Mitchell & Petrillo as Martin & Lewis

As a fan of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, I am always amazed by, and delighted to share, a little-known cinematic curiosity, "Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla," from 1952. It stars two obscure performers, Duke Mitchell and Sammy Petrillo, who had the gumption to flat-out copy the stage and screen personas of Martin and Lewis, the team which had far surpassed the level of superstardom.

Jerry sued Sammy for, essentially, theft of his act and there was, reportedly, a cease and desist order issued. Oddly enough, before this movie and the stooge in the big monkey suit evolved, Sammy played either Jerry's kid brother or Jerry as a kid in a sketch with the real Jerry on TV's popular "Colgate Comedy Hour."

"Brooklyn Gorilla" is fascinating to watch, though unbearably watchable. Sammy Petrillo is the entire show. He had Jerry down, plus the gifts of uncanny, lanky and gawky physical attributes.

For comparisons, here are the movie trailers of Martin and Lewis' great hit, "Sailor Beware," the previous year, followed by Mitchell and Petrillo's great bomb, their only team film.

Mr. Lugosi, by the way, was plummeting through his famously sad decline and is not much more than a marketing ploy in the picture.

Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis in "Sailor Beware" (1951) via TCM

Duke Mitchell and Sammy Petrillo in "Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla" (1952) via Internet Archive

I shared the Petrillo trailer with pals Ray and Frank, my go-to guys for Martin and Lewis mania. What follows is our enlightened postmortem discourse, including the actual email treatises.

"Gals, Gags, and Goofs"

This picture has everything!


I once goofed with a gal and made her gag.


Thanks for sharing.


No problem. That's what I'm here for. To give. And to goof and gag. And possibly to gal.


>>"Gals , Gags , and Goofs"
This picture has everything !<<

I concur, but they should not have been shy and said, "and Goons," too.

And, "and Movie Star Drug Addict Needing Fix Cash," but that's kinda hard to say in words starting with "G."


"Geezer Groping for Ganja."


I stand corrected.


"Sailor Beware"
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