Don’t Worry, We’ll Think of a Title DVD Review: The Spy Who Came In From The Catskills

Morey Amsterdam wrote, produced, and directed Don’t Worry, We’ll Think Of A Title (1965) while he co-starred in the TV classic Dick Van Dyke Show. DVDS co-stars Rose Marie and Richard Deacon are in the film as well. Amsterdam must have collected a lot of chits back then, because he managed to get some big names to put in cameo appearances. These include Danny Thomas, Steve Allen, Milton Berle, and Carl Reiner.

Reiner was producer of the DVDS, and Don’t Worry, We’ll Think Of A Title is basically a lengthy sketch. One gets the impression that head writer Rob Petrie probably would have it vetoed for The Allen Brady Show.

The movie begins in a greasy-spoon diner. Amsterdam is Charlie the cook and Rose Marie plays Annie Rose the waitress. Deacon is the owner of the restaurant, who Charlie needles mercilessly. A typical joke goes like this:

Customer to Annie: “Do you have any soup on the menu?”

Annie to customer: “We did, but we wiped it off.”

A mysterious female customer comes in, and keeps touching her glasses while talking to Charlie. We learn that she is a Russian agent, and her glasses actually conceal a camera, which transmits Charlie’s image back to headquarters. It seems Charlie looks exactly like a downed cosmonaut, and the Russkies are eager to recapture him before he spills any Cold War secrets.

When Charlie and Annie are fired from the diner, they take up a former co-worker’s offer of employment in the family bookstore she inherited. So the action moves there, and Deacon reappears as the chief of police. When Annie and Charlie tell him he looks familiar, he replies “Did you see the beginning of the picture?”

The bookstore is located on the Updike University campus, which offers opportunities for some college-age shenanigans. The best is the beatnik party held at one of the frats. This would be the climax of the film, most especially for Rose Marie, who manages to make out with a drunk frat guy.

Don’t Worry, We’ll Think Of A Title is a lost gem. It could only have been made in 1965, and even then, the jokes probably seemed stale. This is the attraction for me, for anything this bad is great in my book. The whole thing has a slapped-together, Borscht Belt feel to it – and the gags are unrelentingly groan-inducing.

Let’s face it, this type of material is not for everyone, but I found it pretty funny in a time-capsule kind of way. Don’t Worry, We’ll Think Of A Title is basically everything one would expect it to be. Whether that is a good thing or a bad thing could be gauged based on your reaction to another typical restaurant exchange, this time between Charlie and the female Russian spy Olga:

Olga to Charlie: “Do you think I could have duck eggs?”

Charlie to Olga: “You could if you were a duck.”

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Greg Barbrick

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