6.6/10
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Explorers (1985)

A boy obsessed with 50s sci-fi movies about aliens has a recurring dream about a blueprint of some kind, which he draws for his inventor friend. With the help of a third kid, they follow it and build themselves a spaceship. Now what?

Director:

Joe Dante

Writer:

Eric Luke
Reviews
Popularity
4,434 ( 222)

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ON DISC
1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ethan Hawke ... Ben Crandall
River Phoenix ... Wolfgang Müller
Jason Presson ... Darren Woods
Bradley Gregg ... Steve Jackson's Gang
Georg Olden Georg Olden ... Steve Jackson's Gang
Chance Schwass Chance Schwass ... Steve Jackson's Gang
Amanda Peterson ... Lori Swenson
Danny Nucci ... Nasty Kid at School
Dana Ivey ... Mrs. Müller
Taliesin Jaffe ... Ludwig Müller
James Cromwell ... Mr. Müller
Brooke Bundy ... Science Teacher
Tricia Bartholome Tricia Bartholome ... Girl in Classroom
Eric Luke ... Darren's Teacher
Robert Picardo ... Starkiller / Wak / Wak and Neek's Father
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Storyline

Ben Crandall, an alien-obsessed kid, dreams one night of a circuit board. Drawing out the circuit, he and his friends Wolfgang and Darren set it up, and discover they have been given the basis for a starship. Setting off in the ThunderRoad, as they name their ship, they find the aliens Ben hopes they would find... but are they what they seem? Written by Liz Jordan <c9310494@alinga.newcastle.edu.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The adventure begins in your own back yard. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some mild language and action, and a brief scene involving beer | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

12 July 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Istraživači See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,607,340, 14 July 1985

Gross USA:

$9,873,044
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Wolfgang's "talking" rat is named Heinlein, after science fiction author Robert A. Heinlein, who wrote many stories about young boys experimenting with spaceflight. See more »

Goofs

When Ben and Darren walk over to Wolfgang's house, Ben is wearing brown corduroy pants. Then when they go down to the basement, he's wearing blue jeans for a few shots. And then he's back to wearing his brown corduroys for the rest of the scene. See more »

Quotes

Ben Crandall: Mom.
Mrs. Crandall: Yeah.
Ben Crandall: Remember that stuff you were tellin' me about your dreams and doin' what you want to do. Well, if I really want to be an astronaut and go out in space - and really do that, it'd be ok, right?
Mrs. Crandall: Sure honey, if that's what you really want to do.
Ben Crandall: Ok.
Mrs. Crandall: [hugs him] Sleep tight.
Ben Crandall: Good night.
[then, after she's left the room]
Ben Crandall: Bye Mom.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The shorter version released on home video as "A special home video version of Explorers," actually contains a scene which does not appear in some theatrical versions. In this scene, Ben falls asleep in class and finds himself in a dream where all his classmates have disappeared. With his glowing gift from his alien friends in hand, he rises out of his seat to find the "Thunder Road" in the corner of the classroom looking brand new. (It had fallen into the lake while returning home after their visit with the aliens.) Ben then finds himself flying with Wolfgang, Darren and Lori. See more »

Connections

Features 20 Million Miles to Earth (1957) See more »

Soundtracks

This Boy Needs to Rock
by Jack Blades and Brad Gillis
Performed by Night Ranger
Courtesy of Camel/MCA Records, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

I liked it better than E.T.
3 September 2002 | by renaldo and claraSee all my reviews

This film really has nothing to do with E.T...people seem to think it was a 'reaction' to it...I say that maybe it made a wonderful film gem like this, a sci-fi for and starring kids, possible.

Funny and inspiring. Probably the first film I ever saw with both of these qualities. I was 6 when it came out, and though it stars 3 boys, the tomboy in me came out...even as an adult (I watched it recently again) I become awed by the scenes of the boys constructing the 'scapeship'. The writer and Dante were good about packing in little extra details, like the "talking" mouse, Wolfgang's strange family, the kids using walkie-talkies, the dog who chews gum, the drive-in movie, Ben writing a will, one of the kids living in a trailer, etc. Without being hokey, these tidbits add more depth and charm to a story that could've been called a Mickey Mouse approach to E.T. These kids are older than Elliott and smarter and the film doesn't go for tearjerking scenes; EVER. Some of the direction reminds me of Spielberg, **however... instead of this film being a kid's approach to space-travel, it's a space-travel approach to a kid's film.

Then there are the aliens. Well, we feel the way the kids do about them; disappointed. But that is the point. What would you expect to see? It is kind of like the mataphorical satire of the grass being greener on the other side.

I tried not to get too emotional when reading the viewer comments on this film. I do not consider myself a Yank-I like to use the term American-but being 1st generation -born here, I still consider myself part-European, and the fact that the film did better in Europe than in the States, and from what I hear- Joe Dante's apology for the film- makes me sad. This film started my fascination toward the unknown and the general sciences. I happen to be one "Yank" who really enjoyed this movie!


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