The Adrienne Barbeau Blogathon – Back to School (1986)


This is my entry in the Adrienne Barbeau Blogathon being hosted by Movie Movie Blog Blog.

Tnx for letting me take part!

“Bring us a pitcher of beer every seven minutes until somebody passes out. And then bring one every ten minutes.” – Thorton Melon

Number of Times Seen – at least 5-10 times (Cable in the 80’s, 26 Jul 2001 and 25 Sep 2017)

Brief Synopsis – A self made millionaire goes to college in order to keep his son from dropping out.

My Take on it – This was a film that I recall seeing so many times on cable as a kid and it was always so much fun to watch due to the presence of Rodney Dangerfield in the lead role.

His use of his usually self-depreciating humor along with his great one-liners make this film so entertaining to watch.

The premise itself is actually a great one; how would a self made millionaire traverse the ins and outs of college life while trying to encourage his own son at the same time.

This idea works so well and I wonder whether it would have worked without Dangerfield or if it had been a drama.

This film sports an amazingly talented supporting cast and so many of them are familiar to most people.

Sally Kellerman, Burt Young, Ned Beatty, Terry Farrell, Robert Downey Jr., M. Emmett Walsh and Sam Kinison are so much fun to watch.  (I love Kinison’s scene with his screaming “Say it! Say it!”)

William Zabka, aka Johnny Lawrence from the Karate Kid series is quite good here as the bully but I felt he was underused.

Adrienne Barbeau plays Dangerfield’s wife and she is great as his punching bag for one liners and other jokes during the first 15 minutes of the film.

Her character tho plays a pivotal part in getting the plot moving so she definitely can’t be considered an inconsequential part in making this film work so well.

This is the kind of film where you can laugh the whole time because the storyline is so much fun and you never need to expect much more than that from it.

Bottom Line – Dangerfield’s self depreciating humor works incredibly well here to make his character so likeable.  His one liners reverberate throughout the film and he makes this film so much fun to watch.  The premise itself is quite interesting and I wonder if it would have worked with another comedian as the lead. The supporting cast is great to watch but Zabka is underused as the bully especially so soon after he played Johnny Lawrence in the Karate Kid Series.  Barbeua has a small yet pivotal role in moving the story along.  Truly a fun film to watch especially when you don’t expect anything but laughs. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – During the scene where Thorton is in Professor Turgeson’s history class, and where Turgeson picks up the desk and throws it across the room while yelling at Thornton, if you look really closely you can see that Rodney Dangerfield is laughing while Sam Kinison is yelling at him, trying to get him to answer the question about the Korean War. This take was ultimately left in the movie, because Dangerfield had such a hard time keeping a straight face during his scene with Kinison, that it took so many tries for him to not laugh, and eventually Alan Metter decided to leave him laughing from a far distance in the final cut. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy

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7 thoughts on “The Adrienne Barbeau Blogathon – Back to School (1986)

  1. Pingback: THE ADRIENNE BARBEAU BLOGATHON is here! |

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  3. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1986 |

  4. Pingback: Movies Reviewed Index A-Z |

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