Murray Gives Chase to Golf Loving Gophers
Someone once said to me that "Caddyshack" was the greatest golf movie ever made, I disagree. But I do think it's one of the best comedy golf movies with it's various storylines including Bill Murray battling gophers, horny caddy's and the loud Rodney Dangerfield causing mayhem on the golf course. "Caddyshack" is daft, incredibly daft but also incredibly funny as it rattles off one funny scene after enough.
Bushwood Country Club is an exclusive golf club for the wealthy and teenage caddies that are horny. Danny Noonan (Michael O'Keefe - The Glass House) a young caddy unsure of what he wants to do with his future tries to suck up to affluent member Judge Elihu Smails (Ted Knight) in the hope of winning a caddy scholarship, but Smails is busy being distracted by loud new millionaire Al Czervik (Rodney Dangerfield) whose flagrant flouting of the clubs traditions and loud obnoxious ways drives the Judge to distraction. As things reach comical fever pitch between Smails and Czervik a big money stakes golf match is played, but who will win, maybe it will be the gophers which have been churning up the course and causing green's man Carl Spackler (Bill Murray - Get Smart) to take desperate measures.
The fact that I just managed to write that brief synopsis for "Caddyshack" surprised me because it's a movie which really isn't about a story. Yes there are those golf course wrecking gophers and the rivalry between Judge Smails and Al Czervik but that's not what "Caddyshack" is about. Nope, "Caddyshack" is a pedal to the metal, full out comedy where the only truly important thing is throwing as many jokes at you as possible. The fact that it manages to tie the jokes into various storylines is quite surprising, because most of them are so daft it's ridiculous, the caddies impromptu synchronised swimming before a floater disrupts things, gophers tunnelling under greens, caddy bags with so many hidden extras it would makes James Bond envious and so on.
But whilst all these funny scenes are genuinely amusing it almost feels too diverse. You have the teenage caddies and as such you get a bit of rivalry and a lot of hormones culminating in the expected sex scene. Then you have the comical Zen like Ty Webb who is all about being one with the ball. Next there is the overly snobbish Judge Smails which blends in with the in your face comedy of Rodney Dangerfield as Al Czervik. And of course there is greens keeper Carl Spackler who battles the Gophers as if he was in Vietnam. Because all of these different elements and comedy styles it seems almost a mixed bag, as if "Caddyshack" is trying to deliver comedy to suit all tastes.
Whilst diverse, maybe a little too much, "Caddyshack" is also stupidly memorable thanks to some creative scenes and fun performances. Rodney Dangerfield as Al Czervik is just a riot as he basically makes a joke about everything delivering one liner after one liner. In fact I can barely remember Dangerfield having a line of dialogue which wasn't a joke. Chevy Chase as Ty Webb does equally well delivering more of a storyline but still being comical with his Zen like golfing. And between Michael O'Keefe, Sarah Holcomb, Scott Colomby and Cindy Morgan who are the important characters from the teenage brigade they provide plenty of generic teenage, hormone fuelled comedy often acting as comic stooges to the older characters.
But for many the most memorable character from "Caddyshack" is Carl Spackler and Bill Murray who plays him. Totally crazed as he battles the gophers, which have to be some of the cutest puppets in movie history, be it either trying to flood them out or blow them up with explosives. It's a daft character, a daft storyline, but Bill Murray gives it his crazy all and is just brilliant for doing so.
What this all boils down to is that "Caddyshack" is a very funny golf movie, probably the funniest golf movie so far. With it's diverse comedy it has something for everyone and in between all the jokes and set piece gags it even has a storyline of sorts. But it is those cute gophers and Bill Murray as Carl Spackler which makes it such a hoot.