From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Caddyshack poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byHarold Ramis
Written by
Produced byDouglas Kenney
CinematographyStevan Larner
Edited byWilliam C. Carruth
Music byJohnny Mandel
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • July 25, 1980 (1980-07-25)
Running time
98 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$4.8-6 million[1][2]
Box office$60 million[1]

Caddyshack is a 1980 American sports comedy film directed by Harold Ramis, written by Brian Doyle-Murray, Ramis and Douglas Kenney, and starring Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, Ted Knight, Michael O'Keefe and Bill Murray. Doyle-Murray also has a supporting role.

Caddyshack was Ramis's directorial debut and boosted the career of Dangerfield, who was previously known mostly for his stand-up comedy. Grossing nearly $40 million at the domestic box office (the 17th-highest of the year),[3] it was the first of a series of similar comedies. A sequel, Caddyshack II (1988), followed, although only Chase reprised his role and the film was poorly received.

The film has a cult following and was described by ESPN as "perhaps the funniest sports movie ever made."[4]


Danny Noonan works as a caddie at the exclusive Bushwood Country Club in Illinois to earn enough money to go to college. Danny caddies for Ty Webb, a mischievous but avid golfer and the son of one of Bushwood's co-founders. Danny tries to gain favor with Judge Elihu Smails, the country club's arrogant co-founder and director of the caddie scholarship program, by caddying for him. Meanwhile, Carl Spackler, a mentally unstable groundskeeper who lives in the maintenance building, is sent by his Scottish supervisor Sandy McFiddish to hunt a gopher that is damaging the course. He attempts to kill it with a rifle and high-pressure hose but fails.

Al Czervik, a loud and free-spirited nouveau riche golfer and successful real estate developer, begins attending the club as a guest of member Drew Scott. Czervik distracts Smails as he tees off, causing his shot to go badly. Later, frustrated by slow play, Czervik wagers with Smails. Smails is furious for losing the bet and throws his putter, injuring an elderly woman. Danny takes the blame for the incident to gain Smails' favor. Smails encourages him to apply for the caddie scholarship.

At Bushwood's annual Fourth of July banquet, Danny and his girlfriend Maggie work as waiting staff. Czervik continues to annoy Smails and the older club members, while amusing and gaining favor with the younger club members, as well as the staff, to whom he consistently hands out generous amounts of cash as tips. Danny becomes attracted to Lacey Underall, Smails' promiscuous niece, who is visiting for the summer and frequents the club.

Later, Danny wins the Caddy Day golf tournament and the scholarship, earning him an invitation from Smails to attend the christening ceremony for his boat at the nearby Rolling Lakes Yacht Club. Smails' boat is sunk at the event after an accident involving Czervik's larger boat. Returning home, Smails discovers Lacey and Danny in bed 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 uncouth Czervik, Smails confronts him and announces that he will never be granted membership. Czervik counters by announcing that he would never consider being a member: he insults the country club and claims to be there merely to evaluate buying it and developing the land into condominiums. After a brief fight and exchange of insults, Webb suggests they discuss the situation 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 on the match, which quickly doubles to $40,000. That evening, Webb practices for the game against Smails and his errant shot brings him to meet Carl; the two share a bottle of wine and a joint.

The match is held the next day. Word spreads of the stakes involved, drawing in a crowd of club members and employees. During the game, Smails and Beeper take the lead, while Czervik, to his chagrin, is "playing the worst game of his life;" at the same time Webb slowly cracks over his own awful game. Czervik reacts to Smails' taunts by angrily doubling the wager to $80,000 per team. When his own ricocheting ball strikes his arm, Czervik fakes an injury in hopes of having the contest declared a draw. Lou, the caddy manager 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 chooses to play.

Upon reaching the final hole, the score is tied. Judge Smails scores a birdie. Danny has to complete a difficult putt to win. Czervik again doubles the wager based on Danny making the putt. Danny's putt leaves the ball hanging over the edge of the hole. At that moment, in his latest attempt to kill the gopher, Carl detonates plastic explosives that he has rigged around the golf course. Several explosions shake the ground and cause the ball to drop into the hole, handing Danny, Webb and Czervik victory on the wager. Smails refuses to pay, so Czervik beckons two intimidating men named Moose and Rocco to "help the judge find his checkbook." As Smails is chased across the course, Czervik quotes to the onlookers "Hey everybody, we're all gonna get laid".

