6.2/10
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112 user 60 critic

Meatballs (1979)

PG | | Comedy | 29 June 1979 (USA)
Trailer
0:26 | Trailer
Wacky hijinks of counselors and campers at a less-than-average summer camp.

Director:

Ivan Reitman

Writers:

Len Blum, Daniel Goldberg (as Dan Goldberg) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
1,713 ( 486)
3 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bill Murray ... Tripper
Harvey Atkin ... Morty
Kate Lynch ... Roxanne
Russ Banham Russ Banham ... Crockett
Kristine DeBell ... A.L.
Sarah Torgov Sarah Torgov ... Candace
Jack Blum ... Spaz
Keith Knight ... Fink
Cindy Girling Cindy Girling ... Wendy
Todd Hoffman Todd Hoffman ... Wheels
Margot Pinvidic Margot Pinvidic ... Jackie
Matt Craven ... Hardware (as Matt Cravenn)
Norma Dell'Agnese ... Brenda
Chris Makepeace ... Rudy
Michael Kirby ... Eddy
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Storyline

Rudy goes to summer camp full of rowdy teenagers. The head counselor is Tripper Harrison, the prank pulling, girl seducing, fun lover, teasing both his boss and the counselors at the nearby rich kids camp. He and everyone else are sick and tired of always losing the Camp Olympics every year, and Tripper must encourage all campers to try their hardest, and even convince young Rudy that this may be his chance to feel better about himself. Written by Wallace Entertainment

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Are you ready for a good time? See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first day of the production shoot was also the first day of camp seen in the movie. See more »

Goofs

When Tripper begins giving his "It Just Doesn't Matter" speech there is a roaring fire in the fireplace behind him. Over the course of his speech the fire goes down quickly and then begins blazing again. See more »

Quotes

Tripper: I'm takin' the C.I.T.s on an overnight for the next couple days so you're gonna have to do your own training, son. I want you to run two miles today and two and a half tomorrow.
Rudy: I've never run that far.
Tripper: Neither have I but somebody's gotta do it. I can't be expected to do it. Somebody's gotta do it, and it can't be me. Because I'm too busy. I've responsibilities. I'm the entertainment director for the overnight.
[Holds up a bottle of wine]
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Alternate Versions

The music played during the second half of the Olympiad is different in the U.S. and Canadian versions of the film. On the U.S. release, there are additional lyrics: "Go team go, Fight team fight..." etc. These lyrics are absent on the Canadian theatrical and VHS releases. The soundtrack is mostly instrumental. You can hear this alternate music on the French soundtrack of the region 1 DVD. See more »

Connections

Followed by Meatballs 4 (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Are You Ready for the Summer?
Sung by The North Star Kids Chorus
Written by Norman Gimbel and Elmer Bernstein
See more »

User Reviews

 
2 flicks in one
2 July 2007 | by treemarcSee all my reviews

I just saw this for the first time in 10 or 15 years...maybe close to 20. In some ways, it was better than I remembered...in other, it was MUCH worse.

First of all, there's the music. It's just plain awful. There are only 5 songs in the movie, most of them used more than once. The opening song is shrieked by a chorus of annoying children, and the disco-y title track is performed by Rick Dees. It doesn't get any worse than that. Even the background music is terrible, with much of it repeating the themes of the other nauseating tunes. We also get some truly lame slapstick, mostly in the opening credits.

On the other hand, Bill Murray is spot on brilliant as usual...you have to wonder if he ad-libbed the whole thing, or if the writers just gave him all the funny lines. Or maybe he's just that great- turning a weak script into comic genius. The best part are his surreal PA announcements. ("Lobsters...get out of here...you're a menace!")

You also get a lot more character development than you have any right to expect in a movie like this. At least half the characters seem like real people...and mostly real people you would like to have around. Even "Spaz" gets to do a more than any other Eddie Deezen-type character ever did, and when he gets the girl, it's plausible. (She's not absurdly hot, but he doesn't automatically pair up with one of the nerd girls- see "Revenge Of The Nerds" for examples of both cinematic phenomenons.)

And when the plot seems clichéd...well, ya gotta wonder if it wasn't a cliché yet when they made this. While it wasn't the first summer camp movie- ya gotta go back at least to "The Parent Trap"- it's certainly the movie that made it it's own genre. In fact, I was surprised that there was no Talent Show scene..."Wet Hot American Summer" spoofed the summer-camp genre so perfectly, I just assumed everything in it came straight out of Meatballs. (I also half-expected Jon Cryer to pull up in a convertible with a chimp, thanks to "Mr. Show's" epic camp-olympiad spoof "Monk Academy")

Anyway, this one seems to be vanishing a little as far as the late-70's/early 80's comedies- it's not a cable staple anymore, and certainly doesn't have the cult following of Caddyshack or Animal House. I was pleased to catch it on Showtime today- and in High Definition at that! Sure, it's pretty awful in spots, but you could do a lot worse in a 70's/80's teen comedy. And again, Murray is a genius.


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Details

Country:

Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 June 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Meatballs See more »

Filming Locations:

Canada See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

CAD1,600,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$77,170, 1 July 1979

Gross USA:

$43,046,003

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$43,046,003
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo | Mono

Color:

Color (Sonolab)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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