The Goonies

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The Goonies
The Goonies.jpg
Theatrical release poster by Drew Struzan
Directed by Richard Donner
Produced by Richard Donner
Harvey Bernhard
Screenplay by Chris Columbus
Story by Steven Spielberg
Music by Dave Grusin
Cinematography Nick McLean
Edited by Michael Kahn
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release dates
  • June 7, 1985 (1985-06-07)
Running time 114 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $19 million
Box office $61,389,680

The Goonies is a 1985 American adventure–comedy film directed by Richard Donner. The screenplay was written by Chris Columbus from a story by executive producer Steven Spielberg. The film's premise features a band of pre-teens who live in the "Goon Docks" neighborhood of Astoria, Oregon attempting to save their homes from demolition, and in doing so, discover an old Spanish map that leads them on an adventure to unearth the long-lost fortune of One-Eyed Willie, a legendary 17th-century pirate.


Facing foreclosure of their homes in Astoria, Oregon, a group of kids called the "Goonies" gather for a last weekend before their homes are demolished for a country club golf course. The kids consist of Mikey Walsh, an optimist and their leader who has asthma; his older brother Brand, who has outgrown the Goonies in search of popularity, though he is chided for failing his driver's test; their neighbor, an inventor named Data, whose inventions rarely work as intended; Mouth, a wisecracking and talkative son of a plumber; and Chunk, the overweight klutz who likes telling exaggerated tall tales. One day, while rummaging through the Walsh's attic, the kids come across an old treasure map and a doubloon marked with the date "1632", as well as a news article indicating that the treasure of a famous pirate named "One-Eyed" Willy is hidden somewhere in the area. Evading Brand for one last adventure together, the kids find themselves at a derelict restaurant near the coast, which coincides with the doubloon and the coordinates on the map. While there, they encounter the Fratellis, a family of criminals hiding out after Ma and Francis Fratelli had broken her middle son Jake out of prison earlier. They manage to deter the kids from exploring. Outside, they run into Brand and two girls; the popular cheerleader Andy, the girlfriend of Troy, whose family owns the country club threatening their houses, and Steph, a nerdy, tough-talking girl and Andy's best friend.

Through a series of circumstances, Brand and the others (with the exception of Chunk) find a tunnel under the restaurant and are nearly caught by the Fratellis. While the kids continue along the tunnel, Chunk goes out in search of authorities, but is captured by Jake and Francis to be interrogated. In the tunnels, they come across the remains of Chester Copperpot, an explorer who was reportedly missing after going in search of the treasure. They set off a booby trap, which they narrowly escape. Meanwhile, Chunk's confession of the treasure is corroborated by a cloud of bats that explode from the tunnel entrance in the fireplace. Chunk is chained up next to the disfigured youngest Fratelli brother Sloth, who at first is frightening to Chunk, but the two become fast friends. Meanwhile, after coming across an old wishing well, the kids have a chance to be pulled out of the tunnel by Troy and his friends, but Mikey convinces the group to continue on their journey. They find a tunnel and continue on, unaware that the Fratellis are in hot pursuit.

After Mikey and Andy mistakenly kiss in the dark, they run, upon the realization that the Fratellis are following them, and manage to lose them. Andy helps them overcome a deadly booby trap with a pipe organ made of bones and make their way down a water slide tunnel that leads to a hidden cavern where they discover an ancient pirate ship. Once on board, Mikey discovers "One-Eyed" Willy and his band, dead and turned to skeletons around an immense horde of treasure. They are caught by the Fratellis and are forced to walk the plank, but they are saved at the last minute by Chunk and Sloth, who broke out of their confinement to find them. The kids escape the ship and Sloth helps them to get out of the cave just as Jake Fratelli sets off a booby trap that results in the cave wall collapsing. They also escape and Sloth goes back to help them. Outside, the Goonies meet with the authorities on the beach, but the sheriff does not believe Chunk's story until they and a camera crew spot Willy's ship The Inferno sailing out to open water with the current. The Fratellis are arrested by the police, while the Walsh's housemaid Rosalita discovers jewels that Mikey had stowed in his marble bag, giving them the money to save their houses from being demolished.


The old Clatsop County Jail, scene of the Fratelli jail break. The site is now home to the Oregon Film Museum.
Much of the filming was done on location in Astoria, Oregon, the setting of the film
The Goonies
The Fratellis



Principal photography on The Goonies began on October 22, 1984 and lasted five months. There was an additional six weeks of ADR recording.[1] The shooting script was lengthy, over 120 pages, and several sequences were eventually cut from the final theatrical version. During the film's denouement, mention is made of an octopus which seems like an exaggeration of the actual events but actually refers to a scene that was excised from the final cut.

