Theatrical release poster by Drew Struzan
|Directed by||Richard Donner|
|Screenplay by||Chris Columbus|
|Story by||Steven Spielberg|
|Music by||Dave Grusin|
|Edited by||Michael Kahn|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
|Box office||$124 million|
The Goonies is a 1985 American adventure comedy film co-produced and directed by Richard Donner from a screenplay by Chris Columbus, based on a story by executive producer Steven Spielberg. In the film, a band of kids who live in the "Goon Docks" neighborhood of Astoria, Oregon, attempt to save their homes from foreclosure and in doing so, they discover an old treasure map that takes them on an adventure to unearth the long-lost fortune of One-Eyed Willy, a legendary 17th-century pirate. During the entire adventure, they are chased by a family of criminals, who also want the treasure for themselves.
Produced by Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment, Warner Bros. released the film theatrically on June 7, 1985 in the United States. The film grossed $124 million worldwide on a budget of $19 million and has since become a cult film. In 2017, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".
Facing foreclosure of their homes in the Goon Docks area of Astoria, Oregon to an expanding country club, a group of children who call themselves "the Goonies" gather for a final weekend together. The Goonies include optimist Mikey Walsh, his older brother Brandon, the inventive Data, the talkative Mouth and the overweight klutz Chunk.
Rummaging through the Walshes' attic, they come across a 1632 doubloon and an old treasure map purporting to lead to the famous pirate "One-Eyed" Willy's hoard located somewhere nearby, whom Mikey considers to be the original "Goonie". The kids evade Brandon and make their way to an abandoned restaurant on the coast that coincides with the map; Brandon soon follows alongside Andy, a cheerleader with a crush on him; and Stef, Andy's friend. The group quickly discovers the derelict restaurant is a hideout of the Fratelli crime family: Francis, Jake and their mother Mama. The Goonies find a tunnel in the basement and follow it, but Chunk is captured by the Fratellis and imprisoned with their deformed and immensely strong younger brother Sloth. The Fratellis intimidate Chunk until he reveals where the Goonies have gone, and begin pursuit. Chunk is left behind with Sloth, but befriends him. After Sloth frees both of them, Chunk calls the police and he and Sloth follow the Fratellis.
The Goonies evade several deadly booby traps along the tunnels while staying ahead of the Fratellis. Finally, they reach the grotto where Willy's pirate ship, the Inferno, is anchored. The group discovers the ship is filled with treasure and they start filling their pockets, but Mikey warns them not to take any on a set of scales in front of Willy by considering that to be their tribute to him. As they leave the ship, the Fratellis appear and strip them of their loot. They make the Goonies walk the plank until Chunk arrives with Sloth and distracts the Fratellis long enough for the Goonies to jump overboard. The Fratellis proceed to grab all the treasure they can, including those on Willy's scales; this triggers another booby trap that causes the grotto to cave in. With Sloth's help, the Goonies and Fratellis barely escape.
The two groups emerge on Astoria's beach, where they reunite with the Goonies' families and the police. The Fratellis are arrested, but Chunk prevents Sloth from also being taken; he invites Sloth to live with him, which he accepts. As the kids describe their adventure to their parents, Mikey discovers that his marble bag, filled with gems he took from the ship, had not been taken by the Fratellis. Mikey's father triumphantly rips up the foreclosure papers, declaring they have enough money to negate the foreclosure. As the Goonies celebrate, they see the Inferno, having broken free of the grotto, sailing off on its own in the distance.
Director Richard Donner makes a cameo appearance as a sheriff's deputy. The film's cinematographer, Nick McLean, also has a cameo as Mouth's father. The part of the dead FBI agent was performed by stuntman Ted Grossman.
Principal photography on The Goonies began on October 22, 1984 and lasted five months. There were an additional six weeks of audio dubbing recording. The shooting script was lengthy, at more than 120 pages, to which several sequences were eventually cut from the final theatrical version. During the film's dénouement, mention is made of an octopus which refers to a scene that was excised from the final cut.
