Today is the 79th birthday for film director and producer Richard Donner (April 24, 2009). Donner is probably best known for directing 1978’s Superman: The Movie and the entire Lethal Weapon series. Other than Lethal Weapon and Lethal Weapon II in the 80s, Donner also directed The Toy (1982), Ladyhawke (1985) and Scrooged (1988), but my favorite has to be 1985’s The Goonies. So in celebration of Donner’s birthday, I am going to make The Goonies the fifth issue of my 80s Movie Trailer of the Week feature I am calling “Preview Review.”
The Goonies has become sort of a cult classic to those who grew up during the 80s decade. It had a pretty special pedigree going for it. First, the story came from none other than Executive Producer Steven Spielberg. Second, the screenplay was written by Chris Columbus of later Home Alone fame. Third, it had Richard Donner on board to direct the film. They all came together along with a group of young actors to bring this adventure to life.
Here is the original trailer for The Goonies…
The film grossed over $61 million in 1985 which placed it among the top ten highest grossing movies in the US that year. Several members of the case went on to become teen idols and have relatively successful careers including Corey Feldman (Stand By Me, The Lost Boys), Sean Astin (Rudy, Lord of the Rings trilogy) and Josh Brolin (No Country For Old Men, Milk). Donner did an excellent job working with such a young and talented cast.
Here is some trivia that I find interesting about The Goonies:
- When Chunk calls the police to explain about the Fratellis, the cop disbelieves him, recalling all of Chunk’s wild stories. One of which involved “little creatures that mutate when you pour water on them.” This is a reference to Gremlins (1984), also written by Chris Columbus and also co-starring Corey Feldman.
- Surprising for a PG rated movie starring mostly kids, a character says the word “shit” or its derivative in some form or combination 20 times.
- The director, Richard Donner, makes a cameo as one of the sheriffs on the 4-wheelers as the Goonies exit the cave with the ship. He’s the one with the gray hair.
- Mouth (played by Corey Feldman) wears a Purple Rain (1984) t-shirt throughout the film.
- John Matuszak’s Sloth make-up took five hours to complete. One of the eyes (which was out of place on the face) was mechanically operated off-screen by remote control. Someone would count down from three to one and Matuszak would blink his other eye in synchronization.
- At the climax of the film, Sloth pulls off his shirt, revealing a Superman shirt and the theme music from the Superman movie (also directed by Donner in 1978) is heard.
The Goonies has appeared in several past issues of Kickin’ it Old School including Chunk’s Truffle Shuffle in my Best Dancing Scenes from 80s Movies list, Cyndi Lauper’s “The Goonies R Good Enough” in my Best Songs from 80s Movies list and Mikey’s speech in my Best Inspirational Speeches from 80s Movies list just to name a few. I will admit that it is not one of the finest movies of that decade, but it is definitely one of my favorites. Maybe it is because “Goonies never say die!”
That’ll wrap up this issue of Kickin’ it Old School. Hope you enjoy the “Preview Review” issues and please let me know if there are any 80s movies that you want to see me cover. Thanks as always for reading. If you are interested in reading any of my other 80s related issues, please click there for a summary of those. You can also always click on the Archives in the upper left hand column or use the Google Search Box at the top of the right hand column to find any other issues you may have missed. If you are a fan of Kickin’ it, PLEASE CLICK ON THE FACEBOOK LOGO in the upper right hand column. This will take you to the new Fan Page where I ask you to then click on “Become a Fan”. Even if you are not a Facebook member yet, please consider joining and registering as a fan at that page. Let other 80s fans know about it as well! Peace and much love.
Check this out: This was “Disco Week” on American Idol and I really enjoyed what Kris Allen did with his acoustic version of Donna Summer’s 1983 hit “She Works Hard For the Money” so I decided to share it with you here if you did not see it yet yourself. I love acoustic versions of songs already plus this is an 80s song and I like the way he changed it up.
Quote of the day: “Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” -John Wooden