Caddyshack is a 1980 American comedy film directed by Harold Ramis and written by Brian Doyle-Murray, Ramis and Douglas Kenney. It stars Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, Ted Knight, Michael O'Keefe and Bill Murray. Doyle-Murray, Bill Murray's older brother, also has a supporting role.
The film was Ramis' first feature and was a major boost to Rodney Dangerfield's film career; he was previously known mostly for his stand-up comedy. Grossing almost $40 million in the U.S. alone (16th highest of the year), it was the first of a series of similar comedies. A sequel, Caddyshack II, followed in 1988, although it wasn't nearly as successful or as well-received.
In 2000, Caddyshack was placed at number 71 on the American Film Institute's list of the 100 funniest American films. In 2005, a line from the movie was chosen by AFI for their list of the top 100 movie quotes from U.S. films. This film is also second on Bravo's "100 Funniest Movies".
Also, Chuck Rodent was credited as playing the part of "Mr. Gopher."
The film's story centers on Danny Noonan (O'Keefe), one of many children in a Roman Catholic family of modest means. Danny aspires to attend college in Nebraska, but his parents can't afford it and his grades are less than exceptional, making obtaining a scholarship difficult, at best. Danny works as a caddy at the upscale Bushwood Country Club, where he earns tips to add to his meager college fund.
Bushwood's membership includes: Judge Smails (Knight), a by-the-book, no-nonsense jurist and the country club's co-founder; Doctor Beeper, a stereotypical doctor who's more concerned about his golf game than his patients; Bishop Pickering, a Lutheran minister; and Ty Webb (Chase), the son of Bushwood's other co-founder and a free-spirited playboy, very unlike the other members. Danny often caddies for Ty, who teaches Danny about the finer points in life, usually while showing off a random trick shot.
Judge Smails notices the handiwork of a  on his way to the course. Smails confronts Bushwood's greenskeeper, who then entrusts the task of removing the gopher to Carl Spackler (Murray), his unkempt, unhinged assistant, whose attempts to rid the course of the gopher become a running sub-plot of the main story. Later that day, real estate tycoon Al Czervik (Dangerfield) arrives, along with his Asian business partner Mr. Wang, as a guest of another member. Al first meets Judge Smails in the pro shop as Czervik comments on a hat he sees for sale, which he discovers is also being worn by Smails.
Danny's boss Lou (Brian Doyle-Murray) informs the caddies that the country club's caddy scholarship has become available after its previous winner, Carl Lippbaum, died of an anxiety attack while at school. Danny then decides to caddy for Judge Smails in hopes of earning his favor when Smails awards the next scholarship. Judge Smails' foursome, which includes Dr. Beeper, Bishop Pickering and Smails' grandson, Spaulding, begins their round, and is joined by Smails' voluptuous niece, Lacey Underall. While he waits to start his game, Czervik wastes no time in needling Smails as he tees off, which causes Smails to slice his ball into the rough. Czervik's group continues its rowdy behavior, which is of no help to Danny, as he is trying to butter up the increasingly agitated members of Smails' foursome. On one of Czervik's strokes, Czervik's ball accidentally hits Judge Smails in the groin. He is granted a brief respite when the party completes the front nine of the course, and he enjoys lunch with his girlfriend, Maggie, who is working the snack bar. Danny finally enters Judge Smails' good graces when Smails attempts to putt on the final hole. Al loudly wagers $1000 that Smails will miss his relatively short putt, which draws a crowd of onlookers. Smails does miss the putt, causing him to fling his putter into the air in a blind rage. The putter crashes onto a deck at the clubhouse, striking a woman. Seizing the opportunity, Danny takes responsibility for the incident, claiming the grips on the club were worn and that the club was therefore thrown accidentally, putting him in good standing with Smails.
That evening, the country club hosts a fancy dinner for the Fourth of July. Danny and Maggie are working as servers when Danny becomes enamored of Lacey. Maggie attempts to dissuade Danny by informing him of Lacey's promiscuous reputation. Al Czervik, dining with his friends, begins to create his unique form of fun-loving chaos during the otherwise stodgy party by tipping all of the staff, making insulting comments about Smails and his family, and paying the band playing at the party to play more upbeat dance music. Later Ty Webb arrives, and he manages to catch the eye of Lacey, who attempts to seduce him outside.
Danny all but seals the deal on the scholarship by winning the Caddy Day golf tournament, sinking a clutch putt and earning the praise of the Judge, along with an invitation to mow his lawn and drop by a party at the Judge's yacht club that Sunday. Danny and Maggie enjoy a romantic interlude before going to the country club pool. Lacey makes another appearance, this time getting a massage from Danny's chief rival, Tony D'Annunzio. That evening, Lacey visits Ty Webb at his home, where the two enjoy tequila shots and a naked moonlight swim.
At the yacht club, Danny again encounters Lacey, who suggests that she and Danny slip away for some private time at the Judge's house. Once again, Al Czervik crashes the party, destroying Smails' tiny wooden sloop with his enormous yacht by dropping the anchor into the cargo hold. The judge and his wife return home and discover Lacey and Danny naked in his bed. Danny grabs his clothes and flees, steps ahead of a club-wielding Judge.
