The Cahiers are also the source of the urban legend
that Jerry Lewis
is a great star
, and taken very seriously...grist for the mill of a thousand "The French think they're so smart, eh?" jokes since.
Apparently, in their early days, they were on a "don't write this (American
) film off as mere fluff" kick, (they did a similar job on "Bells are Ringing", a not-shabby, but not altogether earthshattering musical
, as well), and Lewis's films came up as examples of American comedy in the tradition of Charlie Chaplin
in one (and only one) article, a detail overlooked by most retellers. Since most of what people knew
about French film was what was in the Cahiers, this easily passed into common currency.
The Cahiers also passed a time talking mostly about non-film subjects (in the late 60's) but no one seems to remember that either. Next WU, maybe I'll discuss JFK's real interest in James Bond...