Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1980s Back To School (1986)

Back To School (1986)

Middle-aged Thornton Melon (Rodney Dangerfield) is the poster boy for self-made millionaires. He’s taken his immigrant father’s humble tailor shop and turned it into a national chain of Tall & Fat Shops.

He went on from there to diversify until now he owns Melon Enterprises, a worldwide corporation.

Thornton Melon is far from being a stupid man and in fact is quite intelligent and street smart, despite his boorish, rude and crude manner.


His one great regret is that he never got a proper education, so he is determined that his beloved son Jason (Keith Gordon) will get one at the prestigious Grand Lakes University.

When Melon unexpectedly visits Jason at university, both their lives take a new course. Enrolling as a “freshman”, Melon Sr proves a most immature student but makes a big splash with lecturer Diane Turner (Sally Kellerman).

Co-written by Harold Ramis of Ghost Busters (1984) and Groundhog Day (1993) fame, this ham-fisted comedy has echoes of the 1960 Bing Crosby picture High Time, in which a wealthy middle-aged man returns to college to prove there’s life in the old dog yet.

Keith Gordon and Robert Downey Jr try hard as Dangerfield’s weedy son and his radical pal, but the standouts are English teacher Sally Kellerman and coach M Emmett Walsh.

Thornton Melon
Rodney Dangerfield
Jason Melon
Keith Gordon
Diane Turner
Sally Kellerman
Burt Young
Robert Downey Jr
Philip Barbay
Paxton Whitehead
Valerie Desmond
Terry Farrell
Adrienne Barbeau
Dean Martin
Ned Beatty
Coach Turnbull
M Emmet Walsh
William Zabka
Dr Barazini
Severn Darden
Professor Terguson
Sam Kinison
Edie McClurg
Robert Picardo
Kurt Vonnegut Jr
Kurt Vonnegut Jr

Alan Metter