THE CADDY was the 10th successive big-screen hit for Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, this one hooking $7,700,000 in 1953, teeing up the #13 spot of its year. It was the first movie of theirs I can recall seeing as a kid (once again on NBCs Saturday Night At The Movies). Even as a child I found Lewis to be hard to take much of, and recall that the biggest impression made from this movie was its only real claim to posterity, Dean’s bouncy classic “That’s Amore”, which hit Billboard’s #2 spot, and was a Martin signature tune ever after.
Directed by Norman Taurog, this 99-minute goof has moron man-child Lewis good at golf but too much of a dork to play in front of people, so he caddies for pal Dean, who gets a swelled head. Everything works out so that fem co-stars Donna Reed and Barbara Bates end up with the right guy (or 27-year-old infant).
Through the mists of time, I can only recall seeing five of the duos 17 movie gigs, and someone will have to pay me in spendable cash to watch any of the rest. Apart from The Nutty Professor, and isolated bits here and there, I just can’t digest Jerr. Since I’m not alone (when was the last time you met a real Jerry Lewis fan?), I can rest at night, but if you dig his antics, this one is as good as any. With as much energy, a talent for mimicry, the ability to act and sing and gifted with a body on springs, I wonder (as did much of the rest of mankind) what possessed the guy to keep going down the same weird groove? Dean, I always liked.
On hand here are Fred Clark, Joseph Calleia, Marshall Thompson and famed golfers Sam Snead, Julius Boros, Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson. “That’s Amore” was nominated for Best Song at the Oscars, losing to Doris Day’s “Secret Love” from Calamity Jane. In the movie, Jerry naturally crashes the song, so below, for the nostalgic among you (and to display mercy) I include a clip of Dean solo, doing a neat live version from three years later.