In 1996 one movie dared due the unthinkable, take an aspiring hockey player and make a golf pro out of him. Happy Gilmore starring Adam Sandler celebrates twenty-five years of laughs.
Happy Gilmore’s grandmother owes the IRS $270,000 in back takes and her house under foreclosure is given 90 days to pay off the past due balance. Happy, an unsuccessful ice hockey player discovers a newfound talent for golf after two movers challenge Gilmore to a long-drive contest using his grandfather’s old golf clubs.
While hustling golfers at the driving range he meets Chubbs Peterson, a club pro and former golf star who lost his right hand after an alligator attack. Chubbs urges Gilmore to enter a local tournament in which Happy wins and earns a spot on the tour.
Gilmore is partnered with Bob Barker at a pro-am celebrity tournament and plays poorly because of a heckler hired by Shooter. Happy and Barker get into a fistfight and as a result gets suspended from the tour for a month. Happy needs help improving his short game and asks Chubbs for help who takes Happy to a miniature golf course.
Gilmore and Shooter at the Tour Championship make a deal with each other that If Gilmore wins, Shooter will return the house, but if Shooter wins, Gilmore will quit the tour. On the 18th hole, a television tower that had been hit by a car earlier falls over, blocking the green Happy sinks a miraculous trick shot on the last hole winning the tournament.
The character of Happy Gilmore was loosely based on a childhood friend of Sandler’s, Kyle McDonough, who played ice hockey and golfed with Sandler growing up. Carl Weathers character of Chubbs and his missing hand was a joke referencing Weather’s character from his 1987 movie Predator, in which his character of Dillon loses his arm.
Christopher McDonald twice declined the role of role of Shooter McGavin as he was tired of playing the villain. Kevin Costner was asked to play Shooter but refused in order to take a role in the movie Tin Cup, another 1996 comedy about golf. McDonald eventually took the role and was given freedom to improvise while filming.
Happy Gilmore would go on to win the MTV Movie Award Best Fight between Adam Sandler and Bob Barker. It was released to theaters on February 16, 1996 starring Adam Sandler, Christopher McDonald, Julie Bowen and Carl Weathers.
Categories: Movie Anniversaries