Back to School (1986) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
85 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
7/10
Revenge of the 80's:The reinvention of Rodney Dangerfield continues..
Captain_Couth25 January 2005
Back to School (1986) was a surprise hit for stand up comedian actor Rodeny Dangerfield. After making a big impression with audiences with his spot in the golf comedy Caddyshack and a lead role in Easy Money, his star was slowly rising. But it was this film that cemented his spot in American pop culture as a true icon of the 80's and a transition star.

Rodney stars as Thorton Melon (nee Meloni) a successful entrepreneur who had to drop out of school when he was younger to take care of the family business. Years later his son is in college but feel dissatisfied with life in general. After a series of comical events, Mr. Melon decides to visit his son's exclusive university to see how he's really doing. Along the way he decides to give book learning a try.

A very enjoyable film. Rodney Dangerfield made the transaction from a stand-up act to an actor. The director wisely let him improvise his dialog and work in some of his material into the movie. The cast features Sally Kellerman, Robert Downey Jr., Keith Gordon, Burt Young, Terry Farrell and guest star slots for Adrienne Barbeau and Ned Beatty.

Not a masterpiece by any means but an enjoyable film none the less. Recommended, especially on a slow Sunday afternoon.
45 out of 49 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Classic Dangerfield
daveisit7 December 2000
Rodney Dangerfield made this movie with his hilarious one liners. I still find myself quoting many of these lines which he delivers beautifully throughout the movie. The more you watch it the funnier it gets, and I'll be watching it for a few more decades yet.
35 out of 39 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
How great would it be to have Rodney Dangerfield in your class!
Shapster117 January 2001
A funny post-Animal House college film with a pretty distinguished cast. In addition to Dangerfield, who is terrific as usual, we also get to see Sally Kellerman, Burt Young, Ned Beatty, and an introduction to the brilliance of Robert Downey Jr. who is unforgettable as Derek Lutz. Although the movie is silly, lacking any convincing realism or plot, it is nontheless wonderful fun...especially if you are a Dangerfield fan. His rendition of "Twist and Shout" is a classic. And the scene at registration where his chauffeur Lou, played by the redoubtable Young, is priceless when he holds up a sign by the limo with Bruce Springstein's name on it and all the students rush out to mob the car while Dangerfield, his son, his son's love interest, and Lutz have the pick of classes.

Generally good viewing when you want a brainless, fun night.
19 out of 20 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Prime Rodney Dangerfield With Strong Supporting Cast
DKosty12314 October 2005
This in many ways is the best Dangerfield film. Harold Ramis is genius in working in a lot of Dangerfield quips into the script. The movie flows well, and the supporting cast is appropriate & stronger than any of Rodney's other films.

Sally Kellerman is in her best form since M*A*S*H as the English Professor who is Rodney's love interest. Robert Downey Jr. is cast perfectly as a character who resembles him in real life - a drugged out pacifist who protests campus life & all about it without knowing what message he is really sending. The actors who play straight men for Rodney from Dean Martin to the Business Professor are perfectly cast.

The late Sam Kinneson is perfect in his small role in this as the History Professor. Wish he could have done more work like this. If there any extra scenes of him cut in this film, it would be great if they could be restored.

Harold Ramis, who also did work ranging from GHOSTBUSTERS (trendy) to GROUND HOG DAY (classic), touches show in the script. He works Rodney's character in perfect & the plot shows some of the imagination that makes Bill Murrays classic comedy so great. He allows Rodney to be himself, but frames his character so well that he is a perfect a fit as the clothing store Mellon runs.

Special kudos to Mellon's son, as he plays straight very well to his dad. Weakest of the cast is the girlfriend, but she is not given quite enough script to work with here so she makes do with what she has. At least she does OK with it.

