Caddyshack remains one of those comedies that just stays with you. And it has stayed with me since I first saw it as a teenager in the 80s, Bill Murray and his nemesis, the gopher puppet delighted me to no end, while Chevy Chase’s zen-like and self-confident (verging on the arrogant) golf player Ty, exuded a kind of cool and flippancy I wish I could have.
Ted Knight is perfectly typecast as a snob while Rodney Dangerfield is, Rodney Dangerfield (and I can honestly say, I’ve never seen the appeal). And these five characters, along with a host of others (including the dazzling Cindy Morgan) brings to life a rambunctious comedy which was not the movie director Harold Ramis set out to make.
Originally, the film was going to focus solely on the caddies working at a country club, and their summer there. Instead the film’s supporting cast of comedians stole the limelight, and the entire film was re-worked around them.
There is still a bit of a throughline for a couple of the caddies, Danny Noonan (Michael O’Keefe) and his sometime girlfriend, Maggie (Sarah Holcomb) as they both try to navigate the trials and tribulations of youth, love, lust and golf. But let’s be honest, we just want to see the wackiness that all of the characters get up to… from the iconic Baby Ruth bar scene, to any time Murray is onscreen, the film still delivers laughs and entertains.
Danigerfield still annoys me, and Ted Knight’s character just elicits so much joy from me as he seems to constantly get comeuppance for being such an ass.
There are gags, throwaway lines, looks, deliveries, and just simple moments that make me laugh every time. This is one of those movies you can just throw on in the background and wander in and out of the room if need be, but for maximum enjoyment, of course you should watch every moment of it.
And, of course, there’s that great title track by Kenny Loggins that puts me in a good mood anytime I hear it. Yup, overall, this is just one of those 80s films that is just going to endure, be shared, laughed about, and passed on down through the generations with each viewer getting their own enjoyment out if it (you know, unless you’re one of those people who didn’t like it).
As the film closes, it’s like a real good bowl of popcorn, you don’t always want one, but when you do, you want the good stuff, and Harold Ramis knew how to pop it up!