Before there was Stranger Things, there was The Goonies, the 1985 adventure comedy written by Chris Columbus, based on a story by Steven Spielberg and directed by Richard Donner. The film is packed with profanities, sexual themes, drug references and just a few too many scares to get way with a PG rating these days (after all, in the 80s PG stood for Parental Guidance Strongly Suggested – Most Material May Not Be Suitable for Children), but it remains a childhood classic.
But did you know …
1) When the kids discover the pirate ship for the first time, their reactions are absolutely genuine. The actors weren’t given any details about the ship scene and hadn’t seen the full-sized craft, which was only revealed to them during the first take. Their reactions were a bit too genuine, and many of them cursed at the sight of the giant ship. “There was no CGI in those days so they kept the ship under wraps so they could capture us seeing it for the first time”, recalls Josh Brolin. “It took ages to set up and as we surfaced the water and turned to look at the ship I shouted, ‘Fuck!’ Spielberg shouted, ‘Cut!’ I had blown it.” The final scene in the movie is the second take they filmed.
2) The movie takes place in the same universe as Gremlins, another Columbus/Spielberg collaboration released just a year prior. When Chunk calls the police to warn them about the crime family’s location, the police officer responds with a tale of Chunk’s pranks, one of them including the time he called about ““little creatures that multiply when you pour water on them”.
3) Once filming wrapped, Sean Astin was allowed to keep One Eyed Willy’s treasure map, which had been delicately hand-crafted by production designer J. Michael Riva (he even used his own blood to create an authentic look). However, years later Astin’s mother (Hollywood actress Patty Duke) had found the weathered scrap and mistook it for trash and threw it out.
The clip shows the impressive water slide and ship discovery scene from the film, followed by an excerpt from Sean Astin’s audition tape.