All the characters show a lot of class & this film is a fine comedy from start to finish.
24 out of 26 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Typical 80's fun
sveknu13 May 2005
I don't think that Rodney Dangerfield is funny all the time, but in this comedy he delivers perfectly. He fits perfectly it the role of a rich, successful businessman who starts college to achieve a certificate, which he doesn't have. The way he does this in his own, relaxing and laid back-style is great and really funny. A very cool plot indeed, that's for sure. The movie is full of great fun and has many exciting moments in it, so I suggest that everyone check this out for themselves to experience that. The last scene on the diving board is especially great. Totally hilarious, and I laughed all the way through it.
15 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
good natured with a lot of laughs.
billybrown4118 December 2001
I love Rodney Dangerfield. Always have. His one-liners, and all-around smartass attitude have made him a living legend and he never fails to crack me up. Back to School is a great example of what he can do and I never get tired of watching it. Keith Gordon is great as his son and Robert Downey Jr. is pretty hysterical as his best bud. The ever-reliable Burt Young is a lot of fun as Dangerfield's limo-driver/best friend and he does his duty at supplying the laughs.

It's a shame that more people haven't seen this. I believe that it's one of Rodney's best. It's got a great premise, an outstanding cast, and the laughs are nonstop.
12 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
school is cool
lee_eisenberg1 June 2006
In what might be the apex of Rodney Dangerfield's career, he plays boorish millionaire Thornton Melon, finally attending college. The movie is really an excuse for Dangerfield to be a complete goof-off, containing every silly thing imaginable. Possibly the best line is Thornton's comment about Longfellow.

As for the other characters, Keith Gordon does OK as Thornton's son Jason, but Robert Downey Jr. is even neater as Jason's ultra-left-wing friend Derek, who even has a theory about the fascism of football. Sally Kellerman, Burt Young, M. Emmet Walsh, Adrienne Barbeau, Ned Beatty, Sam Kinison and Robert Picardo are all pretty good in their roles (there's even an appearance by Kurt Vonnegut). It's just that this is Rodney Dangerfield's movie all the way. I think that it's quite safe to assert that the Man Who Got No Respect will truly be missed.

A hilarious movie.
11 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Dangerfield University Lampoon Still Contains Truth
japamo14 October 2005
"Back to School" is a cherished member of my VHS collection not only because of the late but inimitably immortal Rodney Dangerfield and his outrageous persona, but also because of its laceration of a favorite satiric target - college. "Back to School" came out in 1986 -a year after I graduated from Tufts University- and it nearly perfectly encapsulates (if slightly exaggerates) and skewers college life during the heedlessly hedonistic and materialistic '80s.

At first Thorton Melon (Rodney's character in the movie) seemingly has two altruistic motives for applying to college: 1) personal improvement, and 2) desire to help his only son Jason (Kevin Gordon) succeed, especially when Thorton discovers that Jason is not exactly the epitome of the BMOC. However, once he essentially bribes his way into college by convincing the venally avaricious Dean Martin (he, he) to let him endow the Thorton Melon school of Business Administration, high school dropout Thorton apparently has it made. One might argue that this scenario is implausible, but given universities' rapacity for more cash, I could believe they would bend the rules to let wealthy Thorton in.

Thorton then proceeds to embody every college student's wet dream - to be the perpetually fun-loving slacker who has the dough to show himself and others an endless good time and buy himself out of any trouble! Again, philistine critics may argue that no college would tolerate Thorton's party-boy person; wouldn't the cops arrest him for the voyeuristic dormitory scene or the out-of-control party scene, instead of reprimanding him or bringing Lite beer (remember Rodney was one of the shills for Lite)? However, "Back to School"'s college satire necessarily must employ a little hyperbole to get its point across.