Danny spends the night in the caddyshack, where he is awakened by a scared Maggie, who informs him she may be pregnant. Danny proposes marriage, but is turned down. Making matters worse, he is called into the Judge's office. Danny believes that he's blown his chances at the scholarship at best and expects to be fired at worst. However, the Judge surprises him by offering him the scholarship in gratitude after Danny promises never to mention the embarrassing incident with his niece to anybody. That evening, Maggie reveals that she isn't pregnant and apologizes to Danny. Elsewhere, Smails and Czervik encounter each other in the club's private bar one last time, where the enemies agree on a winner-take-all $20,000 golf match pitting Smails and Dr. Beeper against Al and Ty Webb.
Later that evening, Ty is practicing for the match and hits an errant ball into Carl's ramshackle home. Carl and Ty discuss their respective problems (Ty's match against Smails and Carl's credit trouble). Ty's visit ends with sharing a very large joint made of grass (said to be a hybrid of "Kentucky bluegrass, featherbed bent, and northern California sinsemilla"), which Carl has invented that also doubles as golf turf.
The match begins, with Judge Smails selecting Danny to be his caddy. As the foursome plays, word spreads of the stakes involved, and other course employees start placing side-bets on the event. At the end of the first nine holes, Smails' team is winning. He taunts Czervik, who then doubles the stakes to $40,000, which the Judge gleefully accepts. Later, Al is hit by a ricocheting ball and pretends to be hurt, hoping to have the contest declared a draw. The match umpire says Al would forfeit, unless they were to choose a substitute. The Judge picks Spaulding, but Ty insists that they should name their own substitute, choosing Danny instead. The Judge threatens to revoke Danny's scholarship if he plays. Danny smirks and takes Al's place (after Al offers to make it "worth his while.")
While the match is underway, Carl has moved into the endgame of his battle with the course's gopher. He has been dropping decoy animals sculpted from plastic explosives into every gopher hole he finds, tying all of the detonators to a single master switch. By the final hole, the score is tied and a large crowd has gathered to watch. On this hole, Judge Smails pulls out a putter from his bag while telling Spaulding it's time for "the old Billy Baroo" and he makes his putt. Ultimately, it's up to Danny to sink his putt and win the game for himself and Ty Webb. Again, Czervik raises the stakes to a whopping $80,000, which Smails accepts. Danny's putt reaches the edge of the cup, meaning that Smails would win the hole and the match. At that moment, Carl detonates the explosives, rocking the course. The force of the explosions is enough to cause the ball to drop, scoring a birdie and winning the match. Judge Smails attempts to renege on his end of the bet but Al's thugs are summoned to convince him otherwise. While Smails is busy with Al's goons, Czervik turns to the people at the house and proclaims "Hey, everybody! We're all gonna get laid!", earning him cheers from all of the people. The movie concludes with the gopher emerging, largely unharmed despite the explosives, from his hole, and dancing to Kenny Loggins' "I'm All Right" playing during the end credits.
The pool scene was filmed at Plantation Country Club in Plantation, Florida. The pool had not been used for several years prior to filming and was considerably revamped and then filled for the production. The dinner and dancing scene was filmed at the Boca Raton Hotel and Club in Boca Raton, Forida.
The film was shot over 11 weeks during the autumn of 1979. Golf scenes were filmed at the Rolling Hills Golf Club in Davie, 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 famous 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 did not get along due to a feud dating back to their days on Saturday Night Live), did not have a scene together. The three met for lunch and wrote the scene together. Although the scene has nothing to do with the plot, it is widely regarded as the funniest in the movie. This is the only time that Chase and Murray have appeared in a movie together.
Bill Murray's famous "Cinderella story" scene was improvised based on two lines of stage direction. Ramis basically gave him direction to act as a kid announcing his own imaginary golf moment. Murray just took it from there. The flowers were his idea.
The gopher sequences were written and filmed after most of the movie was shot. Originally, director Harold Ramis wanted to cast a live animal to play the . When that did not work out, the animatronic gopher (credited as "Chuck Rodent") and its tunnels were built by John Dykstra. The gopher sounds were the same sounds used by Flipper the dolphin in the 60's television show of the same name. This was after principal cinematography had been completed and used higher quality film stock in an indoor soundstage resulting in the higher picture quality of these scenes still evident even on the current DVD.
Nevertheless, the film has slowly gained a massive cult following among those of the younger generation as well as in the golf world (Tiger Woods has said that it is his favorite film) and many of the film's quotes have entered the lexicon of pop culture. Ramis notes in the DVD documentary that TV Guide had originally given the film two stars when it began showing on cable television in the early 1980s, but over time, the rating had gone up to three stars.
In 2007, Taylor Trade Publishing released "The Book of Caddyshack," an illustrated paperback retrospective of the movie, complete with cast and crew Q&A interviews. The book was written by Scott Martin.
Denmark was the only place outside the US where Caddyshack was a hit. The distributor had cut 20 minutes from the movie to emphasize Bill Murray's role.