Some distance away, the gopher emerges from underground, unharmed, and dances to the film's main theme "I'm Alright" amid the smoldering ruins of the golf course.



The film was inspired by writer and co-star Brian Doyle-Murray's memories of working as a caddie at Indian Hill Club in Winnetka, Illinois. His brothers Bill and John Murray (production assistant and a caddy extra) and director Harold Ramis also had worked as caddies when they were teenagers. Many of the characters in the film were based on characters they had encountered through their various experiences at the club, including a young woman upon whom the character of Maggie is based and the Haverkamps, a doddering old couple, John and Ilma, longtime members of the club, who can barely hit the ball out of their shadows. The scene in which Al Czervik hits Judge Smails in the genitals with a struck golf ball happened to Ramis on what he said was the second of his two rounds of golf, on a nine-hole public course.[5]

The film was shot over eleven weeks during the autumn of 1979; Hurricane David in early September delayed production. Golf scenes were filmed at the Rolling Hills Golf Club (now the Grande Oaks Golf Club) in Davie, Florida.[6] According to Ramis, Rolling Hills was chosen because the course did not have any palm trees. He wanted the film to feel that it was in the Midwest, not Florida. The explosions that take place during the climax of the film were reported at the nearby Fort Lauderdale airport by an incoming pilot, who suspected that a plane had crashed.[7] The Fourth of July dinner and dancing scene was filmed at the Boca Raton Hotel and Club in Boca Raton, Florida, while the yacht club scene was shot at the Rusty Pelican Restaurant in Key Biscayne, Florida.[8]

The scene that begins when Ty Webb's golf ball crashes into Carl Spackler's shack was not in the original script. It was added by director Harold Ramis after realizing that two of his biggest stars, Chevy Chase and Bill Murray, did not appear in a scene together. The three met for lunch and wrote the scene. This is the only film that Chase and Murray have appeared in together.[9]

Murray improvised much of the "Cinderella story" scene based on two lines of stage direction. Ramis gave him direction to act as a child. Murray hit flowers with a grass whip while fantasizing aloud about winning the U.S. Masters; a major golf tournament.[9] Murray was with the production only six days, and his lines were largely unscripted.[5] Murray was working on Saturday Night Live at the time, and was not intended to have a large role but his part "mushroomed" and he was repeatedly recalled from New York to film additional scenes as production continued.[10]

Cindy Morgan said that a massage scene with Chevy Chase was improvised, and her reaction to Chase dousing her back with the massage oil, where she exclaimed "You're crazy!" was genuine.[11] A scene in which her character dove into the pool was acted by a professional diver. Before the diver took over, she was led to the diving board by the crew and carefully directed up the ladder since she could not wear her contact lenses near the pool and was legally blind without them.[12]

A deal was made with John Dykstra's[9] effects company for visual effects, including lightning, stormy sky effects, flying golf balls and disappearing greens' flags. The gopher was part of the effects package. Dykstra's technicians added hydraulic animation to the puppet, including ear movement, and built the tunnels through which it moved.

The production became infamous for the amount of drug usage which occurred on-set, with supporting actor Peter Berkrot describing cocaine as "the fuel that kept the film running."[13]


Critical response[edit]

Caddyshack was released on July 25, 1980,[14] in 656 theaters, and grossed $3.1 million during its opening weekend; it went on to make $39,846,344 in North America,[15] and $60 million worldwide.[1]

The film was met with underwhelming reviews in its original release,[16] with criticism towards the disorganized plot, though Dangerfield, Chase and Murray's comic performances were well received. Roger Ebert gave the film two-and-a-half stars out of four and wrote, "Caddyshack feels more like a movie that was written rather loosely, so that when shooting began there was freedom—too much freedom—for it to wander off in all directions in search of comic inspiration."[17] Gene Siskel gave the film three out of four stars, saying it was "funny about half of the time it tries to be, which is a pretty good average for a comedy."[18] Dave Kehr, in his review for the Chicago Reader, wrote, "The first-time director, Harold Ramis, can't hold it together: the picture lurches from style to style (including some ill-placed whimsy with a gopher puppet) and collapses somewhere between sitcom and sketch farce."[19] Vincent Canby gave it a mixed review in The New York Times, describing it as "A pleasantly loose-limbed sort of movie with some comic moments, most of them belonging to Mr. Dangerfield."[20]

