November 13, 2009
You can, too, of course. With over 100 movies on the schedule, this year’s Festival should have plenty of enjoyable viewing options for golfers and non-golfers alike.
Unlike past years, however, none of this year’s crop includes movies with a golf-related theme. That’s not to say you couldn’t have your own little golf movie festival with a big screen TV and a DVD player, if you were so inclined.
For example, “Keeping Mum” ran at the 2006 festival, and is now out in DVD. The recently departed Patrick Swayze plays a sleezy golf professional on the make with a preacher’s wife, played by Kristin Scott Thomas. Rowan Atkinson, better known as Mr. Bean, is the preacher. This is a charming little comedy, if a little on the dark side.
Here are some other golf movie options, taken from one of my 2005 columns.
“The Caddy” (1953)—Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis took their comic shtick to the golf course, with Martin as a pro golfer and Lewis as his caddy. This movie will not help your golf game, but it might improve your singing. That’s because this is the film where Martin sings “That’s Amore,” which earned an Oscar nomination. Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, and Byron Nelson play themselves, and a very pretty, very young Donna Reed is in a supporting role.
“Caddyshack” (1980)—Following the Martin/Lewis tradition, Chevy Chase and Bill Murray tried their hand at a comedy centered around golf. The raunchy movie is now recognized as one of the best such movies of all time. Among other running gags, Murray plays a demented groundskeeper trying to eliminate an obviously fake groundhog, with eventually explosive results.
This very funny film was followed up by “Caddyshack II,” now famous as one of the worst sequel movies ever made. In fact, it’s right down there with the worst movies ever, regardless of its heritage.
“Dead Solid Perfect” (1988)—Randy Quaid gives a fine performance as a struggling tour pro trying to find a way to keep playing. Based on the 1974 best-selling book by Dan Jenkins, it’s one of the rare good movies made for TV.
“Happy Gilmour” (1996)—Many folks consider this movie to be one of Adam Sandler’s best performances. Other folks do not consider this to be such a big hurdle.
Hockey player Sandler learns how to use his slap shot with a driver and a golf ball. Those looking for realism in a golf movie should stay away, but for those looking for stupid fun need not look anywhere else.
“Tin Cup” (1996)—The writer of “Bull Durham” switched sports, but kept Kevin Costner as the hero, in this wry funny movie about a golf pro at a down-market driving range. Rene Russo plays the love interest. Cheech Marin is a wise-cracking caddie who helps Costner when he somehow makes the finals of the U.S. Open.
“The Legend of Bagger Vance” (2000)—Robert Redford directed this drama about a caddy (Will Smith) who teaches Matt Damon how to find life’s meaning, while also perfecting Damon’s golf swing. Despite the star-studded case, this wasn’t a box-office hit, but it’s nonetheless worth renting.
“A Gentleman’s Game” (2001)—Gary Sinise, now best known for his role in the CSI-New York TV series, stars in this drama about a young boy (Mason Gamble) learning the game as a caddy at his father’s country club. He also learns some valuable life lessons, thanks to Sinise’s character. Many of the film locations were shot in and around Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, including the Main Line suburbs.
For more Festival information, go to rehobothfilm.com, or just go to the Festival tent located in the rear parking lot of the Midway Shopping Center. I’ll be there.