In the documentary The Making of The Goonies, Richard Donner noted both the difficulties and pleasures of working with so many child actors. He praised them for their energy and excitement, but also said that they were also unruly when brought together. As a result, the documentary frequently showed him coaching the actors and revealing some techniques he used to create realistic performances. One of these tricks involved One-Eyed Willy's pirate ship, which was actually a full-sized replica of a pirate ship created under the direction of production designer J. Michael Riva. Donner restricted the actors from seeing the ship until they filmed the scene wherein it is revealed to their characters; the characters' first glimpse of the ship was also the actors' first view of it, bringing about a more realistic performance. However, that particular scene in the final cut was actually the second take, due to the cast feeling so overwhelmed at first sight that the scene had to be re-shot. It was later noted that the entire set was scrapped after shooting because they could not find anyone who wanted it.
Some of the on-location filming was done in Astoria, Oregon. The interior and exterior of the old Clatsop County Jail features as the holding place of Jake Fratelli at the start of the film. (The building was later converted into the Oregon Film Museum, which opened on the 25th anniversary of The Goonies with memorabilia from this and other local films.) The museum where Mikey's father works is, in reality, the Captain George Flavel House Museum. The Walsh family home is a real home on the eastern end of the town. The road leading to the home was closed to tours in 2015. The scenes along the coast were filmed in Oregon, but they were a considerable distance from Astoria. The Goonies bicycle to Ecola State Park (in reality, over 26 miles south of Astoria) and then find the starting location of the map using Haystack Rock as a guide. Underground scenes were filmed at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, California, including the cavernous set where the Goonies find One-Eyed Willy's ship, which was in Stage 16, one of the largest sound stages in the United States. The final scene was shot at Goat Rock State Beach in Sonoma County, California.
The Goonies: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack features music by Cyndi Lauper, REO Speedwagon, The Bangles, and others. The cast members (except Kerri Green) appeared alongside professional wrestlers "Rowdy" Roddy Piper and "Captain" Lou Albano in the 12 minute "The Goonies 'R' Good Enough" music video. Steven Spielberg makes a cameo appearance. Lauper also has a cameo in the film, performing the song on TV, although the song was not completed until after filming.
Dave Grusin's score was unavailable for 25 years. The main theme, "Fratelli Chase", has been used in numerous trailers, such as Innerspace and Guarding Tess, and was re-recorded by Grusin and the London Symphony Orchestra for the album Cinemagic. The score makes liberal use of the Max Steiner-composed theme from Adventures of Don Juan.
Soundtrack label Varèse Sarabande released the score in March 2010 in a limited edition of 5000 copies.
Warner Bros. released the film in cinemas across the United States on June 7, 1985.
The Goonies was first released on VHS and Betamax video in the United States in March 1986 and the LaserDisc and CED versions also debuted that year. Warner Home Video released a theatrical widescreen laserdisc on January 29, 1992. Warner Home Video released The Goonies in widescreen on Region 1 DVD on August 21, 2001. Warner Home Video released The Goonies on Blu-ray Disc in October 2008 in Europe and November 2010 in North America. The video is in 1080p high definition VC-1 and accompanied by a Dolby TrueHD soundtrack.
Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 71% of critics have given the film a positive review based on 48 reviews and 91% of the audience giving it a positive review; the average rating is 6.2/10. The critical consensus: "An energetic, sometimes noisy mix of Spielbergian sentiment and fun-house tricks that will appeal to kids and nostalgic adults alike." At Metacritic it has a rating score of 60, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Several reviewers noted that the film appeared to be enjoyable for children, but not so much for teens and adults.
The Goonies grossed $9 million in its opening weekend in the U.S., second on the charts behind Rambo: First Blood Part II. It grossed $63.4 million in the United States and Canada, placing it among the top ten highest-grossing films of 1985 and $60.6 million overseas for a worldwide gross of $124 million.
Ramsey won a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as "Mama" Fratelli. At the 7th Youth in Film Awards (now known as Young Artist Awards), Astin's portrayal of Mikey won the award for Best Starring Performance By a Young Actor in a Motion Picture. Cohen, Feldman, and Plimpton were also nominated for awards for their performances in The Goonies. The film itself was nominated for best adventure motion picture.
