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That Thing You Do! (1996)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Music  |  4 October 1996 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 47,746 users   Metascore: 71/100
Reviews: 210 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?


In the extended cut of the film, when Phil Horace goes to Patterson's to tell Guy about the showcase, the song that can be heard playing in the background is the same song that the trio is playing at The Blue Spot, later on. See more »


The movie is set in 1964. The band joins the Playtone state fair tour at the Ohio State Fair, which is depicted as being early in the tour and, judging by context of other events in the movie, early in the summer. In 1964, the Ohio State Fair did not begin until the end of August, and ran until the second week in September. The 1964 Wisconsin State Fair, depicted in the movie as coming later in the tour, was in reality in mid August, two weeks before the Ohio State Fair. See more »


[Reading an ad from a competing megamart]
Mr. Patterson: Open Saturday ten to ten. Open Sunday twelve to six... open on Sunday from twelve to six! You know, I don't believe I want to live in a country where you stay open on Sunday to business. You shouldn't have to work on Sunday to support your family.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Goofy is listed as "Himself" See more »


References Bonanza (1959) See more »


Ohio State Fair
Written by Mike Piccirillo
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The Amazing Tom Hanks Can Do No Wrong.
17 September 2001 | by (London/England) – See all my reviews

Tom Hanks directs, writes and stars in this brilliant rock 'n' roll movie, which features a great soundtrack too. I love the 50's/60's days, so this movie was perfect for me. There was some great acting here too, especially, by the brilliant Tom Hanks. This is a movie, that everyone should see. That Thing You do, definitely deserves a 10/10.

22 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
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
If Chad Hadn't Fallen Down... KatrinaW
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