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That Thing You Do! (1996)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Music  |  4 October 1996 (USA)
Your rating:
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 47,735 users   Metascore: 71/100
Reviews: 209 user | 74 critic | 21 from

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



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sol Siler
Troy Chesterfield
Uncle Bob


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

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


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


Comedy | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

4 October 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

¡Eso que tú haces!  »

Box Office


$26,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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


ITL 187,396,000 (Italy) (6 June 1997)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Director's cut)

Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The television commercial that is shown on the Hollywood Showcase before The Wonders appear is for the new Ford Mustang at the 1964 World's Fair. It was broadcast on all three major networks simultaneously on April 19, 1964. See more »


Although real-life astronaut Gus Grissom is depicted the end credits state that all characters in the film are fictional. See more »


Guy Patterson: I'm Guy Patterson, I'm from Erie, Pennsylvania, I'm in a band called The Wonders and we just cut a record, we're out here on the coast and I play the drums and I have all your records well not all of them but a lot of them but ah at least I did until some of them got swiped when I was stationed in Germany and you were playing in Germany at the time that I was stationed there, but you know what I couldn't see you because you were playing in Hamburg and I was stationed in Munich but I listen to ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Goofy is listed as "Himself" See more »


Spoofs The Ed Sullivan Show: Episode #17.19 (1964) See more »


Written by Tom Hanks
Arrangement by Wayne Jones
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Familiar tale told freshly, honestly, with appealing cast
18 March 2001 | by (las vegas, nv) – See all my reviews

We've sorta been down this road before: 1960s pop band makes it out of their dead-end hometown for Hollywood, but fame and fortune unravel the fun. Still, this picture has remarkable focus, careful period detail, and a lovely cast that rarely (if ever) strikes a false note. If some of the young actors sometimes seem like they're doing Tom Hanks impersonations, that's okay because director Hanks (himself a co-star) seems to know these characters inside and out--and he likes them. We in the audience are quick to respond, and even the conventional parts of the movie work because Hanks rides over clichés with verve and enthusiasm and wit. Not a raucous comedy a la "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" (which is what it looked like to me in the ads), this has its share of subtle moments. There is a mean-spirited dig at the Frankie & Annette "Beach Party" flicks, and the ready-made romance at the end is sugar-coated, but "That Thing You Do!" is immensely likable. It has a huge heart. ***1/2 from ****

26 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Dance With Me Tonight... snoochberries
Guy's Military service? katzmusik
Worst moments of Jimmy daugava
Did Guy change the tempo on purpose? tjy355
my ONLY nitpick... justbrian2005
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