Every Thursday we feature a classic movie, trailers, or amazing clips from movies from back in the day for you to watch at work, on the way to work, on the way home from work or on your day off to watch and share.
There are tons of great male-bonding movies, Used Cars, Slapshot, Animal House, Stripes, Blues Brothers, Arthur, Sharky’s Machine, the list is endless in a variety of genres.
Today’s feature takes you back to 1980, behind the scenes for the making of an 80’s classic we all know and love as Caddyshack starring Rodney Dangerfield, Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, Ted Knight and a cast of crazies who enjoy caddy day at the pool from 1:00 – 1:15. While there was a sequel made in 1986, like The Godfather III or Blues Brothers II… it’s unworthy of mention due to how bad it was.
So sit back and relax as our late friend, Chicago’s own Harold Ramis and others tell you just how crazy it was filming Caddyshack.
The movie was inspired by writer and co-star Brian Doyle-Murray’s memories working as a caddy 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 involving a Baby Ruth candy bar being thrown into the swimming pool was based on a real-life incident at Doyle-Murray’s high school.
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.
The dinner and dancing scene was filmed at the Boca Raton Hotel and Club in Boca Raton, Florida.
The film was shot over 11 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.
According to Ramis, Rolling Hills was chosen because the course did not have any palm trees. He wanted the movie 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 a plane had crashed.
The scene that begins when Ty Webb’s golf ball crashes into Carl Spackler’s ramshackle house 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 (who previously did not get along due to a feud dating back to their days on Saturday Night Live, but were at least tolerant and professional towards each other while on set), until then, 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.
Bill Murray’s famous “Cinderella story” scene was improvised based on two lines of stage direction. Ramis gave him direction to act as a child announcing his own imaginary golf moment, with Murray then improvising. The flowers were his idea.
Murray was with the production only six days, and all of his lines were unscripted. Murray was working on Saturday Night Live at the time, and was not intended to have a large role in the movie. However, he was repeatedly recalled from New York to film additional scenes as production continued.
In interviews, Cindy Morgan stated that the scene she shared with Chevy Chase, in which he pours massage oil on her, was completely improvised, and her reaction to Chase dousing her back with the massage oil, where she exclaimed “You’re crazy!”, was genuine.
The scene where her character had to dive into the pool was executed by a professional diver, but up to that point in the scene, she had to be 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. For those who don’t know, she was a DJ on a radio station in Chicago before this role.
An overall deal was made with John Dykstra’s effects company for all the necessary visual effects (including lightning, stormy sky effects, flying golf balls, disappearing greens’ flags, etc.), so shooting the gopher puppet became part of the intensely negotiated effects package. Dykstra’s technicians added extra hydraulic animation to the puppet, including ear movement, and built the tunnels through which he moved.
Caddyshack was released on July 25, 1980, in 656 theaters, and grossed $3.1 million during its opening weekend. It went on to make $39,846,344 in North America.
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.
Denmark was the only place outside the US/Canada where Caddyshack was initially a hit. The distributor had cut 20 minutes from the movie to emphasize Bill Murray’s role.
Check out some of the great songs from the soundtrack below