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Goonies 30th Anniversary look back… still as good as ever

November 25th, 2015 by Irwin Fletcher Comments

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The Goonies (1PG)
Running Time: 114 min
Directed by: Richard Donner
Starring:  Sean Astin, Josh Brolin & Jeff Cohen

Greetings fellow Nerds and Nerdettes; well it’s hard to believe that thirty years ago a brilliant adventure film burst its way onto our screens. Now I know some of you are thinking Back to the Future, and indeed that was a brilliant movie. But the one I’m really thinking of had a treasure map, a group of plucky young kids and a family of bank robbers. I am of course referring to The Goonies.

Directed by Richard Donner (he who helped make us believe that a man could fly) and produced by Steven Spielberg (who made us believe that kids on bicycles with an alien in the basket could fly) brought together a group of virtually unknown actors and created an adventure story that is still a great watch and virtually timeless, even by today’s standards.

Long before Pirates of the Caribbean had become a summer blockbuster, there was only one pirate on the minds of kids in the 1980s; One-Eyed Willy (I’m sure there is a double entendre in there); the pirate who created booby traps for anyone crazy enough to hunt down his treasure. Ah, Chester Copperpot, you came so close!

The Goonies wasn’t just another family film though; it had kids doing something for their parents (remember homes were going to be torn down to make way for a golf course?) albeit, they were on a treasure hunt through caverns laden with falling rocks, bats and an organ that was made out of human bones (pretty gruesome when you think about it).

The cast is well known now, though in 1984 (it didn’t reach the UK until 1985) it starred Sean Astin as Mikey (who would go on to star in the Lord of the Rings trilogy), Corey Feldman (one half of the Frog Brothers from The Lost Boys), Josh Brolin (mega star acting talent from the likes of No Country for Old Men and now he’s the MCU’s Thanos), Ke hu Quan (Short Round from Indian Jones and the Temple of Doom), Robert Davi (bond villain Sanchez from License to Kill), Joe Pantoliona (who went to star in the Matrix, The Fugitive and was amazing in The Sopranos), and future Academy Award nominee Anne Ramsey (Throw Mama from the Train). This was no casting accident but a great insight into to emerging talent.

The set of the One-Eyed Willy’s The Inferno (that’s the pirate ship to the non Goonies among you) is still incredible to this day. It took months to build, was perfect in every way and when viewed on the big screen, or even small screen for that matter, still puts The Black Pearl to shame!

Ok, so maybe the story is a little bit a product of the 1980s, including Cyndi Lauper appearing in her own music video on television to a song used in the movie’s soundtrack, but that all just adds to the charm of The Goonies. This film had every element to make it a success; there was danger, there was romance, there was the comedy element (who still chuckles at Data attacking The Fratellis with his pinchers from hell) and the entrance of Captain Chunk and Sloth sliding down the sail!? Perfect!

For a film that was never meant to be anything more than just a family/young teen orientated adventure story, The Goonies still holds a firm place in many hearts of the youth who grew up in that time period.

If you haven’t already watched this, then you have no excuse. If you have, then give it a much loved re-watch and shout with glee “Jerk Alert” each time you see a Fratelli on screen!

The 30th Anniversary Edition of The Goonies is out now

4 out of 5 Nerds


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I'm an LA journalist who really lives for his profession. I have also published work as Jane Doe in various mags and newspapers across the globe. I normally write articles that can cause trouble but now I write for FTN because Nerds are never angry, so I feel safe.