IMDb > Volunteers (1985)
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Volunteers (1985) More at IMDbPro »

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Volunteers -- 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.


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Down 11% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Keith Critchlow (story)
Ken Levine (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for Volunteers on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
16 August 1985 (USA) See more »
Ready or not, here they come See more »
Lawrence is a rich kid with a bad accent and a large debt. After his father refuses to help him out... See more » | Full synopsis »
User Reviews:
classic pre-oscar tom hanks! See more (35 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Tom Hanks ... Lawrence Bourne III

John Candy ... Tom Tuttle from Tacoma

Rita Wilson ... Beth Wexler

Tim Thomerson ... John Reynolds

Gedde Watanabe ... At Toon

George Plimpton ... Lawrence Bourne Jr.
Ernest Harada ... Chung Mee

Allan Arbus ... Albert Bardenaro

Xander Berkeley ... 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

Virginia Kiser ... Evelyn Bourne

Clyde Kusatsu ... Souvanna
Jude Mussetter ... Bootsy Winder
Carlos Romano ... Beatty
Duncan Ross ... Noble
Shakti Chen ... Lucille (as Shakti)

Professor Toru Tanaka ... Sumo Guard
Lonnie Wun ... Sumo Guard
Harry Yorku ... Al Pe
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Doris Day ... Herself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Rock Hudson ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

John F. Kennedy ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Marilyn Monroe ... Herself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Directed by
Nicholas Meyer 
Writing credits
Keith Critchlow (story)

Ken Levine (screenplay) and
David Isaacs (screenplay)

