for his slapstick humor in film, television, stage and radio.

Daniel Noah, writer-director of Max Rose shares his experience of being served with bagels, one Sunday morning by Jerry Lewis, after having a series of rejections from Lewis’ staff.

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Jerry Lewis turned 90 this year and had been in retirement for two decades.

Noah was told that Lewis doesn’t accept scripts anymore, doesn’t have an agent, and it was nearly impossible to get through to him. He was also told that Lewis wasn’t interested in making movies anymore.

Noah’s attempts were finally produced hope when one day while searching in Google, he found out that Lewis had an office in Vegas that managed the big business of being Jerry Lewis. Noah cold-called the office and was able to speak to a staff, who told him that Lewis gets thousands of calls every year, doesn’t bother reading the scripts sent to him, and that his attempt will also be put to waste.

When Lewis received an honorary Oscar, Noah stood in front of the TV thinking, “This is the closest I’m ever going to get to Jerry Lewis.” Noah sent Lewis a letter containing his intent to land a project with the actor. A couple of weeks later, much to Noah’s surprise, Lewis called and said that he will read the script. After reading the script, Lewis called and committed to make the film.

“Max Rose” is a fictionalized story based on Noah’s maternal grandfather, Bob Loewy, a jazz guitarist who’d had one hit song, “Jealous Heart.” When his career didn’t pan out, he turned his focus onto his family.

The film opens with Max (Lewis), an 87-year-old retired jazz pianist, grieving over the loss of his wife Eva (Claire Bloom). After 65 happy years together he is lost. His relationship with his son Christopher (Kevin Pollak) is strained, but he has a tender connection with Christopher’s daughter Annie (Kerry Bishé), who keeps trying to help her grandfather through the pain.