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Fandango (1985)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  25 January 1985 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 5,983 users  
Reviews: 101 user | 11 critic

Five college buddies from the University of Texas circa 1971 embark on a final road trip odyssey across the Mexican border before facing up to uncertain futures, in Vietnam and otherwise.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Phil Hicks
Kenneth Waggener
Brian Cesak ...
Lester Griffin
Marvin J. McIntyre ...
Truman Sparks
The Girl
Gas Station Mechanic
Robyn Rose ...
Stanley Grover ...
Phil's Dad
Phil's Mom
Heckler #1
Michael Conn ...
Heckler #2


It's 1971 at the University of Texas, Austin. College buddies, facing graduation, marriage, and the draft, skip out of their own graduation party and head to the Mexican border for some adventure, a buried secret, and one last go-around at "the privileges of youth". Written by Scott Butler <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


It's the privilege of youth.


Comedy | Drama


PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

25 January 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Фанданго  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$85,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Chuck Bush (Dorman), the large, mild-mannered schoolmate, was "discovered" in a 7-11 store. He had no prior experience or connection with the movie industry, prior to being "seen" and asked to "read" for the part. See more »


In the first scene when they are making blended drinks in the dorm you can see a container of Citrus Hill concentrated orange juice, the Citrus Hill brand did not come out until 1983. See more »


Phil Hicks, Groover: "Do you know what "E" means? Do you know what "E" means? It means empty, Douchebag! Like your head!"
Gardner: "Well, I guess I'm just not officer material"
See more »


Referenced in Mike & Mike: Episode dated 11 February 2015 (2015) See more »


Taking Off
Written by Bob Dunn (uncredited)
Performed by Milton Brown and the Brownies
Courtesy of MCA Records, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

About to leave your 18th year and your friends behind you, riding an old 50ies beauty to nowhere and learning to fly...
27 December 2001 | by (Geneva, Switzerland) – See all my reviews

It starts looking cool enough, I thought, although not overwhelmingly original: under a blue, blue sky, four young guys, as different as can be, drive to seemingly nowhere in a beautiful car from the roaring fifties. Singing, drinking, screaming. It looks like they're having a lot of fun, which of course will prove to be a doomed mood: their lives are suspended between youth and whatever comes next, just like them driving in the middle of Texas' desert landscapes with the unlikely goal of attending one of the mates' wedding... Everything is on the verge of changing for them; their friendship, the way they lead their lives, the way they consider the future.

What Kevin Reynolds achieves here masterfully is making the whole thing look, at first, like just another buddy-movie. Yet I think there is a lot more to it. Fun, slapstick, grotesque situations, and still, every time or so, we're given a hint that those people have no idea where they're going, that they try to ignore the (real) world that's waiting for them.

The one most representative of that borderline state and who remains, by default, the big brother telling the others where to go next, is Gardner Barnes, played by Kevin Costner. Very young-looking (to whoever, like me, hasn't seen him in a picture made 16 years ago), he radiates a kind of natural quality, telling us he may just be the most frightened and unsure one of those four mostly-losers. Anyone who has apreciated Costner in at least one movie should definitely have a look at this one.

There'll never be anything even remotely tragic in this story, nor any solid insight into any of those old kids. Not even into Gardner, the one with a haunting love on his mind, who claims he's never token a woman seriously. Some moments might strike you as either clichee, heavy or childish... Yet, after the finale, Reynolds has gotten us where we're supposed to be: feeling the dry cut apart from the time where our dreams where, to ourselves, a solid option for what our future might look like. The loss of what kept the world together until this very moment.

I should add that, having listened precisely in my beginning twenties to the Pat Metheny Group like mad, I was totally taken away when the whole wedding scene appeared to be choreographed around two of his magic compositions.

This movie has something fresh, universal, sincere. It's full of ideas and benefits from a truly inventive photography as well as a from a perfectly well-tuned rythm.

Anyone on a day where he feels up to re-live those cheers AND nostalgia, in the company of a bunch of excellent actors, would do himself a favor by taking a while to watch it. And, maybe, reconciliate with that little mix of sadness and joy we think we should have left behind us.

16 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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