Caddyshack [1980)

I’m so happy to be bringing you an actual film review today.

Even though I’m under the weather.

Yes, the airborne molds here in San Antonio seem to have brought on a nasty head cold.

[And before that it was the mountain cedar pollen.  It seems my city is among the five worst in the U.S. for allergens!]

But nothing does the health quite as much good as a larf ūüôā

And I must say, categorically, that Caddyshack is a masterpiece.

I suspected as much, but I never truly analyzed every bit of dialogue.

Till now.

And let me just start off by saying, the screenwriters responsible for this film deserve immense kudos.

First, Douglas Kenney.

If you go to the¬†Caddyshack¬†page on Wikipedia, you will notice that Mr. Kenney has no hypertext love for his name in the “informatics” box.

[Correction, Kenney’s name under the heading “Writers” is not hypertext-enabled, but his name is linkable elsewhere on the page.]

The story of Mr. Kenney is sad.

The strangest part is, HE DOES indeed have a Wikipedia page!

So why no link to the Caddyshack page?

My guess is that this film (and its stakeholders) probably want to distance themselves from the late- Mr. Kenney.

And that’s the saddest part.

You see, Douglas Kenney died almost exactly a month after Caddyshack was released.

Apparently Mr. Kenney was depressed about the bad reviews Caddyshack had gotten.

It’s a tragic story.

But we’re here to celebrate this wonderful film!

And there are two more writers to credit.

Harold Ramis, who passed away in 2014, is also credited with writing our timeless work.

And finally, Brian Doyle-Murray (who is thankfully still with us).

These three writers crafted a great story.

But most importantly, they should be revered for the fantastic banter which they concocted.

In its own way, the script for¬†Caddyshack deserves a prominent place next to Ernest Lehman’s¬†North by Northwest.

But to pull off great lines, you need great actors.

And Caddyshack is chockfull of masterful performances.

But first let’s take a look at the socioeconomic aspects of this story.

The action is completely set at a posh golf course in Nebraska:  Bushwood Country Club.

While some of the allegorical caricatures are a bit crude (indeed, the whole film is gloriously crude), there is a nice message to this film.

Quite simply, it is the “haves” and the “have-nots”.

And the main, anarchist “have-nots” are the caddies.

Those lowly youngsters who schlep golf bags up and down green hills in lieu of golf carts.

It’s funny…

The manager of the Caddy Shack (actually played by writer Brian Doyle-Murray) holds the specter of replacement over the young caddies’ heads.

Shape up, or you’ll be replaced by golf carts.

[Or something to that effect]

I can hear the same strains echoing from my local McDonald’s (though I never go there).

You want fifteen dollars an hour?

Great.

Hello robots.

But these kids put up with a lot of shit.

And, though this film doesn’t get this in-depth, I feel for the youngsters who are out there working crappy jobs.

America is fucked up.

A cashier at a corner store shouldn’t be prevented from getting antibiotics for her infected tooth.

She shouldn’t have to miss work because we can’t figure out this problem.

I’m guessing she can’t afford the doctor’s visit.

Or the visit to a clinic.

But that’s pretty sad.

It’s like panhandling…

No one would dream of such an existence.

So we gotta be less cynical.

Yeah, panhandlers will try any trick in the book.

But in the final estimation, one must really feel sorry for anyone who has no better options than to spend their time begging (or, for that matter, hawking cigarettes for minimum wage at the Kwik-E-Mart).

But I digress…

The late- Ted Knight did a great job of playing the yuppie villain in this film.

You want to go to law school? ¬†And your parents can’t afford it?

Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too.

It’s a bloody-jawdropping line from our three screenwriters!

Ted Knight plays Judge Smails.

Yes, a real piece of work he is!

The “good-old-boys” network.

Even up in Nebraska.

Perhaps a jab at Warren Buffett?

We know, of course, that Mr. Buffett was having a very convenient charity golf tournament the morning of 9/11 at Offutt Air Force Base.

And Offutt is the central node of the U.S. nuclear deterrent.

And George W. Bush eventually made his way to Offutt on 9/11 (after stopping over at the second most important nuke site, Barksdale Air Force Base in Shreveport, Louisiana).

