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TheRaider.net Research Indy's Influences Legacy The Goonies
 
The Goonies
 

Released by Warner Bros. - 1985

Directed by: Richard Donner
Story by: Steven Spielberg
Screenplay by: Chris Columbus
Executive producers: Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall & Steven Spielberg
Produced by: Harvey Bernhard & Richard Donner

Starring:
Sean Astin .... Michael 'Mikey' Walsh
Jeff Cohen .... Lawrence 'Chunk' Cohen
Corey Feldman .... Clark 'Mouth' Devereaux
Jonathan Ke Quan .... Richard 'Data' Wang
Josh Brolin .... Brandon 'Brand' Walsh
Kerri Green .... Andrea 'Andy' Carmichael
Martha Plimpton .... Stefanie Steinbrenner

 

The 1980s, when Star Wars was cool, Transformers were the toys to be worshipped, and the name Data was synonymous with The Goonies, and not an android from science fiction television. After Steve Spielberg's huge wave of success directing Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and E.T., he started to amplify his box-office victories by assisting as an executive producer on a myriad of other projects.

In 1985, riding off the wave that was Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom the year before, Steven Spielberg teamed up with two talented directors to create two of the greatest films that summer. One, directed by Robert Zemeckis (who that previous year directed Romancing the Stone), would make cinema history with a kid, a crazy professor, and a Delorean Time Machine under the title Back to the Future. The other film was a rollicking adventure yarn concocted by Spielberg and directed by Richard Donner, the legendary director of Superman: The Movie, and this movie was titled The Goonies.


The Goonies ready for 1
last adventure together.

The Goonies tells the story of a group of middle school kids, Mikey, Mouth, Chunk, and Data, who come from the poor side of town in an area called "the Goon Docks". In a few days, they will all lose their homes to a country club developer unless they can come up with an exorbitant sum of money. Bored one rainy afternoon, the boys head up into the attic where Mikey's father, who works at a museum, stores a number of artifacts. They find a pirate treasure map that once belonged to One-Eyed Willy, which indicates that his treasure is somewhere near the coast where the Goon Docks sit. Brand tells Mikey that everyone has searched and it is only a legend.

The boys find local landmarks on the map, which lead them to an abandoned restaurant. Little do they know that the Fratellis, a ruthless family of criminals use the site as a hideout. They enter the building and come face to face with Mama Fratelli. From there, the adventure kicks into high gear as the Goonies desperately try to escape the Fratellis, while navigating ancient caves and a labyrinth of pirate tricks and traps in the hopes of finding the One-Eyed Willy's treasure first. But can they survive what Willy has in store for them?


Cliffhanger action!

The Goonies parallels the Indiana Jones series in many ways, and mimics it with style, wit, and flare. The initial references and coincidences are obvious. For one, Steven Spielberg was involved and having come right off of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, the cave sets and the cinematography in the underground tunnels are almost identical to the second Indiana Jones adventure. The other very clear parallel, unless you have no sight, is the fact that Short Round himself is along for the ride. Ke Huy Quan plays the gadget crazy Data in the film and he is a joy to watch for any Indy fan. All Indy fans will also note that Robert Davi's character in the film wears an Indiana Jones fedora during the film while chasing the Goonies.


Booby traps!

The traps in the film are also very reminiscent of Indiana Jones. For example, when Data falls down a trap door and almost lands on a floor of spikes, one cannot help but recall the spiked chamber in the palace in Temple of Doom. In one sequence, the Goonies find another dead adventurer crushed by a massive rock, which immediately conjures up the image of Indy finding his dead competitor from the opening sequence of Raiders of the Lost Ark. When the boys trigger the rest of the falling boulders, the similarities to the boulder chase in Raiders are apparent. In the sequence when they must play the bone organ, the organ itself reminds the viewer of the statue of Kali with the proliferation of skulls and bones.

When the Goonies are searching for the caves, Mikey carries a map much like Indy's from the opening shots of Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Mikey's use of the medallion to align the horizon feels much like Indy in the Map Room at Tanis. And also, in the tradition of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, the climax of the film peaks when the final trap is accidentally sprung and the whole place comes crashing down.

Now, with the new Special Edition DVD, Indy fans have even more to enjoy. During the audio commentary, Corey Feldman makes mention of Davi's Indy hat numerous times, exclaiming "Did he steal that hat from Harrison Ford?!" The other rare treat is Steven Spielberg's cameo in the Cyndi Lauper music video. Any Indiana Jones fan in their right mind will get a real kick out of this film. It's a vintage eighties, Spielberg adventure. It doesn't get any better than that. (MF)

 

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