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

Pretty good movie, and this is coming from somewhere who isn't a Jerry Lewis fan...not by a long shot.

- webalina, Wednesday, May 23, 2007

1 star

Jerry Lewis' best film. That's like having a heirarchy of manure.

- garyX, Sunday, March 18, 2007

3 stars

Jerry Lewis is one of those weird comedians for me where I like him personally but I'm not all that engaged by his lengthy archive of films. The exception is The Nutty Professor the cleverly takes the Jekyl and Hyde concept and easily transitions it into a more identifiable and humorous plot. The biggest problem for me was why did Dr. Jekyl keep taking that darn formula? I don't know anyone who'd want to be Mr. Hyde, however I can certainly relate to why Pr. Kelp wants to be Buddy Love. An excellent moral tale and fantasy film, The Nutty Professor is smarter than most people give it credit for.

- staindslaved, Thursday, November 1, 2012