In The Making of The Goonies, director Richard Donner notes the difficulties and pleasures of working with so many child actors. Donner praises them for their energy and excitement, but says that they were a handful when brought together. The documentary frequently shows him coaching the young actors and reveals some techniques he used to get realistic performances. One of these tricks involved One-Eyed Willie's ship, which was actually an impressive full-sized mock-up of a pirate ship created under the direction of production designer J. Michael Riva. Donner restricted the child 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 thus basically also the actors' first view of it, bringing about a more realistic performance. However, Corey Feldman admits to having seen it beforehand with another co-star he does not name,[citation needed] and that particular scene in the movie is actually the second shot, as the cast was 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.[2]

In his book There and Back Again, Sean Astin claims that Richard Donner and Steven Spielberg were "like codirectors" on the film as he compares and contrasts their styles when directing scenes.[3]

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.)[4] The museum where Mikey's father works is, in reality, the Captain George Flavel House Museum. The Walsh family home is a real home at 368 38th Street.[4] 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 Willie's ship, which was in Stage 16, one of the largest sound stages in America.[5]


Film critics were generally favorable toward The Goonies. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 67% of critics have given the film a positive review, based on 41 reviews, with an average rating of 6/10 and the critical consensus: "An energetic, sometimes noisy mix of Spielbergian sentiment and funhouse tricks that will appeal to kids and nostalgic adults alike."[6] At Metacritic it has a rating score of 60, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[7] Several reviewers noted that the film appeared to be enjoyable for children and teens, but not so much for adults.[8]

The Goonies grossed US$9 million in its opening weekend in the US, second on the charts behind Rambo: First Blood Part II.[9] It grossed over US$61 million that year, placing it among the top ten highest-grossing films of 1985 (in the US).[10]

Ramsey won a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Film for her role.[11] 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.[12]

The movie has also garnered a cult following over the years. Scottish actor James McAvoy has repeatedly cited in interviews that The Goonies is his favorite film of all time.[13][14]

Home video[edit]

VHS and Laserdisc[edit]

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. The DVD featured several notable extras, including:

  1. Commentary by actors Ke Quan, Feldman, Astin, Green, Plimpton, Cohen, Brolin, and director Donner. This option frequently switches back and shows the actors and Donner gathered together as they are watching the film while recording the commentary. Midway through the film, Sean Astin had to leave, much to the puzzlement of his costars, and without ever getting to say a personal message to Cyndi Lauper that he intended to. He left a Samwise Gamgee action figure in his place, however. In an interview with, Astin explained that the recording session started late, which resulted in him having to leave early to honor a prior commitment to his friend (and fellow Goonies castmate), Joe Pantoliano.[15]
  2. A 7-minute behind-the-scenes documentary called "The Making of The Goonies".
  3. The 12-minute, 2-part "The Goonies 'R' Good Enough" music video by Cyndi Lauper. The video is notable in its casting of some '80s wrestlers, like André the Giant and Captain Lou Albano. The video was directed by Richard Donner.
  4. Deleted scenes:
    • A scene where Data tries out his gadgets, including the "Pinchers of Peril" and "Spy Eyes", outside the Fratelli hideout. The boys then realize the map can be folded like a MAD Magazine.
    • The octopus attack (where the "Eight Arms to Hold You" song can be heard) that Data describes to a reporter at the end of the film.
    • The convenience store scene (which explains why the map, which was intact in the Walshes' attic, is singed later in the film). The convenience store scene, however, cuts about 15 seconds short, not showing Mouth retrieving the map from Brand's pocket and the boys fleeing the store with Brand chasing.
    • A scene with Sloth and Chunk, where Chunk talks about his friend Joey who only goes out to play at night.
  5. The theatrical trailer.


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. Extras mirrored that of the DVD release:

  1. Commentary (with hidden video treasures) by director Richard Donner
  2. "The Making of The Goonies" featurette
  3. Deleted scenes
  4. Cyndi Lauper's two "The Goonies 'R' Good Enough" music videos
  5. Soundtrack remastered in Dolby TrueHD 5.1

The special features are presented in 480i/576i standard definition.

Video games[edit]

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 US Gold.[16][17] This game featured 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, 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 had little to do with the film, but achieved a following for its inventive gameplay. In it the Fratellis have managed to kidnap all the Goonies (except Mikey, whom the player guides) and hide them in hidden 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.

In February 2007, DaimlerChrysler's Jeep division sponsored The Goonies: Return to Astoria, a Flash based game, developed by Fuel Industries. The player's goal is to collect map pieces and doubloons, and then race the Fratellis to One-Eyed Willie's treasure.[18][19]

Soundtrack and score album[edit]

The Goonies: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack featured 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.[20]

Soundtrack label Varèse Sarabande released the score in March 2010 in a limited edition of 5000 copies.[citation needed]

Proposed sequels and adaptations[edit]

The possibility of a film sequel has been confirmed and denied many times in recent 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.[22] 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,"[23] Donner has expressed doubt that the sequel will ever happen, as many of the actors had not shown interest in returning for a sequel.[24] 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."[25] However, on the July 2010 release of "The Making of a Cult Classic: The Unauthorized Story of The Goonies" DVD,[26] 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."[27] On April 5, 2014, Richard Donner revealed a sequel is in the works, and he hopes to bring back the entire cast.[28]

