Back to School (1986)

“Bring us a pitcher of beer every seven minutes until somebody passes out. And then bring one every 10 minutes.” Rodney Dangerfield portrays Thornton Mellon, a clothing store tycoon (“Big & Fat Stores”) who returns to college at “Grand Lakes University” (actually the University of Wisconsin-Madison) and gets NASA to do his son Jason’s (Keith Gordon) astronomy homework. Mellon even tells Kurt Vonnegut to go fuck himself. Action centers around a diving meet where Mellon performs the legendary “Triple Lindy,” an act he learned off the boardwalk at Atlantic City. Robert Downey Jr. portrays the geek, Derek Lutz: “Violent ground acquisition games such as football is in fact a crypto-fascist metaphor for nuclear war.” Also with Sam Kinison as a totally insane history teacher, Professor Terguson. And Burt Young as the tough but philosophical limo driver, Lou (“I put one kid through college; I put the other through a wall.”). The stellar cast includes Sally Kellerman, Paxton Whitehead, Terry Farrell, M. Emmet Walsh, Adrienne Barbeau, William Zabka, Ned Beatty (as “Dean” Martin), Severn Darden and Jason Hervey (as the “Young Thornton”). Added bonus: Oingo Boingo performs “Dead Man’s Party.” Back to School was directed by Alan Metter, whose resume also includes Police Academy: Mission to Moscow (1994). Early in his stand-up career, Dangerfield worked as an aluminum-siding salesman to help make ends meet. Kinison’s grave reads, “IN ANOTHER TIME AND PLACE HE WOULD HAVE BEEN CALLED PROPHET”.

Leave a Reply

Close Menu