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The Courtship of Eddie’s Father

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3 Responses to “The Courtship of Eddie’s Father”

  1. David Von Pein says:
    24 of 25 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    “The Bad Ladies Always Have Big Busts; That’s How You Can Tell A Good Lady From A Bad Lady”, March 20, 2006
    David Von Pein (Mooresville, Indiana; USA) –
    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)

    This review is from: The Courtship of Eddie’s Father (DVD)

    “The Courtship Of Eddie’s Father” was made in 1962 and released in movie theaters in March 1963. It’s a mix of romantic comedy and drama, with a good blend of sad but poignant moments and funny ones too (including a few ‘fall-on-the-floor’ segments of hilarity). And the “through-the-eyes-of-Eddie” ending is just perfect.

    Most of the really funny scenes in the film are supplied by 8-year-old Ronny Howard, who makes his way through a rollercoaster of emotions in the movie, and still stays on the rails of “believability” while doing so, IMO. He’s very funny at times in “Courtship”, and also is able to turn on the water works as needed too. I, myself, have never seen a better child actor up on the screen (big screen or small), although 11-year-old Dean Stockwell’s performance in 1947′s “Gentleman’s Agreement” would rank pretty high in that category as well.

    Ronny Howard made “Courtship” during a break in the filming of his TV series, “The Andy Griffith Show”, on which Howard played “Opie Taylor” (probably the cutest kid ever on TV, especially during Season 1 of that popular and endearing sitcom). I’m guessing that this movie was filmed sometime between seasons two and three of the Griffith Show.

    The intelligent and snappy script for “The Courtship Of Eddie’s Father” dishes up several funny lines for Ronny (“Eddie Corbett”) to speak, some of which you certainly are not liable to find residing within any script of Ronny’s Andy Griffith television series. Such as when Eddie asks his father (“Tom Corbett”; played very nicely by 46-year-old Glenn Ford) the following question:

    “Dad, what do the numbers mean after a lady’s name? It says here {in this magazine} ’40-18-35′.”

    To which Glenn Ford then replies (having his curiosity most definitely piqued by the robust measurements Eddie just relayed): “Holy smoke, who’s that?!”


    By the way — Those eye-popping measurements were said by Eddie in the film to be those of Jayne Mansfield. Per data I can find, those stats are about right too. According to one online source, Jayne’s shapely figure is said to have averaged a head-turning “40-21-35.5″. (Tom Corbett was right — “Holy smoke” indeed!) :-)

    Other spirited and precocious dialogue spoken by young lad Edward in this film include references to “big busts”, “my sugar man”, and a remark about “girls not looking so good from behind”. (Ronny, then, must have never wandered over to the set of “The Dick Van Dyke Show” during his tenure as “Opie”, in order to watch Mary Tyler Moore. His “from behind” evaluation would be permanently erased from his mind if he had done so.)


    “Courtship” offers up a splendid and (ahem) well-rounded cast. Besides the two leads of Ford and Howard, there’s also the never-lovelier 28-year-old Shirley Jones as the woman next door, plus Stella Stevens, Dina Merrill, Jerry Van Dyke, and Roberta Sherwood.

    It’s nice to be able to see Jerry Van Dyke here in a role where he doesn’t have to portray a clumsy and stuttering wimp-like character. Don’t get me wrong, though, Jerry’s one of the best “wimps” in the business. No offense. But it’s nice to see him in a different, more assertive part for a change, which he plays here as “Norman Jones” (a playboying disc jockey at the radio station where Ford serves as Program Manager). Heck, he ends up with Stella Stevens as a mate; so he certainly can’t be called a loser here.

    Also watch out for Ronny Howard’s real dad, Rance, in a small part as a camp counselor. Rance pops up in a lot of his son’s TV shows and movies, often showing up in bit parts on “The Andy Griffith Show” too.

    Ronny’s brother, Clint, age 3, also has a cameo in “Courtship” (in the birthday-party scene). And “Miss America 1955″, Lee Meriwether, has a small role as a secretary/receptionist.

    There’s a good chemistry in “Courtship” amongst the characters (between Ronny and Glenn and also between Shirley and Glenn). And the delicate subject of losing a wife and mother to sudden death is dealt with honestly and openly throughout the film, producing some heartfelt and realistic scenes between Ford’s character and Ronny’s.

    The “dead fish” scene might have been a tad bit over-the-top, IMO, but what that scene, more than any other, demonstrates in this movie is Ronny Howard’s remarkable acting abilities as an eight-year-old boy. The tail-end of that emotional “fish” scene has Ronny shivering and partly crying in a manner that truly makes the viewer believe he has just been through a traumatic experience. (See the Season-Four “Andy Griffith” episode “Opie The Birdman” for another excellent example of Howard’s considerable acting chops. He’s great there too.)

    This movie was filmed with a good deal of tender loving care it seems to me. The colors are rich and luscious and the movie’s sets exude…

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  2. Byron Kolln says:
    12 of 13 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    charming family comedy, April 26, 2001
    Byron Kolln (the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood) –
    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

    Glenn Ford and Ronny Howard star in the wonderful family comedy THE COURTSHIP OF EDDIE’S FATHER, a warm, winning film directed by master showman Vincente Minnelli.

    After his wife dies, Tom Corbett (Glenn Ford) is coping as best he can, now being one of New York’s most eligible bachelors. His young son Eddie (Ronny Howard), however, has definite ideas about who he wants his father to marry. None other than the kindly young divorcee living across the hall, Elizabeth (Shirley Jones). Tom, however, is dating cold socialite Rita (Dina Merrill).

    How father and son teach each other about life and love makes for unforgettable screen entertainment.

    With Stella Stevens, Roberta Sherwood and Jerry Van Dyke.

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  3. Anonymous says:
    8 of 8 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    What a GREAT, CHARMING FILM!, January 2, 2000
    By A Customer

    I love this movie with Glenn Ford and Ronny Howard. It’s a fun comedy yet touching. It’s for people of all ages who would enjoy watching a charming movie. I’ve seen it many times and can’t get enough of it. Glenn Ford portays a widower who is raising his child alone. Little Ronny Howard wants to make his dad happy by finding him a new wife. I suggest you purchase this movie and see it.

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