BEFORE: I could have followed the Jimmy Stewart link away from "Bandolero!", as I just got a couple other films added to the list with Mr. Stewart in them. But dropping in 2 more films I hadn't planned would really screw up how my film list is going to coincide (or fail to) with July 4. So I'm moving ahead as planned, no substitutions.
I could also have kept up the Western theme with something like "Rio Bravo", with Dean Martin and Angie Dickinson, but that would have brought me back around to John Wayne, and though it seems like a film for Father's Day, in that it's something Dad might enjoy, I didn't want to circle back to John Wayne.
So it's a nice, quiet round of golf for Father's Day, and it's Martin and Lewis this week, or sometimes just Jerry Lewis, as I watch the films that TCM aired in March, to celebrate Jerry's 90th birthday. I got as many as I could, I was having trouble with my DVR recording movies from that channel, it gets glitchy from time to time, but they made several of them available on the Free Movies On Demand channel. I've watched a few Jerry Lewis films over the course of this project, but oddly, no films featuring the famous comedy team - time to rectify that.
I was going to double-up on films today, but I didn't have time, since we went out to see "X-Men: Apocalypse", which I'll review with this year's other Marvel movies - I'm guessing in mid-August.
THE PLOT: Although gifted golfer Harvey Miller is too nervous to golf in public tournaments, he acts as coach and caddy for friend Joe Anthony.
AFTER: I guess it's as good a place as any to start a Martin/Lewis chain, since this is the film in which Dean Martin sings "That's Amore" with Jerry Lewis goofily singing along, and nearly ruining it. But it's the ninth film that Martin and Lewis made together, so by now I guess the on-screen relationship was pretty well established, Dean would drink and romance the girls, and Jerry would get into comic situations and knock down a lot of things. (There you go, one film into the chain, and I cracked the code. Damn, I'm good...)
The film flashes back during a performance by the comedy/musical team of Joe Anthony and Harvey Miller, Jr., to detail how the pair met, and this happened at a time when they were both forced to make career changes - Joe returned home to San Francisco after odd jobs around the country, and Harvey got fired from a department store after breaking everything in sight. But they bonded over golf, with Harvey having the skill and knowledge to compete, but since he was unable to perform in front of a crowd, he became coach and caddy to the equally talented Joe. Hey, playing in golf tournaments beats working on your family's fishing boat, especially if you get seasick, or just sick of fish.
Unless, of course, you're the caddy and you get treated like the hired help, forced to hitchhike from country club to country club, and bed down in cheap hotel rooms, or even the club's stable. And the other caddies just LOVE to haze the new guy. You can't feel too sorry for the guy, because at least he's got a steady girl he's engaged to, who happens to be Joe's sister, so someday he and Joe will be brothers-in-law.
The framing device seems sort of tacked on, possibly to cover the fact that the team's goal was to make money in the big tournament, and they never really get that big check, because things get out of hand on the big day, Harvey as caddy keeps dropping everything and being disruptive, and then the whole freaking Italian family shows up, bringing their cars right out on to the golf course, because they didn't understand the sign that said "Driving Range". Ha, ha, stupid Italians! Thankfully the pair's antics lead directly (somehow...) to them becoming famous performing comedians, who just happen to look exactly like Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis.
Also starring Jerry Lewis, Donna Reed (last seen in "From Here to Eternity"), Barbara Bates (last seen in "The Inspector General"), Joseph Calleia (last seen in "My Little Chickadee"), Argentina Brunetti, Fred Clark, Marjorie Gateson, Lewis Martin, with cameos from Nancy Kulp and golfers Ben Hogan, Sam Snead et al.
RATING: 4 out of 10 roller skates