The Goonies: 35 facts to celebrate its 35th anniversary

Adventure classic The Goonies is now 35 years old, and this July it returns to Cineworld screens as we prepare to re-open.

So, dig out those treasure maps and watch out for booby traps as we present 35 fun facts to celebrate the movie's 35th anniversary.


 1. The story of The Goonies was conceived by Steven Spielberg, who later acted as executive producer.

2. Chris Columbus, fresh from his script for 1984 smash Gremlins, then fleshed out the screenplay about kids embarking on a treasure hunt.

3. Spielberg elected Richard Donner to direct the film; Donner had birthed the modern-day comic book movie with 1978's Superman.

4. Sean Astin's original audition tape can be viewed online, filmed by Steven Spielberg's assistant Mark Marshall in 1984.

5. The movie was shot using a mixture of actual locations (Astoria in Oregon) and sets (Warner Bros. Studios Stage 16 housed One-Eyed Willy's pirate ship).

6. The film was Josh Brolin's acting debut.

7. Chunk actor Jeff Cohen contracted chickenpox and yet was so concerned about losing the part that he turned up on set regardless. (This can be seen during the famous 'truffle shuffle' sequence.)

8. Cohen later retired from acting, slimming down and eventually becoming an entertainment lawyer.

9. Martha Plimpton recalled erupting in a rage at Corey Feldman: “I was sitting at the typewriter doing my homework and he came over and started annoying me. I got up from the typewriter and got you on the floor and started smashing your head on it, shouting, 'SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP!'"

10. Various celebrities visited the set, including Harrison Ford who, Feldman said, "climbed around in the caves with us".

11. The reveal of One-Eyed Willy's pirate ship was withheld from the young actors, in order to ensure an authentic reaction on the first take.

12. However, so sweary was the reaction of the young cast that Richard Donner had to re-take the scene.

13. The ship was eventually dismantled and scrapped as no buyers could be found for it.

14. Look closely and you can spot R2-D2 from Star Wars on the deck of the pirate ship.

15. Former NFL player John Matuszak portrayed the Goonies' eventual saviour Sloth.

16. It took five hours to transform him into Sloth, and he was assisted by a remote-controlled eye.

17. Famously, there was a deleted scene involving an octopus battle; this was removed from the film but later referenced by Data (Ke Huy Quan).

18. Data's introduction is accompanied by the James Bond theme; Spielberg appropriated this in exchange for Bond producer Albert R. 'Cubby' Broccoli using the Close Encounters theme in 1979's Moonraker.

19. Donner was so worn out by the cast's energy that he couldn't wait to get back to his Hawaii home and chill, only for the cast to greet him en masse when he got there.

20. Musician Cyndi Lauper was brought onto the project after being asked by Steven Spielberg.


21. However, she later confessed to hating the original song she had composed for the movie, 'The Goonies 'R Good Enough', eventually agreeing to play it live during her True Colours tour in 2007/08.

22. Spielberg himself makes a cameo in the music video for 'The Goonies 'R' Good Enough'.

23. Composer Dave Grusin wrote the original score, including the famous 'Fratelli Chase' opening theme, which he later re-recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra.

24. It was Lauper who suggested the involvement of a certain group called The Bangles, who composed the song 'I Got Nothing' for the movie.

25. The film was a box office success, grossing $124 million against a $19 million budget.

26. Critical responses were largely positive: the noted Roger Ebert wrote: “It’s a fantastical story of buried pirate treasure, told with a slice-of-life approach that lets these kids use words Bogart didn’t know in Casablanca."

26. The movie spawned video game spin-offs for the likes of the Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum.

27. Corey Feldman later described the movie as "the Willy Wonka of our generation".


28. Josh Gad recently hosted the cast and crew on his 'Reunited Apart' YouTube series – even Cyndi Lauper got involved.

29. Donner himself cameos as a policeman during the closing sequence on the beach.

30. Grusin's score references both John Williams' Superman theme and Max Steiner's The Adventures of Don Juan.

31. Sean Astin got to keep the treasure map from the movie, but his mother later threw it in the bin after mistaking it for trash.

32. Actor Robert Davi is trained in opera, and he improvised the 'Madama Butterfly' moment where his character Jake Fratelli intercepts Chunk.

33. Various sequels and spin-offs have been proposed over the years, including an idea for Cartoon Network series that would have seen Corey Feldman reprise the role of Mouth.

34. In 2007, a musical adaptation was proposed, but even though Spielberg and Donner discussed it, the project went nowhere.

35. In February 2020, Sarah Watson, creator of TV show The Bold Type, began work on a pilot drama series, in which a woman helps film students create a shot-for-shot remake of The Goonies.


Got some fun Goonies facts of your own? Let us know @Cineworld and don't miss your chance to see it again on the big screen.