This Weeks Movie Club: CADDYSHACK
Directed By: Harold Ramis
Written: Brian Doyle-Murray, Harold Ramis and Douglas Kenney
In Theatres: July 25, 1980
Running Time: 98 Minutes
If you thought “Happy Gilmore” was the greatest golf movie ever made you’re probably a douche. Yea I’m sorry for making such a harsh judgement but don’t be upset, we all get a second chance. All you have to do is watch Caddyshack, one of the greatest sports comedies of all time and you’ll be forgiven. It is the greatest golf comedy and maybe one of the greatest comedies ever. Between Chevy Chase and the legendary Rodney Dangerfield there is enough comedy to get your hair nice and buttery from all the popcorn you’ll be enjoying during this film. If you’re still a douche then hopefully you’ll at least enjoy the awesome Kenny Loggins soundtrack.
Breaking down Caddyshack comes down to Danny Noonan (Michael O’Keefe) and Al Czervik (Rodney Dangerfield) with the help of Ty Webb (Chevy Chase) going up against Judge Elihu Smails (Ted Knight). Danny Noonan needs to find a way out of being a golf caddy the rest of his life and the scholarship given out annually by Bushwood Country club has had a sudden vacancy. Sucking up to Judge Smails seems like a foolproof way of sliding right into that open spot.. or so he thinks? Meanwhile Judge Smails is having problems of his own. Al Czervik is a real estate developer who happens to be encroaching on Bushwood Country Club and his brash, obnoxious one liners are the exact opposite of what Bushwood Country Club seems to want around. Judge Smails’ world is coming down from beneath him and I mean that literally. The infamous gopher living beneath Bushwood threatens the very ground the golf course stands on. For the entire movie there are battles between the gopher and groundskeeper Carl Spackler (Bill Murray), some more epic than others. As expected it all comes down to a battle on the golf course, after all it is a sports comedy why wouldn’t it or shouldn’t it come down to the game anyway.
Caddyshack is a lot like Animal House. Not only are they a few years apart but they both feature pranks and a clash between classes. The working class versus the rich or even nouveau rich versus old rich. Both strong influences in both movies and obviously true to life from the beginning of time until now, this constant clash that we see expressed in all forms of art. Without a doubt in my mind Al Czervik is a Proud Boy, he’s not afraid of creating jobs and giving everyone a piece of the pie like all people who earned their money from scratch. Hard working entrepreneurs usually are the ones that spread the wealth better than those who are afraid to take risks or expand. Maybe Judge Smails is a better person than we know but from what this film shows us he’s a snob who doesn’t want anyone outside of his class spending time around him or his family unless they are working for him. It’s a shame that even his niece knows that class doesn’t stop anyone from having a good time as he spends a good amount of it making sure she isn’t as promiscuous as her family made her out to be when she was living in the city with her immediate family.
Caddyshack might not showcase the Baddest of sports but it shows that with the right directors, writers and actors we can see that anything is possible. After all, Harold Ramis went on to direct many amazing movies like “National Lampoon’s Vacation” or “Groundhog Day” not to mention he happened to be a writer coincidentally for “Animal House” as well. For me Rodney Dangerfield could do it all alone, his one liners are so good they can carry a movie even if it was shitty and they have. He has made movies that really weren’t all that good but he himself was so good that like a superstar basketball player carrying his whole team to the championship, Rodney Dangerfield can carry a movie. Caddyshack isn’t that crappy a movie though, there are other comedic stars involved, not to mention a great director and writers.