One of the high points of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis’s prodigious partnership, Artists and Models pairs the comedy duo with gonzo 1950s auteur Frank Tashlin for a gleefully unhinged satire of the comic book industry. Martin stars as Rick Todd, a penniless Greenwich Village artist, who discovers a source of inspiration in the lurid comic-fueled nightmares of his hapless roommate Eugene (Lewis). Meanwhile, Rick and Eugene embark on a series of romantic misadventures with Abigail Parker (Dorothy Malone)—the creator of the “Bat Lady” comics series—and her adorably flaky model Bessie Sparrowbush (Shirley MacLaine). Drawing on his background as a Warner Brothers animator, Tashlin combines a crisp primary-colored palate and a voraciously referential pop-culture sensibility to produce a proto-postmodern masterwork that looks, sounds, and feels like a comic book come to life. Shot in saturated widescreen Technicolor, Artists and Models deserves to be seen on 35mm.
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Director Frank Tashlin 1955 In English 109 minutes NR 35mm