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Back to School (1986)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Romance, Sport | 13 June 1986 (USA)
To help his discouraged son get through college, a funloving and obnoxious rich businessman decides to enter the school as a student himself.



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1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Coach Turnbull
Dr. Barazini


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 | Plot 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)

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,300,000, 15 June 1986

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


One of two movies released in 1986 to feature the song "Twist and Shout". The other movie was Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986). See more »


When Thornton and Lou are making the Bruce Springsteen sign, the student at the table is supposed to be writing on a poster but the marker is clearly not touching the paper. See more »


Dean Martin: [begins questioning] Mr. Melon, I'm only going to ask you once:
Dean Martin: ...Is this your work?
Thornton Melon: I can't lie to you, Dean Martin
Thornton Melon: ...Yes, it is.
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 Mike & Mike: Episode dated 25 February 2014 (2014) See more »


A Dream
Performed by Enrico Caruso
Written by Charles B. Cory (as C. Cory) and J.C. Bartlett
Courtesy of RCA Records,Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

school is cool
1 June 2006 | by See all my reviews

In what might be the apex of Rodney Dangerfield's career, he plays boorish millionaire Thornton Melon, finally attending college. The movie is really an excuse for Dangerfield to be a complete goof-off, containing every silly thing imaginable. Possibly the best line is Thornton's comment about Longfellow.

As for the other characters, Keith Gordon does OK as Thornton's son Jason, but Robert Downey Jr. is even neater as Jason's ultra-left-wing friend Derek, who even has a theory about the fascism of football. Sally Kellerman, Burt Young, M. Emmet Walsh, Adrienne Barbeau, Ned Beatty, Sam Kinison and Robert Picardo are all pretty good in their roles (there's even an appearance by Kurt Vonnegut). It's just that this is Rodney Dangerfield's movie all the way. I think that it's quite safe to assert that the Man Who Got No Respect will truly be missed.

A hilarious movie.

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