Cast & Crew
Heartbroken because her college boyfriend fails to answer her letters, shantyboat-bred Tammy decides to go to college herself. After moving her decrepit craft downriver to Seminola College, she gains admission as a special student and, to pay her expenses, takes a job as companion to Mrs. Call, a wealthy eccentric. Tammy's fresh and unspoiled nature so delights the old lady that she moves in with Tammy on her shantyboat and rewards the young girl with an expensive necklace. Meanwhile, Tammy has also won the affections of Tom Freeman, the handsome public speaking instructor, and "Miss" Jenks, the unhappily married dean of women. Eventually Mrs. Call's conniving niece, Suzanne Rook, launches a search for her missing aunt. When she catches a glimpse of Tammy wearing the necklace, she has the young girl arrested and arranges a sanity hearing for Mrs. Call, but the simple honesty of Tammy's testimony so impresses the judge that he dismisses Suzanne's charges. Tammy helps straighten out "Miss" Jenks's marriage to her artist husband, Buford Woodly. She then realizes that she has forgotten all about her former boyfriend--it is Tom whom she really loves.
Charles Scott Jr.
Waldon O. Watson
Frank H. Wilkinson
Tammy Tell Me True
Sandra Dee was a former teen model whose movie career was booming. She had become a major box office star in 1959 with two hits, Gidget and A Summer Place. Producer Ross Hunter of Universal box-office successes such as the romantic comedy Pillow Talk (1959) and the tearjerker Imitation of Life (1959), all of them slick, glossy and glamorous. Tammy Tell Me True was more homespun than those films, but Dee as Tammy was just as appealing as Reynolds in the title role. She even gamely warbled a new title song in a sweet, untrained voice, although it was not as memorable as the original.
In Tammy Tell Me True, the plucky heroine is pining for her boyfriend, who is away at college and not answering her letters. She meets a handsome professor, played by the astonishingly wooden John Gavin, who falls for her and persuades her to pursue her own college education, while she continues to live aboard her houseboat, along with her pet goat. The animal isn't her only companion. Tammy takes in Mrs. Call (the wonderful Beulah Bondi), an unhappy elderly woman, and helps her defeat a scheming relative who wants to have Mrs. Call declared incompetent. It's all charming and predictable, and Tammy Tell Me True was successful enough that Dee starred in one more Tammy movie, Tammy and the Doctor (1963). In 1965, the Tammy character was revived in a television series that starred Debbie Watson and lasted one season. Four of the TV episodes were stitched together and released as a feature film in 1967, Tammy and the Millionaire.
The author of the original "Tammy" story, Cid Ricketts Sumner, wrote two more Tammy books, so it's surprising to learn that her first novel tackled a more serious subject. Published in 1946, Quality was about a light-skinned black woman who passes for white, and was made into the acclaimed 1949 film, Pinky.
At least one major critic was surprisingly kind to Tammy Tell Me True. Howard Thompson of the New York Times called the film "exactly what might be expected--a wholesome, sentimental and utterly harmless little family comedy," and even "a mite perkier than its predecessor."
The film careers of Tammy Tell Me True's producer and stars declined as the turmoil of the 1960s rendered sweet, simplistic films and Ross Hunter's glamorous melodramas obsolete by decade's end. Hunter found his footing producing television movies and miniseries. John Gavin honed his political skills as president of the Screen Actors Guild and then turned to real-world politics, where his good looks, stiff demeanor, and friendship with President Ronald Reagan served him well. Gavin served for five years as Ambassador to Mexico, and later had a very successful business career. Look for a future television star making her feature film debut Tammy Tell Me True as one of Tammy's fellow coeds. Billed in the credits as "Taffy Paul," that's Stefanie Powers in a brief appearance in a classroom scene. She went on to fame as TV's The Girl From U.N.C.L.E. and as Jennifer Hart in the long-running Hart to Hart series, as well as in many guest appearances in other shows.
Sandra Dee, however, was never able to equal her early success. By the early 1970s, she was making only occasional appearances in television series and movies as her physical and emotional health declined. She suffered from anorexia, depression and alcoholism, and died in 2005 at the age of 62.