For example, in the classroom scenes with the history professor (the late Sam Kinison) and the business instructor (Paxton Whitehead), the movie does also go a little over the top but also tweaks college for its well-meaning but unrealistically theoretical approach (i.e. head up its a$$ approach) to working and life. Yeah, especially Thornton's take on the corruption and shady dealing it would really take to start a business really do have a germ of truth. Also, the way Thorton "prepares" for his classes -his secretary takes notes for him in class and his research team does his reports and homework- is off the wall but also possesses scientific veracity. I'm sure at Tufts and other colleges, some students never went to class and got others to take notes and do reports. However, (and this is one of my favorite scenes from the movie) only Thornton would heft a report created by his research team and crack, "I dunno; it feels like a "C"; add some more multicolored graphs"." And of course only Thornton would hire Kurt Vonnegut to appraise his own work.

Nevertheless, "Back to School" lets Rodney collide with harsh, poignant reality without sacrificing laughs. Thornton is failing his classes; even the professor most sympathetic to him (Sally Kellerman) suspects him of plagiarism. His son Jason angrily refuses to let Thornton's think tank do his astronomy work. Thornton will be expelled unless he passes a multi-part oral exam (!) by all of his course professors. After a pep talk from Thornton's chauffeur (Burt Young) about Thornton's "School of Hard Knocks" life, Jason realizes that just as his dad came to school to show him how to loosen up and enjoy life, he must show his dad how to handle college responsibilities. And isn't that what college is all about - balancing responsibility and fun to have a meaningfully productive experience?

Therefore, "Back to School" is more than just an "Animal House" retread. It uses Rodney's older, wry perspective (and those priceless one-liners) to point out both the absurdity and importance of college life. Heck, I would even recommend high school seniors applying to colleges to give "Back to School" a look if only to show them (with a grain of salt, of course) that while college is a worthwhile experience, it's also a unique, unfamiliar world all its own.

P.S.: I would advise Cedric the Entertainer to abandon his 2006 remake of "Back to School" as an ill-advised travesty.
18 out of 22 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Rodney You're a Genius!!!
jtindahouse7 April 2005
Without Rodney Dangerfield this movie would be in the bottom 100 for sure. However with Rodney Dangerfield (in my opinion) it should be considered for the top 75 comedies of all time.

Lines like "I like teachers. If you do something wrong they make you do it again" are what carry this movie. There's not a lot of them but when they do pop-up they're hilarious.

I do believe the director and producers made a mistake not taking Jim Carrey on for the role of the History Teacher because he was too young, because it wasn't a believable kind of movie any way. I must say though that the man who did play the History Teacher did a great job and seeing him teaching was one of the best parts of the movie.

So if your into comedies or a Rodney fan don't be put off by how old this movie is like I was because its age, if anything, makes the movie even better.
34 out of 45 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Classic Rodney about to be Cut to Ribbons
jfwilder19 August 2005
This is as classic (though campy) as Rodney gets. I just had to comment ahead of time that any remake of this, especially one involving Cedric the Entertainer, cannot possibly live up to the original.

I'm really tired of Hollywood trying to win over the hip-hoppy, shallow culture by instilling Cedrick the Entertainer in this remake-to-be when the original was done by a classic entertainer. What's next...a remake of Animal House with P-Diddy as Bluto (or whatever he calls himself these days)? Rodney is already turning over in his grave knowing how bad the remake is going to be. Somewhere up there I hope he can convince God to strike the set with thunderous bolts of lightning and 14 inch hailstones. Can't Hollywood leave well enough alone? Rodney, now that you're dead....they give you even less respect!
20 out of 26 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Rodney Dangerfield is Terrific
drednm16 December 2005
Rodney Dangerfield's best film and finest hour (or 2)... He plays a crass self-made millionaire whose son is away at college. After divorcing the second wife--a shrew (Adrienne Barbeau)--he drops in on the kid (Keith Gordon) to discover the kid is not if a fraternity or on the diving team. The kid wants to drop out so Rodney decides to go BACK TO SCHOOL to encourage the kid. Great premise.

