Happy Gilmore

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Details At A Glance

Category Comedy Theatrical Trailer(s) Yes, 1 - 1.78:1, Dolby Digital 2.0
Other Trailer(s) No
Year Released 1996 Commentary Tracks No
Running Time 88:07 minutes Other Extras Biographies - Cast & Crew
Production Notes
RSDL/Flipper No/No
Cast & Crew
Start Up Movie
Region 2,4 Director Dennis Dugan

Columbia TriStar
Starring Adam Sandler
Christopher McDonald 
Julie Bowen 
Carl Weathers
Frances Bay
Case Transparent Amaray
RRP $34.95 Music Mark Mothersbaugh

Pan & Scan/Full Frame None MPEG None
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Dolby Digital 5.1
16x9 Enhancement Yes Soundtrack Languages
Region 4
English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 384 Kb/s)
Soundtrack Languages
Region 2
English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 384 Kb/s) 
German (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192 Kb/s) 
French (Dolby Digital 5.1, 384 Kb/s)
Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192 Kb/s) 
Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192 Kb/s) 
Czech (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192 Kb/s) 
Polish (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192 Kb/s)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
Macrovision Yes Smoking  No
Region 4
English Annoying Product Placement Yes, mildly (but that's part of the game!)
Region 2

Plot Synopsis

    Happy Gilmore garnered 7 Academy Awards from 13 ... whoa, whoa, whoa, wrong film there. Okay, Happy Gilmore is not the sort of movie that is going to earn a lot of awards of any nature, but if you watch films for entertainment (and if you don't, then why watch them?), this is an entertaining slant on a frankly quite dull sport.

    Happy Gilmore (Adam Sandler) is a hockey (sorry, ice hockey) nut and longs to play professionally. The only problem is he has one talent and one talent only - a heck of a shot. Little nuances of the game like actually being able to skate are a little bit beyond him so he never actually has a chance to make a team. However, that shot does have a use - and the Internal Revenue Service provides him with a motive to use it: his grandma (Frances Bay) owes them $270,000 in back taxes and she has ninety days to get the money together to buy back her house that they have seized. Through some laughably lame excuses, Happy plays in the Westbury Open - and wins, which just so happens to gain him entry into the PGA Tour. The ultimate money trip begins, and in the process Happy gets offside with one very straightlaced champion, Shooter McGavin (Christopher McDonald), meets one very attractive tour PR director, Virginia Venit (Julie Bowen) and learns from one one-handed ex-golf pro, Chubbs Peterson (Carl Weathers). Since the plot is not exactly the greatest, lets not spoil it by giving too much more away, except to say Happy becomes a very happy man.

    Adam Sandler seems to be the hottest comedian around at the moment, and with films like this it is not to hard to see why. He knows how to be funny - at least for a couple of views anyway, before the plot holes become too much to bear. He does a good job here as the slightly wacky whacker, and rubs off nicely against the rather straightlaced Christopher McDonald. Julie Bowen makes her debut here and is fair as the PR director, and all in all this is not too bad a film at all. It moves along at a nice pace and manages to raise a couple of laughs, especially if you understand the etiquette of the game of golf. Note that the product placement is very much integral with the story and is very consistent with modern professional golf. Besides, I like to eat at Subway for the best subs in town! (Subway franchisees - does Michael get any money for me saying that?) [Ed: I wish!]

Transfer Quality


    Warner Advanced Media Operations are responsible for the compression of this disc, like most of Universal's releases and this is another great job from them. Whilst not the absolute best you will see, definitely very good indeed.

    The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and it is 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer was very sharp and wonderfully clear throughout. Shadow detail was very good indeed, with lots of nice detail in the darker scenes.

    The colours were very nicely rendered and consistently so throughout the film. Obviously, when talking about golf the contrast between the white ball and green fairways is critical, and this is wonderfully handled with beautiful contrast. There is a nice vibrancy to the colours.

    There were no MPEG artefacts seen. Film-to-video artefacts were not that prevalent either and comprised some very minor aliasing which is barely noticeable even when looking for it. The lack of artefacts was especially noticeable with the clarity of the golf ball throughout - I do not know how they did it, but you could always see the ball clearly. Film artefacts were reasonably prevalent throughout the film, but were not especially noticeable and did not detract from the film at all.


    This is a very good soundtrack, with an especially good balance to it..

    The audio tracks available on the DVD are dependent on the Region that the DVD player is set to. They are selectable via the audio menu, and via the remote control. All audio tracks are selectable via the remote control at all times.

    There are seven audio tracks on the DVD: English Dolby Digital 5.1, German Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded, Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded, Czech Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded and Polish Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded. I listened to the default English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks.

    The dialogue was always clear and very easy to understand.

    There did not appear to be any audio sync problems with the disc.

    The score by Mark Mothersbaugh is quite unremarkable, and basically unnoticeable. It seems to contribute little to the overall film.

    The surround channels were very nicely balanced and created a very pleasing sound picture in which you were enveloped, although to be honest I felt there could have been a bit more detail in the mix. The rears were not especially overused, but when they were, they were very complementary to the sound picture.

    The subwoofer was used sparingly, but when it was it was very effective and not bass heavy at all.


    The selection of extras on the disc is not especially overwhelming and represent fairly standard fare for Universal.


    The menu design is nicely themed to the movie, and is 16x9 enhanced.

Theatrical Trailer

Production Notes

Cast & Crew Biographies

R4 vs R1
    The Region 1 version misses out on;     Well, sometimes being late works in your favour: Happy Gilmore was an early release in Region 1 and things have improved a lot since then. Region 4 is definitely the way to go unless you love Pan & Scan DVDs.


    Happy Gilmore is an entertaining film on a very good DVD.

    The video quality is excellent.

    The audio quality is excellent.

    The extras are adequate, nothing more.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Ian Morris
12th September 1999

Review Equipment
DVD Pioneer DV-515; S-video output
Display Sony Trinitron Wega 84cm
Audio Decoder Built in
Amplification Yamaha RXV-795
Speakers Energy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL