Scared Stiff (1953)

Scared Stiff (1953)

  • 6.5
  • 108 mins
  • Musical, Comedy


Nightclub singer Larry Todd breaks off his romance with a beautiful showgirl when he realizes she's the girlfriend of a murderously jealous gangster. While on the run, Larry mistakenly believes he kills one of the mobsters and is helped to escape police by heiress Mary Carol, who smuggles Larry and partner Myron to Cuba. Mary has inherited a haunted castle on an isolated island and, ignoring ominous warnings and threats, decides to take possession. While there, the trio hunt for a hidden treasure and encounter a ghost, a zombie, and a mysterious killer.—duke1029

Short Review

"Scared Stiff" is the typical 1953 slapstick comedy. It was a remake of Bob Hope's "The Ghost Breakers." However, the movie did not feel like a remake, but more like a movie that gained inspiration from "The Ghost Breakers." Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, one of the many comedic duos of the 1950's era, play the main characters. Dean Martin plays a handsome nightclub singer Larry Todd while Jerry Lewis plays a busboy, Myron. Jerry Lewis is perfectly cast for this role. His portrayal of the lovable but clumsy and easy frightened Myron was hilarious. Nevertheless, the overuse of Myron calling out "Larry" was rather annoying. The music sets the mood for the movie well. The songs could stick in one's head even if the lyrics were simplistic, such as "Enchilada." The sound effects add to the movie and give it a spooky and suspenseful feeling. The wardrobe fit the time period perfectly the men wearing fedoras and trench coats and the dance girls in short shiny showgirl costumes. The costume of the zombie could have been improved, especially since there were close-up shots of him and the flaws were clearly visible. The cinematography in the movie was typical for the era with very few wide shots and more back and force as well as close ups. The story itself was admittedly slightly corny and had many plot holes in it, but the movie was still extremely enjoyable.