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  • Writer's pictureRonny Duncan Studios

Caddyshack (1980)

Updated: Oct 16, 2022

Plot Summary: Danny Noonan (Michael O'Keefe), a Caddy, seeks a college scholarship at the Country Club in which he works. In working to get the scholarship, he deals with a Zen golfer, Ty Webb (Chevy Chase), and the Club Leader, Judge Smails (Ted Knight). Noonan is soon caught up in a grudge golf match involving the Judge, Ty, and Al Czervik (Rodney Dangerfield), an obnoxious Neuro-Riche golfer.

*Recognition: The film has a cult following and was described by ESPN as "perhaps the funniest sports movie ever made." This film is also second on Bravo's "100 Funniest Movies." The film is recognized by American Film Institute in 2000: AFI's 100 Years...100 Laughs – #71; in 2005: AFI's 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes: Carl Spackler: "Cinderella story. Outta nowhere. A former greenskeeper, now, about to become the Masters champion. It looks like a mirac... It's in the hole! It's in the hole! It's in the hole!" – #92; and in 2008: AFI's 10 Top 10 - #7 Sports Film.

Did You Know:

  • Carl Spackler was originally a silent character in the script, in the manner of Harpo Marx, but after Bill Murray was cast, Harold Ramis encouraged Murray to speak and improvise.

  • Bill Murray improvised the "Cinderella story" sequence from two lines of stage direction. Director Harold Ramis simply asked Murray to imagine himself announcing his own fantasy sports moment. Murray simply asked for four rows of 'mums and did the scene.

  • The rowdy, improvisational atmosphere during the shoot created by Harold Ramis, Bill Murray, Chevy Chase and Rodney Dangerfield, didn't sit well with all the members of the cast. Ted Knight, widely regarded as a very nice man, got fed up with the constant shenanigans. Initially, Murray's, Chase's and Dangerfield's roles were to be cameo appearances, but their deft improvising caused their roles to be expanded, much to the chagrin of Scott Colomby and some of the other cast members, whose roles were reduced as a result.

  • According to Chris Nashawaty's book "Caddyshack," Rodney Dangerfield was so unaccustomed to how films were made, Harold Ramis had to gently guide him to make sure he was comfortable. The first scene Dangerfield was in, the pro shop scene, was ready to go and Ramis called "Action." Nothing happened. Dangerfield just stood there. Ramis asked him if there was a problem. Was he ready? "Sure," Dangerfield said. Ramis called "Action" again. Again, nothing. Ramis walked over to him and said "Rodney, when I call 'Action,' that's your cue to come in and do the scene." "You mean, do my bit?" "Yes, do your bit." Ramis called "Action" for a third time. Silence. He then said "OK, Rodney, now do your bit." Dangerfield pounced into the room and delivered a perfect take, even improvising the line about getting a free bowl of soup. From then on, whenever Dangerfield was in a scene, Ramis never said "Action." He just said, "OK, Rodney, do your bit."

  • Bill Murray improvised the scene with Peter Berkrot in which Carl holds a pitchfork to Angie's throat. According to Bekrot, he was genuinely nervous during that scene, because the pitchfork was real.

  • The scene involving a Baby Ruth candy bar being thrown into the swimming pool was based on a real-life incident at Brian Doyle-Murray's high school.

  • Harold Ramis wanted to use Pink Floyd to write music for the film, but couldn't get them. After an audition, Kenny Loggins came up with the famous theme song for the film, "I'm All Right" and played it for the producers and got the job. Johnny Mandel, who wrote the film's musical score, was also hired immediately afterward.

  • Final film of Ted Knight.

What is this movie is about?/Elevator Pitch: Challenging the Traditional Snobs at the Symbol of their Snobbery - Country Clubs

Best Performance: Harold Ramis (Director)/Rodney Dangerfield (Al Czervik)

Best Secondary Performance: Bill Murray (Carl Spackler)/Ted Knight (Judge Smails)

Most Charismatic Award: Bill Murray (Carl Spackler)/The Gopher

Best Scene:

  • Former Greenskeeper, Masters Champion

  • Clubhouse Store

  • Best Round of My Life

  • Clubhouse Dinner

  • Baby Ruth

  • Be the Ball

  • Manganese - A Lot of People Don't Even Know What that Is...Cannonball It

Favorite Scene: Manganese-Cannonball/Dalai Lama or Former Greenskeeper, Masters Champion

Most Indelible Moment: It's in the Hole!/18th Green

In Memorium: G. Gordon Liddy

Best Lines:

Spaulding Smails: I want a hamburger. No, a cheeseburger. I want a hotdog. I want a milkshake.

