6.9/10
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219 user 73 critic

That Thing You Do! (1996)

A local Pennsylvania band scores a one hit wonder in 1964 and rides the star-making machinery as long as they can, with lots of help from its manager.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Lamarr
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Chad
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Sol Siler
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Uncle Bob
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Storyline

Recounts a fable of a pop rock band formed a year after the Beatles took America by storm in early 1964. Jazz aficionado Guy Patterson, unhappily toiling in the family appliance store, is recruited into the band the Oneders (later renamed the Wonders) after regular drummer Chad breaks his arm. After Guy injects a four/four rock beat into lead singer Jimmy's ballad, the song's undeniable pop power flings the Wonders into a brief whirlwind of success, telling the tale of many American bands who attempted to grab the brass ring of rock and roll in the wake of the British Invasion. Written by Rick Gregory <rag.apa@email.apa.org>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

band | pennsylvania | song | jazz | drummer | See All (50) »

Taglines:

In every life there comes a time when that dream you dream becomes that thing you do.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 October 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

¡Eso que tú haces!  »

Box Office

Budget:

$26,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$6,208,595 (USA) (4 October 1996)

Gross:

$25,809,813 (USA) (24 January 1997)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Director's cut)

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Including full versions, alternative versions, live versions and snippets, the song "That Thing You Do" is heard eleven times in the movie. See more »

Goofs

When the bass player visits Disneyland he rides in a Matterhorn car. In the beginning of the scene, he is in the rear of the front tandem bobsled, followed by Mickey, two marines, and Goofy in the rear tandem bobsled. At the end of the scene, he is in the front of the front tandem bobsled, Mickey and a marine are in the rear of the front tandem bobsled, and two marines and Goofy are in the rear tandem bobsled. See more »

Quotes

Phil Horace: [after the mantinee at Orpheum] Guy, I keep telling you, you are the drummer. The backbone, the timekeeper. You can't let a tepid reaction from one matinee house affect your dedication to the band.
Guy: I was playing like one of those little wind-up monkey toys. They booed us off the stage, Phil! Jimmy couldn't even hear how off-key he was.
Phil Horace: You're gonna get it all back tonight, I promise you.
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Crazy Credits

Mickey Mouse is listed as "Himself" See more »


Soundtracks

Mr. Downtown
Written by Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman, and Mike Piccirillo
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A great little film with cult movie ambitions
1 April 2004 | by (Virginia) – See all my reviews

"That Thing You Do!" is a perfect film about a group of guys in the mid-1960's inspired by Thelonius Monk-type jazz and Beatles-esque pop music. With one hit single, they are catapulted to clean-shaven, teen idol stardom. The band "The Wonders" could easily have been the 60's pop group "The Turtles" or "The Beau Brummels." The film's plot is fairly simple, yet it doesn't veer off into the typical VH1 Behind The Music avenue of excessive sex and drugs. Matter of fact, they aren't even mentioned. Written, directed and starring Tom Hanks, "That Thing You Do!" is honest and easily palitable for younger audiences. It rarely strays away from its theme: The climax and downward slope of musical fame. Viewers can also appreciate several 60's pop culture bones, thrown by Hanks himself to a nostalgic audience of youngsters such as myself. Plot occassionally gives way to hype and music, but that's okay. I was sort of looking for that. I really appreciated the "The Wonders" drummer relationship to "Dell Paxton," a jazz musician that's obviously a Thelonius Monk reference. Check them out jamming together during the third act of the film. Now THAT'S what I call truly remarkable music. The song "that thing you do" could easily have been a number one single in 1965. It's a simple, hook-laden piece of popcorn that's catchy on a near paranormal level. It was written by members of the modern pop/rock group "Fountains of Wayne." One can only wish for more music such as this today. There's enough innocence in it to guarentee parents' wide-eyed approval ... and just a bit of angst to attract the attention of hormone-raging teenagers the world over. Definetly an excellent movie for your shelf ... right next to your DVD copies of "A Hard Day's Night" and "The Beatles Anthology." Also ... check out "The Beau Brummels." Rhino Records has issued a great best-of package. One has to wonder if Tom Hanks had them in mind while writing the script. They had a few hits, though none will be as remembered as the poppy "Laugh, Laugh." A true gem from 1960's rock 'n roll.


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