Written by Hombre Divertido
The new release on DVD, due out on Tuesday June 8th, from Warner Home Video contains nothing new. The packaging does not even indicate an anniversary is at hand. The Blu-ray, also due out on the eighth, includes a comprehensive feature-length 30th-anniversary documentary with the movie's cast and creators, but the DVD is left with only the retrospective featurette “The 19th Hole” which was included in the previous three releases (2000, 2006, 2007).
Yes, it has been thirty years since the classic comedy in which a group of outrageous characters converge on Bushwood Country Club hit theatres. Caddyshack garners the status of “classic” solely for its performances. Combining the talents of Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, Bill Murray, and Ted Knight, with the writing and performance of Brian Doyle Murray, and the direction and writing of a young Harold Ramis, ultimately resulted in golden performance and lines of dialog still widely recognized and often referenced today.
What started as a coming-of-age story revolving around young caddy Danny Noonan (Michael O’Keefe) turned into an outrageous collection of comedy scenes when the above-mentioned talent signed onto the project. Unfortunately that did happen at the expense of storytelling, but this was quite common in the late seventies and early eighties, and it certain cases such as Caddyshack, the comedic segments are strong enough to carry a ninety-eight minute outing.
“The 19th Hole” presents wonderful insight into the making of the film. The featurette delves into the details of the scene between Bill Murray and Chevy Chase, touts the talents of the late Rodney Dangerfield and Ted Knight, discusses the contributions of Murray through improvisation during the six days he worked on the film, and provides great detail from Harold Ramis who is not afraid to convey the youthful energy that guided him through many mistakes often made by young directors. Questions are answered, myths are corrected, and footage not included in the film is shown. There is even a mention made to a scene which appears in cut of the film shown on television that did not appear in the theatrical version, and is thus, not on the new DVD release.
Recommendation: Caddyshack looks and sounds great here, “The 19th Hole” is a solid documentary, and the memorable performances of the stars are complimented by a great supporting cast including: Cindy Morgan, Scott Colomby, Sarah Holcomb, and many more.
There is no denying that viewing Caddyshack will make most laugh weather you are watching it for the hundredth time, or experience it for the first time. Yes, the humor can be cheap at times, but the performances are strong. If a candy bar being mistaken for fecal matter does not make you smile, you are still likely to chuckle at the pompous portrayal of Judge Smails by the legendary Ted Knight. Though the nudity in the theatrical version may rule out the young, generally there is something here for everyone, everyone except those who have purchased the DVD in the last ten years. In that case there is nothing here for you.