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Volunteers (1985)

 -  Comedy  -  16 August 1985 (USA)
5.3
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Ratings: 5.3/10 from 5,416 users  
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Lawrence is a rich kid with a bad accent and a large debt. After his father refuses to help him out, Lawrence escapes his angry debtors by jumping on a Peace Corp flight to Southeast Asia, ... See full summary »

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Title: Volunteers (1985)

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Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
At Toon
...
Lawrence Bourne Jr.
Ernest Harada ...
Chung Mee
...
Albert Bardenaro
...
Kent Sutcliffe
Ji-Tu Cumbuka ...
Cicero (as Ji-Tu Cumbaka)
Guillermo Río ...
Sumo Guard (as Guillermo del Rio)
Jacqueline Evans ...
Aunt Eunice
Pamela Gual ...
Tammy the Stewardess
Philip Guilmant ...
Yale President (as Phillip Giulmant)
Chick Hearn ...
Announcer
Edit

Storyline

Lawrence is a rich kid with a bad accent and a large debt. After his father refuses to help him out, Lawrence escapes his angry debtors by jumping on a Peace Corp flight to Southeast Asia, where is assigned to build a bridge for the local villagers with American-As-Apple-Pie WSU Grad Tom Tuttle and the beautiful and down-to earth Beth Wexler. What they don't realize is that the bridge is coveted by the U.S. Army, a local Communist force, and a powerful drug lord. Together with the help of At Toon, the only English speaking native, they must fight off the three opposing forces and find out what is right for the villagers, as well as themselves. Written by Michael Silva <silvamd@cleo.bc.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Tom Hanks and John Candy are building a bridge between two cultures... even if no one wants it. See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 August 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Volunteers  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Thai village was based on the Kayin People (aka the Karen People) settlement in the Golden Triangle of Burma. See more »

Goofs

During the Commencement Ceremony, Lawrence is listening to Game 7 of the 1962 NBA Championship. While the score is correct (Celtics 110, Lakers 107), the scene takes place in the afternoon. The game was played on a Wednesday night. See more »

Quotes

Beth Wexler: [attempting to speak Thai to the village women] Germs make you sick. That is why we give medicine to help kill you.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Tom Hanks' character has firstname "Lawrence". Hanks saves the village. As film fades to black for credits, a large group of "volunteers" gather around Hanks. Just as black for start of credits shows, chants of "Lawrence, Lawrence, Lawrence..." are heard. Absolutely a tribute to scene of O'Toole as Lawrence of Arabia marching across traintop to chants of "Lawrence, Lawrence, Lawrence..." See more »

Connections

References The Wizard of Oz (1939) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Three cheers for Volunteers, a vastly underrated film
18 December 2007 | by (Toledo, Ohio) – See all my reviews

Lawrence Bourne III (Tom Hanks) is a blueblood, snooty Harvard senior. However, he has a taste for women and gambling, racking up an enormous debt to the local mobsters. Lawrence, ever a macho man, decides to go "double or nothing" on a national basketball game that will be played during his graduation ceremony. Lawrence loses and the mob sends the usual henchman for his hide. Appealing to his equally snobby father (George Plimpton) for a loan gets him nowhere. His only recourse is to ask his erstwhile roommate to switch identities with him, with Lawrence hopping a plane to Thailand as part of the Peace Corps and escaping the mob. It works, although Lawrence has to fork over his porsche to seal the deal. Once on the plane, however, Lawrence has second thoughts. Everyone is singing inspirational songs and looking forward to bringing cheer and good works to the Thai people. As he gets off the plane, Lawrence literally goes down on his knees and begs the leader to send him back. But, its no, no, no. However, things look up when a good-looking fellow Corpswoman, Beth (Rita Wilson) is assigned to the same village, along with gung-ho engineer, Tom Tuttle of Tacoma (John Candy). However, Beth won't give him the time of day and Tom is a royal pain. What will become of Lawrence, anyways, whose attitude is "its not that I can't help these people, I don't want to!" But, wait, how about establishing a card game or two, for money, with the locals? Things are looking up! This is a funny, funny film that is a winner every time. Hanks and Candy are very humorous while Plimpton is a scream in a brief role as the can't-be-bothered-with-details father. Wilson is touching as the woman who truly wants to help others and is torn by her attraction to a man who is a dirtbag. Gedde Watanabe is also fun as a native lad and the other Oriental cast members do a great job as well. The setting in Thailand is lovely, naturally, and the recreation of the early sixties in fashion and other properties is quite good. In fact, the opening montage of sixties photos, set to "Blue Moon" is very inspiring. In short, if you are stuck with an evening of drabness, get this film by whatever means necessary. You will issue "three cheers" for a flick that will never fail to provide some genuine laughs and nostalgia.


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