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Meatballs (Special Edition)

349 customer reviews

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(Jun 05, 2007)
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  • Go behind the scenes of the filming of Meatballs in our two exclusive featurettes. Click on the playlist in the flash player above to view both clips. Go Camp North Star!.

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Set at a low-end summer camp and aimed squarely at a teen audience, Meatballs is a light screwball comedy that turned its low-budget Canadian roots into a very profitable box-office run. The biggest reason for the film's success is Bill Murray who stars as Tripper, the head counselor who runs things at Camp Northstar with the help of his love interest Roxanne (Kate Lynch) and the camp's director Morty (Harvey Atkins), who is affectionately known as Mickey. Camp opens with Tripper and Morty preparing the misfit counselors-in-training — Spaz, Fink, Crockett, A.L., Candace, Wendy, and Wheels among them — for the arrival of their hyperactive little charges. After settling in, kids and counselors begin their activities with a soccer game in which depressed 11-year-old Rudy (Chris Makepeace) accidentally loses the game. Cast out by the other children, Rudy runs away only to come across Tripper, who befriends the boy and makes him his running partner. Romance, sexy fun, and comic hijinx — usu

Decades before he was winning accolades for his work in Lost in Translation and Rushmore, Bill Murray was making moviegoers snicker with his breakthrough comedy Meatballs. This film--which was released theatrically in 1979--stars a 29-year-old Murray as a horny camp counselor named Tripper Harrison, who is just barely more mature than the kids he's looking after. Tripper seems like a screw up because he is, but the audience sees soon enough that he has that proverbial heart of gold, which is offset by an acerbic tongue. Looking over one of the unhappy children in his charge, Tripper says, "You must be the short, depressed kid we ordered." Camp North Star isn't the type of destination kids dream about during the school year. As envisioned by director Ivan Reitman (who would again collaborate with Murray in Ghostbusters), it's a place where kids do their time until their parents let them return home. But in his own way, Tripper makes it a fun place for the kids to learn about the opposite sex and get a feeing for competition. Unlike Little Darlings, the coming-of-age camping film starring Kristy McNichol and Tatum O'Neal that was released a year later, there really isn't a strong moral to this film. But there is a sense that thanks to Tripper's unorthodox madness, he makes Camp North Star a place that kids want to return to the following year. While not as self-assured as he would be in a smaller role in 1980's Caddyshack, Murray is highly likeable here as an overgrown doof.

On the DVD
In the special edition version of this DVD, the extra features include some insight into Murray, who is somewhat elusive about committing to film projects. Reitman reveals that he actually wasn't sure Murray (who wasn't a big name back then) was on board for Meatballs until he showed up for filming the first week. Interestingly enough, this comedy originally was supposed to focus its attention on several camp counselors, but Murray was so good in his role that the plot was adjusted to focus primarily on Tripper. Also included is a three-part "making of" featurette that includes insight into casting, the use of real campers because they didn't have enough money to pay for extras, and interviews with some of the cast members. --Jae-Ha Kim

Stills from Meatballs (click for larger image)

Beyond Meatballs at

More Films by Bill Murray

Get Ready for Camp

Comedies about Underdogs

Special Features

  • Commentary with Ivan Reitman and Writer/Producer Daniel Goldberg
  • Three-Part Making-of Documentary

Product Details

  • Actors: Bill Murray, Harvey Atkin, Norma Dell'Agnese, Kate Lynch, Chris Makepeace
  • Directors: Ivan Reitman
  • Producers: Dan Goldberg
  • Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: June 5, 2007
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (349 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000OMD3K8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,675 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Meatballs (Special Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Marcus H. Smilfer on May 31, 2007
Format: DVD
Update: Just received mine last week (6/14/07) and it is ONE disc, not two. Picture quality is BEAUTIFUL! The night scenes are actually not one big black blob!

Just an update on the 2007 2-disc Special Edition of Meatballs, since Amazon is not providing any information and all the reviews on this page deal with the less than stellar previous dvd release. The 2007 Special Edition is digitally remastered in Widescreen 1.85:1 Color (Anamorphic). It is in 5.1 Dolby Digital Stereo [CC] and it features subtitles in English, Spanish and French.

DVD Features:
- Commentary with Director Ivan Reitman
- "Summer Camp: The Making of Meatballs" Featurette

Amazingly, no theatrical trailer is included. Also available in Blu-Ray.

