Caddyshack (1980)

There have been a handful of iconic golf movies out there; however, when it comes to comedies, the gold standard has been Caddyshack for the last four years.

what may surprise some of you, but not all of you, is that I love the sequel. (More on that in a later post)

however, the reason why Caddyshack was successful is the performance of the late great Rodney Dangerfield. He’s famous for so many stand up routines, but people remember two particular film roles, Back to School and Caddyshack.

Al Czervik (Dangerfield) is the life of the party. He’s so carefree and outgoing that it makes the most reserved cringe. His feud with the country club, including their ace Judge Elihu Smails (Ted Knight), is one of the best and most comedic rivalries in sports film history.

Just when you thought that was enough to keep you entertained, there is the seasoned golf pro, Ty Webb, played by Chevy Chase. His role in the Caddyshack universe makes little to no sense, but he nails his performance. My only advice is you probably don’t want to talk golfing lessons from him. 

There are a lot of reasons why people look back fondly on Caddyshack, and no movie review would be complete without mentioning Carl Spackler, played by none other than Bill Murray. His war against a tiny innocent gopher. Carl will go to extreme lengths to destroy the little guy, so much so that he will have an essential role in the final shot on the 18th hole. 

Some could argue that the groundskeeper Carl subplot wasn’t really needed, but I’d disagree. Murray is at his best here and his friend, director Harold Ramis, just let him loose. His entire story arc just goes to show you the crazy side of the golf lifestyle, one with much liberty and unlikely scenarios, but that’s what makes it fun. 

I know this film deserves exceptional marks across the board. ESPN considers Caddyshack one of the best sports movies ever made. I would disagree with that particular statement, but respect the film for what it is. I will always love the sequel more but understand a good thing when I see it. 8/10


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