Anniversary of the Funniest Golf Movie EVER
Three cheers for Ty Webb! A round of applause for Al Czervik! Boos and hisses for Judge Smails! And can I get an AMEN for Carl Spackler! And let's not forget the dancing gopher and the infamous Baby Ruth candy bar. Just what am I talking about? Why, the movie Caddyshack of course. The golf comedy that was released on this date in 1980. Hard to believe that it was 38 years ago when this low-brow comedy was released on an unsuspecting public. Yes, I said low-brow. Yet, despite that (or perhaps BECAUSE of that), it remains one of my all time favorite flicks.
When it first hit theaters back in the day, critics were not very kind, to say the least. Movie-goers ate it up, however, making it one of the Top 20 money grossing movies for the year. And over the years, many critics have reversed their initial ratings. Harold Ramis, who would go on to direct more funny films including 'National Lampoon's Vacation', 'Groundhog Day', and 'Analyze This', was a first-time director here. He co-wrote the script with Doug Kenney(of National Lampoon magazine) and Brian Doyle-Murray, elder brother of Bill Murray. Ramis and Kenney also co-wrote(with another NatLamp writer, Chris Miller) 'National Lampoon's Animal House', so maybe they were hoping for lightning to strike twice.
Ramis and co-writer Brian Doyle-Murray had both worked as caddies when they were in their teens and apparently some of the characters were based on actual people they had met working at golf courses. Even some of the scenes(including the one involving the candy bar in the swimming pool) were based on real life incidents. And luckily, the cast featured some famous comedians or comic actors at the top of their game. Master of the 'slow burn', Ted Knight. Not many people can make the art of getting angry as funny as Ted Knight. Rodney Dangerfield was relatively unknown at the time outside of his stand-up comedy. 'Caddyshack' brought him to a whole new audience as obnoxious rich guy Al Czervik. And Chevy Chase as talented golfer Ty Webb brings suave/smarmy to a new level. Bill Murray improvised most of his lines as greenskeeper Carl Spackler, and some of his dialogue is the funniest in the film.
Endlessly quotable dialogue? 'Caddyshack' has it in spades. In fact, there's a good chance that even if you've never seen the movie, you may be familiar with some of the lines:
'You'll get nothing and like it!'
'You buy a hat like this, I bet you get a free bowl of soup.'
'Don't sell yourself short, Judge. You're a tremendous slouch.'
'Whoa! Did somebody step on a duck?'
'Thank you very little.'
'So I got that going for me, which is nice.'
'Last time I saw a mouth like that, it had a hook in it.'
'You're rather attractive for a beautiful girl with a great body.'
'Would you like to tie me up with some of your ties, Ty?'
'Cinderella story. Outta nowhere. A former greenskeeper, now, about to become Masters champion. It looks like a mirac...It's in the hole! It's in the hole! It's in the hole!'
And the best thing about 'Caddyshack"? You don't even have to love the game of golf to love the movie. Happy Anniversary! Now let's all do the Gopher Dance!!!