Of course Rodney becomes a free-spending, beer-swilling college frosh to the delight of the student body and school administration. Rodney spews and almost unending barrage of jokes and one-liners and is hysterically funny. But beyond the crass character, this is one time when Dangerfield also shows some acting chops and some sweetness to his character. And it works! Top supporting cast helps out a lot too. Sally Kellerman is the English prof. Paxton Whitehead is the snotty business teacher. Robert Downey is the bizarro roomie. Ned Beatty plays Dean Martin. William Zabka is the obnoxious rival. Terry Farrell is the too-tall girl friend. Burt Young plays Lou the bodyguard. Edie McClurg is the secretary. Sam Kinison is the shell-shocked history prof. Severn Darden is the lab guy. M. Emmett Walsh is the diving coach. Jason Hervey is Dangerfield as a kid. And Danny Elfman appears as his Oingo Boingo self and scored the film.

The diving finale is hysterically funny and the perfect ending for this sweet and funny movie.
5 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
You're a Melon!
snelling12 May 2001
I had forgotten how much "f"-ing fun this movie is! I remember having enjoyed it when it came out fifteen years ago, but who knew it could stand beside 'Caddyshack' as a timeless comedy about the anti-establishment starring some guy in his fifties?

Nowadays you could never assemble such a talented cast for such a light-weight comedy. The best thing about this film is its restraint to avoid easy, obvious jokes. The humor is simple and inoffensive and the characters are believable in this setting. Here, a college world is created that could never be, but we are sucked in because the story makes its own rules and doesn't go overboard trying to be unconventional. Even when the late Sam Kinison as a history teacher is screaming about Vietnam, we buy it because his schtick is funny, to-the-point and above all, brief. The individual jokes come so fast that even if you don't like one specific bit, it's over in the blink of an eye and another zinger is right behind it.

The stock characters are all here but they are never boring or entirely predictable. The pretty teacher played by Sally Kellerman is smart and honest. Although she would probably never be attracted physically to someone like Rodney Dangerfield, we can see how she would be drawn to him because of his popularity with the other students. The stuffy business teacher (Paxton Whitehead) would also be on hand to try and keep the rowdies down, but if this were made today, he'd end up in the hospital or worse due to a college prank. The only disappointment is Keith Gordon who plays Dangerfield's son. He's not charismatic enough to play such a major role, but his love interest Terry Farrell is just as bland so they're perfect for each other. Robert Downey Jr. is perfect as the misfit rebel. Something tells me he was really like this growing up which is why he is still thumbing his nose at authority and sitting in jail or rehab as I write this. Adrienne Barbeau is, as usual, playing the busty bitch, but I've been in love with her since 'Maude.' Burt Young as Rodney's chauffeur is basically playing Pauley from 'Rocky' while wearing different funny hats (why the beret at the diving meet?). Ned Beatty and M. Emmet Walsh are also on hand to round out the school faculty with their character acting chops firmly in place (actually I always thought they were the same person).

There are classic scenes that will not be forgotten. The young Rodney in 1940. The bookstore spending spree. The secretary taking notes in Rodney's absence. The last-minute studying session. The combining of three dorm rooms into one. The Kurt Vonnegut Jr. scene. I already mentioned Sam Kinison but it bears repeating. The 'Twist and Shout' song. The hot-tub party. And, of course, the Triple Lindy.

