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Jumping Jacks

This article is about the motion picture. For the exercise, see Jumping jack.
Jumping Jacks
Directed by Norman Taurog
Produced by Hal B. Wallis
Written by Brian Marlow
Herbert Baker
Story by Robert Lees
Fred Rinaldo
Starring Dean Martin
Jerry Lewis
Mona Freeman
Don DeFore
Robert Strauss
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • June 11, 1952 (1952-06-11)
Running time
96 min.
Country United States
Language English
Box office $4 million (US)[1]
586,195 admissions (France)[2]

Jumping Jacks is a 1952 film starring the comedy team of Martin and Lewis. The film was released by Paramount Pictures.


Chick Allen (Dean Martin) is a paratrooper. He invites his former partner, Hap Smith (Jerry Lewis), to help out with a show that he and the other soldiers are preparing. However, the general is unhappy with the quality of past shows and is threatening to eliminate them unless the quality improves, which is why Chick has invited Hap to help.

Hap, who has continued the nightclub act with a new partner, Betsy Carter (Mona Freeman), poses as a soldier so that he can do one performance for Chick with the general in the audience. However, the show impresses the general so much that he arranges for the show (including Hap) to tour other camps. Fearing a court-martial, Chick and the rest of the performers pass Hap off as Private "Dogface" Dolan, while the real "Dogface" (Dick Erdman) goes into hiding.

Hap undergoes paratrooper training to keep up the ruse, but he is very accident prone. However, it works to his benefit as everything he does inadvertently is the 'correct military conduct'. The top sergeant (Robert Strauss) takes notice and praises him.

Understandably, Hap wants to return to civilian life and tries to sneak away at any chance he can get, but Chick always manages to stop him. During one of his escape attempts, during some war maneuvers, Hap destroys a key bridge and captures an enemy general. Hap is eventually exposed as a civilian, but is sworn in as a paratrooper and becomes a hero.



Jumping Jacks was filmed from December 3, 1951 through January 23, 1952. The original story was written during World War II by Robert Lees and Fred Rinaldo and acquired by Paramount Pictures. It was offered first to Bob Hope, then to Danny Kaye who both turned it down because they had already done army comedies. Paramount made arrangements to bring Cantinflas up from Mexico for the film but the war ended making army comedies obsolete.[3] The screenplay was updated for Martin and Lewis by Herbert Baker who would write several other films for the team as well as write for Martin on The Dean Martin Show and three of the Matt Helm films.


It was re-released on a double-bill with another Martin and Lewis film, Sailor Beware in 1957 and on another double bill with Scared Stiff in 1958.

DVD release

The film was included on an eight-film DVD set, the Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis Collection: Volume One, released on October 31, 2006.

See also


  1. ^ 'Top Box-Office Hits of 1952', Variety, January 7, 1953
  2. ^ Box office information for film at Box Office Story
  3. ^ Neibur, James L. and Okuda, Ted. The Jerry Lewis Films, 1994, McFarland

External links