Technical Specs:
- Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 - Digitally Re-mastered
- Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1
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63 of 70 people found the following review helpful By C. Fletcher on February 21, 2000
Format: DVD
This is one of my favorite movies from childhood, and I still love it (I'm now 27).
Bill Murray is terrific as head counselor Tripper Harrison in this warm and funny feel-great movie. All of the players in the ensemble cast are good, and the music is also really effective. If you like summer, good times, goofy humor, if you were born in the seventies (or even if you weren't) check out "Meatballs". It's a great way to spend a Friday evening--make something strange for a midnight snack and put on "Meatballs".
As for the DVD transfer, here are a couple of comments:
1. It does include the trailer. 2. It's a "matted" widescreen version, which means you actually see less than you do on the full-screen VHS version, because they simply lay black bars across the top and bottom of the full-screen image (I compared the two versions scene-to-scene). 3. For some reason, some of the music has been changed in the DVD version. I found this unfortunate, because the music is one of my favorite parts of the movie. Whenever the song "Meatballs" plays, for instance, an alternate version is played. Also, the "Makin' It" song at the "big social" scene is cut differently.
Aside from these few complaints, I'll still give the disc five stars, because I love the movie so much.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Steven D Agee on April 28, 2003
Format: DVD
As a person who spent many of my summers at camp I found this movie to be excellent. It also doesn't hurt that this movie stars Bill of my favorites. I've owned this movie on VHS for many years now and have watched it numerous times. I just bought the DVD and noticed that the actual song titled "Meatballs" (originally written and performed by Rick Dees) is different than it is on the VHS version. The DVD version is actually sung (or more like halfway spoken/rapped) by Bill Murray himself. There is also about ten seconds of footage added at the end of the cafeteria scene that isn't on the VHS. Not much, but to a fan of the movie it's kind of cool. I wish the DVD had more features on it (like deleted scenes), but none the less this is still probably the best camp movie you could ask for.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Andre Dursin on June 7, 2012
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Ivan Reitman's 1979 comedy hit stars Bill Murray, who effortlessly parades around campgrounds and cliches found in many a kids' outdoor comedy, in this warm and satisfying summer-camp classic, packed with all the genre hallmarks one would anticipate.

You may have seen other movies like it, but "Meatballs" is still the seminal camp movie, with its semi-raunchy humor (you'd never see a PG rated kids comedy now with as much adult material as this), fun mix of Elmer Bernstein score and songs (many written by Elmer and Norman Gimbel), and steady stream of laughs making for a good time for one and all.

Surprisingly, "Meatballs" had something of a turbulent post-production process. Reitman's original version of the film focused mostly on the adventures of the various camp counselors, but when the director went to cut the film down, taking out nearly an hour of footage, he found himself with a 70 minute feature that needed "more." The director then decided to develop more material around the relationship between Murray's counselor and young Chris Makepeace, resulting in an enhanced emotional center at the heart of the picture (those scenes also stand out since Makepeace looks noticeably older).

An independent production that's bounced around various video labels over the years, "Meatballs" was last issued by Sony in a Special Edition DVD that included a decent retrospective documentary. That edition was supposed to be released on Blu-Ray but never happened, leaving fans to wait until this excellent new Lionsgate HD package materialized. While the BD lacks the Sony documentary and other extras (it does retain a fascinating commentary track with Reitman and co-writer Dan Goldberg), the 1080p transfer is spectacular: crisp, colorful, and freed of DNR.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By S. M.Silver on April 18, 2005
Format: DVD
Murray's interactions with the boy are so good that I used excerpts from the film for a final exam on basic counseling I taught at a graduate school - the students had to identify the techniques used by Tripper and suggest alternatives. This may be a far more educational portrayal of counseling than any of the wierd therapist-involved movies Hollywood has produced over the past decade.

Beyond all that, this is a film of good-natured humor that has sympathy for its characters. Among the very best things that Bill Murray ever did.

And where is Tripper today when we need him?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews


Topic From this Discussion
Special Edition?
I just checked the new Sony Special Edition and they DID correct the music and the "Meatballs" song is back. The extras are:
Commentary with Ivan Reitman and Writer/Producer Daniel Goldberg
Three-Part Making-of Documentary
BUT, they did NOT include the Theatrical Trailer that...
Jun 7, 2007 by Siccmade |  See all 3 posts
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