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`National Lampoon's Animal House' may have been one of the first comedies
to evolve from the `Saturday Night Live' generation, but it could be argued
that `Caddyshack,' directed by Harold Ramis-- and which features two SNL
alumni, Chevy Chase and Bill Murray-- actually spawned the entire `SNL
genre,' of films, because this is the one that seemed to lock in that
formulaic irreverence toward all things, of which they are so indicative.
The story here revolves around a young man named Danny Noonan (Michael
O'Keefe), a caddy at the upscale Bushwood Country Club, who is bucking for
caddy scholarship to get him into college. Danny figures that the best
he has at it is to volunteer for the assignment none of the other caddies
want-- to caddy for the up-tight Judge Smails (Ted Knight), one of the
executive directors of Bushwood, and `kiss up' a bit. Smails responds by
letting Danny mow his lawn and attend a christening ceremony for his new
yacht. But Danny is not one to be deterred, even when the good Judge tells
him `The world needs ditch diggers, too.' He just goes on, keeping his
and his options open.
And it isn't long before Danny gets involved with Ty Webb (Chase), an independently wealthy goof-ball with a Zen/Chaplin philosophy of life, whose father was one of Judge Smails' partners in Bushwood. So Danny takes some advice from Ty while caddying for him; advice which just may ultimately have an effect on whether or not he gets his scholarship. Or maybe not. Words of wisdom like `Be the Ball,' and `A donut with no hole is a danish,' may not be what he needs to put him on the fast track to success. But then again, you never know; it's that kind of movie. And there's no getting around it, this is funny stuff.
The humor in this movie runs the gamut from broad to subtle, with at least two sight gags thrown in that identify it as belonging to the genre it helped create. At the time of it's theatrical release, in 1980, it was fairly on the cutting edge of comedy; by today's standards, though, it doesn't seem nearly as irreverent, especially given the digressive trend in the genre lately, which has spewed forth such fare as `Freddy Got Fingered,' and `Road Trip.' Then again, this one had Harold Ramis behind the camera, and Ramis has an acute sense of comedic timing, he knows what works, and he made the most of the basic screenplay (by Ramis, Brian Doyle-Murray and Douglas Kenney) and the terrific cast of comedians with which he had to work, all of whom fit so well into the pattern and fabric of this particular picture.
Rarely does a comedy (or any film for that matter) have so many actors who fit their characters so perfectly as in this film, beginning with Chevy Chase, who embodies the slightly skewed and off-center Ty Webb so well it's almost frightening. Webb is a guy who veritably floats through life in a perpetual Zen-like state of distraction, and it makes you realize that there probably really are characters like this walking around in the real world. But if the existence of a Ty Webb type is only highly probable, there's no doubt whatsoever about the fact that there are guys like Al Czervik amongst us.
Rodney Dangerfield plays Czervik, the obnoxious, fun-loving, high-rolling land developer with a specially made golf club and an eye on Bushwood. In Czervik, Dangerfield creates a character who is outrageous, droll, lacks any taste whatsoever, and is entirely hilarious. It is, without question, the best character and performance of Dangerfield's cinematic career, and -- like Chase-- it's almost scary the way he fits into the character so naturally and completely.
The real heart of this movie, however, is Bill Murray, who turns in what just may be the definitive Murray performance with his character, Carl Spackler, the Assistant Greenskeeper at Bushwood. Murray brings Carl, the socially and intellectually challenged man-with-a-plan, to life with subtle nuance and a flare of comedic genius. A lot of what he did in this film was improvised, including much of his two most memorable and hilarious scenes, one in which he's describing his encounter with the Dalai Lama, and the other being his soliloquy of the `Cinderella Boy' on the course at Atlanta. This is truly inspired, funny stuff, and it proves what can be done without resorting to banal vulgarity or crudeness (not that this film is entirely devoid of it, but at least it's tempered here somewhat-- not so overt and in-your-face like you'll often find in some of the more recent offerings of the genre). And there's a harmless shiftiness about Carl, who is about as deep as a pan pizza, and Murray plays it all beautifully.
O'Keefe gives a solid performance, as well, but he's basically the straight man here, the set-up guy for one funny situation after another. And he does it quite nicely.
Also giving memorable performances are Ted Knight, as the rigid, conservative Judge, and Brian Doyle-Murray as Lou Loomis, who oversees the caddies at Bushwood.
The supporting cast includes Sarah Holcomb (Maggie), Scott Colomby (Tony), Cindy Morgan (Lacey Underall), Dan Resin (Dr. Beeper), Henry Wilcoxon (The Bishop), Albert Salmi (Mr. Noonan), John F. Barmon Jr. (Spaulding Smails) and Lois Kibbee (Mrs. Smails). With this film, Ramis and company honed the formula for comedy that incorporated pop culture and contemporary sensibilities into it like never before. And `Caddyshack' is an example of it in it's purest form; you'll have to look long and hard to find anything out of this same mold today that can come close to the prototype. It's one of those movies that gets even better with age-- and funnier, too. It's the magic of the movies. I rate this one 10/10.
Crudeness doesn't come much more, well, crude, than 1980's sublime
"Caddyshack". In fact, this crazy quilt takes the slob groundwork laid
by "National Lampoon's Animal House" and one-ups that collegiate comedy
classic by having a carelessly mean, anarchic spirit a mile wide and a
It's little surprise that writer/director Harold Ramis and co-writer Douglas Kenney were also scribes on that 1978 John Belushi hit. As "Caddyshack" shows, the classic us-versus-them scat-humor template is alive and well.
But this is not just a crass comedy, it's a HAPPILY crass comedy, that does just about whatever it wants as it casually wanders through it's 90-odd minutes. The DNA of "Caddyshack" resides somewhere in the cinematic in-between world of the aforementioned "Animal House" and a Three Stooges or W.C. Fields picture. There's a giddiness to its nose-thumbing, and a general pleasure in its coarse eagerness to offend.
The screenplay forms a functional spine for what actually amounts to a comedy collision course of witty asides, broad physical comedy, dirty jokes, varied comedic styles and big explosions.
But is there really a screenplay here? The film has such a loose and free-wheeling timbre to it that it would be hard not to fault the viewer in thinking that the film was largely improvised, or at least rewritten by committee on set, scene by scene.
This film was widely *rumoured* to be "under the influence" during shooting, but whatever the cast and crew were "using" seemed to work very much in favor of movie, as the flick turned out to be editorially messy and open-structured, yet well-paced and coherent enough to embrace the variety of comedic opinions squeezed into the picture. This is what you get - a smörgåsbord of laughs. You get a Chevy Chase doing his ironic bit, you have one Bill Murray essaying a bizarre-o mental case, good old Ted Knight going into slow-burn histrionics every scene, and Rodney Dangerfield stealing every scene with large chunks of his stand-up act. This shouldn't work, this mix - but it does. Very well.
Again, the looseness of the pace and tone of the film forgive some of the storytelling framework featuring young go-getter Michael O'Keefe's attempt to get a college scholarship during one crazy summer caddying for Bushwood Country Club's weirdest members. Instead, Ramis, Kenney and (Bill's brother) Brian Doyle Murray set each of these comedians up with sketch-like scenarios for some of their finest and funniest work.
The movie is mean in all the right places - It's the snobs against the slobs, as the advertising says. "Caddyshack" takes barbed pot-shots at the class system, at sex, at religion, at bodily functions. No joke is too risqué, no candy bar too gross to eat from the bottom of a empty pool. It has lots of swearing, nudity for nudity's sake, and insults for the pompous and pathetic. Even through its R-rated mean-spiritedness, it's hard to truly be turned off of the film's antagonistic spirit - it earns it's laughs because it's breathlessly paced and damned funny. This is the thematic mold that the Farrellys and Adam Sandler rarely get right.
"Caddyshack" is endlessly quotable, and surely if you sat around with a few friends anytime in the last 25 years, you could probably spend a good hour reciting lines and scenes that still hold all their glorious funny these many years later.
