Caddyshack – Week 4

Bill Murray, Rodney Dangerfield, and Brian Doyle-Murray, three members of the cast of “Caddyshack”, present three distinctly different types of actors.

Brian Doyle-Murray is a character actor who plays Lou Loomis, the boss of the caddies in the film.  He is a character actor because he is not immediately recognizable to moviegoers as a star and is known more for the roles he has played, than being known for himself (Goodykoontz & Jacobs, 2014).  He is not a particularly noticeable character in “Caddyshack” but he is integral to the movie as he becomes the unofficial referee of the climatic golf match (Kenney & Ramis, 1980).

Rodney Dangerfield is a personality actor who plays Al Czervik, an obnoxious real estate developer and prospective owner of the golf club.  This casting is important to the film in the sense that his role is really nothing more than an extended stand-up act.  Although he plays an important role in the establishing of the golf match, his role in the film is comic relief (Kenney & Ramis, 1980).  What makes him a personality actor is that Al Czervik is really just an enhanced version of Rodney Dangerfield the comedian.  Rodney Dangerfield is not recognizable for the roles he has played, he is recognized as playing himself (Goodykoontz & Jacobs, 2014).

Bill Murray is a wild card actor.  In “Caddyshack”, he has a very humorous role as Carl Spackler, a goofy greenskeeper who works at the club.  Much like Dangerfield, he is comic relief in the movie but he also ends up directly contributing to the climatic scene of the movie, as his humorous attempt to kill a gopher is what causes the winning putt to fall (Kenney & Ramis, 1980).

Over the course of his career, he has developed into an extremely versatile actor.  He has demonstrated the ability to play a wider type of characters and is no longer typecast as just a comic actor (Goodykoontz & Jacobs, 2014).  He has tremendously evolved as an actor, as evidenced by his role in “Lost in Translastion”.  Although he has remained true to his comedic roots, he has demonstrated the ability to extend into drama as well.  Below are two movie scenes that show his growth as an actor.  The first one is from “Caddyshack” and the second is from “Lost in Translastion”.


Goodykoontz, B. & Jacobs, C.P. (2014). Film: From watching to seeing (2nd ed.). San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

Kenney, D. (Producer) & Ramis, H. (Director). (1980). Caddyshack [Motion Picture]. USA: Orion Pictures.

MiGustaTacoBell. (2009, Sep 4). Caddyshack Cinderella Story [Video file]. Retrieved from

thesoundofviolence. (2009, Oct 28). Lost In Translation, last scene [Video file]. Retrieved from


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Caddyshack – Week 3

There are three basic types of sound in movies.  Dialogue is the actual conversation conducted between characters, or it can be one character performing a type of soliloquy.  Music is another type of sound in movies.  It can come in different forms because sometimes it can be a song playing IN the movie, heard by the characters.  Other times, it is a song or musical score played for the benefit of the audience, to enhance the on screen drama.  Finally, there are sound effects in movies.  These are the sounds attached to specific acts occurring on screen, increasing the reality.  Popular examples can include explosions, creaking doors, or crowd noise in the background.  The reason that this type of sound is frequently added in post-production is so that a clean recording of the actors’ dialogue in the scene can be captured.  One of the most popular and well used sound effects is known as the Wilhelm scream.  It is a scream recorded one time, over 50 years ago, that continues to be used in films even today.  Below is a compilation of its uses over the years.

I will discuss a scene from Caddyshack that utilizes the three basic different types of sound to combine for an overall hilarious scene, climaxing with a terrific one-liner.  Below is a link to the scene.

The scene above utilizes all of the three basic types of sound.  Initially, Rodney Dangerfield’s character hits a golf ball and we hear the added sound effect of what sounds like a golf swing, enhancing his character’s actions on screen.  Then, as the camera shows a shot of a golf ball falling towards it, we hear another sound effect to increase our impression that the golf ball is going to hit somewhere that it should not.  The sound tells us this by humorously mimicking the sound of a bomb approaching impact with the ground.  Finally, there is a sound effect to enhance the on screen action of the golf ball painfully hitting Ted Knight’s character in the crotch.  Next, the scene offers music when Rodney Dangerfield turns on a hidden stereo in his golf bag and begins to dance on the golf course.  The music enhances the silly humor and dancing as it is obnoxiously loud and clearly upsetting to Ted Knight’s character, who hits a poor golf shot as a result of the distraction.  Finally, we see dialogue at the end of the scene between Ted Knight and his caddy.  His caddy attempts to seek some sort of assistance or advice from Ted Knight’s character as he sadly tells the tale of how his family is broke and he cannot attend law school.  All of the sound related events of this scene have so negatively affected Ted Knight’s character at this point that he only can reply, unsympathetically, “Well the world needs ditch diggers too”.

