There are lots of big anniversaries in cinema this year, as it’s time to look back and celebrate those unforgettable Eighties classics. I’ve already written about one of my favorite films of all time – The Breakfast Club – but now it’s time to remember Richard Donner gem The Goonies.
The cult favorite – starring Sean Astin, Corey Feldman, Josh Brolin, Martha Plimpton, Jeff Cohen, Kerri Green, and Jonathan Ke Quan – hit theaters June 7, 1985, and celebrates its 30th anniversary today.
The Goonies followed endearing, asthmatic Mikey (Sean) – and his rowdy gang of misfits – as they went on the hunt for pirate One Eyed Willie’s treasure, in the hopes that they could save all of their homes from being demolished by a greedy developer.
And in honor of this classic’s 30th anniversary, I’d like to look back on some of the best life lessons learned from The Goonies:
Don’t be afraid to fight for what you believe in
Everyone wanted to give up after coming across mob family the Fratellis, and almost being taken out by a series of underground booby traps – but not Mikey. While the rest of the gang was scrambling to find a way back above ground via a wishing well’s bucket, the plucky kid gave an impassioned speech, noting: “It’s our time down here!’
Sometimes you need to let loose… and shake what your mama gave ya
The Goonies introduced Chunk’s infamous move – the Truffle Shuffle. The talkative tween would lift up his shirt and “Shake It Off” long before Taylor Swift made it cool.
Good things come to good people
At the end of the movie – spoiler alert – the kids wind up finding enough jewels to be able to save their beloved Goondocks homes. Long live the Goonies (aka Goonies never say die!). Now, that’s not to say that if you’re a good person you’ll start finding rubies in old jacket pockets, but it never hurts to put good out into the universe – you know, work on that karma.
You should always support a fellow Goonie – or, you know, your friends
What gets the gang through the treacherous underground tunnels, past the life-threatening booby traps, and helps them evade the Fratellis is the fact that they do it all together. Even though they sometimes get split up, they still all work for the benefit of the group – friendship at its finest!
A little kindness goes a long way
This may seem a bit repetitive, but seriously, it really applies to everyday life. What is it that they say – you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar? Well, it’s true in The Goonies as well. Chunk (Jeff) shows poor Sloth (John Matuszak) that small kindness, simply by treating him like a human being – well, at first, then they even become friends. But in the end Sloth does the guys a solid when he steps up to defend them versus the Fratellis – because friends stick together.
Your coins don’t turn into wishes when you toss them into a wishing well
Andy (Kerri) admits she used to think this of the old Moss Garden wishing well. However, once the kids are underground and find all of the coins, they realize the sad truth – that they just build up and collect in the pools beneath the ground. However, despite the evidence to the contrary, they keep the magic alive by insisting no one take any of the coins, because they’re people’s wishes. Basically, don’t stop believing.
It’s okay to make mistakes – just learn from them and move forward
Andy puts her piano lessons to good use as she takes on an old organ made out of bones. The problem is, every time she messes up, pieces of the ground fall away beneath them, opening them up to a steep drop to… well, nothing good. After a few mistakes, she begins to panic a little bit, and rightfully so, but Mikey reassures her: “It’s OK, you’re a Goonie and Goonies always make mistakes… just don’t make any more.” Failure isn’t really that if you learn from it, right?
The Goonies gave us one of the most endearing cinematic characters in Mikey, a damn catchy theme song (snaps for Cyndi Lauper), and a thrilling romp of an action adventure film that still holds up 30 years later.
So, Happy 30th Anniversary, The Goonies! I’ll be celebrating with a viewing for sure – maybe with a few Baby Ruths for good measure.
Until next time,