Director: Harry Keller
Producer: Ross Hunter
Screenplay: Oscar Brodney
Cinematography: Clifford Stein
Editor: Otto Ludwig
Art Direction: Alexander Golitzen
Music: Percy Faith
Principal Cast: Sandra Dee (Tammy Tyree), John Gavin (Tom Freeman), Beulah Bondi (Mrs. Call), Virginia Grey (Miss Jenks), Charles Drake (Buford Woodley), Julia Meade (Suzanne Rook), Cecil Kellaway (Captain Joe), Edgar Buchanan (Judge Carver), Gigi Perreau (Rita), Juanita Moore (Della)
by Margarita Landazuri
Tammy Tell Me True
Sandra Dee, 1944-2005
She was born Alexandra Cymboliak Zuck on April 23, 1944 (conflicting sources give 1942, but the actual birth year has been verified by the family) in Bayonne, New Jersey. She was abandoned by her father by age five, and her mother, Mary Douvan, lied about Sandra's age so that she could put her in school and get a job. She was only five when she entered the 2nd grade. Mature for her age, Sandra's mother kept the lie going when she began her modeling career. With her fetching blonde curls and pretty face, Dee found herself moving up quickly on the modeling ladder. By the time she was 10, she was one of the top child models in the country, and by age 13, she met producer Ross Hunter, who signed her to a seven-year contract for Universal. She had her named changed to Sandra Dee (a stage name combining her shortened first name and using her stepfather's surname initial D to sign vouchers) and made her film debut in Until They Sail (1957), starring Joan Fontaine, John Gavin.
Her next film, The Reluctant Debutante, a bubbly romantic comedy with Rex Harrison, Kay Kendall and John Saxon, proved Dee to be adept in light comedy. Yet she would prove her versatility as a performer the following year - 1959, when she scored in the three biggest films of the year:A Summer Place, a brooding melodrama with fellow teen-heartthrob, Troy Donohue; Imitation of Life, a glossy, Ross Hunter sudser; and of course Gidget, the archetypical, sand and surf movie. By the dawn of the '60s, Sandra Dee mania ruled the movie fanzines worldwide.
Her personal life took a surprising turn when she hooked up with singer Bobby Darin. She met Darin in 1960 in Portofino, Italy, where they were both cast in Come September with Rock Hudson and Gina Lollobrigida as the older romantic couple. They eventually married and she gave birth to a son, Dodd Mitchell Darin in 1961. All the while, Dee still plugged away with a series of hit films over the next few years: Romanoff and Juliet a charming satirical comedy directed by Peter Ustinoff; Tammy Tell Me True with John Gavin (both 1961; If a Man Answers (1962) a surprisingly sharp comedy of manners with husband Bobby Darin; Tammy and the Doctor, another corn-fed entry that was her leading man's Peter Fonda's big break; and Take Her, She's Mine (1963), a rather strained generation-gap comedy with James Stewart.
Her success was not to last. By the late `60s, as "youth culture" movies became more confrontational and less frivolous with references to open sexuality and drugs in the American landscape, Dee's career began to peter out. Her few films of that period : Rosie, and Doctor, You've Got To Be Kidding (both 1967) were pretty dreadful and were disasters at the box-office; and her divorce from Bobby Darin that same year, put a dent in her personal life, so Dee wisely took a sabbatical from the limelight for a few years.
The '70s actually saw Dee improve as an actress. Although by no means a classic, her role as woman falling pray to a warlock (Dean Stockwell) who sexually and psychologically dominates her in the The Dunwich Horror (1970), was nothing short of startling. Yet despite her competency as actress, her career never regained its footing, and she appeared in only a few television movies later on: The Daughters of Joshua Cabe (1972), Fantasy Island (1977).
Dee resurfaced in 1991, when she gave an interview with People magazine about her personal demons: molestation by her stepfather, anorexia, drug use and alcoholism, that had haunted her her entire life. That same year, much to the delight of her fans, she resurfaced briefly when she starred in a stage production of Love Letters at the Beverly Hill's Canon Theatre with her friend and former co-star, John Saxon. Since she was diagnosed with throat cancer and kidney failure in 2000, Dee had been in and out of hospitals for her failing health. She is survived by her son Dodd; and two granddaughters -Alexa and Olivia.
by Michael T. Toole
Sandra Dee, 1944-2005
The film is a sequel to Tammy and the Bachelor (1957) and was followed by Tammy and the Doctor, q. v.
Released in United States 1961
Sequel to "Tammy and the Bachelor" (1957) and second in the "Tammy" series.
Stefanie Powers makes her screen debut.
Released in United States 1961