All this and Danny Elfman and Harold Ramis to boot. If you haven't seen this and you're a fan of Rodney, shame on you. Go get it tonight. Right now! Go, before someone beats you to it.
5 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Awesome
nelsons-123 February 2003
This movie displays Rodney Dangerfield at his finest. I loved his down to earth character, showing how the REAL WORLD exists compared to the text book. The actors portray a great amount of energy in their characters making the film very lively. This movie goes to show there is nothing a parent won't do to help their child.
7 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
"Why don't you call me sometime when you have no class?"
utgard143 July 2014
Self-made millionaire Thornton Melon (Rodney Dangerfield) enrolls in college to help his son (Keith Gordon), who's having trouble fitting in. Doesn't take long before Thornton is the big man on campus, which doesn't sit well with everybody. Very funny comedy that never gets old. The cast is wonderful. Rodney Dangerfield is hilarious and his one-liners come one after the other. His best starring role, for sure. Sam Kinison is a riot. Loved every scene he was in. A young Robert Downey, Jr. is also lots of fun. Not for those who overthink their movies. This is for people who like to have fun and laugh. They got Kurt Vonnegut to appear in this! How cool is that? An '80s classic you have to see.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
turn off your brain and laugh
MartinHafer20 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Okay, this isn't a super well-written film, as it has a few lags here and there (such as the ridiculous way Rodney is able to pass the test towards the end of the film). And, at times the acting is totally cheesy and downright poor (Keith Gordon and Paxton Whitehead are standouts for their poor performances). But, despite all this, someone was really thinking as this movie allowed Rodney Dnagerfield to let loose and be funny--giving him enough plot but not too much plot for his brand of humor. Plus, some of the supporting cast, such as Robert Downey and Sam Kineson, are really funny and don't get in the way of the fun.

Rodney is a rich guy with not an ounce of class. On a lark, he enrolls in the same college as his son and creates mayhem where ever he goes. Some great laughs plus you get to hear Rodney sing TWIST AND SHOUT.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Rodney's Best Movie Ever
the93man4 November 2001
Ever since i was four years old,this movie has been my favorite.Rodney Dangerfield stars as Thornton Melon,a self-made millionare who gets a second chance at college to be with his son who wants to quit cuz he can't get any friends or make the diving team.Throughout the film Rodney makes hilarious wise-cracks and metaphors as usual(a la"Caddyshack","Easy Money"),he also has a chemistry between him and Sally Kellerman,his teacher he falls in love with.The movie is full of silly,inspired,and ocassionally crude humor.Sam Kinison has a cameo as a former mental patient history teacher who blames his students on the Korean War.Very funny.A young Robert Downey(Jr.)stars as his Jason Melon's weirdo friend(with various hair-do's that are also funny)Derek Lutz,and Burt Young(famous for Pauly in the"Rocky"series)stars as Rodney's tough italian chaffaur Lou.And all these charecters are so funny,it makes this movie great.Back To School Rules,10 of 10.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
A Dangerfield Romp
teren2 September 2001
Back to School is Rodney's vehicle for an hour and a half of fun and quick laughs. He shares writing credits, stars, and appears in just about every scene.

I absolutely was in stitches with some of the one-liners, and visuals, but I won't divulge even one of them!!!

The casting was probably done by several people expressing opposing styles of acting. There didn't seem to be any gel there.

Performances: Sally Kellerman (the love interest), Adrienne Barbeau (briefly as the unscrupulous wife), Burt Young (same act, no matter the role), a baby-faced Robert Downey Jr (who was sorely underused, and should've been cast as Rodney's son), and cameo roles by Kurt Vonnegut Jr, M Emmet Walsh, and a hillarious Sam Kinison.

Rodney also takes a sarcastic poke at the ivory towers, apparently echoing some autobigraphical sentiment towards self-made men, such as himself, who make it big despite not having fancy diplomas to back them up. One such scene puts his street smarts squarley at odds with a hooty professor who gets a lesson himself in how to open a manufacturing plant in the real world.

If you like Rodney Dangerfield, rent this movie.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Dangerfield's best movie.
movieman-140827 April 2005
Very funny movie, the lead role could only be played by Dangerfield he was perfect in it. This movie has the funnest lines of probably any other Dangerfield movie. I really like caddy shack easy money was pretty funny too. But this was his best movie work i think. i am huge Dangerfield fan i really miss him. he was my favorite comedian of all time. Its movies like this that fans of his can enjoy again and again several funny n memorable parts. n some great lines. I wish he was in more movies that were this funny. Ladybugs wasn't half as funny as this. or meet wally sparks. This however is the movie he should be best remembered for.
4 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
Witty, fast, fun: a keeper
fjhuerta-226 February 2002
A very funny film. Classic Rodney Dangerfield's one-liners mixed with some fun skits. The movie is awfully devoid of any plot, or semblance to reality to college life, but this doesn't detract from its overall crazyness. The thing that impresses the most here is Rodney's fast one-liners; not as crazy as Groucho's ones, but equally sarcastic and maddening.

