Saturday, May 24, 2008

Tammy Tyree

I had so much fun watching Sandra Dee's 2 Tammy movies. They were campy and sweet and Sandra Dee was just as loveable and vibrant as I like to see her in films. Although not by any means a sex comedy, these films I group in that wonderful category of '60s Romantic Comedies. A genre I have come to love.

The Tammy films are quite formulaic, watching both was like watching the same film twice. They feature Tammy Tyree, that's short for Tambrey which means "immortal", who was raised on the river and doesn't know much about book-learning or talking like folks of the world or even what that box TV is. But man can she fry up a mean catfish.

1) Love Interest - must have personal crisis to overcome before he can love Tammy.
2) Ridicule - Others laugh at Tammy but she puts them right at the end with a big speech.
3) Grumpy Old Person - Tammy makes person less grumpy and gives them a friend.
4) Job - Tammy fails over and over again much to our amusement.
5) Troubled Couple - Tammy helps them overcome their issues and fall in love all over again.
6) Body of Water - Preferably a river, but Tammy will do with a mason jar of water or the ocean.
7) Catch Phrases - Tammy must utter such phrases as "monstrous kind" throughout movie.
8) Failed Kisses - Tammy has to beg for a kiss numerous times until she finally gets a good one towards the end.
9) Acquaintance - Takes a liking to Tammy and shows that not everyone is disdainful.
10) New Experience - Tammy does something she's never done before and we are amused at her wonderment.

Tammy Tell Me True (1961) - This was my favorite of the two. Tammy is in her element on the River and out of her element at college where she is falling in love with Public Speaking teacher Tom, played by the hunky John Gavin. She helps Beulah Bondi's character live again and escape the greedy clutches of her inheritance-hungry niece. I loved Tammy's dialogue. My favorite line, paraphrased badly, was when she was talking to a catfish in the river saying "You are going to be breaded and fried in fat and ate my two lovely ladies and that's a mighty wondrous end for you". My only gripe is that the film overcompensates for Tammy's being dumped by the previous film's love interest Pete, who's name is so often brought up that I feel he was a ghost character.

Tammy and the Doctor (1963) - Because of the formula, I felt like I was watching Tammy Tell Me True again. This time, Beulah Bondi (Mrs. Call) is sick and Tammy who refuses to leave her side takes a job at the hospital. Peter Fonda is just not right for this movie. Poor guy. He stood out like a sore thumb. I felt like there were better things waiting for him. It didn't help that they gave him wrotten dialogue. He couldn't compete with Tammy's unique language. He had sexy lines such as "You can find her address at the personnel's office" or "I'll be back as soon as I wash up." Groan! And also Tammy belongs by the river! In a hospital she was just out of her element too much. We really forgot what she was like. But I have to say, I enjoyed the film nonetheless which in the end is what counts the most.

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