MOTW: Five Fun Facts about the 1980s Classic "The Goonies"

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Following a mysterious treasure map that leads into a spectacular underground realm of twisting passages, outrageous booby-traps and a long-lost pirate ship full of golden dubloons, the kids race to stay one step ahead of a family of bumbling bad guys... and a mild-mannered monster with a face only a mother could love. Richard Donner directs and co-produces a screenplay written by Chris Columbus from a story by Steven Spielberg.
Photo Credit: Warner Bros.
November 12th, 2013

MOTW: Five Fun Facts about the 1980s Classic "The Goonies"

With a story idea from the playground that is the mind of producer Steven Spielberg, "The Goonies" was destined to be a box-office success. Spielberg told cast members that he wanted the film to be "The Wizard of Oz" of their generation. This sounds like quite a lofty goal, but the film didn't disappoint—it was wildly imaginative and fun, and it transported viewers to another place while making them laugh at the same time. Here are five fun facts from this '80s classic.

The Singing Fratelli Brother Is a Trained Opera Singer

Actor Robert Davi is probably best known for his various crime-related movies in which he often plays a tough guy or villain. That is why it is so surprising that the actor, who played singing Fratelli brother Jake opposite Joe Pantoliano as Francis, is a trained singer. Not only is he a singer, but he also studied opera in high school and was on his way to becoming an opera singer at one point. He still obviously has a deep love for the opera, as some of the lyrics he belts out in the film are from "Madame Butterfly," one of the most popular operas in the world. In a reunion movie panel for the film, Davi said he wanted Jake to sing and be ignored by his mom because he felt it would make the character more childlike, which was an asset on a film set filled with children.

Davi sings so well, in fact, that director Richard Donner wants him to reprise his role for Broadway. That's right, Donner and his producer wife are adapting a stage version of the film, and he has stated that he would love for Davi to come back because of his sweet voice.

The Case of the Missing Octopus

In the final scenes of the film, the Goonies are reunited with their families in a joyous and triumphant ending. Data (Jonathan Ke Quan) exclaims to his parents that "the scariest part was the octopus." The line went unnoticed by many, but those who heard it were probably scratching their heads, because there is no octopus in the film.

It turns out that there originally was a big scene with an octopus, but the scene was cut before the film was released. At first, the official word was that the scene was cut because the film was already running long and something needed to end up on the cutting room floor. Later, actor Corey Feldman said the octopus looked fake, and since there was no CGI to correct it, they scrapped the scene.

Family Had a Big Influence on the Actors

The aforementioned final scenes featured a lot of actors playing the parents of the Goonies. A few of them weren't actually actors, though, because director Donner allowed a few family members to get some screen time with their kids. One of them was future writer Eydie Faye, sister of Jeff Cohen, who played Chunk. Not only was Eydie in that final beach scene, but she was also mentioned by her brother in the film when he was confessing all the bad things he had done to the Fratellis. He mentioned that he had pushed his sister Eydie down the stairs but blamed it on the dog rather than fessing up.

During a completely different scene, Mikey (Sean Astin) was caught off guard and had a unique reaction. He proclaimed "holy Mackenzie!" out loud, which was not a part of the original script. This is a reference to his younger brother Mackenzie, who is also an actor. This is a fine example of how Donner encouraged the kids to ad-lib when it was appropriate.

The Other Corey Almost Got the Part of Mouth

Corey Feldman, who played Mouth in the film, and fellow actor Corey Haim were practically inseparable in the late '80s and through the 1990s. However, when "The Goonies" was being cast, they hadn't yet met and ended up both auditioning for the role. Feldman nabbed the part, but they were later both cast in "The Lost Boys" and were best friends until Haim's death in 2010.

There Is a Sequel—Sort Of

With the huge box-office success of the film, many people wonder why a sequel was never commissioned. Over the years, Donner tried to pitch various story lines to studio executives, but nothing was ever committed to paper. Many of the actors were in their late teens and were growing too old to be in another kid movie. Donner then pitched the actors as the parents of the next generation of Goonies, but that didn't take either. The closest thing to a sequel is a video game sequel for Nintendo called Goonies II, which was released in 1987. That may be the closest the world ever comes to a bona fide sequel.