STUDIO: Warner | DIRECTOR: Harold Ramis | CAST: Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, Michael O’Keefe
RELEASE DATE: 6/8/2010 | PRICE: Blu-ray $24.98
BONUSES: featurette, documentary
SPECS: R | 99 min. | comedy | 1.33:1 | DTS-HD | English and French subtitles
One of the most loved comedies of the 1980s, Caddyshack gets its Blu-ray debut as the movie celebrates its 30th birthday, and it’s a nice present for fans.
This is not the movie’s high-definition debut, as it was released on the now defunct HD DVD in 2006. For the Blu-ray version, the audio and video are good, but viewers will wonder if they put in the right disc when the movie first starts to play, as the picture is soft and there’s noticeable dirt in a few areas. However, once the opening credits are over, the picture sharpens up and looks great.
For special features, the Blu-ray offers the 31-minute behind-the-scenes featurette “Caddyshack: The 19th Hole,” which was created for the special edition DVD released in 1999 and was included on the HD DVD version. It contains interviews with stars Chevy Chase and Bill Murray and director Harold Ramis, among others.
But for this 30th anniversary return to Bushwood Country Club, the Blu-ray also has a new 90-minute documentary, Caddyshack: The Inside Story. Although it reveals some of the same information as the shorter featurette, it offers up lots of additional behind-the-scenes stories that fans might not have heard. Thirty years on, it’s as if Ramis, stars Michael O’Keefe, Cindy Morgan and Scott Colomby, as well as producers and others, are enjoying themselves as they chat about the not so golden moments of filming. They hold no punches as they reminisce about production. As well as the usual discussions of script development, casting, editing, etc., the interviewees dish on the amount of drugs taken on the set, the partying, the fighting, Rodney Dangerfield’s approach to his first movie role, the insecurities of the studio, and how filming was halted for a hurricane.
Among the tidbits revealed are: Mickey Rourke was the first actor Ramis and the producers wanted for O’Keefe’s role of Danny; Morgan’s diving pool scene was a challenge because the actress is legally blind without her contacts and she couldn’t wear them for that scene; and Bill Murray’s grounds keeper character was initially a tiny role, but thanks to Murray’s ad-libbing (“Cinderella story” he wrote himself), the character was given much more screen time. But the 90 minutes offers many, many, many more fun stories.
Sadly two of the movie’s funniest actors, Murray and Chase, are noticably absent from this newer documentary. It’s a shame for fans, but the documentary doesn’t suffer from it. And neither does the Blu-ray package.
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