The city of Astoria has hosted special anniversary events for the film, with around 10,000 to 15,000 visitors coming to the city to celebrate the film during these events. The home used for the Walsh family had become a tourist attraction, receiving between 1,200 and 1,500 visitors a day during the summer of the 30th anniversary, and in August 2015 the residents and owners of the home, their neighbors, and the city of Astoria have taken steps to limit public access to the home due to this.
Datasoft produced a Goonies video game for Commodore 64, Atari 8-bit family and Apple II in 1985, which was later ported to the ZX Spectrum and Amstrad CPC by U.S. Gold. This game features eight screens in which a player had to use two members of the Goonies group to solve puzzles and reach an exit to advance to the next stage. The screens were largely inspired by actual sets and puzzles seen in the film. A reference to the aforementioned "octopus scene" is included, as the seventh level.
In 1986, Japanese game developer Konami created two versions of The Goonies for the MSX (The Goonies) in Japan and Europe, and Family Computer (The Goonies) in Japan. The Goonies II was also released on the Famicom (and its international counterpart, the Nintendo Entertainment System). The Goonies II was released in North America, Europe and Australia, although the original was one of the NES games released as part of the Nintendo VS. System arcade machine in the 1980s. The Goonies II has little to do with the film. In it, the Fratellis have kidnapped all the Goonies (except Mikey, whom the player guides) and have hidden them in cages across a terrain of caverns, mazes and abandoned buildings. As Mikey, the player must rescue them all and ultimately free a mermaid named Annie. Mikey was also a playable character in Konami's 1988 Famicom title Wai Wai World, which included a Goonies-themed level.
In February 2007, Chrysler's Jeep division sponsored The Goonies: Return to Astoria, a Flash-based online game developed by Fuel Industries. The player's goal is to collect map pieces and doubloons, and then race the Fratellis to One-Eyed Willy's treasure.
A Goonies level pack for Lego Dimensions was released on May 9, 2017. The pack includes a Sloth minifigure and constructable Pirate Ship and Skeleton Organ, and unlocks a bonus level that adapts the plot of the film.
The possibility of a film sequel has been confirmed and denied many times over the years by the original cast and crew. Donner said that he had a story he liked and Spielberg behind him, but in 2004 several of the actors from the original revealed that Warner Bros., the film's owner, had shown no interest in a sequel. Sean Astin told MTV in October 2007 that Goonies 2 "is an absolute certainty ... The writing's on the wall when they're releasing the DVD in such numbers." Donner has expressed doubt that a sequel will ever happen, as many of the actors had not shown interest in returning for one. Corey Feldman stated in his November 25, 2008 blog post, "NO! There is no Goonies 2! I'm sorry but it's just not gonna happen .... Course now that I've said that, they'll do it." However, on the July 2010 release of The Making of a Cult Classic: The Unauthorized Story of The Goonies DVD, Richard Donner states a sequel to The Goonies is a "definite thing" and will involve as much of the old cast as possible. "It will happen," says Donner. "We've been trying for a number of years." On April 5, 2014, Richard Donner revealed a sequel is in the works, and he hopes to bring back the entire cast.
Rumors of adaptations and sequels in other media took off in 2007, including a comic book miniseries, an animated television series and a musical adaptation of the film. Corey Feldman said he was asked to reprise the role of Mouth in an animated series that would feature the original Goonies characters as adults and focus on the adventures of a new set of kids. Apparently, this project was briefly in the works for Cartoon Network before being shelved.Entertainment Weekly reported in March 2007 on a potential musical adaptation of the film. "Steven and I have discussed it, and it's something that I'm fairly passionate about right now," Donner says.Variety reported in October 2008 that Donner had met with Broadway entertainment attorney John Breglio, and is "confident things are moving in the right direction." As of May 2011, the musical was still in the beginning stages, but Donner was hopeful that an "irreverent" script would be completed by October.
Q: Do you think it could ever happen? DONNER: We tried. No, I don't think so. We tried really hard. Steven and I, we pitched a couple of things to them and, quite honestly, they weren't right. And we put it aside. If I could ever find a really good handle on a screenplay for it, I'd go pitch it again.