The Courtship of Eddie’s Father: A Nice Family Movie

The Courtship of Eddie’s Father is a sweet and charming movie from the 60s.  Ron Howard was just nine when this movie was made.  He was already well known for playing Opie in the beloved Andy Griffith Show in 1963, the year this film was released.  Ron delivered one of the best performances by a child actor.  His character  Eddie is quite different from Opie.  The one thing they had in common was that both Eddie and Opie had lost their mother.

Eddie Plays Match Maker For His Dad


The Courtship of Eddie's Father.  See on Amazon.

The Courtship of Eddie’s Father. See on Amazon.

Tom (Glenn Ford) and Eddie live in a Manhattan apartment.  Tom’s wife Ellen has recently died.  The two are comforted by Elizabeth (Shirley Jones), a neighbor who was also a close friend of Ellen’s. Eddie and Tom talk a lot about the death of Ellen.   It had  happened very recently, and both father and son were trying to cope with the tragedy.   The one thing I noticed on Andy Griffith was that  Andy and Opie never seemed to discuss the death of Opie’s mother.  Much as I otherwise loved that show, I found it strange that she was never mentioned.  We didn’t even know how old Opie was when she died.   However,  the mother’s death certainly isn’t ignored in The Courtship of Eddie’s Father. Eddie is old enough to understand what death means.  Tom must deal with his own grief while helping his son.  In one scene, Eddie is very traumatized to discover one of his fish has died.  He screams and screams as Elizabeth and Tom rush to comfort him. That is an intense and surprising scene in the film. Tom gets very angry at Elizabeth when she says it is a natural reaction for the boy to have after losing his mother.  The movie dealt quite honestly with the pain of losing a parent and spouse.  I don’t mean to imply that the  movie has a lot of sadness, because it doesn’t.  The story had to deal with their loss and how they started to move on with their lives.  It has a good mix of poignancy, drama and comedy. The one  weakness the film has is that Eddie seems to go to quickly from mourning his mom, to wanting to find a wife for his dad.  Tom starts dating again in a short time.   However, it was necessary to get on with the story. Tom meets Rita (Dina Merrill), a wealthy socialite, and Dolly (Stella Stevens), a ditzy young woman who is very kind to the young boy.  He already knows Elizabeth of course, but although Eddie adores her, he’d rather pursue someone else. This video has a short clip of a scene between Tom and Eddie.  The two had very good chemistry as father and son. The Courtship of Eddie’s father has a predictable plot.  There are no surprises in this movie.  Nevertheless, it’s a nice one to watch, and I particularly enjoyed the relationship between Tom and Eddie.  He’s not a perfect child by any means, but a normal boy who longs for a stepmom. The movie was popular, and inspired a TV series with the same name.  However, the TV version was quite different than the movie.  This is a tender story, and it’s clearly sentimental without going over the top.


Joanne is self employed and loves to write about a variety of topics. Joanne is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to


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