Nevertheless, the film has gained a cult following in the years after its release and has been positively reappraised by many film critics.[21] The film holds a 73% approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes, based on 59 (mostly contemporary) reviews, with an average rating of 6.56/10. The website's critical consensus reads: "Though unabashedly crude and juvenile, Caddyshack nevertheless scores with its classic slapstick, unforgettable characters, and endlessly quotable dialogue."[22] Christopher Null gave the film four stars out of five in his 2005 review, and wrote, "They don't make 'em like this anymore … The plot wanders around the golf course and involves a half-dozen elements, but if you simply dig the gopher, the caddy, and the Dangerfield, you're not going to be doing half bad."[23]

Tiger Woods said[24] that he liked the film, and played Spackler in an American Express commercial based on the film. Many of the film's quotes are part of popular culture.[25]

Ramis noted in the DVD documentary that TV Guide had originally given the film two stars (out of four) when it began showing on cable television in the early 1980s, but over time the rating had gone up to three stars. In 2009, he said, "I can barely watch it. All I see are a bunch of compromises and things that could have been better," such as the poor swings of everyone, except for O'Keefe.[26]

Denmark was the only place outside the United States where Caddyshack was initially a hit. The distributor had cut 20 minutes to emphasize Bill Murray's role.[27]


This film is also second on Bravo's "100 Funniest Movies."[28]

The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:


In anticipation of the movie, the Kenny Loggins single "I'm Alright" was released nearly three weeks before the movie opened and became a top ten hit the last week of September 1980.[32] CBS Records also issued a soundtrack to Caddyshack later that year. It included ten songs, four of which were performed by Kenny Loggins, including the aforementioned "I'm Alright."


There was a sequel, Caddyshack II (1988), which performed poorly at the box office and is considered one of the worst sequels of all time.[33]


In 2007, Taylor Trade Publishing released The Book of Caddyshack, an illustrated paperback retrospective of the movie, with cast and crew Q&A interviews. The book was written by Scott Martin.[34][better source needed]

In April 2018, Flatiron Books published Caddyshack: The Making of a Hollywood Cinderella Story by Chris Nashawaty, detailing the making of the film.[35]

Caddyshack restaurants[edit]

On June 7, 2001, Bill Murray, Brian Doyle-Murray and their brothers opened a themed restaurant inspired by the film at the World Golf Village, near St. Augustine, Florida. The restaurant is meant to resemble the fictional Bushwood Country Club, and serves primarily American cuisine. The brothers are all active partners and make occasional appearances at the restaurant. Three more Caddyshack restaurants were opened, in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; Orlando; and Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida; these are now closed, leaving the original in St. Augustine their flagship location, open to fans and diners.[36]

Bill Murray and two of his brothers, Andy and Joel, were in attendance when another venue opened in Rosemont, Illinois, in April 2018.[37]