Produced by
Walter F. Parkes .... producer
Theodore R. Parvin .... associate producer
Richard Shepherd .... producer
Original Music by
James Horner 
Cinematography by
Ric Waite 
Film Editing by
Steve Polivka 
Ronald Roose 
Casting by
Joyce Agu  (as Joyce Robinson)
Penny Ellers 
Production Design by
James L. Schoppe  (as James Schoppe)
Art Direction by
José Rodríguez Granada 
Makeup Department
Allan A. Apone .... special makeup designer
Del Armstrong .... makeup supervisor
Raúl Esquivel .... wig master
Esperanza Gómez .... hair stylist
Alberto López .... makeup artist
Josefina Mendoza .... hair stylist
Ester Oropeza .... makeup artist
Dione Taylor .... key hair stylist
Production Management
Efren Flores .... assistant production manager (as Efren Flores Torres)
Ricardo Frera .... unit production manager: Mexico
César Armando Jiménez .... assistant production manager
Carlo Rodríguez Márquez .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Baruch Abuloff .... second assistant director: Mexico
Elie Cohn .... first assistant director
BJ Davis .... second unit director
Harvey Keith .... second unit director: Chang Me escape stunts
John Langley .... second unit director: bridge building sequence
Jesús Marín .... first assistant director: Mexico
David Burton Morris .... second unit director: Yale graduation background
Ricker Slaven .... second assistant director: Mexico
Art Department
Ramón Altirriva .... production buyer
Ricardo Alvarado .... props
Arturo Brito .... set designer
Gabriel Chavez .... stand-by painter
Carlos Cortes .... key propman
Ramón Estrada .... props
Francisco García .... construction buyer
Alfonso Godínez .... props
Fernando Martínez .... set illustrator
Antonio Mata Jr. .... props
Ray Mercer Jr. .... property master (as Ray Mercer)
Francisco Ramirez .... greensman (as Francisco Ramírez)
Macedonio Ramos .... set dresser
Joel Romo .... props
Jorge Sainz .... assistant art director
Roberto Ávila .... assistant set dresser
Moises Pineda .... greens assistant (uncredited)
Sound Department
Gary Alexander .... re-recording mixer
Terry Lynn Allen .... sound editor
Lorna Anderson .... assistant sound editor
Lon Bender .... supervising sound editor
Adrianna Cohen .... assistant sound editor
Heriberto Cárdenas .... cable person
Joe Gilbert .... assistant sound editor
Stan Gilbert .... adr editor
Robert Glass .... re-recording mixer (as Bob Glass)
Claude Hitchcock .... sound mixer
Chris Jenkins .... re-recording mixer (as Christopher Jenkins)
Randy Kelley .... sound editor
Elliott Koretz .... sound editor
Jorge Palomino .... boom operator: Mexico (as Jorge Palomino Rojas)
Dan M. Rich .... sound editor
Wylie Stateman .... supervising sound editor
Mark P. Stoeckinger .... adr editor
Robert Taylor .... boom operator
Hugo Weng .... foley editor (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Pete Clark .... special effects: explosives
Daniel Cordero .... special effects
Laurencio Cordero .... special effects coordinator (as Laurencio 'Chovy' Cordero)
Margarito Fuentes Gutiérrez .... special effects (as Margarito Gutiérrez)
Marshall Knight .... special effects: explosives
Visual Effects by
James F. Liles .... matte painter
Denny Arnold .... stunts
John Barrett .... stunts (as John Gilbert Barrett)
BJ Davis .... stunt coordinator (as B.J. Davis)
BJ Davis .... stunt double: Tim Thomerson
BJ Davis .... stunt double: Tom Hanks
BJ Davis .... stunts
Rob King .... stunts
Wayne King .... stunts
Alan Marcus .... stunts
Ellie Mite .... stunts
Paul Staples .... stunts
Debra Trowt .... stunts
Dianne L. Wilson .... stunts
Kane Hodder .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Carl Boles .... gaffer: USA
Salvador de Anda .... assistant camera
Críspulo de la Torre .... electrician
Teodoro García .... assistant camera
Jack N. Green .... additional photographer
Heriberto Gutiérrez .... assistant camera
Faustino Hernández .... grip
Ruben Herta .... electrician
Antonio Jara .... assistant dolly grip
Ray Kinzer .... key grip: USA
Raúl Lara .... electrician
Louis Mahler .... video technician
Richard A. Mention III .... second assistant camera
Enrique Morales .... key electrician
Leo J. Napolitano .... camera operator
Jesse Wayne Parker .... crane operator (as Wayne Parker)
Rafael Pérez .... electrician
Jesús Ramírez García .... electrician
Jorge de la Rosa Morales .... grip
Manuel Rosales .... key grip: Mexico
Guillermo Rosas .... assistant camera
Alfredo Ruvalcaba .... still photographer
Salvador 'Apache' Serrano .... dolly grip (as Salvador Serrano)
Baird Steptoe .... first assistant camera
León Sánchez .... camera operator
Ramiro Valencia .... electrician
Antonio Vázquez .... grip
Antonio Álvarez .... gaffer: Mexico
Casting Department
Enrique de Peña .... casting assistant
Luis Sánchez .... extras casting
Costume and Wardrobe Department
María Antonieta Esquivel .... wardrobe
María Luisa Esquivel .... wardrobe
Ismael Jardon .... wardrobe
Yvonne Kubis .... wardrobe head
Adolfo Ramírez .... key wardrobe
Enrique Villavicencio .... wardrobe
Editorial Department
Barry Dresner .... apprentice film editor
Peck Prior .... assistant editor
Brian Ralph .... negative cutter
Clarinda Wong .... assistant editor
Location Management
Rafael Delong .... location manager
Robert Knoechel .... location auditor
Music Department
Else Blangsted .... music editor
Jim Weidman .... music editor
James Horner .... conductor (uncredited)
Dan Wallin .... music scoring mixer (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Armando Amador .... assistant transportation captain
Jose Juan de la Garza .... picture car coordinator
Patrick Knapp .... driver: honeywagon
Alberto Vazquez .... transportation captain
Other crew
Gilberto Aguilar .... craft service
María Luisa Anzaldua .... studio secretary
Lisa Beach .... production assistant
Delia Castañeda .... medic (as Delia Castaneda Millán)
Robert Easton .... dialogue coach
Jim Garner .... animal handler: elephant
Humberto Garza .... animal trainer
Miguel Garza .... animal trainer
Marilyn Green .... assistant to producers
Humberto Gurza .... animal wrangler
Miguel Gurza .... animal wrangler
Carol Juk .... production secretary
Harvey Keith .... action consultant
Alan J. Lam .... assistant location auditor
Marie Lassen .... accounting secretary
Francisco Ledesma .... delegate: actors
Lydia Lipatan-Sarmiento .... assistant location auditor
Ramón Maciel .... caterer
Hector Moreno .... script supervisor: Mexico
Shelley Olsen .... production coordinator
Mark Andrew Peress .... unit publicist
Phil Savenick .... title designer: opening title sequence
Renate Schneuer .... script supervisor: USA
Sapachai Surongsain .... technical advisor
Janna Wong Healy .... assistant: Mr. Meyer
Jerald M. Wurms .... expert
Federico Ysunza .... production assistant
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial Effects