And then there was the jet owned by Mr. Buffett that was conveniently in the air near Flight 93 in Pennsylvania.

And Ms. Anne Tatlock who would have normally been in her office at Fiduciary Trust Company in the World Trade Center, but was playing golf with Warren Buffett.

Fiduciary Trust lost 87 employees on the morning of 9/11 when Flight 175 slammed into the WTC.

But Tatlock was in Omaha.

Too crazy to be true?

And who were the other invitees at Buffett’s event?

Let’s return to comedy, shall we? ūüôā

Chevy Chase is fantastic as Ty Webb in our film.

He has no editing mechanism.

Here is a guy so effortlessly-rich that he just says whatever is on his mind.

Remind you of anyone?

And if that pointed-allusion to our PEOTUS isn’t pithy enough, we then have Rodney Dangerfield’s ostentatious character: ¬†a realtor!

Remember, in 1978 (two years before Caddyshack) the villain of Superman (Lex Luthor) was also a realtor.

It’s an interesting meme.

Indeed, the word “meme” was coined just two years before THAT (in Richard Dawkins’ 1976 book¬†The Selfish Gene).

So perhaps it was just the Zeitgeist, but our writers had latched onto something with the realtor trope.

However, as stated, the villain of Caddyshack is the venal Judge Smails.

Rodney Dangerfield (who was magnificent in this film) is very much an anti-villain:  the enemy of our enemy.

Dangerfield’s character Al Czervik may be¬†nouveau riche, but he has many redeeming qualities.

To reel in one of my favorite memes, he puts the disruptive in “disruptive innovation” (thank you Clay Christensen).

I mean, really…you gotta hand it to a guy with Budweiser on tap in his golf bag ūüôā

But perhaps the most important character is Carl (played to genius proportions by Bill Murray).

Carl is the slack-jawed “assistant [head?] greenskeeper” whose internal monologue is just audible enough to guide us through this film.

Every film critic should identify with Carl (except, of course, the “successful” ones).

Here’s a guy who basically lives in the toolshed.

I mean, the scene where Chevy Chase “plays through” is just classic!

Carl eventually does a little housekeeping with a leaf blower (presaging the eccentric roots of Beck Hansen [whose dust-choking start was still a ways off in 1980]).

But Carl really makes this film tick.

He is the Fanfare for the Common Man.

And there are Bronx cheers in place of the timpani!

[Did somebody sit on a duck?]

Sarah Holcomb probably doesn’t get much credit for her role in this film, but she should.

Ms. Holcomb was born on September 11, 1958.

This was her last film (according to Wikipedia).

While her Irish accent is a bit grating (because, I am guessing, it is merely a plot device), she is a joyful presence in this film.

Ah, but Cindy Morgan really steals the show as Lacey Underall.

And she’s not just a pretty face!

Her acting (and chemistry with Chevy Chase) is really remarkable.

Plus, she has the best line of the film:

“BULLFIGHTS ON ACID.”

God, I love that line…

Which takes us back to our writers.

These guys were really something!

But I haven’t even mentioned the¬†auteur¬†of our film.

It was, indeed, one of the three writers:  Harold Ramis.

Sure, there are cheap stunts (actually, $8 mil. worth…in 1980!).

But they almost all work beautifully.

For instance, the¬†Jaws¬†spoof with the Baby Ruth in the swimming pool ūüôā

I mean, God…what a concept!

And even little touches…like Ted Knight hacking through the bathroom door with a golf club instead of an axe (√† la¬†The Shining).

The Shining, incidentally, was released about two months before Caddyshack.

[Jaws hailed from 1975 and Jaws 2 had dropped in 1978.]

It’s hard to say to what extent Bill Murray and Chevy Chase improvised in this film.

The same goes for Rodney Dangerfield.

These were/are comedic geniuses.

So no doubt a good bit of credit for the final product goes to these three gentlemen.

But Harold Ramis pulled it all together.

And so, dear friends, if you haven’t seen this film, then you absolutely must.

It’s not¬†Gone With the Wind, but it’s a very significant milestone in the development of cinema.

