Hardly Working
Hardly Working (1981)

Jerry Lewis' first film in a decade stars the comedian as Bo Hooper, an unemployed circus clown who cannot hold down a job.

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Rated: PG
Running Time:
Genre: Comedy
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Critic Score: 10% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Richard Brody
New Yorker

The movie's desperately amiable tone plays like a chastised boy's terrified plea for love; the oblivious cruelty that emerges nonetheless (as in Lewis's embarrassing parody of a Japanese chef) makes it all the sadder.

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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader

Lewis has described this as his worst movie, but it also may be his most revealing one.

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TV Guide

Hardly Working hardly works.

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

I was absolutely stunned by the vast stupidity of this film.

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David Sterritt
Christian Science Monitor

It's a bumpy movie, no more graceful than its buffoonish main character. Worse, the star tries to have it two ways, alternating between manic physical comedy and softspoken self-pity. The result if often awkward, and sometimes downright weird.

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Scott Weinberg

Wow. Almost criminally bad.

Janet Maslin
New York Times

The result is utter confusion.

People Magazine

To adults this poky movie may seem a bit sad. Lewis' once-manic energy is barely suggested in a few labored outbursts, and his lovable bewilderment is now more like bitterness.

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Jonathan R. Perry
Tyler Morning Telegraph (Texas)

Cannonball in maven ... eeee ...yeah! My cat could eat a spool of celluloid and crap a better film than this.

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