To inherit his family's fortune, Billy is going back to school... Way back.
In order to inherit his fed up father's hotel empire, an immature and lazy man must repeat grades 1-12 all over again.
1.37 : 1
Rated PG-13 for language and crude humor.
English, French, Spanish
Teacher, Family Business, High School, Education, School Teacher
Farce, Gross-Out Comedy
Arrested Adolescence, Fish Out of Water, Underdogs, Inheritance at Stake
Goofy, Humorous, Light, Madcap, Affectionate
Just for Laughs
Has Detailed Data (New)
1, 2, 3
Count - Awards
US Box Office
Country Of Origin
Billy Madison is a 1995 American comedy film directed by Tamra Davis. It stars Adam Sandler in the title role, along with Bradley Whitford, Bridgette Wilson, Norm Macdonald and Darren McGavin. The film was written by Sandler and Tim Herlihy, and produced by Robert Simonds. It made over $26.4 million worldwide and debuted at #1. The film is about a slacker (Billy Madison) who must go back to school in order to take over his father's company. The comedy also features Chris Farley and Steve Buscemi with uncredited appearances. Sandler would later form a production company, Happy Madison Productions, named after a combination of this film's title character and Happy Gilmore's.
Profile Bio Text
Billy Madison (Adam Sandler), a 27-year-old heir to a wealthy father, has spent his entire life reaping the benefits of his family's hotel chain, Madison Hotels, a Fortune 500 company. He spends his days drinking with best friends, Jack (Mark Beltzman) and Frank (Norm Macdonald), and creating disasters across his father's estate.
One day, Billy ruins a dinner meeting between his father, Brian (Darren McGavin), and his associates by behaving obnoxiously after being provoked by Eric Gordon (Bradley Whitford), Brian's executive vice president who openly expresses his hatred towards Billy and secretly harbors hatred towards Brian as well and impatiently waits to become Brian's succsessor as head of Madison Hotels. This prompts Brian to lose any remaining faith in Billy, as he chooses the conniving Eric to become the next CEO of the company. When Billy, who also despises Eric, protests that he can be responsible, Brian reveals that he secretly bribed all of Billy's school teachers in order for him to pass. Billy begs his father to reconsider his decision. The two finally come to a compromise: Billy must pass elementary, middle, and high school (grades 1-12) on his own within the course of twenty-four weeks (two weeks per grade), in order to prove his competence.
Shortly after enrolling into school, Billy becomes attracted to a third grade teacher named Veronica Vaughn (Bridgette Wilson), who initially is disgusted with Billy and finds his enrollment to be a distraction for the other students. He eventually finds himself as one of Veronica's students and earns her respect by defending Ernie (Jared Cook), his friend and classmate. Billy becomes popular among the third graders and begins to miss them as he advances through school.
When Billy reaches ninth grade, he finds that rather than being the cool guy that everyone looks up to, he is now considered a loser; realizing how it feels to be on the receiving end of bullying, he calls up an old classmate, Danny McGrath (Steve Buscemi), and apologizes for the way he treated him in high school. Danny accepts his apology, and crosses his name off a list of people to kill.
Billy's progress frustrates and alarms Eric, leading him to take the offensive while Billy struggles in high school. He visits Billy's grade school principal, Max Anderson (Josh Mostel), and threatens to reveal his past as a professional wrestler that is filled with controversial incidents, especially a particular one back in 1983, when Max accidentally caused the death of another man while performing a stunt. Coerced, Max publicly states he took bribes from Billy in return for passing him.
The announcement angers Brian who chooses to give the hotel chain to Eric. Billy becomes distraught and reverts to his original care-free lifestyle. Veronica and others come to Billy's aid, convincing him to keep fighting Eric. His grade school friends helps Billy's plight by visiting Max at his home and convincing him to retract his previous statements.
With Billy's name cleared, Brian and Carl Alphonse (Larry Hankin), a loyal, long-time employee of Madison Hotels, argue to Eric that Billy deserves another chance, but Eric disagrees and finally shows his true colors by disrespecting Brian in front of the group and threatens to file a lawsuit. Billy challenges Eric to an academic decathlon that will determine his father's successor. Although both men excel in different activities, Billy manages to take a single-point lead before the contest's final event, a Jeopardy!-style academic test. Eric chooses "reflections of society in literature" as Billy's topic. Billy uses a book that was read to him in the first grade to answer the question, but the judge calls his answer "insanely idiotic" and gives Billy no points for his answer. With scores still the same, Eric is given the chance to answer and potentially win. However, Billy chooses a question for Eric about "business ethics", which ironically Eric knows nothing about and breaks down becausse he can't give an answer. Refusing to admit defeat, he brandishes a gun at Billy. Max, clad in his wrestling outfit, subdues Eric. The attack fails to keep Eric down and laughing maniacally, he makes a final attempt to get revenge on Billy by turning his gun on Veronica. Suddenly, Danny McGrath appears with a high-powered rifle and disables Eric by firing a single shot into his buttocks. Danny and Billy share a quick wave, before he departs.
At Billy's graduation, he announces that he is passing the hotel business down to Carl and will instead attend college with hopes of becoming a teacher. He and Veronica share a kiss and the film ends.
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