The movie's best scene? My award goes to the "Night Putting" sequence where Chevy Chase's Ty Webb and Bill Murray Carl the Greenskeeper finally meet up when Chase fires a Titleist through the window of Murray's lean-to shed-slash-residence. This never fails to get big laughs, and it's a real meeting of the minds. A great sequence for the Comedy Hall of Fame, I'd say.
Kenny Loggins' catchy songs ("I'm Alright" anyone?) and the jazzy Johnny Mandel (!) orchestral score add a unexpectedly lovely sheen that spit-shines the crudity of subject and filmmaker's style. They're nice touches.
You can put "Caddyshack" next to "Casablanca" or "Citizen Kane" - not just in the "C" section of your local video store, but as in "Classic". Comedies don't come much funnier than this.
BTW - skip "Caddyshack II". Everything that this one is, that one isn't.
Yes, this one does hold up, perhaps because the action centers on the almost
surreal (for a comedy) subject of golf, a topic that had not perhaps been so
successfully spoofed since Eddie Cantor starred in "Kid Boots" (am I getting
that one right?).
In the comedy contest between Murray, Chase, and Dangerfield, let me just say that Chase does not win. Dangerfield is at his best, delivering his classic lines ("this meat's so tough you can see where the jockey was riding it") with ultimate panache and actually playing his crazy character (reminiscent of Peter Sellars in "The Party") to the hilt. Murray is really the show-stopper, though, muttering his lines to give them emphasis (?) and racing around the course with what appears to be real mania.
A lot of the jokes fall flat, but when this movie is on, it's so on, that you can't help but call it a classic.
So now you've got that going for you, which is nice.
Inspired by Brian Doyle-Murray's experiences as a caddy in his youth, this wild, anarchic film is about more than just golf. Without a doubt, it's my favorite comedy, and might even be one of the greatest movies of all time. There is not a single scene without comedic chaos.
Director Harold Ramis is barely able to contain the insanity. There is honestly so much in Caddyshack, there's enough for ten movies, hardly surprising since the first draft of the screenplay was 199 pages long while the first cut of the film run for 310 minutes. I imagine that there's enough cut out to make whole new Caddyshack movies. There are about five different plots developing at once throughout the movie, the funniest of which is Carl Spackler's (having been licensed to kill by the 'Government of the United Nations') attempts to assassinate a rogue gopher tearing up the golf course.
Each and every actor battles with each other, and it's hard to nail down exactly who runs away with the movie, but if I absolutely HAD to choose, I'd say that Rodney Dangerfield's sleazy, slobbish, overly-friendly, and gratuitously tipping character is the most wonderful thing about it. He is the perfect foil for Judge Smails (an utterly perfectly-cast Ted Knight), a pompous, bad-tempered, self-important hypocrite who wants to reserve the pretentious Bushwood Country Club for snobs and gentlemen (despite being far from a gentleman himself).
If you like comedy quotes, Caddyshack is a goldmine. There are hundreds, literally hundreds, of lines worthy of repeating in real life. You could literally get by, from cradle to the grave, just quoting Caddyshack, and it would bring you nothing but pure happiness and good fortune.
CADDYSHACK is one of the Top 5 funniest movies of all time. The show-stealer is obviously Rodney Dangerfield, who also happens to be the coolest old dude ever. His outrageous lines such as "Did somebody step on a duck?" are all knee-slappers. Another standout is Carl Spackler, played perfectly by Bill Murray. Carl is a goofy groundskeeper that is obsessed with killing a mischevious gopher. Some of the funniest parts in this movie are Murray's ad-libs. Unfortunately, the plotline of the caddies is overlooked by the outstanding performances by comedic stars such as Dangerfield, Murray, Chevy Chase, and Ted Knight. While CADDYSHACK is an absolute classic, CADDYSHACK 2 is a bomb and fails to live up to the hilarity of this one.
