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Max Rose

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Max Rose (2013) starring Jerry Lewis, Claire Bloom
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Max Rose (2013) starring Jerry Lewis, Claire Bloom

Max Rose – Jerry Lewis’ final role as an elderly widower, who has to deal with both his loss, and his suspicions …


Max Rose is Jerry Lewis‘ final film role. It’s well acted, but frankly a sad story. He’s a recent widower, after 59 years of a very happy marriage. His dead wife is played excellently by Claire Bloom. He shows up both in flashbacks, and in imaginary conversations with Max. But there’s an issue.

While going through her belongings, he finds a locket, engraved: “Eva, you are the secret in my heart.” Signed Ben, back in 1959. And this sends him on a journey of doubt. Did his loving wife cheat on him? Was his marriage a lie? He thinks of himself as a failure — and says so at his wife’s wake. He doesn’t eat, can’t, sleep. And his family it truly concerned for him.

Much of the film is split between him trying to find out who “Ben” is, and trying to move on with the remainder of his life.

It’s a good story, but frankly sad, and maudlin.

I enjoyed it, but I frankly wouldn’t care to watch it a second time. It’s also available on Tubi TV.

Editorial review of Max Rose courtesy of

When 82-year-old jazz pianist Max Rose discovers an intimate artifact suggesting his late wife carried on a life-long relationship with another man, he sets out to uncover the true nature of his marriage with surprising results.

Cast of characters

  • Kerry Bishé (How It Ends) … Annie Rose. Max’s granddaughter, who’s truly concerned about her grandfather.
  • Kevin Pollak (End of Days) … Christopher Rose. Max’s estranged son. To say they have a dysfunctional relationship is an understatement. But they do reconcile by the end.
  • Dean Stockwell (Quantum Leap) … Ben Tracey. Did Eva have an affair with this man 50 years ago?
  • Illeana Douglas … Jenny Flowers
  • Fred Willard (Anchorman) … Jim Clark
  • Jerry Lewis (Scared Stiff, The King of Comedy) … Max Rose. The grumpy curmudgeon, who’s trying to deal with the deal of his wife of 69 years. And his (largely, though not totally, unfounded) suspicions make things even worse. Very well acted.
  • Rance Howard (Village of the Giants) … Walter Prewitt
  • Claire Bloom (The Haunting, Limelight) … Eva Rose. Max’s recently departed wife. She shows up in both flashbacks, as well as imaginary conversations with Max.
  • Angela Elayne Gibbs (This is Us) … Nurse. I sincerely hope I never have a nurse like this. Good acting, though.
  • Stephanie Katherine Grant … Jenny Rose
  • Lee Weaver (Oh Brother Where Art Thou) … Lee Miller
  • Mort Sahl … Jack Murphy

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