Hey, you guys: The Goonies released 35 years ago today on June 7, 1985. The Richard Donner-directed adventure movie — about a young group of misfits who set out to save their home, nicknamed the Goon Docks, by finding the long-lost treasure of legendary pirate One-Eyed Willy — was dreamed up by Steven Spielberg and starred Sean Astin, Corey Feldman, Jeff Cohen, Jonathan Ke Huy Quan, Kerri Green, Martha Plimpton, and Josh Brolin as the Goonies, who are joined in their adventure by the kind-hearted Sloth (John Matuszak) while pursued by the criminal Fratelli clan: Mama Fratelli (Anne Ramsey) and bickering brothers Jake (Robert Davi) and Francis Fratelli (Joe Pantoliano).
The Goonies found treasure as the ninth highest-grossing movie of 1985, a year dominated by time-travel comedy Back to the Future — also executive produced by Spielberg — and Sylvester Stallone, whose films Rambo: First Blood Part II and Rocky IV topped the charts in second and third place, respectively.
In 2015, when The Goonies turned 30, Donner admitted he never thought his adventure comedy about a scrappy kid club could go on to become a beloved classic that once inspired thousands of fans to descend upon Astoria, Oregon, in celebration of the film's 30th anniversary.
"With any movie you make, you just hope it's successful," the Superman director told Uproxx in 2015. "You hope you deliver something that the audience you're looking for enjoys. You have one of the better times of your life making it. But you have no idea, no idea. When you finish the thing you think, 'Oh my God, what's going to happen? I'll never work again, it's a failure.' I didn't feel that secure on that movie at all. It was a bizarre thing that you get so personally invested with these kids and this really well-written script, but it was like, besides these kids, who else is going to go see this movie? I'm making it for us. I never thought in a million years — ever thought about it! — that it would be what it is in 30 years."
The film's surviving stars, along with Donner, Spielberg, screenwriter Chris Columbus, and "The Goonies 'R' Good Enough" performer Cyndi Lauper, recently reunited amid the COVID-19 pandemic for a virtual reunion and fundraising effort hosted by super-fan Josh Gad. It was there Spielberg explained why calls for The Goonies 2 have gone unanswered despite Astin and Feldman once pitching Donner with their idea for a decades-later sequel.
"Chris and Dick and I and Lauren [Shuler Donner] have had a lot of conversations about it, and every couple of years we come up with an idea, but then it doesn't hold water," Spielberg said when revealing why a sequel never happened. "The problem is the bar that all of [the cast and creative team] raised on this genre. I don't think we've really successfully been able to find an idea that is better than The Goonies we made in the '80s."
During a mini Goonies reunion late last year, where Astin, Feldman, and Quan came together for a joint appearance at FAN EXPO Canada, Feldman said the film's stars remain "one big family" more than three decades later.
"We're still just as close as when we were on the set," Feldman said. "So there is something to be said for that kind of magic, that it would really have that resounding of an effect on us as adults. And obviously it had that kind of resounding effect on you as the audience, so we're very grateful for that."
On this day in 1985, The Goonies came out in theaters. Happy 35th Anniversary! pic.twitter.com/BTWzsLIrTh— Alec Behan (@alec_behan) June 7, 2020
Hey you guys! Feel adventure in the air today? If so, you're a fellow goonie, and you know we never say die—not through heaven or hell or nuclear war—not even through 35 years gone by! THE GOONIES opened in theaters on June 7, 1985! Share your favorite #GOONIES memories with us! pic.twitter.com/gl0JkselnS— Amblin (@amblin) June 7, 2020
The Goonies turns 35 today! pic.twitter.com/zH4MUqQ53r— Horror-Con (@HorrorCon2013) June 7, 2020
THE GOONIES was released in theaters 35 years ago today. One of the staple films that embodied the adventurous spirit of being an 80s kid, riding around on our bikes, imagining adventure at every turn. pic.twitter.com/aUJ8IYGurn— Rob Sheridan #BLM (@rob_sheridan) June 7, 2020
The Goonies was released 35 years ago on June 7, 1985. pic.twitter.com/1SoJcyCtRy— Killer Kitsch (@killer_kitsch) June 7, 2020
35 years ago on this very day, 7 June 1985 'The Goonies' was first released in theaters. I am sure you'll agree that it's an 80s classic... pic.twitter.com/ypIGGfqyKi— I❤️80s (@IL0VEthe80s) June 7, 2020