Friday, April 28, 2017

Directorial Debut: Harold Ramis' CADDYSHACK

Welcome to another installment of DIRECTORIAL DEBUT, where we look at some of the best, most interesting and iconic directors and the films that started their careers. This week we will be reviewing Harold Ramis's hysterical comedy...CADDYSHACK.

This is one of the funniest movies of the '80s, partly because of Rodney Dangerfield. He has fantastic comedic timing and brings a lightheartedness to the film. There were also some other funny performances by legendary funny men, Chevy Chase and Bill Murray. They are all great actors and I love watching them on screen.

Dangerfield stars as Al Czervik, a brash new member who drives everyone insane with his crazy antics at an exclusive golf club. He is considered new money and his membership is blocked by Judge Smails, played by the wonderful Ted Knight. There's also a destructive dancing gopher.

I'm more familiar with Ramis as an actor than director. The first movie I remember him from was Ghostbusters (1984). He also had roles in Ghostbusters II and Stripes, among others. Ramis actually co-wrote all three films, so being a writer, actor and director made him a triple threat in my book.

After the great success of Caddyshack, Ramis went on to direct some great, iconic films like National Lampoon's Vacation, which spawned several sequels, and Groundhog Day. And other than the ones previously mentioned, he also wrote such films as Animal House and Meatballs. These are all great films showing that Ramis was talented not in front of the camera, but behind it as well.

Groundhog Day is one of my favorite films of all time. However, I was unaware of the creative differences between Bill Murray and Ramis. They didn't speak for 21 years; until Murray visited him right before Ramis died in 2014.

His death was a shock to many people, including myself. I was touched when President Barack Obama paid tribute to Ramis after his death. His passing left a big void in Hollywood. Luckily, he gave us Caddyshack and many more films, so his impact will never be forgotten.

Caddyshack had a great cast and eventually became a cult classic. It helped revitalize and start careers of actors who weren't that well known in the industry. It also holds a 75% approval rating on
Rotten Tomatoes. This film is crude, but it's hilarious and that more than makes up for it.

Lisa's Score: 9.5/10

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