Rumors of adaptations and sequels in other media took off in 2007, including a comic book miniseries,[29] an animated television series, and a musical adaptation of the film. Corey Feldman said he was asked to reprise the role of Mouth in a cartoon series that would feature the original Goonies characters as adults and focus on the adventures of a new set of kids.[30] Apparently this project was briefly in the works for Cartoon Network before being shelved.[31] 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.[32] 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."[21] 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.[33]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Audio commentary from The Goonies DVD (2001). 
  2. ^ "10 Things You Might Not Know About The Goonies". Retrieved November 5, 2013. 
  3. ^ Sean Astin; Joe Layden (2005). There and Back Again: An Actor's Tale. Macmillan. p. 135. ISBN 9780312331474. 
  4. ^ a b Jennifer Margulis (May 30, 2010). "Loony for 'The Goonies'? Astoria film museum awaits". 
  5. ^ "Warner Bros. to Extend Tour to Weekends March 26-August 27". Warner Bros. Retrieved May 20, 2012. 
  6. ^ "The Goonies (1985)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 2011-04-18. 
  7. ^ "The Goonies". Metacritic. Retrieved November 23, 2010. 
  8. ^ Ebert, Roger (1985). "The Goonies". Chicago Sun-Times. 
  9. ^ "US Movie Box Office Chart Weekend of June 7, 1985". The Numbers. Retrieved November 23, 2010. 
  10. ^ "The Goonies (1985)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved November 23, 2010. 
  11. ^ "Best Supporting Actress". The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films. Retrieved April 22, 2011. 
  12. ^ "7th Annual Youth In Film Awards". Retrieved 2012-08-19. 
  13. ^ Reagan, Crystal (February 9, 2011). "Interview With James McAvoy and Emily Blunt on Gnomeo & Juliet". Simply Being Mommy: Kids, Chaos and Caffeine. Retrieved April 9, 2014. 
  14. ^ RT, Staff (July 2, 2010). "Five Favorite Films with James McAvoy: The Last Station star stops by The Rotten Tomatoes Show". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 9, 2014. 
  15. ^ P., Ken (2003-12-23). "IGN Interviews Sean Astin". 
  16. ^ "The Goonies for Amstrad CPC (1986)". MobyGames. Retrieved 6 November 2012. 
  17. ^ Kalata, Kurt. "Hardcore Gaming 101: The Goonies". Hardcore Gaming 101. Retrieved 6 November 2012. 
  18. ^ "". Retrieved 2009-07-13. [dead link]
  19. ^ "Jeep presents The Goonies: Return To Astoria". Fuel Industries. Retrieved 2010-10-30. 
  20. ^ "'The Goonies 25th Anniversary Collector's Edition' On DVD & Blu-ray Nov. 2". 2010-11-02. Retrieved 2010-11-02. 
  21. ^ a b Kroll, Justin (2008-10-15). "Goonies cast reflect on life-changing film: Donner's adventure story has fervent fanbase". Variety. Retrieved 2008-10-16. 
  22. ^ "Ain't It Cool News: "Chunk says Goonies Never Say Die, news on GOONIES 2!". Retrieved June 6, 2005. 
  23. ^ Jacks, Brian (2007-10-08). "Goonies Sequel An "Absolute Certainty," Says Astin". 
  24. ^ Otto, Jeff (2006-02-02). "IGN Interviews Richard Donner". 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. 
  25. ^ Feldman, Corey (November 25, 2008). "Goonies 2? Lost Boys 3?…….Truth Movement Digital Release Today!!!!!". The Feldman Journal. Archived from the original on August 30, 2009. Retrieved December 2, 2008. 
  26. ^ "Goonies Documentary DVD". Retrieved 2010-06-15. 
  27. ^ Brannigan, Joseph (2010-06-07). "Movie Talk: Secrets and Celebrations From 'The Goonies' Reunion". Retrieved 2010-06-15. 
  28. ^ "'Goonies' Director Sequel is Happening". 2014-04-05. Retrieved 2014-04-05. 
  29. ^ "Goonies Sequel to be Comic Book Miniseries". Geeks of Doom. April 1, 2007. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  30. ^ Olly Richards (October 23, 2007). "Exclusive: Data Talks Goonies 2!". Empire. 
  31. ^ "Goonies Cartoon". August 31, 2007. Retrieved 2010-09-26. [dead link]
  32. ^ Stack, Tim (2007-03-28). "'Goonie' Tunes". 
  33. ^ Weintraub, Steve (2011-05-31). "Exclusive: Director Richard Donner Talks SUPERMAN and SUPERMAN II; Plus an Update on DAVE and the GOONIES Musical on Broadway". Retrieved 2011-06-01. 

External links[edit]