These uses of sound in this scene help to clearly identify Caddyshack as a sports comedy that also utilizes slapstick humor.  Failure to utilize the sound effects would have dramatically affected the realism of the scene, thus disconnecting the audience from the on screen action.  Without the music added into the scene, it would have resulted in characters awkwardly dancing silently and failing to further upset Ted Knight’s character.  Finally, without the dialogue at the end of the scene, we would have been deprived of the climatic one-liner to which the scene builds.


chrisofduke. (2006, Jun 17). The Wilhelm Scream Compilation [Video file].

        Retrieved from

tezzrexx. (2006, Aug 30). Caddyshack clip [Video file]. Retrieved from       


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Caddyshack – Week 2

As seen in the link above, Caddyshack is filmed mostly using high-key lighting.  I believe this was a good choice and contributed to the theme of the movie.  The benefits of high-key lighting is a very well lit movie with few shadows, reducing dramatic effects.  The purpose of the lighting in Caddyshack was to create a bright mood which enhanced the humor in every scene.  Had the director chosen a different technique, such as low-key lighting, it would have created a confusing message for the audience.  On one hand, the dialogue and acting would have remained humorous, while the darker lighting would have created a dramatic impression.  This would leave the audience confused about how to really feel as they watched the film.

A notable exception is in the scene below, where Chevy Chase’s character seduces a woman.  Low-key lighting is used to help create a romantic feeling to the scene, yet it remains as humorous as any other scene.  This contradiction actually enhances the scene.  It becomes so funny because Chevy Chase is seemingly sincere in his attempts at seduction, while behaving in a manner that couldn’t be less romantic or seductive.


ptd077s. (2007, Oct 21). Caddyshack Love Song. [Video File]. Retrieved from

SayaBencong. (2012, May 1). Bill Murray’s story about the Dalai Lama. [Video File]. Retrieved from

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Caddyshack – Week 1


Film:  Caddyshack, released 1980

Writers:  Brian Doyle-Murray, Harold Ramis, Douglas Kenney

Director:  Harold Ramis

Starring:  Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, Bill Murray, Ted Knight, Michael O’Keefe

Story:  The story revolves around an exclusive golf club, it’s unruly employees and caddies, it’s uptight members, and one new prospective member who upsets the status quo.  It tells the tale of daily life at an expensive country club through the eyes of a caddy, one unusual member, the club president, the head greenskeeper, and one possible new member.

Plot:  The possible new member, Al Czervik, immediately conflicts with the club president, Judge Smails, both personally and professionally.  Czervik is loud, obnoxious, and offensive to Smails and represents the part of society that Smails believes should not be a part of his club.  The caddy, Danny Noonan, is struggling to find a way to pay for college and tries to gain Judge Smails’ favor by caddying for him and winning the caddy scholarship golf tournament.  Ty Webb, the unusual member, is an exceptional golfer and offers Danny life advice and a perspective very different from that of Smails.  The head greenskeeper, Carl Spackler, is directed by Smails to deal with a pesky gopher that is damaging the golf course with it’s many gopher holes.  Ultimately, these characters all come together as Smails challenges Czervik to a high stakes golf tournament where Ty and Danny both play.  Ty begins as Czervik’s teammate, but after Czervik cannot continue due to injury, Danny replaces him.  Danny is ultimately successful in winning the tournament for Czervik thanks to Spackler’s explosive final attempt at eliminating the gopher.

This film is presented chronologically, which works very well as it all builds toward a very explosive and entertaining climax.  Had it been presented in another manner, the ending would not be the over the top comedic payoff that represents the ultimate ridiculousness of country club elitism.  It allows the audience to just enjoy following along in the club’s ongoing activities without much concern for where it is leading, until the golf match begins near the end.  By then, the audience has grown fond of Czervik, Webb, Noonan, Spackler, and equally despises Smails.  It allows the audience to actively root for the protagonists and gleefully enjoy the climatic ending.


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