‘Caddyshack’ is one of the all-time classic comedies

PHOTO PROVIDED Carl Spackler (Bill Murray) faces off against the elusive gopher that is terrorizing the golf course in “Caddyshack.”

Since we started doing these “Throwback Thursday” movie reviews several months ago, I have filled this space with many opinions about films. I prefer to review films I enjoy. Because, quite frankly, who wants to read a review of a movie they will have no desire to see?

Today’s “Throwback Thursday” is one of my favorite comedies of all-time, “Caddyshack.”

It’s hard to believe that there is someone on the planet that hasn’t seen “Caddyshack.” Full disclosure: I didn’t see “Caddyshack” at the theatre. I remember my Mom telling me that I was too young to see an R-rated movie — and she was right. “Caddyshack” is filled with foul language, some nudity and downright gross humor — which is why I had to see it. I wound up watching “Caddyshack” at a friend’s house when it was on Home Box Office, now known of course as simply HBO.

My friends and I laughed until we cried for nearly two hours at the hijinks of Ty Webb (Chevy Chase), Carl Spackler (Bill Murray), Al Czervik (Rodney Dangerfield) and Judge Smails (Ted Knight).

There’s not much of a plot to “Caddyshack.” Danny Noonan (Michael O’Keefe) works as a caddy at the Bushwood Country Club and is attempting to make enough money to go to college. Danny caddies for Judge Smails in order to grease his wheels for a potential scholarship. However, Danny isn’t a big fan of Smails and eventually he joins forces with Ty and Al. That sets the stage for a high-stakes golf match.

However, it’s Murray who steals the show as the dim-witted Spackler, a groundskeeper who lives on the golf course. Yes, he lives ON the course. Throughout the movie, Spackler chases after an elusive gopher who is destroying the course. He tries to shoot it and drown it before turning to plastic explosives.

If you’ve never seen “Caddyshack,” I don’t want to give too much away. However, the plastic explosives play a big role in the movie — remember that.

One of my favorite scenes with Spackler is when he caddies for a Bishop in a driving rainstorm. As the torrential rain begins to soak them, Spackler looks at the Bishop and deadpans, “I’d keep playing. I don’t think the heavy stuff’s going to come down for quite a while.” After the Bishop misses an easy putt on the final hole, he looks to the heavens and yells, “ratfarts!” Lightning strikes his club and he falls to the course. Unbelievably, Spackler drops his golf bag and leaves him dead on the course.

Watching “Caddyshack” today is bittersweet. The comedic talents of the late Dangerfield and Knight are really on display in this one. While neither is a great actor, their delivery and banter is fantastic. Dangerfield is better at stand-up comedy, but his portrayal of Al is great. We totally buy him as a rich, eccentric golfer who can’t help but alienate Smails, an uptight elite.

“Caddyshack” is rated R for the aforementioned language, some gratuitous nudity and adult themes. It is available on iTunes, VUDU, YouTube, Google Play and Xfinity OnDemand.

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Chris Morelli is a staff reporter for The Express.


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