Back to School (1986) Poster


Rodney Dangerfield's character, Thorton Melon, was a trick diver in his younger days, as was Dangerfield himself.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. played himself in a cameo for the film in which he is hired by Thornton Melon to write a paper on the topic of the novels of Kurt Vonnegut. As a joke, recognizing the work as not Melon's own, Professor Turner tells him, "Whoever did write this doesn't know the first thing about Kurt Vonnegut."
One of the last shots in the opening montage is of Rodney Dangerfield golfing. This was taken directly from his first film, Caddyshack (1980)
The sound made by the sound board when Derek starts experimenting with it at the dorm party is the same sound made by the proton packs in Ghostbusters (1984).
Diane's house is the same as used for the Doyle house where Jamie Lee Curtis babysat in Halloween (1978) .
Most of the outdoors scenes at the college where shot on location at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Rodney Dangerfield always looked out for younger comedic talents. He was a big proponent for Sam Kinison's part as a crazed professor in Back to School. They also considered Jim Carrey, but he was rejected as too young. Later when producer Chuck Russell got the chance to direct The Mask (1994), he was finally able to use Jim Carrey, transforming the Mask from a "very dark horror film" to a comedy.
The room in which Thornton Melon takes his three-hour oral exam is the same room in which Alex Owens makes her successful dance audition in Flashdance (1983).
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.
Alice Cooper's song "The Great American Success Story" (on the album 'Constrictor') was apparently intended to be the theme song. Its lyrics summarize the plot and include "he don't get no respect", and the chorus leads off with the phrase "back to school." The song was not used in the film, and there is no mention of the connection in the liner notes of the album.
The song playing at Chaz's fraternity party (before the girls abandon it for Melon's) is "Everybody's Crazy", a song from Michael Bolton's days as a metal singer.
Robert Downey Jr. was also working on Saturday Night Live (1975) while he was working on this film. He would fly from New York to Los Angeles twice a week for filming.
Kevin Spacey appears briefly as a waiter as Dangerfield is eating his big sandwich at the party. (Appx. 11:35 into the film).
Due to Rodney Dangerfield's contractual obligations with the Miller Brewing Company and his appearances in Miller Lite beer commercials at the time, only Miller beer was allowed to be shown in certain scenes (when Dangerfield goes to get a beer out of the refrigerator during the party at his house and during the large party at the college when the police arrive with extra beer).
In the original script, Rodney Dangerfield's character was poor, but Harold Ramis suggested that it be changed to make him rich.
The erotic reading performed by Dr. Turner (Sally Kellerman) at the beginning of her literature class is from the ending of the James Joyce novel, Ulysses.
A menu item at the Tex-Mex restaurant Moe's Southwest Grill is called "The Triple Lindy" in honor of the dive Melon did.
The soundtrack was only released in LP format, but the score was later released with selections from the score of Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985) on CD.
In the beginning montage there is a picture presumably of Thornton Melon playing golf. The actual picture was of Rodney Dangerfield as Al Czervik in the movie Caddyshack.

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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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