Up 160 this week

Back to School (1986)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Romance, Sport  |  13 June 1986 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.5/10 from 20,571 users  
Reviews: 77 user | 23 critic

To help his discouraged son get through college, a funloving and obnoxious rich businessman decides to enter the school as a student himself.



(story), (story), 6 more credits »
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Easy Money (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

To inherit his mother-in-law's colossal fortune, a hard living, gambling addict must change his unhealthy ways before it gets the best of him.

Director: James Signorelli
Stars: Rodney Dangerfield, Joe Pesci, Geraldine Fitzgerald
Caddyshack (1980)
Comedy | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An exclusive golf course has to deal with a brash new member and a destructive dancing gopher.

Director: Harold Ramis
Stars: Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, Bill Murray
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Director: Walter C. Miller
Stars: Rodney Dangerfield, Jeff Altman, Roseanne Barr
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

Wally Sparks is a tabloid TV show reporter who's trying to boost ratings on his show. He goes to the governor's mansion to uncover a sex scandal.

Director: Peter Baldwin
Stars: Rodney Dangerfield, Debi Mazar, David Ogden Stiers
Weird Science (1985)
Comedy | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Two high school nerds attempt to create the perfect woman, but she turns out to be more than that.

Director: John Hughes
Stars: Anthony Michael Hall, Ilan Mitchell-Smith, Kelly LeBrock
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

At a big campus, a group of bullied outcasts and misfits resolve to fight back for their peace and self respect.

Director: Jeff Kanew
Stars: Robert Carradine, Anthony Edwards, Timothy Busfield
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A college freshman returns to L.A. for the holidays at his ex-girlfriend's request, but discovers that his former best friend has an out-of-control drug habit.

Director: Marek Kanievska
Stars: Andrew McCarthy, Jami Gertz, Robert Downey Jr.
Summer School (1987)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A high-school gym teacher has big plans for the summer, but is forced to cancel them to teach a "bonehead" English class for misfit goof-off students. Fortunately, his unconventional brand ... See full summary »

Director: Carl Reiner
Stars: Mark Harmon, Kirstie Alley, Robin Thomas
Ladybugs (1992)
Comedy | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

To climb the corporate ladder to success, a guy agrees to coach the company's all girl soccer team with the help of his secret weapon: his fiancee's son.

Director: Sidney J. Furie
Stars: Rodney Dangerfield, Jackée Harry, Jonathan Brandis
Real Genius (1985)
Comedy | Romance | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Teenage geniuses deal with their abilities while developing a laser.

Director: Martha Coolidge
Stars: Val Kilmer, Gabriel Jarret, Michelle Meyrink
Stripes (1981)
Action | Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Two friends who are dissatisfied with their jobs decide to join the army for a bit of fun.

Director: Ivan Reitman
Stars: Bill Murray, John Candy, Harold Ramis
America (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  

The zany crew of a New York cable TV station accidentally bounce a signal off the moon, bringing them worldwide attention.

Director: Robert Downey Sr.
Stars: Zack Norman, Tammy Grimes, Michael J. Pollard


Cast overview, first billed only:
Severn Darden ...
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. ...


Millionaire businessman Thornton Melon is upset when his son Jason announces that he is not sure about going to college. Thornton insists that college is the best thing he never had for himself, and to prove his point, he agrees to enroll in school along with his son. Thornton is a big hit on campus: always throwing the biggest parties, knowing all the right people, but is this the way to pass college? Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Registration starts Friday, June 13, at theaters everywhere.


Comedy | Romance | Sport


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

13 June 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

De vuelta al colegio  »

Box Office


$11,000,000 (estimated)


$91,258,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The original music score for the movie was composed by band leader Danny Elfman of Oingo Boingo. The band was featured performing their song "Dead Man's Party" at Thornton Melon's dorm party. See more »


When Thornton makes his first dive of the movie, he exits the pool on the ladder and there is clearly a cut in the film. He exits the pool dry, no water dripping anywhere. See more »


Thornton Melon: [in college bookstore] Hey, you guys get everything you need?
Jason Melon: Oh, yeah, we got it.
Thornton Melon: Good... Hey! What's with the used books?
Jason Melon: Well, what's wrong with used books?
Thornton Melon: They've already been read!
Jason Melon: Yeah, and they already been UNDER-LINED, too. Get it?
Thornton Melon: That's the problem. The last guy who under-lined them, he could have been a maniac! Hey, get these guys some new books. Huh? Get some new books, will ya?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits begin with the message: "For Estelle. Thanks so much." This is a dedication to Estelle Endler, Rodney Dangerfield's manager and one of the executive producers of the film, who died during production. See more »


Referenced in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy Goes to School! (2015) See more »


Everybody's Crazy
Written by Michael Bolton
Performed by Michael Bolton
Courtesy of Columbia Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Revenge of the 80's:The reinvention of Rodney Dangerfield continues..
25 January 2005 | by (Sacramento, CA) – See all my reviews

Back to School (1986) was a surprise hit for stand up comedian actor Rodeny Dangerfield. After making a big impression with audiences with his spot in the golf comedy Caddyshack and a lead role in Easy Money, his star was slowly rising. But it was this film that cemented his spot in American pop culture as a true icon of the 80's and a transition star.

Rodney stars as Thorton Melon (nee Meloni) a successful entrepreneur who had to drop out of school when he was younger to take care of the family business. Years later his son is in college but feel dissatisfied with life in general. After a series of comical events, Mr. Melon decides to visit his son's exclusive university to see how he's really doing. Along the way he decides to give book learning a try.

A very enjoyable film. Rodney Dangerfield made the transaction from a stand-up act to an actor. The director wisely let him improvise his dialog and work in some of his material into the movie. The cast features Sally Kellerman, Robert Downey Jr., Keith Gordon, Burt Young, Terry Farrell and guest star slots for Adrienne Barbeau and Ned Beatty.

Not a masterpiece by any means but an enjoyable film none the less. Recommended, especially on a slow Sunday afternoon.

34 of 36 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Dorm Room Remodel fourstringdrums
Why was Diane so upset? shiftydave77
Did Chaz fake the cramp? jaltenbu
Oingo Boingo is in this! moviefiend69
Anyone know or have a Professor Terguson? Prof_Plum
Remake BCochrane80
Discuss Back to School (1986) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page