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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.



2,586 ( 1,781)
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
See  »

Did You Know?


Boss Vic Koss' Secretary is played by Kathleen Kinmont and is named Abby. In her scenes, Kinmont has a striking resemblance to her Mom, Abby Dalton who was a major TV star in the 60's when That Thing You Do was set. See more »


No Wisconsin police department had cars with red and blue lights until the mid 1980s. See more »


Mr. White: We bow, right? In unison, and we're off the stage before the applause dies out.
Jimmy: Well, what if they want an encore?
Mr. White: You unplug and you run, run offstage! Smiling, smiling, of course.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Referenced in My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002) See more »


Drive Faster
Written by Scott Rogness and Rick Elias
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

LOVE this movie!
5 September 2005 | by (Concrete, WA) – See all my reviews

As a child of the 60s and a musician, I loved this movie from the first few minutes of it. The sets, the clothes, the music, and everything down to the small details is represented here to give a true feel for what the early to mid sixties were like, minus the politics and Vietnam. Before radio music became a commercially diluted and corporate industry there were "garage-bands" galore and many of the little-remembered names of the genre started out as such. The Wonders in "That Thing You Do!" could easily be a number of bands that were a one-hit-wonder (or two or three) and then just disappeared from the scene. Nevertheless, they all helped shape some of the best music of that era, and Tom Hanks perfectly represents that phenomena in this movie. If you remember the early 60's fondly, you should truly enjoy this film and it will probably bring back fond memories. The depiction of Erie, PA during this time-frame is probably representative of many small to medium size American towns and certainly brought back great memories for me of better times gone by. The music rocks, the dialog is hip, and the love story rounds it out perfectly. Buy this movie and then buy the CD soundtrack; you won't be sorry! (**TRIVIA: another Tom Hanks produced movie, "My Big Fat Greek Wedding", has a "That Thing You Do!" song played during the wedding reception - do you know which one?**)

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