Box art for The Nutty Professor (1963)

The Nutty Professor (1963)


Jerry Lewis plays a timid, nearsighted chemistry teacher who discovers a magical potion that can transform him into a suave and handsome Romeo.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 8
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
5 out of 5
0 out of 5
Positive messages
1 out of 5
Sexy Stuff
0 out of 5
Violence & scariness
1 out of 5

Jerry Lewis' Jekyll-Hyde spoof is dated but great.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that despite being ranked highly in the Hollywood-comedy pantheon, this 1963 feature is not as fast-paced, f/x-bloated, or bathroom-humor risque as the later Nutty Professor remake movies starring Eddie Murphy in multiple roles. While younger kids will like the silliness, older kids and adults might better comprehend the humor here (and the mid-20th-century references to beatnik-jazz clubs, "swingers," and The Lost Weekend). Heavy drinking, cigarette smoking, and rude behavior are made to look glamorous, at least initially.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the way Jerry Lewis twisted The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde for surprisingly profound character comedy -- for once the Mr. Hyde equivalent wasn't an apelike goon but a smooth, suave, "swinger" -- not a nice guy but superficially more appealing than Jekyll. Ask young viewers what they think of this movie compared to the later Eddie Murphy remake and its sequel. Do most women really go crazy for the bad-boy "Buddy Love" poseurs of the world or appreciate the Kelps/Klumps?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews


- A.H. Weiler, New York Times, Tuesday, May 10, 2005


- Brian Tallerico, UGO, Thursday, June 24, 2010


- Chuck O'Leary,, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Audience Reviews

4 stars

Lewis' The Nutty Professor is a classic, intelligent and surreal comedy, that prove his comical and cinematographic genius.

- fb100002359227440, Sunday, December 15, 2013

4 stars

I will be doing fundraising for Jerrys Kids through the MDA lock up program! This is the link to my webite, watch the video it is pretty funny!

- mitsoma97, Thursday, February 4, 2010

0 star

If your life is going by too fast, rent this film - you'll think time has come to a stop! Nearly every scene seems to last forever. I can't believe we watched the whole thing, so beware - you'll either fall asleep like I did, or go so numb that you can't pick up the remote to turn this mess off. Lewis is a terrible actor and an even worse director. What are the French thinking? Take my word for it - just about any other film would be a better choice.

- brandankurtis, Friday, January 14, 2011