Sunday, April 21, 2013

My Favorite Era: Caddyshack (1980)

Caddyshack is one of the great 80's comedies.  A typical "slobs vs snobs" type story, it nevertheless has become one of the most quotable movies ever.  The directorial debut of Harold Ramis, it is ostensibly about young caddy Danny Noonan (Michael O'Keefe) and his search for a good role model and a win in a golf tournament that will help pay for college.  What it's really about, however, is putting Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, Rodney Dangerfield and Ted Knight in the same movie and telling them to have a good time.  It's the quintessential 80's slobs vs. snobs comedy, let's take a closer look at my ten favorite bits (in no particular order), seeing as it's been pretty much reviewed to death.

  1. Chevy Chase is hilarious through the entire film (ah, the days before he stopped giving a damn) but his best stuff comes when he's sharing scenes with Ted Knight.  Both guys are funny and the way Chase just insults Knight is just great.  Chase was really in his prime at this point, a prime that would last until the end of the 80's.  Literally.  Christmas Vacation is the last thing he's done even remotely good.
  2. Ted Knight was a terrific comic actor (his blustering rage is always good for a chuckle) and his portrayal of Judge Smails is a masterpiece of arrogant snobbery.
  3. Bill Murray is a force of nature here, coming in and out of the film with just the most hilarious bits of business imaginable.  Cleaning golf balls in a suggestive manner, tossing off oddball speeches, his war with the gopher, I think I actually like him here more than Dangerfield.
  4. A small note, I love all the side characters at the country club.  The various caddies are funny; the club members are just wonderfully snobbish, Smails' nephew is just amazingly funny and I even get a kick out of Danny's girlfriend Maggie (Sarah Holcomb).  Though to be fair, it's just the hideous fake Scottish accent.  As far as her part in the film, it's pretty dire.
  5. Rodney Dangerfield is, as many others have noted, a force of nature in this movie.  He pretty much just does his act and that's more than enough as he's hysterical.  Hell, even his golf bag is funny!
  6. O'Keefe is pretty good as Danny, he has a few funny moments with the various characters and he's an okay anchor for the ostensible plot of the film.
  7. Cindy Morgan is sexy and funny as Lacy, her stuff with Chevy is quite entertaining.
  8. I love Kenny Loggins' 80's output and the main song he contributes for this one (I'm Alright) is a great one.
  9. The lone scene with Chase and Murray is a marvel of improvisational comedy as two really awesome comics go back and forth.  It's just a fantastic scene.
  10. Apart from the laughs and the numerous great moments, I think what I like most about the film is its willingness to just tell a story by existing, rather than going from Point A to Point B.  This usually doesn't work, and to be frank it's a pretty stupid idea to try regularly but if you get the right folks together at the right time and place, it can work.
 Caddyshack is a comedy classic that happened at just the right time and place.  It's just hilarious.

No comments:

Post a Comment

About Me

I've been a huge fan of action, horror and comedy for as long as I can remember.