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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.

Director:

Alan Metter

Writers:

Rodney Dangerfield (story), Greg Fields (story) | 5 more credits »
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Popularity
3,806 ( 2,219)

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ON DISC
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rodney Dangerfield ... Thornton Melon
Sally Kellerman ... Dr. Diane Turner
Burt Young ... Lou
Keith Gordon ... Jason Melon
Robert Downey Jr. ... Derek Lutz
Paxton Whitehead ... Philip Barbay
Terry Farrell ... Valerie Desmond
M. Emmet Walsh ... Coach Turnbull
Adrienne Barbeau ... Vanessa
William Zabka ... Chas
Ned Beatty ... Dean David Martin
Severn Darden ... Dr. Barazini
Sam Kinison ... Professor Terguson
Robert Picardo ... Giorgio
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. ... Himself
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Registration starts Friday, June 13, at theaters everywhere.

Genres:

Comedy | Romance | Sport

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM Studios [United States]

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 June 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mach's nochmal, Dad See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,881,035, 15 June 1986

Gross USA:

$91,258,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$91,258,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Black and White (prologue)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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, Jr. 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." See more »

Goofs

At the final dive meet Coach Turnbull is wearing a striped knit tie, while he is at the judges table explaining that Thornton is an eligible member of the dive team, the stripes on the knot of his tie change. See more »

Quotes

Thornton Melon: Boy, what a great-looking place. When I used to dream about going to college, this is the way I always pictured it.
Jason Melon: Wait a minute. When did you dream about going to college?
Thornton Melon: When I used to fall asleep in high school.
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 »

Alternate Versions

Three scenes are cut from the Comedy Central airing - the "twist and shout" scene in the bar, the "phone conversation with Kurt Vonnegut after getting an F grade" scene, and one of the dives in the final competition. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Psych: Earth, Wind and... Wait for It (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Respect
Written by Otis Redding
Performed by Aretha Franklin
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
by arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

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User Reviews

A Dangerfield Romp
2 September 2001 | by terenSee all my reviews

Back to School is Rodney's vehicle for an hour and a half of fun and quick laughs. He shares writing credits, stars, and appears in just about every scene.

I absolutely was in stitches with some of the one-liners, and visuals, but I won't divulge even one of them!!!

The casting was probably done by several people expressing opposing styles of acting. There didn't seem to be any gel there.

Performances: Sally Kellerman (the love interest), Adrienne Barbeau (briefly as the unscrupulous wife), Burt Young (same act, no matter the role), a baby-faced Robert Downey Jr (who was sorely underused, and should've been cast as Rodney's son), and cameo roles by Kurt Vonnegut Jr, M Emmet Walsh, and a hillarious Sam Kinison.

Rodney also takes a sarcastic poke at the ivory towers, apparently echoing some autobigraphical sentiment towards self-made men, such as himself, who make it big despite not having fancy diplomas to back them up. One such scene puts his street smarts squarley at odds with a hooty professor who gets a lesson himself in how to open a manufacturing plant in the real world.

If you like Rodney Dangerfield, rent this movie.


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