This is a story of Sydney in the depression and how Caddy and her two children manage to survive. Caddy, well portraied by Helen Morse, attracts many male advances. A great show.
Enjoyed the film. There was little that didn't work well.
Overall we were disappointed. A good cast and a good story seriously let down by very poor film production.
Well-presented Australian period piece on the trials of a young deserted mother who becomes a barmaid to make ends meet in 1920s Sydney
The story, the acting, the direction are excellent and worth five stars. Unfortunately the cinematography is very poor. Presumably the film had deteriorated considerably before the DVD was made, because the sharpness is gone from most of the photography. But even so, the quality of the photography of the settings is unacceptably bad -- sunshine streaking in through windows behind the actors, so that it is virtually impossible to see them; color gradation very amateurish, etc. For the cinematography 2 stars; for the acting, script, and direction 5 stars. In summary, 3 stars all up.
Nevertheless, well worth seeing.
Quality adaptation of
"Caddie's" autobiographical novel was one of the first of its kind in this country during the mid-70s ? and it has stood the test of time, through high-class performances from a well-known cast, superbly written characters, and a genuine throwback to depression-era Sydney in the late 1920s. Morse is terrific in the lead role, and the film has a remarkable stage quality, reflected in the supporting cast of Thompson, Emmanuel and Jaffer. Winner of four AFI Awards (seven of the remaining eight went to "The Devil's Playground").
A commercial and critical hit in its day, making back nearly AUD$3m on a budget of AUD$400,000, this story of a strong-willed woman in the 1920s and 30s bringing up 2 children alone after her husband runs off is one of the signature works of 1970s Australian film.
As with so many of the films of this era there is a self-consciousness about the delving into the past that manifests itself in extended scenes of the fashions of the time. Indeed, although a well-produced film Caddie tends to over-indulge in the descriptive but, well-done in its historical aspects as this is, to fail to come to grips with the dramatic aspects of Caddie’s story, making the film feel unnecessarily long as it rambles from one stock scenario to the next. Helen Morse who won the Best Actress AFI (she also picked it up the previous year for Picnic At Hanging Rock) as well as the San Sebastian Film Festival award for the same is charismatic as Caddie, whilst Jackie Weaver and Melissa Jaffer provide convincing support as her behind-the-bar buddies. The male members of the cast fare less well, with John Ewart in particular turning in an exaggerated performance as an SP bookie and Jack Thompson still building up steam. Based on real events, the story of Caddie was written by Dymphna Cusack as Caddie, The Story of a Barmaid (1953), the real “Caddie” having been her maid. Joan Long who wrote this, her first feature film script, went on to co-produce Puberty Blues with Margaret Kelly. The film was made with the assistance of the Australian Film Commission’s Women's Film Fund.
Nice to see Helen Morse in this and some good cameos from Jack Thompson, Jacki Weaver et al, but this is now looking a rather dated and amateurish production.