How could a story about a bunch of misfit youths doing their best to save their families' homes not wind up as an incredibly touching, potentially oversweet, film? The notion of a bunch of outcasts fighting the good fight and trying to scrape together enough cash to save the only way of life they've known and protect their parents is the exact sort of fodder that makes for a Hallmark Hall of Fame tearjerker. Well, it can make for a tearjerker, it can also make for one of the best comedy-adventure flicks of the 1980s, The Goonies.
Produced by Steven Spielberg and directed by Richard Donner, The Goonies is about a group of pre/early teenage kids, one older brother, and a couple of girls thrown in for good measure trying, as mentioned, to save their homes. The youths go after long-lost pirate treasure, running into a family of murderous bank robbers, and even making a new friend on the way. Chris Columbus' screenplay, based on a story by Spielberg, finds not only high adventure, but is full of laughs. In fact, the movie only stops the laughs when it needs to ratchet up the adventure (and not always even then), and only slows the adventure when it's time for more laughs (and again, not always even then). By all accounts, The Goonies is unquestionably a cult favorite, but anyone who ever dreamed of adventure as a child will find a lot to love in the film.
The main character in the movie is Michael "Mikey" Walsh (Sean Astin). Mikey is the unofficially leader of his outcast pack of friends known as the Goonies, so called because they live in an area known as the Goon Docks in Astoria, Oregon. Sadly, the rich families in town want to destroy the Goon Docks so that they can expand their country club. The families in the Goon Docks have been completely unable to come up with the cash they need to save their homes and are a day away from having to sign the papers handing over the property and moving out. Mikey, along with this friends Lawrence "Chunk" Cohen (Jeff Cohen), Clark "Mouth" Devereaux (Corey Feldman), and Richard "Data" Wang (Ke Huy Quan), on their last day together end up doing a little exploring in Mikey's house and finding an old treasure map. The map purportedly points to the location where the pirate One-Eyed Willie buried his loot. Despite the protestations of Mikey's older brother, Brandon (Josh Brolin), the gang opts to go on one last Goonie adventure to find the treasure.