Billy Madison is a 1995 American comedy film directed by Tamra Davis. It stars Adam Sandler, Bradley Whitford, Bridgette Wilson, Norm Macdonald, and Darren McGavin. The film was written by Adam Sandler and Tim Herlihy, and produced by Robert Simonds. It made over $26.4 million worldwide and debuted at number one at the box office. Despite receiving mixed to negative reviews from critics, the film has attracted a large cult following.
Plot[edit | edit source]
|Spoiler warning: The following contains plot details about|
the entire movie.
Billy Madison is the 27-year-old heir to a Fortune 500 hotel company that his father, Brian, has created. He spends his days drinking with friends and creating disturbances across his father's estate. One day, Billy ruins a dinner meeting between his father and his associates by acting obnoxiously.
Brian loses confidence in his son and chooses the conniving Eric Gordon as his successor. When Billy begs his father to reconsider his decision, Brian reveals that he secretly bribed Billy's school teachers to give him passing grades. The two finally compromise: Billy must complete all 12 grades in two-week intervals to prove he is competent enough to manage the company.
Shortly after enrolling into school, Billy becomes attracted to a teacher named Veronica Vaughn, who initially ignores him. Nevertheless, he successfully progresses through his first two grades. He finds himself as one of Veronica's students in the third grade and earns her respect by standing up for Ernie, his friend and classmate.
Billy becomes popular among the third graders and misses them as he advances through school. His progress alarms Eric, who becomes increasingly agitated as Billy completes each grade. Eric blackmails Billy's principal, Max Anderson into claiming that Billy bribed him for passing grades.
Brian swiftly terminates his agreement with Billy and names Eric as his successor. Billy grows distraught and reverts to his carefree lifestyle. Veronica motivates him to return to school while his grade school classmates convince Max to retract his bribery accusations. Brian agrees to give Billy another chance, but Eric cites that Billy failed the challenge by taking more than two weeks to complete a grade. He then threatens to sue Brian if he does not pass the company onto him.
Billy intervenes and challenges Eric to an academic decathlon to finally settle their feud. Both men excel in different activities but Billy manages to take a single-point lead before the contest's final event, a Jeopardy!-style academic test. Billy stumbles on the opening question in the event, and Eric is given the chance to win the contest by answering a question about business ethics.
Eric is unable to withstand the pressure and breaks down. He brandishes a handgun, but Max tackles Eric before he can harm Billy. Eric recovers from the attack and attempts to shoot Veronica, but he is shot by Danny McGrath, a rifle-wielding madman whom Billy apologized to earlier in the film.
At his graduation, Billy is delivering a speech. Billy announces he will pass the hotel business to Carl Alphonse, one of his father's more polite businessmen, and attend college in order to become a teacher. Eric watches on and fumes in frustration over Billy's decision.
Cast[edit | edit source]
- Adam Sandler as Billy Madison
- Darren McGavin as Brian Madison
- Bridgette Wilson as Veronica Vaughn
- Bradley Whitford as Eric Gordon
- Josh Mostel as Principal Max Anderson
- Norm Macdonald as Frank
- Mark Beltzman as Jack
- Larry Hankin as Carl Alphonse
- Theresa Merritt as Juanita
- Jim Downey as Principal/Judge of the decathlon
- Hrant Alianak as Pete
- Dina Platias as Ms. Lippy
- Robert Smigel as Mr. Oblaski
- Steve Buscemi as Danny McGrath (uncredited)
- Chris Farley as Bus Driver (uncredited)