Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. Canada, 1979. Canadian Film Development Corporation, Famous Players, Haliburton Films, Paramount Pictures. Screenplay by Len Blum, Daniel Goldberg, Janis Allen, Harold Ramis. Cinematography by Donald Wilder. Produced by Daniel Goldberg. Music by Elmer Bernstein. Production Design by David Orin Charles. Costume Design by Judith R. Gellman. Film Editing by Debra Karen.
It’s hard to imagine a decade’s worth of summer camp movies without this one heading up the list, a randomly plotted, sweetly fun comedy by Ivan Reitman. Bill Murray leads a team of counselors who deal with all manner of pranks among their charges, not to mention some tomfoolery amongst themselves, before the great climax at a mini-Olympics between various camp programs. It’s sort of Nashville for ten year-olds, featuring at its centre a genuinely poignant relationship that develops between Murray and Chris Makepeace as the kid who can’t figure out how to fit in. This is the sort of warmth that Meatballs‘ copycats of the coming years would completely forget to include, making this one well worth revisiting.