Judge Smails: {Judge hits Spaulding in the back of his head} You'll get nothing and like it!

Ty Webb: You take drugs, Danny?

Danny Noonan: Every day.

Ty Webb: Good. Then what's your problem?

Danny Noonan: I don't know.

Judge Smails: I've sentenced boys younger than you to the gas chamber. Didn't want to do it. I felt I owed it to them.

Carl Spackler: This place gotta pool?

Ty Webb: Pool and a pond... Pond be good for you.

Dr. Beeper: I thought you'd be the man to beat this year.

Ty Webb: I guess you'll just have to keep beating yourself.

Al Czervik: Hey Moose! Rocko! Help my buddy here find his wallet! (Turns to crowd) Hey everybody! We're all gonna get laid!

Danny Noonan: I've always wanted to go to college.

Judge Smails: Well, the world needs ditch diggers, too.

Funniest Line:

Al Czervik: He called me a baboon, he thinks I'm his wife.

Al Czervik: Oh, this is the worst-looking hat I ever saw. What, when you buy a hat like this I bet you get a free bowl of soup, huh?

Looks at Judge Smails, who’s wearing the same hat.

Al Czervik: Oh, it looks good on you though.

Sandy: Carl I want you to kill all the gophers on the golf course

Carl Spackler: Correct me if I'm wrong Sandy, but if I kill all the golfers they'll lock me up and throw away the key.

Sandy: Not golfers, you great fool. Gophers. The *little* *brown*, *furry* *rodents*.

Carl Spackler: We can do that. We don't even need a reason.

Carl Spackler: In the immortal words of Jean Paul Sartre, ‘Au Revoir, Gopher’!

Danny Noonan: I haven't even told my father I'm not gonna get that scholarship. I'm gonna end up working in a lumberyard the rest of my life.

Ty Webb: What's wrong with lumber? I own two lumberyards.

Danny Noonan: I notice you don't spend too much time there.

Ty Webb: I'm not quite sure where they are.

Carl Spackler: So I jump ship in Hong Kong and make my way over to Tibet, and I get on as a looper at a course over in the Himalayas. A looper, you know, a caddy, a looper, a jock. So, I tell them I'm a pro jock, and who do you think they give me? The Dalai Lama, himself. Twelfth son of the Lama. The flowing robes, the grace, bald... striking. So, I'm on the first tee with him. I give him the driver. He hauls off and whacks one - big hitter, the Lama - long, into a ten-thousand foot crevasse, right at the base of this glacier. Do you know what the Lama says? Gunga galunga... gunga, gunga-galunga. So we finish the eighteenth and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness." So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.

Carl Spackler:

Oh Mrs. Crane, you're a little monkey woman. Yeah, you're lean, mean, and I bet you're not too far in between are ya. How'd you like to wrap your spikes around my...

Carl Spackler: What an incredible Cinderella story! This unknown, comes out of nowhere, to lead the Augusta. He's at his final hole. He's about 455 yards away, he's gonna hit about a 2 Iron I think. [Swings, pulverizes a flower] Oh, he got all of that. The crowd is standing on its feet here at Augusta. The normally reserved crowd is going wild... [pauses] for this young Cinderella who's come out of nowhere. He's got about 350 yards left, he's going to hit about a 5 iron it looks like, don't you think? He's got a beautiful backswing... [Swings, pulverizes another flower] That's- Oh, he got all of that one! He's gotta be pleased with that! The crowd is just on its feet here. He's a Cinderella boy. Tears in his eyes, I guess, as he lines up this last shot. He's got about 195 yards left, and he's got a, looks like he's got about an 8 iron. This crowd has gone deadly silent... Cinderella story, out of nowhere, former greenskeeper, now, about to become the Masters Champion.[Swings, pulverizes yet another flower]It looks like a mirac- It's in the hole! It's in the hole!

The Stanley Rubric:

Legacy: 9.5

Impact/Significance: 6

Novelty: 9

Classic-ness: 5

Rewatchability: 8

Audience Score: 8.75 (88% Google, 87% RT)

Total: 46.25

Remaining Questions:

  • How did these guys function with that much drugs and alcohol all over the set?

  • Why is Maggie Irish?

  • Who is Ty Webb, what does he do, and is he Mitch Cumstein?

  • Why would Judge Smails take the final bet?

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