Additional Details

Also Known As:
107 min
Color (Metrocolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

For authenticity, director Nicholas Meyer wanted two elephants to appear in the picture "on the grounds that two elephants look like Thailand while one elephant looks like you can't afford two elephants" Meyer once said.See more »
Anachronisms: On the plane, the Peace Corp volunteers are singing "Puff, the Magic Dragon" in 1962. Peter, Paul and Mary recorded the song in 1962 and it wasn't released until 1963.See more »
John Reynolds:Bourne? Hey, I got a telegram about you.
[Reads telegram]
John Reynolds:You must have some friends in pretty high places, Bourne.
Lawrence Bourne III:Yah... Well, we do consider Washington our general store.
John Reynolds:Damndest thing I ever saw. Training waiver, vocational approval; just like that - you're officially in the Peace Corps.
Lawrence Bourne III:[Looses his cool. Cigarette drops from his mouth] HEY! John... John... John, this is ridiculous. Now, I am obviously not of Peace Corps fiber. It's not that I can't help these people, it's just that... I don't want to.
John Reynolds:You know, looking at you, I think that two years in Loon Ta might do you some good.
Tom Tuttle:[Breaks in; enthusiastically shakes John's hand] Hi! Tom Tuttle from Tacoma Washington. Where do we saddle up for Loon Ta?
Tom Tuttle:He's going, too?
Tom Tuttle:Hey! Larry!
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16 out of 19 people found the following review useful.
classic pre-oscar tom hanks!, 6 April 2004
Author: boonewilliams from tulsa

before they started winning oscars, struggling actors such as tom hanks and robin williams used to be... SURPRISE!! funny! volunteers is a great example of a movie that refuses to take its leading actors seriously and is all the better for it. this is not a "star vehicle" but is rather an irreverant tongue-in-cheek romp. it takes its cues from saturday night live, sctv, monty python, and cheesy off-broadway one-act plays. in return, it is spoofed by one particular hollywood blockbuster to follow, austin powers goldmember. mike myers must have been as impressed with the "reading the subtitles" joke, as well as the "asian guy on the toilet/being chased by sumo wrestler" schtick. but rather than beat the jokes to death, volunteers assumes we are smart enough to catch them on the fly. i bought this in a $5.00 dvd bin, and was reminded why i liked the movie so much in the first place. it is never particularly mean to any of its subjects, including the primitive thai villagers, the communist revolutionaries, yalies, jews, liberals, conservatives, or any of the other fringe elements put into play. as a result, volunteers doesn't insult me as an intelligent movie viewer. by the way, i had forgotten how humorously effective was the "lawrence's bar" scene where the local musician plinks out an oddly romantic version of "as time goes by" on an asian sitar.

volunteers is the sort of movie actors must do just for fun. y'know... when they're not too busy trying to win oscars.

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