"And remember: the best thing about our kids... is making 'em!"
5 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Fun, Funny, and Feel-good
The_Dman31329 December 2018
What I liked: +Amazing opening! Not only does it establish and juxtapose the rest of the film, but it exerts a nostalgic, photographic, black and white style not seen for the rest of the film. Although it's disappointing that the director didn't keep the creative mojo up, this single sequence still shows his inventiveness and feels purely his own.

+The cast is full of colorful characters! Some with limited screen time still make their character quirks come out, striking it as memorable. These characters are entertaining to watch, and it's through their performance that they actually feel even plausible. This adds sincerity to these roles, where at times they seem to lack on the page.

+The cast works well off each other. With each character comes a sense of predictability (I say this in a good way), making us savor and expect each response. Each response then feels like a situation that deserves our attention.

+Rodney Dangerfield is charming! Maybe it's his happy go lucky attitude or the fact that he's actually a nice guy with intentions, but he's just really likable and fun to watch. It makes the whole film all the easier to laugh at.

+This is a film with respect for it's style. Yes, it's over the top, but it's consistent with that. They give each emotion the right amount of sensitivity. With each joke they always fit it into the context of the story, feeling true throughout.

What I disliked: -There are some dumb plot points. They never truly feel representative of real people, which sucks since the film is full of interesting people who could use depth. Still, it established the plot fast and doesn't hinder the entertainment value too much.

-A couple of side characters whom held importance could have had more screen time and depth. This is evident with the son's girlfriend who is just a cliche.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Fun Charming Rodney Dangerfield
SnoopyStyle2 October 2013
Thornton Melon (Rodney Dangerfield) disobeyed his father about school but still became a big rich success as the owner of Big and Tall stores. He can't stand his high maintenance cheating wive. When he visits his son Jason (Keith Gordon), he finds that Jason isn't the big man on campus like he assumed. Jason wants to quit college. Now Thornton must enroll in school to keep Jason from quitting.

It's great to see Robert Downey Jr as Jason's wacky manic best friend. Sally Kellerman is Thornton's love interest. Burt Young is Thornton's body man. Terry Farrell is Jason's object of desire. Keith Gordon is great as the lead. Rodney Dangerfield is his lovable self. This movie is driven by his immense charm. There's a lot of it around and that's what saves this movie.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
You're A Melon!
AaronCapenBanner26 September 2013
Rodney Dangerfield stars as Thornton Melon, a self-made millionaire whose one big regret in life was that he never went to college. When his son Jason(played by Keith Gordon) says that he wants to drop out of college, his father makes him a deal; if Jason stays enrolled, he'll enroll himself, which starts a comedic chain of events that will change their lives,(and the college!) forever.

Reasonably good-natured comedy has Rodney's bright performance and self-mocking routine going for it, and the hilarious scenes with Sam Kinison as a most unorthodox(and angry) history teacher. Other aspects and characters are not so funny or believable, but film's pluses outweigh the negatives in this amusing comedy.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
You get my respect, Rodney!
DeltaHomicide20 September 2012
Rodney Dangerfield exudes great charm, and in Back to School he really shines. A gifted stand-up comedian, Rodney is an old school Las Vegas comic known for delivering scathing, self-deprecating, yet wholesomely witty one-liners. His unique comedy is further enhanced by his bulbous eyes, deep voice and hysterical intonations.

Rodney plays Thornton Melon, an eccentric millionaire, doting father, and former college diving competition champ. Thornton went from rags to riches selling men's custom-tailored suits to the big and tall.

