I seem to recall that this is sometimes regarded as at least equal in stature to Citizen Kane in some way. It doesn’t get the hype that Kane does though, and it seems to get discussed to the extent of “probably Orson Wells’ best film ever, but moving on…”
Much like Kane is a portrait of a life, just with a nominal mystery to drive the plot, this seems to be a portrait of a family’s travails over possibly years. I have a sense that it’s character driven and plot light and would probably be comfortable on the same shelf with Little Women.
What attracts me to this movie is the names. Jerry Lewis, Ray Walston, Agnes Moorehead, and Frank Tashlin (whom I know as a golden age Warner Bros. cartoon director). It occurs to me I haven’t seen any of Ray Walson’s work from before the 90s. Sometime I should track down My Favorite Martian.
I’m realizing now that I’ve chosen another movie that will probably be light on plot. The focus will likely be on getting Jerry Lewis’s character into situations where he can do physical comedy routines. However, it won’t be as tightly fixed on that as a film from the era of Buster Keaton.