Caddie (film)

Caddie is an Australian film biopic directed by Donald Crombie and produced by Anthony Buckley. Released on 1 April 1976, it is representative of the Australian film renaissance which occurred during that decade. Set mainly in Sydney during the 1920s and 1930s, including the Great Depression, it portrays the life of a young middle class woman struggling to raise two children after her marriage breaks up. Based on Caddie, the Story of a Barmaid, a partly fictitious autobiography of Catherine Beatrice "Caddie" Edmonds, it made Helen Morse a local star[3] and earned Jacki Weaver and Melissa Jaffer each an Australian Film Institute Award.

Caddie DVD cover.jpg
DVD cover.
Directed byDonald Crombie
Produced byAnthony Buckley
Written byJoan Long
Based onmemoir Caddie: A Sydney Barmaid
StarringHelen Morse
Takis Emmanuel
Jack Thompson
Jacki Weaver
Music byPatrick Flynn
CinematographyPeter James
Edited byTim Wellburn
Anthony Buckley Productions
Distributed byRoadshow Entertainment
Umbrella Entertainment
Release date
1 April 1976
Running time
106 minutes
Box officeA$2,847,000 (Australia)[2]


In 1925 Sydney, Caddie leaves her adulterous and brutish husband and takes her two children, Ann and Terry, with her. Forced to work as a barmaid in a pub she struggles to survive. A brief affair with Ted (Jack Thompson) ends badly when his involvement with another woman comes to light, but she falls in love with a Greek immigrant, Peter (Takis Emmanuel). Peter has to return to Greece to face family obligations–he is already married to another woman. Caddie runs out of money and goes to work as a barmaid. Peter sends letters from Greece and Caddie has to evade police as she works for an SP bookie. Peter asks her to come to Athens but she decides to stay.[4]

Main castEdit


The original autobiography was published in 1953. The real-life barmaid, Catherine Edmonds, got to know Dymphna Cusack while she was writing Come in Spinner and Cusack helped the book get published.[5][6]

The budget was raised from the Australian Film Development Corporation, the Australian Women's Weekly, the Nine television network, the Secretariat for International Woman's Year, and Roadshow. Shooting began in late 1975.[1]

Parts of the movie were filmed in and around Balmain with a number of scenes at the Kent Hotel (which later became Caddies Restaurant) and the Sir William Wallace Hotel. Other scenes were filmed in Cameron Street, Edgecliff. Studio shots were taken at the Cinesound Studios in Rozelle. The writer and producer had both made films about early Australian cinema and were able to draw on this knowledge to help recreate Depression-era Sydney.[7]

The motion picture soundtrack by Patrick Flynn was produced for release on CD by Philip Powers from the original analog tapes by 1M1 Records.


Helen Morse's performance was awarded with the Australian Film Institute's Best Actress award in 1976. Other AFI wins went for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Drew Forsythe) and Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Melissa Jaffer and Jacki Weaver). Australian Cinematographers Society awarded Peter James the Cinematographer of the Year award in 1977. San Sebastián International Film Festival gave the Best Actress award to Helen Morse and the Special Prize of the Jury to Donald Crombie.[8]


  1. ^ a b Andrew Pike and Ross Cooper, Australian Film 1900–1977: A Guide to Feature Film Production, Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1998, p 298
  2. ^ Australian Films at the Box Office - Report to Film Victoria Archived 28 July 2015 at the Wayback Machine accessed 5 October 2012
  3. ^ Musgrove, Nan (27 August 1975). "Film Role of the Year for Helen Morse". Australian Women's Weekly. Trove. p. 4. Retrieved 25 May 2013.
  4. ^ "Caddie". Australian Women's Weekly. Trove. 14 April 1976. p. 44. Retrieved 25 May 2013.
  5. ^ "Dymphna Cusack's Popularity Abroad". The Advertiser (Adelaide). Trove. 15 November 1952. p. 6. Retrieved 25 May 2013.
  6. ^ "Puritanical Barmaid". Sydney Morning Herald. at Trove. 1 August 1953. p. 12. Retrieved 25 May 2013.
  7. ^ David Stratton, The Last New Wave: The Australian Film Revival, Angus & Robertson, 1980 p. 143-145
  8. ^ IMDb awards

External linksEdit