The Caddy

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Although gifted golfer Harvey Miller is too nervous to golf in public tournaments, he acts as coach and caddy for friend Joe Anthony.

ACTORS :  Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, Donna Reed

YEAR OF RELEASE :  1953

POSTAGE : Free postage within Australia

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The Caddy  The origin of Anthony and Miller, a wildly successful comedy team, can be traced back several years to Harvey Miller’s stage fright on the golf links. Although the son of a skilled golfer and an outstanding player in his one right, Miller is too nervous to golf in front of a gallery. He becomes coach and caddy for Joe Anthony, his girlfriend’s brother, who must convince his fisherman father that hitting a little ball into a hole can be more lucrative than trawling the Pacific Ocean. While on the PGA tour, their natural comedic abilities are recognized by a shrewd agent who senses their talent and potential, and a new comedy team is born. Yours “Fore” Laughs

 

“When the Moon Hit’s Your Eye, Like a Big Pizza Pie, That’s Amore.”

 

The Caddy  When Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis split up in 1956, the consensus was that Jerry’s comic talents would sustain his career, but that Dino would have a rough going. Well the consensus only had that half right. Most critics did focus on Jerry’s talents, Dean was the straight man who sang a nice song occasionally.

But of all their joint films, The Caddy is best remembered for Dean’s singing of That’s Amore. The Harry Warren-Jack Brooks song sold a lot of records for Dean, putting him on something of an equal footing with his partner. It was nominated for an Oscar that year and until ten years or so later when Dino revived a song called Everybody Loves Somebody and made it his theme, That’s Amore became the song most identified with the man from Steubenville, Ohio.

Of course Jerry has his moments in The Caddy, clowning with the various golfers who made cameo appearances here, doing a comic obligato after Dean sings That’s Amore and a number called The Gay Continental. But That’s Amore made this of all their films, Dean’s triumph.

In fact Dino had another great reason to enjoy this film. Though not as publicized in fact he was as passionate about the game of golf as that other noted singer on the Paramount payroll, Bing Crosby. If he wasn’t involved in any of the scenes on a given day, you would find Martin on the links invariably.

The plot such as it is involves Jerry Lewis as the son of a noted golf pro who also has an extreme case of stage fright. Jerry is engaged to Barbara Bates who is Dean’s sister. Both come from an Italian fishing family. Father Joseph Calleia is a commercial fisherman and mother Argentina Brunetti runs a restaurant, specializing in seafood and pasta.

Jerry agrees to coach Dean and be his caddy. A lot of money can be made from professional golf although Calleia doesn’t believe it. If this story sounds familiar that was the attitude of the patriarch of another San Francisco Italian fishing family named DiMaggio when three of their sons opted for careers in baseball. I guess Joe and his brothers Vince and Dom must have been flattered because they didn’t sue Paramount.

The Caddy  Donna Reed plays the socialite sponsor of golf tournaments who falls big time for Dean. And Jerry gets to have another straight man in this film in the person of Clinton Sundberg, Reed’s snooty butler. In fact Jerry gets even another substitute straight man in Fred Clark who is his and Bates’s boss at the job they have at a department store. Although to be fair, Lewis rehashed some material here the Marx Brothers originally used in The Big Store.

The Caddy is one of the Martin-Lewis teams best and funniest comedies and if that don’t get you, That’s Amore will.

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