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Ghost Canyon

'Caddyshack - 30th Anniversary'
(Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, Bill Murray, Ted Knight, Michael O'Keefe, et al / DVD / R / (1980) 2010 / Warner Bros.)

Overview: Greenskeeper Carl Spackler is about to start World War III against a gopher. Pompous Judge Smalls plays to win but his nubile niece Lacey Underall wants to score her own way. Playboy Ty Webb shoots perfect golf by becoming the ball. And country club loudmouth Al Czervik just doubled a $20,000 bet on a 10-foot putt. Insanity? No. Caddyshack.

DVD: 'Caddyshack' is often thought of as little more than entertainment and laughs. I received it as a gift, and probably would not have bought it on my own. But that said, it is interesting and deeper than we may have thought.

While it seems to be full of slapstick comedy, there are interesting aspects to it. The story seems to be attacking people who consider golf almost sacred, and people who think that because they belong to a club, they are above and beyond everyone else. (A doctor who is more worried about his golf scores than his patients, a judge who treats people quite contemptuously, etc).

On the other hand, we have characters like Chevy Chase who just enjoy golf, and don't need to beat anyone or play for money. We also have Danny (a caddy) who is trying to do his job to make a future for himself.

Rodney Dangerfield is an interesting character who (in all his comedy) carries the theme of the movie. (Especially when he calls the club a 'snobitaurium') And he seems to be fully aware that there is nothing sacred about a country club.

It is also interesting that while the Judge is made to be the villain of the movie who hates everyone, he has some redeeming traits. (He loves his wife and is understandably hurt when Rodney makes a sexual business offer to her; he allows a student to clerk for him while he is finishing law school; and he is concerned when his friend, the Lutheran Bishop is drinking too much.) And to be fully honest, it is hard not to feel sorry for him when he comes home and finds his bed occupied by his niece and Danny. The judge is made out to be the bad guy in this story, but he is after all human.

Another fine point worth mentioning is the gradual reconciliation of Danny and another caddy who have been at odds with each other from the start of the film. (Early on, they are ready to have a fist exchange; he takes some verbal shots at Danny throughout; but somehow, we never really hate him; and in the end, he is cheering Danny on at the final golf game.)

The conflicts of ideology eventually lead up to an illegal tournament. And rather than it appearing to be over who is the better golfer, somehow we get the impression that it is the ego driven players versus the more human players. (The final triumph avoids the cliche ending and instead offers a hilarious conclusion with a bang.)

Granted, its not Shakespeare. But there is more interest in this film than we may have guessed. Oh, and for all those that care, these 'special features' were the exact same two found on the 19th Anniversary VHS editon, sorry! [BH] This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.77:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

'Caddyshack: The 19th Hole'
Theatrical Trailer

'Caddyshack' is now available On Demand and For Download including iTunes at: http://bit.ly/EM_CaddyShack

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