-PD

Le Gai savoir [1969)

Words:  0

Publish.  1:09 AM.  Enter your categories below.  Bellow.  Saul.  HTML.  HoT MeaL.

Words:  12

The Grand Budapest Hote…

?!

I cannot express this pictogram.  CATEGORIES.  We must categorize.

Juliet Berto.¬† I’m just warming up.¬† Preview.

Words:  33

1:12 AM.  FEATURED IMAGE.  Visual.  Yes, a film by Jean-Luc Godard.

This DVD could feed a village for a week.

No food on the table.  No table.

The plot is one-sentence long (!) on Wikipedia.  The Joy of learning.

71  :Words

Trash.¬† Keep on goin’!

Au lecteur:

Current Staus:  Saved Draft.  Le Gai savoir [1969).

1:15 AM.

How long is a second?  Krypton?  Cesium?

paulydeathwish

Moi.

Preview Post.  Not coming to a theater near you (and certainly not near me).

4/16/2015

My Site.  W.

LBJ.  Vietnam.  Dropping white phosphorus bombs on the silk factories of Hanoi.

Enter your tags below.

Toe.

This film has been a favorite of mine since I first saw it.  Like a Bible in the dark.  Smirking at how clever.

152  :sdroW

Publish Immediately.

CHANGE STATUS.¬† It’s complicated.¬† In that it’s not complicated.¬† Painfully single.

File   Edit   View   Favorites   Tools   Help

Windows on the World.  Risk Waters.

You ask who died.¬† And who didn’t.¬† Warren Buffett.¬† Charity golf and tennis tournament.¬† Offutt AFB.¬† Morning of 9/11.¬† Nerve center of American nuclear deterrent.¬† We know one WTC CEO who didn’t die because she was invited.¬† Who else was on that list???

I hear the whispers of a young, balding man.  Torn in half by war.  Risking it all.  To edit a film about the Palestinians.  And the film lab is bombed.  A scare tactic.  How dare you support those Muselmanns?  Muselmensch.

Disproportionate riposte.  Flip script.  ABC

sWords:  265

1:27 AM

Louis Le Prince – Wikipedi…

Add Media.

Two sentences.  I overlooked a period.

Lumumba and Rousseau.

Freud is the head and Marx is the sex.  Theory and practice.

Give him enough rope.¬† …

Derrida sideways.

It is the brilliance of the little boy–the touching presence of the crusty old beggar.

In school we learned about Nietzsche, but no one ever told me about Jack Nitzsche.

iPhone.¬† Pronounced “ee-fone” in French.¬† ePhone.

This iswas unknown territory.¬† 1969.¬† 1:36 AM.¬† You’re late.¬† You’re really not taking this very seriously.

Bob Dylan.  Jean-Pierre Léaud.

My love is smiling by the sea.  She has gone away.  Cruel.

She stares at me from a different time.

He is an old man now.  Wild Strawberries.

Shall we try again??¬† D’accord…

Batman.  The Incredible Hulk.  Spiderman.

She keeps dozing off.¬† Tap tap.¬† Perks up.¬† Dozes.¬† Again prodded.¬† But when she slumps left (her left)…a caress.¬† It works the same.¬† She opens her eyes.¬† More painful-eyes studying.¬† Some sleep with one eye open.¬† I read until only one eye cooperates.¬† And then no eyes.¬† Off to processing sleep.

Mao was still prominent.¬† But this is where the great art of montage was first born…continued and epitomized in Histoire(s) du cinema.¬† 3.8/5.¬† My ass.¬† Rotten tomatoes…L√©olo.

Ou Ou Ou

Ou Ou Ou

So what you’re saying is that this review is a failure.

Three moles on left side of face.

No one in their right mind is asking.

Mon martyre.  Montmartre.

Jean of Ork.  nanu nanu

Tannu Tuva.

What ever happened to Richard Feynman?

Don’t call me Shirley.¬† Andrew Card.

To enjoy a cigar by the water.

Une poignée de gens

Words:  538.

Attack on language.  Send reinforcements.

2:05 AM

ending transmission

-PD