Caddyshack is a 1980 American sports comedy film directed by Harold Ramis and written by Brian Doyle-Murray, Ramis and Douglas Kenney. It stars Michael O'Keefe, Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, Ted Knight, and Bill Murray. Doyle-Murray also has a supporting role.
This was Ramis' first feature film and was a major boost to Dangerfield's film career; previously, he was known mostly for his stand-up comedy. Grossing nearly $40 million at the domestic box office (17th highest of the year), it was the first of a series of similar comedies. A sequel, Caddyshack II, followed in 1988, although only Chase reprised his role and the film was poorly received.
Caddyshack has garnered a large cult following and has been hailed by media outlets, such as Time and ESPN, as one of the funniest sports movies of all time. As of 2010, Caddyshack has been televised on the Golf Channel as one of its "Movies That Make the Cut."
Plot[edit | edit source]
Danny Noonan (Michael O'Keefe) works as a caddy at the upscale Bushwood Country Club to raise enough money to go to college. Danny often caddies for Ty Webb (Chevy Chase), a suave and talented golfer and the son of one of Bushwood's co-founders. Danny decides to gain favor with Judge Elihu Smails (Ted Knight), the country club's stodgy co-founder and director of the Caddy Scholarship program, by caddying for him. Meanwhile, Carl Spackler (Bill Murray), one of the greenskeepers, is entrusted with combatting a potentially disastrous gopher infestation. Throughout the film, Carl tries a variety of methods to kill the gopher (e.g. shooting, drowning) without success.
Al Czervik (Rodney Dangerfield), a brash and obnoxious nouveau riche, begins appearing at the club. Smails is heckled by Czervik as he tees off, causing his shot to go badly wrong. Smails throws a putter club away in frustration and accidentally injures a member of the club. Danny takes responsibility for the incident, as a ploy to gain Smails' trust. Smails encourages him to apply for the Caddy Scholarship.
At Bushwood's annual Fourth of July banquet, Danny and his girlfriend Maggie work as servers. Czervik continues to irritate Smails and the club members, while Danny becomes attracted to Lacey Underall (Cindy Morgan), Smails' promiscuous niece. Danny wins the Caddy Day golf tournament and the scholarship, earning him praise from Smails and an invitation to attend the christening ceremony for his boat. The boat is sunk at the event after a collision with Czervik's larger boat. On returning, Smails discovers Lacey and Danny having a tryst at his house. Expecting to be fired or to have the scholarship revoked, Danny is surprised when Smails only demands that he keeps the incident secret.
Unable to bear the continued presence of the crude-mannered Czervik, Smails confronts him and announces that Czervik will never be granted membership. Czervik counters by announcing that he would never consider being a member: he insults the place and is merely there to evaluate buying Bushwood and developing the land into condominiums. After a brief scuffle and exchange of insults, Ty Webb suggests they discuss a resolution over drinks. After Smails demands satisfaction, Czervik proposes a team golf match with Smails and his regular golfing partner Dr. Beeper against Czervik and Webb. Against club rules, they also agree to a $20,000 wager, quickly doubled to $40,000, on the outcome of the match. That evening, Webb practices for the game against Smails and meets Carl, where the two share a bottle of wine and a spliff.
The match is held the following day. Word spreads of the stakes involved and a crowd builds. During the game, Smails and Beeper take the lead, while Czervik, to his disdain, is "playing the worst game of his life". He reacts to Smails' taunts by impulsively redoubling the wager to $80,000 per team. When his own ricocheting ball strikes him, Czervik feigns injury in hopes of having the contest declared a draw. Lou, the course official who is acting as an umpire, tells Czervik his team will forfeit unless they find a substitute. When Webb chooses Danny, Smails threatens to revoke his scholarship but Czervik promises Danny that he will make it "worth his while" if he wins. Danny eventually decides he would rather humiliate the selfish, conceited Smails than take the scholarship.
By the time they reach the final hole, the score is tied. At the climax of the game, with Danny about to attempt a difficult putt to win, Czervik again redoubles the wager to $160,000 per team. Danny's putt leaves the ball hanging over the edge of the hole. At that moment, Carl, in his latest attempt to kill the gopher, detonates a series of plastic explosives that he has rigged around the golf course. The explosion shakes the ground and causes the ball to drop into the hole, handing Danny, Webb and Czervik the victory. Smails refuses to pay, so Czervik beckons two hulking men, named Moose and Roco, to "help the judge find his checkbook." As Smails is chased around the course, Czervik leads another wild party attended by all of the onlookers at the match, shouting, "Hey everybody! We're all gonna get laid!" The gopher emerges, unharmed by the explosives, and dances to the closing song amid the smoldering ruins of the golf course.
Cast[edit | edit source]
- Chevy Chase as Ty Webb
- Rodney Dangerfield as Al Czervik
- Ted Knight as Judge Elihu Smails
- Michael O'Keefe as Danny Noonan
- Bill Murray as Carl Spackler
- Sarah Holcomb as Maggie O'Hooligan
- Scott Colomby as Tony D'Annunzio
- Cindy Morgan as Lacey Underall
- Dan Resin as Dr. Beeper
- Henry Wilcoxon as Bishop Fred Pickering
- Albert Salmi as Mr. Noonan
- Elaine Aiken as Mrs. Noonan
- John F. Barmon, Jr. as Spaulding Smails
- Lois Kibbee as Mrs. Smails
- Brian Doyle-Murray as Lou Loomis
- Jackie Davis as Smoke Porterhouse
- Hamilton Mitchell as Motormouth
- Chuck Rodent as Mr. Gopher
- Kenneth Burritt as Mr. Havercamp
- Rebecca Burritt as Mrs. Havercamp