A legacy of empowerment
BY ADAM BLACKSHAW
The success of Caddie (1976) was surprising, even to those who worked so hard on bringing the story to life. Read about the success of the film and listen to producer Tony Buckley reflecting on the film’s significance 40 years after its premiere.
The toast of the town
Caddie premiered in April 1976 and was hugely popular. The film ran for 54 weeks on one screen in Sydney alone. Critically the film was also very well received.
Romola Costantino in The Sun Herald (11 April 1976) wrote, ‘Caddie is a fascinating, outstanding film’, echoing the praise of many critics.
In 1976 the Australian Film Institute (AFI) honoured Helen Morse with the Best Actress award.
Other AFI Awards went to Drew Forsythe for Best Supporting Actor while Melissa Jaffer and Jacki Weaver shared the Best Supporting Actress prize.
The Australian Cinematographers Society awarded Peter James the Cinematographer of the Year award in 1977.
That same year the San Sebastián International Film Festival gave the Best Actress award to Helen Morse and the Special Prize of the Jury to Donald Crombie. Caddie was also selected to open the San Francisco Film Festival.
Lobby cards promoting the release of Caddie in cinemas, 1976.
Looking back at Caddie
Anthony Buckley AO is a prominent member of the Australian film industry. He edited Age of Consent (1969, starring Helen Mirren and James Mason) and Wake in Fright (1971) before moving into producing. As well as Caddie, he has produced numerous films, documentaries and television features including Bliss (1985), Dad and Dave: On Our Selection (1995) and Oyster Farmer (2004).
Buckley had to struggle to find financial support for Caddie (1976) at a time when Australian films had never featured a woman as the central protagonist. In this interview he reflects on the significance of the film during the Australian film renaissance of the 1970s and why he thinks it was so successful.