They Are Good Enough
1985 will go down in history as one of my favorite years. The NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) was test marketed in the United States, eventually leading to a countrywide roll out early in 1986. Artists such as Duran Duran, Madonna, The Cure, and Bruce Springsteen had huge hits on pop radio. Transformers and G.I. Joe dominated my toy box. Some of my all time favorite films were released as well. A few of them that were released in 1985 were Back To The Future, Ladyhawke, Enemy Mine, Weird Science, The Breakfast Club, and Fright Night.
There was also a little film called The Goonies that was released just a few days before my birthday. With names like Steven Spielberg, Frank Marshall, Kathleen Kennedy, and Richard Donner tied to it, you pretty much knew that it was probably going to be a great film. In hindsight, the film’s screenwriter, a guy by the name of Chris Columbus, was also a pretty important part of the puzzle, as he was fresh off of writing Gremlins (1984) and would go on to direct some of the most popular films in history including Home Alone, the first two Harry Potter films, and Mrs. Doubtfire.
The film centered on a small group of kids who set out to find a legendary pirate’s treasure, hoping to save their families’ homes from foreclosure. If the families fail to make payments, the group of kids would be split up as they would all have to move away from the “Goon Docks” of Astoria, Oregon.
The group bites off more than they can chew as they find themselves being chased by a family of outlaws known as the Fratellis. The criminals hope to cash in on the pirate treasure as well, and will stop at nothing to get their hands on the prize. The kids risk their lives as they take on multiple booby traps set by One-Eyed Willy, the pirate that hid the treasure along the Oregon coast, and try to stay away from the Fratellis as well.
The film featured a stellar young cast, most of whom would go on to bigger and better things. This was the feature film debut for the movie’s star, Sean Astin, who played Mikey Walsh, the unofficial leader and lone optimist of the Goonies. Astin would go on to have a long and steady career that is still going strong. He has had starring and supporting roles in films like Rudy (1993), Toy Soldiers (1991), The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-2003), and Memphis Belle (1990) and television roles in shows such as Stranger Things (2017) and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012-2017). Josh Brolin portrayed Mikey’s older brother, Brandon. Like Astin, Brolin has had a solid career that continues to this day. Some of his work includes roles in The Young Riders (1989-1992), W. (2008), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), and Jonah Hex (2010).
Corey Feldman was already a veteran of television and film, having had roles in Gremlins, Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter (1984), and multiple appearances in commercials and supporting roles on television including episodes of Cheers and Mork & Mindy. His star would continue to shine in films such as Stand By Me (1986), The Lost Boys (1987), and a number of highly successful films with Corey Haim including Dream A Little Dream (1989). Feldman’s career would quickly spiral out of control due to alleged sexual abuse he suffered as a child actor and drug abuse. Feldman eventually cleaned up and has managed to gain a number of roles in film and television (including a reality series with Haim) and has written a memoir and also released multiple albums. Feldman also became an extremely vocal advocate for child actors.
Martha Plimpton, who played Stef, started her career as a model prior to appearing in The Goonies and went on to have a very steady and successful career in film in television. She has had multiple film roles over the years including work in Parenthood (1989), Running On Empty (1988), and I Shot Andy Warhol (1996). She has also starred in television shows such as Raising Hope (2010-2014) and The Real O’Neals (2016-2017).
Jonathan Ke Quan was fresh from his role as Short Round in 1984’s Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom when he took on the role of Data in The Goonies. He would go on to star in final season of the television series Head of the Class (1991) and had a few more roles in both film and television. Quan would also find work as a stunt rigger and coordinator.
Kerri Green (Andy) starred in the hit film Lucas (1986) just one year removed from The Goonies but would not star in another hit film. She had a few more starring roles and minor roles in film and television, but would eventually take a break from acting in order to attend college. She now appears occasionally on screen in small roles and has a production company.
The man who gave us the Truffle Shuffle, Jeff Cohen (Chunk), had just a few roles outside of The Goonies. He had roles on Family Ties, She’s The Sheriff, Amazing Stories, and a few others, but would turn his attention to college and eventually become a respected entertainment lawyer. He eventually opened his own firm in Beverly Hills.
I could go on about this film and how much I love it, but I would rather you go out and watch it for yourself. The film was very successful and has become a favorite among folks around my age. From Sloth’s signature “Hey, you guys!” to Data talking about his “slick shoes,” The Goonies is one of those films that stuck with pretty much everyone from my generation.
Honestly, who didn’t love this film growing up in the 1980’s? Who didn’t have a crush on Kerri Green or Josh Brolin? Myself, I had quite the crush on Martha Plimpton. Still do. I wanted to go on adventures like these kids and find pirate treasure. The Goonies was the perfect film for 1985, and it’s still perfect today.
Thanks for reading. If you loved this film, let me know in the comments. Also, feel free to share this post with anybody that you know who loved this film as well.