The Goonies | Chicago Reader

The Goonies

More puberty blues from producer Steven Spielberg in a children's adventure film (1985) so overloaded with Freudian imagery that the good doctor himself might feel embarrassed. A bunch of 13-year-old boys penetrate a secret "cave" in search of hidden "treasure," and when they aren't squeezing through tight places or being doused with water, they're castrating statues or kicking villains in the crotch. References to Mark Twain, the Warner Brothers swashbucklers, and the Our Gang comedies hover in the background, but despite these honorable sources, it's a charmless exercise: director Richard Donner turns the kids into shrieking ferrets, and his jumpy cutting seems to lag behind the action deliberately in a curious attempt to make the film seem more chaotic and cluttered. The usual Spielberg rhetoric about the sanctity of childhood and the beauty of dreams seems wholly factitious in this crass context, which even includes a commercial—in the form of a rock video—for the tie-in merchandise. With Ke Huy-quan and John Matuszak.



  • Richard Donner


  • Sean Astin
  • Josh Brolin
  • Jeff Cohen
  • Corey Feldman
  • Kerri Green
  • Martha Plimpton
  • Ke Huy Quan
  • John Matuszak
  • Anne Ramsey
  • Joe Pantoliano
  • Keith Walker


  • Chris Columbus


  • Harvey Bernhard
  • Richard Donner
  • Kathleen Kennedy
  • Frank Marshall
  • Steven Spielberg

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