Old enough to be considered a classic. This is how the National Lampoon/SNL movies should work but rarely have. Snapshot of a few days at exclusive country club follows several divergent story lines leading to climatic golf match. Chevy's flaky Ty Webb and Murray's degenerate groundskeeper are unforgettable characters among a bevy of memorable parts. Followed eight years later by a sequel as utterly bad as this is good. 10/10
Caddyshack is one of the great all time classics of it's time. For any golf enthusiast this is a must see. Also, If you just like plain comedy this is a must see. I have seen this movie over 100 times and I still laugh to this day. Bill Murray plays one of the funniest roles that ever hit the big screen. After you see this movie you start repeating sayings that you hear in the movie. The late Ted Knight and Rodney Dangerfield are hilarious. If you are a Chevy Chase fan you must see him in this role. The role of Ty is the one that opened the door for Chase in such movies as Vacation, Fletch, Spies like us, Three Maiga's and Funny Farm. This movie is one that everyone should have in their DVD collection. You can watch it over and over again and laugh out loud every time. This movie rates on par with Animal House. These two classics will go down as two great movies in their era. For all the young people that have not seen this movie I recommend it highly. This movie is one for the ages. If you have not seen this movie go rent or buy it and I guarantees a laugh filled t
What is the point of a movie about teenage caddies running around,
chasing women, smoking grass, and causing all sorts of shenanigans?
Only to create one of the greatest comedies of this or any time period.
If you are looking for a movie that will keep you laughing from start
to finish, look no further my friends. Caddyshack captures the youthful
spirit of teens and the country club life to perfection.
Every character in this film has something about them that makes them uniquely hilarious. Judge Smails, played by Ted Knight, contributes to the comedy with his gut busting mannerisms and his contagious laugh. Ty Webb, played by Chevy Chase, is a wise cracking man who loves to stick it to the man. Then we have Danny Noonan (Michael O'Keefe) who is the lovable, yet rambunctious, caddy who is just trying to find his way in the world. Quite possibly the funniest character in any sports movie is Carl Spackler (Bill Murray). This character is the glue of the film. His idiotic manner and constant abuse of alcohol makes for a performance that will be remembered for generations. Last but certainly not least is Al Czervik (Rodney Dangerfield). While at times he is very juvenile, his antics fit right in at Bushwood Country Club.
There are three S's that make a successful comedy movie, sex, silliness, and soundtrack. With the very sexy Lacey Underall (Cindy Morgan), all of the characters previously mentioned, and a gopher dancing to "I'm Alright" by Kenny Logins, this film is more than a success, it is a masterpiece.
Ah, yes, Caddyshack. The king of low brow comedies. I remember working at
my dad's San Leandro restaurant as a young jerk and loving the sound
of the Kenny Loggins' "I'm Alright" theme song as they played Caddyshack on
the big screen TV's in between sports games. That friggin' song made me
wanna jump down and rock out, baby!
Caddyshack isn't so much a movie as it is an excuse for a bunch of one liners, gross outs, and stand-up comedy schtick. Chevy Chase, Bill Murray and Rodney Dangerfield were at their funniest in this movie.
In fact, this movie was made back when Chevy Chase WAS still funny. Remember those days? Man, was that a while ago. I read an article recently where a reporter asked Chevy, "What happened to your career?" And Chevy looked totally pained and wounded at that cruel question. Chevy's a great comic actor, he just needs to track down another decent script like the one in Caddyshack and get his comic chops back on track. But I dig everything about this film, the background music, the great comedy gags, the gopher, even the look of the ritzy, snob ridden country club setting! Freeze gopher!
I think I saw this movie when I was 6. I didn't get all the jokes then but I still laughed my littel butt off. Now it's even funnier. Bill Murray and Rodney Dangerfield are at their best. And Ted Knight kills me. Some of the best performances from all the actors are in this movie. I like the guy who played Danny Noonan, Michael O'Keefe. I saw him at a restaurant a few years ago and he looks the same but like he's his own uncle. The Baby Ruth scene is priceless. And the gopher still makes me laugh. It's a puppet too. I think if they had all the special effects they have now it would have pronbably looked stupid and not been funny at all but I love it.
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