Meatballs 1979

Meatballs

Critics Consensus

Meatballs is a summer camp comedy with few surprises, but Bill Murray's riffing adds a spark that sets it apart from numerous subpar entries in a frequently uninspired genre.

72%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 36

58%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 28,699

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Movie Info

Tripper (Bill Murray) is the head counselor at a budget summer camp called Camp Northstar. In truth, he's young at heart and only marginally more mature than the campers themselves. Tripper befriends Rudy (Chris Makepeace), a loner camper who has trouble fitting in. As Tripper inspires his young charges to defeat rival Camp Mohawk in the annual Olympiad competition, Rudy plays matchmaker between Tripper and Roxanne (Kate Lynch), a female counselor at Northstar.

Cast & Crew

Len Blum
Screenwriter
Dan Goldberg
Screenwriter
Harold Ramis
Screenwriter
Janis Allen
Screenwriter
Andre Link
Executive Producer
John Dunning
Executive Producer
Elmer Bernstein
Original Music
Donald Wilder
Cinematographer
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News & Interviews for Meatballs

Critic Reviews for Meatballs

All Critics (36) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (26) | Rotten (10)

Audience Reviews for Meatballs

  • Jul 08, 2017
    With a tip of the hat to Robert Altman's M.A.S.H,, we join 'the other guys'(who are not rich, or privileged, or anything like that) kids at summer camp as they learn important life lessons like 'we ARE just as good as the rich and privileged kids' and 'we may not have masseuses or chauffeurs but we still know how to have fun'. Bill Murray struggles under the onus of being this camp's Hawkeye Pierce, needing to be 'wacky' in nearly every scene. I smiled once, I think, catching sight of a cochroach leaving the theater.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Apr 09, 2017
    I was somewhat surprised to see a 75% rating on RT, and I'm almost certain that was NOT the reception it received from critics in 1979. This movie, if I am not mistaken, was almost universally panned by critics back then. I don't know if people are sentimental about this movie, or if our standards and mindsets have changed. In any event, Meatballs is actually a very sweet film, unfairly criticized as an Animal House-type rip off. It's actually not very vulgar, or sexy, or offensive at all. Perhaps in 1979, people were more easily shocked? Meatballs features Bill Murray in his very first lead roll, and he carries the movie from start to finish. The history of how this movie got made, and how Murray was hardly a lock to play Tripper is worth a Google. Ivan Reitman wanted a shot at directing a teen comedy after he was denied the director's chair on Animal House. He produced it instead, and when given the chance, soon after directed Meatballs. This movie most likely would be long forgotten had Murray passed on it. However, there is just enough goofy camp situations and supporting character development to make this movie worth while. What is most surprising about this movie is how sentimental and sweet it really is. You have to be a fairly cynical person to dislike the harmlessness of this film. It isn't a great film by any means, but it manages to be a little touching, a little funny, and is very easy to watch. This is a good choice for young teenagers who desperately want to see Porky's or Animal House, but aren't old enough for that just yet. A nice effort from a virtual novice (in film) from Murray, the SNL newbie and National Lampoon alum. Worth a spot in the genre's hall of fame. Honorable mention, anyway.
    Mark H Super Reviewer
  • Mar 18, 2012
    [img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon14.gif[/img] Meatballs is by no means, an Ivan Reitman/Bill Murray classic. However, it has got quite a few funny moments and an energetic Murray leading the camp. The best thing about it though, was that I had a smile on my face that never faded away when I was watching it.
    Directors C Super Reviewer
  • Aug 07, 2011
    only worthy to watch bill murray
    Brendan N Super Reviewer

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