HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Buddies
Threshold
Perfectly Normal Family, A
Ravage
Honeymoon Phase, The
One Summer
Bird Island
Variety
Devil to Pay, The
Gypsy
Lost in London
Divorce Italian Style
Becky
Salon Kitty
Misbehaviour
Charles, Dead or Alive
Gretel and Hansel
Mademoiselle
Tunnel, The
India Song
Last Rhino, The
Made in Hong Kong
Ring of Spies
Rom Boys: 40 Years of Rad
Pocketful of Miracles
The Tomb: Devil's Revenge
Sidecar Racers
Space Dogs
Out/Marriage
Safety Last!
Bride Who Has Returned from Hell, The
Show Boat
Savage
City Called Dragon, A
I Used to Go Here
Six Suspects
Still the Water
Not Now, Comrade
I'm Thinking of Ending Things
Wives of the Skies
   
 
Newest Articles
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
   
 
  Back to School Educating Rodney
Year: 1986
Director: Alan Metter
Stars: Rodney Dangerfield, Sally Kellerman, Burt Young, Keith Gordon, Robert Downey Jr, Paxton Whitehead, Terry Farrell, M. Emmet Walsh, Adrienne Barbeau, William Zabka, Ned Beatty, Severn Darden, Sam Kinison, Robert Picardo, Edie McClurg, Timothy Stack
Genre: ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: Thornton Melon (Rodney Dangerfield) never went to college as his father had always wanted him to, but he hasn't let it hold him back as now in middle age he is a very successful businessman who owns the chain of Tall & Fat department stores for the larger figure. However, his son Jason (Keith Gordon) has gone to further education, and Thornton is missing him, calling him up on the phone to make sure he is doing fine. But he isn't, and is seriously considering dropping out - what could possibly make him change his mind?

After Caddyshack was such a hit, one of its standout stars was comedian Rodney Dangerfield who was awarded his own vehicles thereafter, although some would argue he never really matched his golfer role in that cult favourite. One thing that Caddyshack didn't have and Back to School did was a strong moral to impart to the kids, as it was too busy making the audience laugh to want to make them muse over doing the right thing in life, all too clearly because its characters were amusing because they were so badly behaved.

In this, however, the structure was reminscent of one of those eighties sitcoms, even if the jokes were stronger stuff than you might have heard on American network television of the day, some of them anyway. Meaning you were invited to chuckle along with Dangerfield as he trampled the rest of the cast underfoot through sheer weight of personality, but also had to take on board the lesson, appropriately enough, that you should stay in college and get educated. Compress this down to thirty minutes with commercials, and you had a TV episode that made you laugh and then went to what the writers of the form called "the shit bit" as epilogue.

But if you were willing to overlook that way you were being preached to by a Rodney Dangerfield comedy of all things, it was easy to see why Back to School had been embraced by his fans for all this time: and that was the preponderance of one-liners in the comic's trademarked fashion. Dialogue such as pointing out his ex-wife was so independent that during sex she used to call out her own name, or on learning an attractive young lady's favourite subject is poetry he invites her to straighten out his Longfellow were exactly what his audience wanted to hear. The business with Jason was wholly superfluous to the humour.

If anything it dragged it down as Thornton enrols himself at his son's university both to catch up on the learning he missed out on, and to encourage his offspring to stick with it by example. The cast was filled out with familiar faces, with fellow comedian Sam Kinison making a rare screen appearance as the history lecturer who naturally gets that bit carried away, Ned Beatty as the memorably named Dean Martin, Robert Downey Jr as the teen movie requisite wacky best friend, Burt Young as Thornton's bodyguard/chauffeur, and a young Terry Farrell of Star Trek fame as Jason's crush. They're all fine, and Dangerfield got Sally Kellerman as love interest, but every one of them was overwhelmed by his presence, making for a curious campus comedy that had a man in his fifties as the star; call it high concept, as enough was funny, yet had you wishing they'd ditched the lecturing. Music by Danny Elfman (who also appeared).
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3359 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: