6.6/10
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87 user 29 critic

Back to School (1986)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Romance, Sport | 13 June 1986 (USA)
To help his discouraged son get through college, a funloving and obnoxious rich businessman decides to enter the school as a student himself.

Director:

Alan Metter

Writers:

Rodney Dangerfield (story), Greg Fields (story) | 6 more credits »
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Popularity
4,447 ( 337)
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rodney Dangerfield ... Thornton Melon
Sally Kellerman ... Dr. Diane Turner
Burt Young ... Lou
Keith Gordon ... Jason Melon
Robert Downey Jr. ... Derek Lutz
Paxton Whitehead ... Philip Barbay
Terry Farrell ... Valerie Desmond
M. Emmet Walsh ... Coach Turnbull
Adrienne Barbeau ... Vanessa
William Zabka ... Chas
Ned Beatty ... Dean David Martin
Severn Darden ... Dr. Barazini
Sam Kinison ... Professor Terguson
Robert Picardo ... Giorgio
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. ... Himself
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Storyline

Millionaire businessman Thornton Melon is upset when his son Jason announces that he is not sure about going to college. Thornton insists that college is the best thing he never had for himself, and to prove his point, he agrees to enroll in school along with his son. Thornton is a big hit on campus: always throwing the biggest parties, knowing all the right people, but is this the way to pass college? Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Registration starts Friday, June 13, at theaters everywhere.

Genres:

Comedy | Romance | Sport

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM Studios [United States]

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 June 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Back to School See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,881,035, 15 June 1986

Gross USA:

$91,258,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$91,258,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Black and White (prologue)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original music score for the movie was composed by band leader Danny Elfman of Oingo Boingo. The band was featured performing their song "Dead Man's Party" at Thornton Melon's dorm party. See more »

Goofs

When Jason is at the party before he goes outside and ends up hitting Chas, he is drinking beer from a bottle. When he exits the building, he is holding a can. See more »

Quotes

Thornton Melon: [in college bookstore] Hey, you guys get everything you need?
Jason Melon: Oh, yeah, we got it.
Thornton Melon: Good... Hey! What's with the used books?
Jason Melon: Well, what's wrong with used books?
Thornton Melon: They've already been read!
Jason Melon: Yeah, and they already been UNDER-LINED, too. Get it?
Thornton Melon: That's the problem. The last guy who under-lined them, he could have been a maniac! Hey, get these guys some new books. Huh? Get some new books, will ya?
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the opening credits, there is a still of Rodney Dangerfield from Caddyshack (1980). See more »

Alternate Versions

Three scenes are cut from the Comedy Central airing - the "twist and shout" scene in the bar, the "phone conversation with Kurt Vonnegut after getting an F grade" scene, and one of the dives in the final competition. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Caddyshack II (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Back To School
Written by Richard Wolf & Mark Leonard
Produced by Gary Skardina & Linda Goldner Perry
Performed by Jude Cole
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Prime Rodney Dangerfield With Strong Supporting Cast
14 October 2005 | by DKosty123See all my reviews

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.


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