The Courtship of Eddie’s Father
Directed by Vincente Minnelli
Written by John Gay based on a novel by Mark Toby
First viewing/Netflix rental
Decent people treat each other decently in this charming romantic comedy. I loved it.
Tom Corbett (Glenn Ford) and his son Eddie (Ronny Howard) are just returning to work and school following the death of their wife and mother. Both are still pretty shell-shocked. But gradually Eddie starts thinking about potential step-mothers and Tom is ready to begin dating.
Unfortunately, Tom and Eddie have very different ideas about suitable marriage material. Eddie loves next-door-neighbor Elizabeth (Shirley Jones) while Tom’s heart has been claimed by career-girl socialite Rita (Dina Merrill). With Stella Stevens as a ditzy red-head and Jerry Van Dyke as a horny radio host.
Unlike so many 1963 movies, this one is full of heart. I call it a romantic comedy but more than that it is about the relationship between the man and his son. Ron Howard is pitch-perfect as the precocious yet lovable boy. I don’t think the movie could have been made without him. All the ladies are divine. I didn’t know Stevens was such a good comedienne. Recommended.
The DVD contains an excellent commentary by Jones, Merrill and Stevens.