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That Thing You Do! (1996)

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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.



2,803 ( 217)
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 <rag.apa@email.apa.org>

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)


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

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Director's cut)

Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


During the scene where the members of the Oneders hear their song on the radio for the first time inside the Patterson's Appliances, the same couple walks in front of the store at the beginning of the scene and then again at the end of the scene. See more »


When the band is rehearsing in the garage, The Bass Player brings in a wooden case of Coca-Cola bottles with the "Dynamic Ribbon" logo, created in 1969. See more »


Mr. White: OK, the first thing that needs to change is the name. It's confusing. From now on, you are The Wonders.
Lenny: As like, I wonder what happened to the O-Ne-Ders?
Mr. White: Exactly.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Soundtrack released on the fictional Play-tone records. See more »


Featured in Hollywood's Top Ten: Kennedy Era Movies (2011) See more »


Mr. Downtown
Written by Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman, and Mike Piccirillo
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A Cathartic Release
1 January 2004 | by (Toronto,Canada) – See all my reviews

If you have ever been in a band and dreamed of getting out of the garage and onto a stage,then this movie is definitely for you! No matter when you had this dream,you'll experience all the pleasures and joys of being a musician,,,and of course all the downfalls.Yes,it is from a time that won't return,when the music business wasn't such a meat parade and had to do with eager talent.That was then and this is now. Still the characters represent the different types you'll come across,the egos, the clowns and the luck of being at the right place at the right time.At this point in time,it is also interesting to see how the cast members have gone on to other projects,the most recent being Liv Tyler in LOTR,Giovanni Ribisi in COLD MOUNTAIN,Thom Everett Scot in ER and I think that Hanks fellow has been around doing this and that.

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