On July 25, 1980, a little movie called 'Caddyshack' premiered in theaters, but no one could anticipate that it would become one of the greatest comedies of all time. Directed by Harold Ramis, the ramshackle story of the slobs and snobs of a private golf club amassed a dream team of comedy talents ranging from Chevy Chase to Rodney Dangerfield to Bill Murray.
In addition to featuring the finest performance ever from an animatronic gopher, the film was also a smash hit when it debuted, providing endless quotes to generations of fans. So it's got that going for it ... which is nice.
From DVD commentaries to various interviews, the story behind the making of 'Caddyshack' has become almost as legendary as the film itself. Celebrate the movie's 30th anniversary with our list of 'Caddyshack trivia.
30 Things You Might Not Know About 'Caddyshack'
1. Bill Murray's classic "Cinderella story" moment came from two simple lines of direction. Harold Ramis asked Murray to play the scene like a kid who pretends he's a sports broadcaster; Murray asked for a few rows of flowers and then improvised. He did the scene in one take, too.
2. Co-writer/co-star Brian Doyle-Murray worked as a teenage caddie at the Indian Hill Club in Winnetka, IL. Brothers Bill and John Murray (who was a production assistant on the film) also worked as caddies, in addition to director Harold Ramis. The movie was inspired by Doyle-Murray's experiences and the people he encountered
3. The gag in which Al Czervik hits Judge Smails below the belt was based on an actual incident that happened to Ramis.
4. The original plot for 'Caddyshack' revolved around Danny Noonan's conflicts with the characters played by Ted Knight and Scott Collomby. Chevy Chase, Bill Murray and Rodney Dangerfield were only supposed to have cameo-sized roles, but their improvisational routines were so successful that their characters were continuously expanded. As result, Knight and Collomby's roles were reduced for screen time -- much to their annoyance.
5. The notorious Baby Ruth scene is based off a real-life incident that took place at Brian Doyle-Murray's high school.
6. Bill Murray and Chevy Chase's one scene together almost didn't happen. Ramis realized that the movie's two biggest stars never shared any screentime, so he, along with Murray and Chase, wrote the scene during lunch and shot it later that day. Even more remarkably, Murray and Chase did not get along because of an infamous fight that occurred years before backstage at 'Saturday Night Live.'
7. Despite being regarded as genuinely loving man off-screen, by the end of the shoot, Ted Knight could not stand the constant improvisation.
8. Cindy Morgan and Chevy Chase's oil massage scene was also improvised. Chase pouring an entire bottle of oil on her was unplanned, prompting an unscripted "You're crazy!" from Morgan.
9. The Gopher scenes were written and filmed on a separate sound-stage after most of the movie was shot, using better quality film stock and cameras, which explains why those scenes look so different. No expenses were spared on the puppet.
10. One of Cindy Morgan's most popular moments is her dive into the club pool. Morgan is legally blind without glasses or contacts. On top of that, she's afraid of heights. Even with using a professional diver for the stunt, just getting her to climb up the high-dive was a concern on set.
11. Like the character of Danny Noonan, the eldest Murray brother, Ed, actually won a caddie scholarship. The Chick Evans Caddie Scholarship helped pay his way through Northwestern University.
12. Carl Spackler was based on a police officer/shell-shocked veteran that Harold Ramis knew.
13. Bill Murray told the Augusta Chronicle in 2001: "I've worked in every aspect of the sport. I've been a caddie, a greenskeeper, worked in the [pro shop] and then become a player and a member of the club."
14. After playing cigarette-smoking tough guy Tony, Scott Colomby actually became addicted to the habit.
15. 'Caddyshack' was Dangerfield's first major movie role, and despite his years as a hilarious stand-up, he was nervous about his performance; he constantly asked co-star Cindy Morgan if he was doing okay.
16. The Gopher's noises were supplied by the dolphin sound effects used on the '60s show 'Flipper.'
17. Harold Ramis told GQ Magazine that he "can barely watch it. All I see are a bunch of compromises and things that could have been better." With the exception of Michael O'Keefe, he thinks everyone had a poor golf swing.
18. 'Caddyshack' is Tiger Woods' favorite movie.
19. In the London Daily Telegraph, Clark Collis claimed that the 'Caddyshack' filming experience was "an 11-week party which has become legendary even by Hollywood standards."
20. In what's probably the furthest thing from Kenny Loggins, Harold Ramis originally wanted the 'Caddyshack' score to be made up entirely of Pink Floyd songs. (The studio rejected that idea.)
21. The New York Times' review of the film called it "immediately forgettable."
22. One of the more popular, sarcastic routines between Ty and Danny was performed as:
Ty: "Do you take drugs, Danny?"
Danny: "Every day."
But for television, the exchange was altered to:
Ty: "Danny, can I ask you a question -- do you do drugs?"
Ty: "Good boy."
23. Ty Webb's Zen philosophy came from co-writer and National Lampoon founder Doug Kenney, who, according to Doyle-Murray, "had an idea for a putter with electromagnetic sensors that would signal you to putt when you'd reach alpha state."
24. Outside of the U.S., the film's biggest success was in Denmark, where distributors cut out 20 minutes, allowing them to emphasize Bill Murray's character.
25. The American Film Institute ranked the movie #71 on its list of "100 Years, 100 Laughs," ranked the "Cinderellas Story" at #92 on its list of "100 Movies, 100 Quotes," and ranked it #7 on its list of "Top 10 Sports Movies."
26. The Murray Brothers opened the "Murray Bros. Caddyshack Restaurant" at the World Golf Village, near St. Augustine, FL. The decor resembles the Bushwood Country Club, and the Murrays are known to stop in from time to time. Ask for the Baby Ruth Cheesecake.
27. The explosion at the end of the film was so big, a pilot reported it to the nearby Fort Lauderdale Airport, thinking it was a plane crash.
28. Danny's winning shot hangs on the edge of the cup for almost a full minute, which under official rules, would result in a penalty stroke -- and the loss of the game. However, because Lou the caddie master is recognized by both teams as the official referee, his decision to rule the shot is valid.
29. Chevy Chase was the only castmember to return for 'Caddyshack 2,' and later regretted the decision. Producers also begged Rodney Dangerfield to return. Upon reading the script, he threw it in the trash can.
30. On a visit to the United States, the Dalai Lama was asked by Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura if he'd seen 'Caddyshack.' He said no; but according to Ventura, before he left, he turned to the governor and said, "Gunga, gunga la-gunga."