Play It Again: Caddyshack

play it again

“Play It Again” is a series devoted to the review of great American films before 1980.

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Caddyshack, 1980 – Directed by Harold Ramis, featuring Chevy Chase, Rooney Dangerfield, Ted Knight, and Bill Murray.

Okay… okay, I know, Caddyshack is not really a great American film, but please hear me out.

We all love the movies. They educate, they enlighten, and most of all, they entertain. Who hasn’t walked out of the cinema after watching a movie, feeling just a little different? Films act as vehicles that help us escape our lives for a little bit. Or it might be that they help us see our own lives from a fresh perspective. 

Now, back to this week’s film. Caddyshack clearly falls under the category of “low comedy.” The characters are juvenile, the storylines are ridiculous, but the film provides a hilarious diversion from everyday life. The movie centers on characters played by some of the greatest comedic actors of the 1970s.

The main storyline is about Danny Noonan (Michael O’Keefe), who works as a caddy at the Bushwood Country Club to raise money for college. The other important story line is between Judge Smails (Ted Night), co-founder of the country club, and nouveau riche Al Czervik (Rodney Dangerfield), in the classic battle between the snob and slob. The third story line tells of the clash between dimwitted groundskeeper Carl Spackler (Bill Murray), and the clever “Mr. Gopher.”

Caddyshack has garnered a huge cult following and is listed by both Time and ESPN as one of the funniest sports movies of all time. The film has a few great and noteworthy scenes. The pool scene, in which one of the swimmers mistakes a floating Baby Ruth bar for excrement in the water, proves simply hilarious. However, my favorite scene is Bill Murray’s famous “Cinderella story,” which he improvised based on instructions to “act like a little kid announcing your own imaginary great golf moment.”

“Cinderella story. Outta nowhere. A former greenskeeper, now about to become the Masters champion. It looks like a miracle… It’s in the hole! It’s in the hole! It’s in the hole!” – Bill Murray

Caddyshack is one of my personal favorites, but there are plenty of other great “low comedies,” such as What About Bob, Space Balls, and Blazing Saddles. It’s OK to get a little silly sometimes.

Enjoy and play it again.