Monday, May 25, 2015

Summertime: Caddyshack (1980)

Director: Harold Ramis (RIP 2014)
Writers: Harold Ramis, Brian-Doyle Murray and Douglas Kenney

Ty Webb- Chevy Chase
Judge Smails- Ted Knight (RIP 1986)
Al Czervik- Rodney Dangerfield (RIP 2004)
Danny Noonin- Michael O'Keefe
Maggie- Sarah Holcomb
Lacey- Cindy Morgan
Carl- Bill Murray


Music is much easier for me to categorize using the four seasons (although spring remains a mystery). For the most part, movies defy categorization and you don't necessarily have to watch them any time of year. The one exception being any movie featuring snow is better left for wintertime, unless of course you're in the mood for Christmas in July.

But since we've had our shore house, we set aside a few movies that we like to watch this time of year. By this point, it's become tradition.
Jaws & Independence Day will get their due on this blog within the next month. That much is a guarantee.

Guaranteed Hilarity (Or Your Money Back):

Warning: Spoilers and Spontaneous Movie Quoting Ahead

Pretty much anything involving Bill Murray and/or Harold Ramis in the 80's is golden.
If you're not laughing through at least 35% of their movies, you either don't have a pulse or you're too serious for your own good.
(This percentage, by the way... BS, I just made it up).

Then there's Bill Murray and Chevy Chase. SNL veterans by this point, their improvisation in this movie in particular... it's gold.

Chevy Chase plays one of the many golfers at Bushwood. Someone who with great skill, but he never bothers to keep score. He takes kind of a zen approach to the whole thing, which is cool, but when the time comes where he has to compete against other golfers, the results aren't as pretty.

Bill Murray, meanwhile, plays Carl the greens keeper. He's kinda slow, but he's also quite smart in an unexpected way... which sometimes can come off as demented.
His main objective throughout the movie- kill the gopher tearing up the golf course.

When first given this "mission" from the head greens keeper (with a HEAVY Scottish accent), he says, "If I kill all the golfers, they're gonna lock me up and throw away the key."
Since seeing this movie, when we see golfers in our backyard (which happens to include the 10th green on our community golf course), we call them "gophers."

We cut to several scenes where Carl is concocting gopher extermination plans... none ever go to plan. But with an animatronic gopher that cute, you really don't want to see him die on screen, do you?

The one round of dialogue everyone remembers is Carl's "Cinderella Story"... all improvised. Shortly after this, the priest asks Carl to caddy for him. During an epic thunderstorm of Biblical proportions (there's "10 Commandants" allusions everywhere!!). He's playing the best game of his life and doesn't want to stop and Carl's vote of confidence only encourages him.
"I'd keep playing. I don't think the heavy stuff's gonna come down for quite a while."
(Yet another quotable quote this movie has of dozens).

Other than the plastic explosives scene, Carl is at his most demented in the ONE scene Bill Murray and Chevy Chase have together. (Seriously, Harold Ramis realized he shot the entire movie without having them together, so he wrote that scene on the fly).
Ty's nervous about playing Smails in a big doubles golf tournament and Carl's suggestion is taking out his hamstring so he'll never play golf again.

:backs away very slowly:

Smails vs. Czervik:

Smails, of course, owns the golf course and Czervik is the obnoxious building tycoon that blows into town like a whirlwind.
The first several years we were watching this movie, I was totally on Smails' side. I mean, it's his golf course. He's very stodgy and professional and the other guy was only an annoyance. I mean, the dude ruins his new boat and can only say "hey, you scratched my anchor"
Being a little traditional and close to the vest myself, I really didn't like Rodney Dangerfield for the longest time...

I'm willing to bet seeing him in "Back to School" was the thing that radically altered my opinion of him... yeah, three guesses why I decided to watch that movie... it was actually pretty good for every reason BUT the reason I checked into it in the first place. GO FIGURE!

Minus the "you scratched my anchor" scene, you start to see after a while that Judge Smails really isn't a likely character either. His true colors start to come out during the big doubles golf tournament... yeah, that dude's a little unhinged too.

Rodney Dangerfield has kind of an unorthodox sense of humor... he's obnoxious and kinda buffers convention, but he does have a certain charm about him.
This is true even of the scene where he disrupts the dinner party at the clubhouse where he calls dinner "dog food" ("DOG FOOD?! AHHH!!!"), makes the band play "Boogie Wonderland" (will never hear that song without thinking of this guy, lol) and dances with Smails' wife.

Caddies and Lacey:

This movie is called "Caddyshack" for a reason... the focus really should be on the caddies that work at Bushwood during the summer.
Particularly Danny Noonin, who comes from a big family and needs the scholarship money to go to college... although he isn't quite sure what he wants to do. Only that he needs to do some brownnosing to get some extra attention.

Enter Judge Smails, who wants to know what Ty shoots in his golf game and gets that answer from Danny when he volunteers to caddy for him.
After looking the other way when Smails cheats, he gets one good tidbit: win the caddy tournament. Which he does with ease.

In other scenes, we see him canoodling with his friend Maggie (love her Irish accent) and being one of many mesmerized by Smails' granddaughter Lacey... who is probably the world's biggest tease.

Sure, she's a playmate in real life, but she kinda annoys me as much as she does Maggie- who obviously feels threatened by her flaunt-able sexuality.
I don't know how old her character is supposed to be... but the fact she messes around with Ty who is probably old enough to be her father... it doesn't sit well with me.
Rumor is that during their scenes together, a lot of improvisation was going on and Cindy Morgan did not like it.
That's some karma, I guess.

Danny gets two sex scenes... except for some frontal nudity with Lacey, they could have gotten away with a PG13 rating (if it existed back then).
First with Maggie- which leads to a pregnancy scare. Maggie's flip-out scene should be very serious, but with her accent, it's hard not laugh at certain points of it. The scene where she finds out that it's a false alarm and Danny's randomly on the course to see her... another great moment.
Then with Lacey, which ends up with Danny being chased out of the house by Smails... but not before a hilarious exchange between him and Smails' wife.

The final tournament is a great climax for the entire movie where all the characters get to participate in one fashion or another.
Danny even gets to play- substituting for Czervik, who feigns an injury after a ricocheted ball hits him in the arm- and does as well as the big boys.
Smails threatens to take the scholarship away from him, but with Czervik's endorsement ("I'll make it worth your while"), he might be fine.

Honorable Mention- Kenny Loggins:

"I'm All Right" is a pretty awesome way to begin his legacy of 80's soundtrack themes.

Final Quote:

Smails to Ty on Czervik's Rolls-Royce: Don't play games with me, Ty. Put that steering wheel back over there where it belongs!!

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