Caddyshack is the definition of cult classic. It's one of those movies where people love to quote the lines, do the Bill Murray impressions that we all tried (and try) to do and of course Dangerfield's classic golf shop moment when he's buying things for him and his friend :
Al Czervik: Oh, this is the worst-looking hat I ever saw.
What, when you buy a hat like this I bet you get a free bowl of soup, huh?
[looks at Judge Smails, who's wearing the same hat]
Al Czervik: Oh, it looks good on you though.
The movie as a whole wasn't a box office smash, the critics disliked it for its raunchy humor and campy ending. If you look at the numbers, it was made for 6 million and grossed almost 40 million. To me, that's a successful movie, but I guess in the days of Star Wars, Alien, and Indiana Jones, if it didn't make 100 million over the course of it's run, it's a flop. That's the funny thing about Hollywood, it doesn't matter if the movie is a money maker, if it's labeled as a flop or "it sucks", the movie is generally seen as a waste of time.
This movie isn't. It's classic, it's funny and the actor's in the movie play their roles extremely well. The movie revolves around Danny Noonan (Michael O'Keefe), a golf caddy with dreams of trying to fit in with the "rich" crowd, to better himself and his life. The problem is is that he's just an average joe, he doesn't fit in with that crowd because he lives like the rest of us. Scraping by, going to school, working and he sees how the rich lives and wants a taste of that life.
Noonan sees his opportunity to get in good with the Judge (Ted Knight) and Noonan believes that if he's a good caddy for the Judge, he can get on his good side and hopefully, it will help with him winning the Caddy Scholarship. The problem is that the Judge sees Noonan as a nobody, so he uses the kid as his personal gopher. Making him do everything like mow his lawn and all these unnecessary side jobs to prove his loyalty to him. Until Rodney Dangerfield shows up. Dangerfield plays Al Czervik, a self-made millionaire and a guy that doesn't care for the "rich life", the uppity, high-class jerks that think that they are better than everyone else. He's the life of the party and wants everyone to have fun and the Judge hates that, he thinks that Czervik is a wanna-be rich person, a golf hack, a slob and a loser.
Dangerfield's character so desperately wants to give it to the man that he comes to Bushwood Country Club to see if he wants to "buy this dump". The Judge hates that idea. The idea of the common man being able to enjoy the finer things in life doesn't sit right with him. Knight believes that he "deserves" to enjoy Bushwood as his own private rich man's paradise. He's worked hard for it, he owns part of the country club, the problem is that Knight's character is just an uppity elitist snob that throws his weight around as if he's the most important person on the planet. The movie boils down to Dangerfield and Knight competing in a golf event where the prize is the country club in and of itself.
Throughout the movie, Noonan believes that the Judge is his only way out of his situation in life. He doesn't want to be poor, so he starts to change in order to fit in with the rich. Near the end of the movie, Noonan realizes that all he is doing is sucking up to people that don't care about him or his problems, he's just there for them to use as their personal servant. Noonan finally has to make a choice, continue being a suck up to these jerks and maybe one day he will be like them or become your own man and stick up for yourself and do your own thing.
Then there's Bill Murray. He plays the grounds keeper, funny, smart in his own way, weird and even though it's not a starring role in the movie, the character is probably one of the most quoted. Murray's character is such, that he really isn't good at his job, he is just there, soaking off the rich, living on the property, smoking dope and enjoying his time. Until that damned gopher shows up, then he's charged by his boss to get rid of the rodent, which is a side plot that is completely unnecessary and in some ways stupid, but it was a risk the movie makers took and it paid off. At least until the end, where it danced on screen to Kenny Loggin's theme song.
Overall Caddyshack is funny. The play between the have's and the have not's is good. Ted Knight as the uptight Judge yelling at everyone because they are not up to his standards, Chevy Chase as Ty, the resident golf pro, Dangerfield as the everyman that made it good and the supporting characters make this film the classic that it is.
The best parts of the movie are with Brian-Doyle Murray (you know, Dave Jone's voice from Spongebob Squarepants?) as the head of the caddy's? His scenes are the funniest in this movie, he's a take no shit boss that just wants to keep his job. Look out for the scene in which the Judge's grandson is about to pick his nose and the caddies are betting on whether he will or won't and if he will eat the booger.
Take the time to dust this one off and throw it in the DVD player (or if you still have a VCR, that too) and watch this movie. Even Kenny Loggin's songs are good for a listen or two.
R | 1h 38min | Comedy, Sport | 25 July 1980 (USA)
An exclusive golf course has to deal with a brash new member and a destructive dancing
Director: Harold Ramis
Writers: Brian Doyle-Murray, Harold Ramis, Douglas Kenney
Stars: Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, Bill Murray