"MARTIN AND LEWIS," A TELEVISION MOVIE STARRING
SEAN HAYES AND JEREMY NORTHAM, TO BE REBROADCAST
SUNDAY, JULY 24 ON THE CBS TELEVISION NETWORK
MARTIN AND LEWIS, a television movie starring Emmy Award-winner Sean Hayes ("Will & Grace") and Screen Actors Guild Award-winner Jeremy Northam ("Gosford Park"), will be rebroadcast as the "CBS Sunday Movie," Sunday, July 24 (9:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. The poignant, fact-based movie follows the tumultuous relationship between entertainers Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin, the most famous comedy act of their time. Beginning with their early rise to stardom, the movie examines the forces that brought them together and inevitably pulled them apart. (Originally broadcast 11/24/02)
Their first meeting in 1945, appearing on the same bill at a New York City nightclub, foretells the dynamics of a relationship and rivalry that would last for the next decade and end with a heart wrenching breakup. Martin (Northam), already a rising young singing sensation, was smooth and self-assured, yet emotionally detached from everyone around him. The notorious ladies man, with his trademark cigarette in one hand and a drink in the other, embraced the carefree life of celebrity from the get-go. But success didn't come as easy for the self-doubting Lewis (Hayes), who spent years chasing fame and adulation with a comedy act to little success. It wasn't until Lewis, so desperate for acceptance, set his eyes on singer Martin that he would begin to realize his own potential, and limitations. Martin's ability to captivate an audience was something Lewis would come to revere -- and ultimately resent.
Their partnership began in 1946 when Lewis abruptly crashed Martin's performance at a New York club with a slapstick comedy routine. The spontaneity was a big hit with the audience and before they knew it, Martin and Lewis, who never received such applause, had the makings of a hit. Their chemistry and repartee -- Hollywood's first true odd couple -- would provide the makings for a life-long career, resulting in 16 hit films, numerous appearances on radio and television and the recognition as one of the highest-paid nightclub acts of their time. Ironically, the magic that brought them together would eventually wind up tearing them apart.
As their fame and fortunes increased, so did the rising conflict between the two. Despite achieving great stardom, Lewis' feelings of insecurity never faded. His need for love and validation -- most especially from his partner -- soon began to take a toll on the relationship, pushing Martin, who was never very open to begin with, even further away. As Lewis' attention-getting stunts became more persistent -- stealing Dean's lines during performances and showering stagehands with expensive gifts -- Martin withdrew even further, growing more indifferent by the day.
Much to the dismay of their legions of fans, a decade after the two performers first came together, the legendary team called it quits.
MARTIN AND LEWIS was produced by Storyline Entertainment and St. Amos Productions in association with Sony Pictures Television. Emmy Award-winners Craig Zadan and Neil Meron ("Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows," "Cinderella," "Annie") and John Stamos ("The Beach Boys: An American Family") are the executive producers. Mark Sennett is the co-executive producer. John Gray ("Brian's Song") is the writer and director.