  1. ^ a b c PETER H. BROWN (January 20, 1985). "WE'RE TALKING GROSS, TACKY AND DUMB". Los Angeles Times.
  2. ^ "Caddyshack (1980) - Financial Information". The Numbers.
  3. ^ 1980 Yearly Box Office Results. Archived July 15, 2017, at the Wayback Machine Box Office Mojo. Retrieved February 3, 2013.
  4. ^ " - Page2 - Page 2's Top 20 Sports Movies of All-Time". Archived from the original on April 13, 2019. Retrieved June 15, 2019. Perhaps the funniest sports movie ever made, and 22 years later, it still ranks as definitely the most "quotable" sports film.
  5. ^ a b Caddyshack: The Inside Story Archived June 10, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, Bio.HD December 13, 2009.
  6. ^ Grande Oaks Golf Club Archived January 12, 2021, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ "Caddyshack: Reel Life from " Page 2"". Archived from the original on August 14, 2016. Retrieved March 14, 2012.
  8. ^ On Location: Caddyshack filming locations Archived January 11, 2020, at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ a b c Mark Canton, Chevy Chase, Scott Colomby, Hamilton Mitchell, Cindy Morgan, Jon Peters, Harold Ramis, Ann Ryerson (1999). Caddyshack: The 19th Hole, Special Feature (DVD). Warner Bros.
  10. ^ Chris Nashawaty (August 2, 2010). "Caddyshack". Sports Illustrated. p. 3. Archived from the original on July 31, 2010.
  11. ^ KIMBERLY REBMAN (May 7, 2015). "Actress Cindy Morgan: Dancing Gophers, Computer Graphics, and Everything in Between". The AME Magazine. Archived from the original on June 20, 2015.
  12. ^ Hinson, Mark (August 7, 2009). "'Caddyshack' siren joins the fun for film school's 20th". Tallahassee Democrat. p. 14D. Archived from the original on December 18, 2014. Retrieved November 8, 2013.
  13. ^ Sorokach, Josh (April 18, 2018). "'Caddyshack' Was Fueled By Rampant Cocaine Use, New Book Reveals". Decider. Archived from the original on April 18, 2018.
  14. ^ "Caddyshack". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). (advertisement). July 25, 1980. p. 10A.
  15. ^ "Caddyshack (1980)". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on February 27, 2020. Retrieved December 22, 2012.
  16. ^ Paseman, Lloyd (August 7, 1980). "Light movie funny, but tasteless". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). (review). p. 5D.
  17. ^ Ebert, Roger (January 1, 1980). "Caddyshack". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on June 25, 2013. Retrieved July 13, 2009.
  18. ^ Siskel, Gene (July 1980). "Caddyshack". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on April 11, 2019. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
  19. ^ Kehr, Dave. "Caddyshack". Chicago Reader. Archived from the original on April 18, 2016. Retrieved July 13, 2009.
  20. ^ Canby, Vincent (July 1980). "Caddyshack". The New York Times. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
  21. ^ Tom Hoffarth (February 20, 2007). "'Caddyshack' former hottie in revival mode". Palm Beach Post. Archived from the original on February 2, 2012. Retrieved February 9, 2012.
  22. ^ "Caddyshack (1980)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Archived from the original on May 11, 2019. Retrieved May 1, 2019.
  23. ^ [1] Archived April 2, 2015, at the Wayback Machine at's
  24. ^ "Tiger Woods Talks...To His Twitter Followers". Radar Online. November 30, 2010. Archived from the original on April 3, 2012. Retrieved March 14, 2012.
  25. ^ Ben Craw and Dan Abramson (May 30, 2010). "All The Best 'Caddyshack' Quotes In One Video: Pick Your Favorite!". The Huffington Post. Archived from the original on October 21, 2020. Retrieved February 9, 2012.
  26. ^ Martin, Brett (July 2009). "Harold Ramis Gets the Last Laugh". GQ: 64–67, 124–25. Archived from the original on August 6, 2015. Retrieved June 22, 2009. Like, it bothers me that nobody except Michael O'Keefe can swing a golf club. A movie about golf with the worst bunch of golf swings you've ever seen! It doesn't bother golfers, though.
  27. ^ Iben Albinus Sabroe (2008). Jeg vil vinde en Oscar (I Want to Win an Oscar).
  28. ^ "Bravo's 100 funniest movies list". June 2, 2006. Archived from the original on March 2, 2009. Retrieved March 14, 2012.
  29. ^ "AFI's 100 Years...100 Laughs" (PDF). American Film Institute. Archived (PDF) from the original on April 12, 2019. Retrieved August 20, 2016.
  30. ^ "AFI's 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes" (PDF). American Film Institute. Archived (PDF) from the original on April 7, 2019. Retrieved August 20, 2016.
  31. ^ "AFI's 10 Top 10: Top 10 Sports". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on March 8, 2021. Retrieved August 20, 2016.
  32. ^ "Billboard's Hot 100 for the week of 27 Sep 1980". Billboard. Archived from the original on June 22, 2019. Retrieved July 27, 2019.. Retrieved July 27, 2019.
  33. ^ Nashawaty, Chris (July 24, 2020). "The Inside Story of Caddyshack II". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on July 26, 2020. Retrieved July 26, 2020.
  34. ^ Martin, Scott (2007). The Book of Caddyshack: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Greatest Movie Ever Made. ISBN 978-1589793583.
  35. ^ Ryan, Patrick (April 24, 2018). "'Caddyshack': 5 wild things we learn about the Bill Murray comedy in new tell-all book". USA Today. Archived from the original on September 20, 2019. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  36. ^ "Murray Bros. Caddyshack home page". Murraybroscaddyshack. Archived from the original on November 19, 2012. Retrieved March 14, 2012.
  37. ^ Kindelsperger, Nick (April 17, 2018). "Bill Murray visits his Caddyshack restaurant in Chicago and doesn't disappoint". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on April 22, 2018. Retrieved April 23, 2018.

External links[edit]