US movie (1985). Warner/Steven Spielberg. Pr Harvey Bernhard, Richard Donner. Exec pr Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall, Steven Spielberg. Dir Donner. Spfx Matt Sweeney. Vfx Micheal McAlister, David Carson, Industrial Light & Magic. Screenplay Chris Columbus. Novelization The Goonies * (1985) by James Kahn (1947- ). Starring Sean Astin (Mikey Walsh), Josh Brolin (Brand Walsh), Jeff Cohen (Chunk), Robert Davi (Jake Fratelli), Corey Feldman (Mouth), Kerri Green (Andy), John Matuszak (Sloth), Joe Pantoliano (Francis Fratelli), Martha Plimpton (Stef), Ke Huy Quan (Data), Anne Ramsey (Mama Fratelli). 111 mins. Colour.
Based on a story by Spielberg, this is an attempt to produce an Indiana Jones adventure for children. A bunch of little boys from the wrong side of town (Chunk, Data, Mikey, Mouth) plus Mikey's elder brother (Brand) find a map to Pirate One-Eyed Willie's treasure, and seek it, en route roping in two girls (Andy, Stef). But the Quest entangles the Companions with the clumsily murderous Fratelli gang and countless lethal booby traps. Aided by the monstrously deformed Fratelli brother Sloth, until now kept always chained (there are conscious echoes of Frankenstein's Monster), they recover the loot.
There is nothing supernatural in this Tall Tale, but many traditional elements of the Fantastic Voyage play a part – not least that there are Seven companions. There is some play on the need for Fantasy and on the power of reified dreams, but most is drowned out by the incessant cacophony of raised childish voices: Donner seems to have encouraged his young actors to improvise, with the result that many important moments are lost. [JG]