His only child and son Jason is a freshman in college, painfully single, and having a tough time adjusting to academia, campus life, and his chosen sport - diving. Hilarity ensues when Thornton comes to his son's rescue by enrolling in the same university, partying, throwing money around and slacking off. Then he is literally put to the test, having to pass a series of exams, or get expelled by his nemesis, the pompous Dr. Phillip Barbay, Dean of Students.

Thornton also has to learn to stop smothering his son and be a normal dad. Of course, Rodney doesn't do normal, which brings the laughs consistently, with an explosive dive competition-climax that has to be seen to be believed.

Back to School immortalized Rodney Dangerfield like no other movie. This movie also has a great supporting cast (Burt Lancaster and the late Sam Kinison come to mind) and a fitting, cheery score by none other than Danny Elfman (three years before he did Batman and The Simpsons). You'll laugh and cheer for Thornton Melon, and after you do, you'll watch this wonderful 80's comedy gem again and again.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Oh, man, do I miss Rodney!
Smells_Like_Cheese30 September 2007
I was watching on VH1 I love the 80's and Back to School got a mention, I remember seeing it in my mother's VHS collection and I recently saw Easy Money, it was my first Rodney Dangerfield movie and I absolutely loved it. So I decided to go ahead and give Back to School a chance. I really had a good time watching it, I just miss comedies like this where it was dirty or over the top, it was just plain fun to watch and you have a good time viewing the film. Rodney is such a lovable goof and he always makes it look like he and the cast enjoy making these comedies. The story is so crazy, but so hilarious that it makes you wanna go back to school with Rodney and just have a good time with him and his son.

Thornton Melon's father made one thing clear to him at a young age, no matter how old, young, poor, rich you are, education is one of the most important things in life. Well, Thornton has grown into a successful clothes store owner and is very rich and powerful. But when his son, Jason, is discouraged with college, Thornton goes back to school to help encourage his son to get through it. While for Jason it's all studies and trying to fit in, it's all fun and games for Thornton and he's having the time of his life while being the big man on campus.

Back To School is a great comedy that I highly recommend, it's all in good fun and Rodney is just such a great comedian. I just loved it when he was going to the college to visit his son and he accidentally enters the sorority house and walks in on a girl showering and says "Oh, don't worry, you're perfect", lol, I just couldn't stop laughing. Also I loved Keith Gordon in the film, I can't believe this guy didn't make it big in acting, but he just does such a terrific job keeping up with Rodney. Back to School is a fun film and I'm sure you'll have a good time watching it.

7/10
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Dangerfield romps through college for his kid's sake...
Doylenf7 January 2007
He may be brash, bombastic, crude and uneducated and doesn't get much respect--but RODNEY DANGERFIELD gets just about all the laughs in this travesty of college life in the '80s. He's seen to it that it's full of memorable one-liners that are just as sassy as any he uses in his stand-up nightclub act.

And he's surrounded himself with a cast that really gets into the spirit of things. SALLY KELLERMAN is the vivacious English professor that soon becomes the love of his life; ADRIENNE BARBEAU is his shrewish ex-wife; KEITH GORDON is the son who is not exactly Big Man on the Campus; and ROBERT DOWNEY, JR. is the kind of left-wing activist you can find on any college campus, making the most of a role that he could play in his sleep. For subtlety, if there is any, there's a Dean Martin (NED BEATTY) who allows the uneducated Dangerfield to enter the halls of ivy merely because he's got a pocket full of cash and wants to splurge it on the school's administration, good philanthropist that he is.

It's strictly a funfest for RODNEY DANGERFIELD fans -- of which there are many, judging from the comments here -- but it's an enjoyable romp that has some telling truths to say about a variety of college subjects, all the while injecting its own brand of wild humor on every situation. Clever writing makes it all very enjoyable.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews


Recently Viewed