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Guilty Pleasures – Caddyshack

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I get no respect, I tells ya. I was asked to be the poster boy – for birth control. I called a lady for a date, and she told me to come on over cause nobody was home, and when I went there, nobody was home! I get no respect I tells ya, except for that time I did this one movie, about a bunch of kids screwing around on a golf course!

Comical goings on at an exclusive golf club. All the members are wealthy and eccentric, and all the staff are poor and slightly less eccentric. The main character is ‘Danny’; he’s a caddy who will do almost anything to raise money to go to college. There are many subplots, including the assistant green keeper’s pursuit of a cute (obviously stuffed) gopher.

You know, for a film based on what the caddies at a local golf range get up to, I couldn’t give two tugs of a dead dogs, er, nevermind. Still, those brats were about as interesting as listening to a bagpipes album. No, the real stars of that film, were the adults, the heroes and villains that made the movie stand out.

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First, you’ve got Ted Knight as Judge Smails, pure rage and removed from reality lunacy, white collar supremacy and all that jazz. Except it was less jazz, and more the kind of music that you would find in Amish paradise. He may have been the villain, but without his high pitched wailing and bulging eyes, the film would have been nothing without him, thanks to the fact that he became the living embodiment of white upper class suburbia in Caddyshack.

And then you’ve got Chevy Chase, in full-on zen mode. A master putter, both on the field and off it, it never gets old when he mantras some golf balls into a few holes, or extends his eccentricities to a bedroom. Understated yet brilliant.

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And of course, Rodney Dangerfield. A tornado of zings and insults. A one man wrecking crew that will leave you literally rolling on the floor, laughing. But it’s the passion that he brings to the film, the energy and enthusiasm that really sells it, somehow making crass comedy family friendly. Hot damn, the world is poorer off since his demise.

And the very best role, embodied in Bill Murray as Carl Spackler, the golf club groundskeeper. Who knows that bag of horror that Murray dug into to shape this character, a stoned out gardener obsessed with killing gophers and ogling senior lady golfers on the field.

There’s so much going on in Caddyshack, and yet the various sub-plots are kept smooth and brisk, keeping the film on track. It’s a slice of 80s cheese, but it’s still pretty damn funny, even to this day.

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Plus, that goher animatronic puppet is always hilarious. I’m all right, nobody worry about me, why you gotta give me advice, why can’t you let me be….

Last Updated: October 31, 2012

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