11 Things to Look for the Next Time You Watch Caddyshack
Cinderella story. Outta nowhere. A former greenskeeper, now, about to become the Masters champion. It looks like a mirac ... It's in the hole! It's in the hole! It's in the hole! But was it actually in the hole? Here are a few things to look out for the next time you watch the Harold Ramis, Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, and Rodney Dangerfield golf classic Caddyshack, which arrived in theaters on July 25, 1980.
1. The gopher knows where he's going.
During the opening credits, the pesky gopher terrorizing Bushwood Country Club can be seen tunneling under the fairways and greens, ruining the golf course as he goes along. In one of the shots, the path the gopher takes is visible by darker grass before he even gets there.
The low-budget special effects can be chalked up to the fact that the gopher wasn’t added until after the movie wrapped. The producers suggested they increase the role of the gopher, turning it into the narrative through-line that tied the film's bits together, so the hastily thrown together puppet and pathways were included later.
2. Nebraska looks gorgeous this time of year.
The fictional Bushwood Country Club was actually Rolling Hills Country Club (now Grande Oaks) in Davie, Florida, and was inspired by the Indian Hill Country Club in the Chicago suburbs where Murray and his brothers were caddies growing up. But it’s supposed to take place in Nebraska in the actual movie.
The geographical conundrum gets more complicated as palm trees can be seen in the scene where Danny eats and jumps out of the window behind his house to head to work. Of course, Nebraska doesn’t have palm trees.
3. Carl Spackler and Lou Loomis are brothers.
Loomis, the Caddyshack’s manager and the only character to utter the title of the movie, is played by Bill Murray’s brother, Brian Doyle-Murray, who is also one of the movie’s co-writers. Doyle-Murray and co-screenwriter Douglas Kenney (who co-wrote the film with director Harold Ramis) initially pitched the movie as “Animal House on a golf course.”
The character of Danny Noonan (Michael O'Keefe), who sets out to win the caddie tournament scholarship, was actually based on Doyle-Murray’s older brother Ed, who won a similar golf prize when they were young.
4. The storm isn't much of a storm.
During the fateful (and hilarious “Rat Farts”) storm where Spackler caddies for Bishop Pickering, the wind and rain nearly blow the two characters over—but it’s a bit of movie trickery at work. You can see trees in the background standing perfectly still, giving away the wind machine effect causing the “storm."
5. The judge changes ties without us knowing.
Al Czervik (Rodney Dangerfield) is quite the stylish golfer. Judge Smails (Ted Knight) is not. Maybe that’s why when Czervik gets into an argument with Smails in the clubhouse causing the judge to try to choke him, Smails is wearing one tie.
But when they move to the judge’s office with Ty Webb (Chevy Chase) and Czervik challenges him to a golf bet, the judge is wearing a completely different tie.
6. Carl hunts gophers all day and all night.
During the nighttime party scene at the club, where Czervik makes fun of the judge, Spackler is outside with his gun hunting the gopher. As he moves from tree to tree, you can see that these scenes were shot during the day—even though Spackler is trying to corner the gopher at night.
7. The infamous pool scene wouldn't happen in real life.
When some pranksters at Bushwood drop a Baby Ruth candy bar into the pool—a scene that was culled from the Murray kids' real-life high school exploits—it causes some mistaken fecal-related mayhem for the unfortunate swimmers.
The candy floats around on the top of the water, only to make Spackler drain the pool and take a bite for himself. But even though the Murray brothers grafted their own hijinks onto the screen, it wouldn’t happen exactly how it did in the movie. Baby Ruth bars don’t float.
8. Al Czervik is an unorthodox boater.
When Czervik is buzzing around on his boat and ruins Judge Smails’ own boat launch before almost running over someone in a row boat, the footage is splashing toward the bow of the boat instead of away, meaning the footage is being played in reverse for some reason.
9. The caddies swap shirts.
Czervik’s wake isn’t the only puzzling reverse seen in Caddyshack. During the big golf bet game, employees, club members, and other caddies are seen sneaking in between trees to spot the action. The logos on their t-shirts are in reverse.
It’s possible Ramis—in his first directorial gig—shot the actors sneaking one way, and realized it didn’t match up with the continuity of the direction of the golf game and simply flipped the film to make it seem like everyone was going in the same direction.
10. One caddie doesn't like the camera very much.
During the scene where Smails, Czervik, and Webb sit at the snack hut and make the $80,000 bet, Motormouth, the caddie in the green and white striped shirt, flips the bird to the camera. He can also be seen giving the NSFW gesture while holding the pin flag on the 18th hole while Danny makes his fateful putt.
11. The ending of Caddyshack breaks all the rules of betting.
During the end scene, when Dr. Beeper and Judge Smails are on the final hole of the match against Ty Webb and Danny Noonan, the game is all squared up and all the young caddie needs to do is sink his putt to tie the match. But Czervik offers Smails a double-or-nothing bet. Even though the judge accepts those terms, he shouldn’t have taken that bet: He technically stood to make $40,000 or simply walk away with no money out of his pocket. Instead he risks $80,000 to potentially make another $40,000 on a game he didn’t lose.
This story has been updated for 2020.