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Explorers (1985)

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3:07 | Clip
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
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2,670 ( 640)
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

This space adventure stars Ethan Hawke and River Phoenix as misfit best friends whose dreams of space travel become a reality when they create an interplanetary spacecraft in their homemade laboratory. Ben Crandall is a young visionary who dreams of space travel while watching late-night B monster movies, pouring over comic books, and playing Galaga in the confines of his bedroom. But one night he has a vivid dream of flying over a space-like circuit board and shares his visions with his best friend Wolfgang Muller, a young scientific genius who is able to translate his dreams into a complex computer program that actually works. With the help of their new friend Darren Woods, they create a homemade spacecraft and embark on a secret adventure to another galaxy where they find that things are not always as different as they seem. Written by Anthony Pereyra {hypersonic91@yahoo.com}

Plot Summary | Plot 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:

Explorers 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

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$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

The film was never finished, and was released as a work in progress when the studio decided to move up the release date and release the film as it was, telling director Joe Dante that he was finished and they were going to go ahead and release what he had at that point. See more »

Goofs

When the boys are christening the "Thunder Road," Ethan Hawk's character tries unsuccessfully to break a beer bottle on it. Then after they each take a drink from the bottle he throws back over the space ship into the creek where you here an exploding sound and glass breaking. The sound of the beer bottle breaking is actually the sound of a light bulb be broken. A beer bottle would not make a popping sound like that because even if were under pressure from the carbonation of the beer it would have to be in a vacuum, which it isn't. Light bulbs implode rather than explode causing the popping sound due to the vacuum they are in. The beer bottle should have sounded more like a small window being broken. See more »

Quotes

[watching the movie "Starkiller"]
Wolfgang Müller: Explosions in space? It's impossible.
Ben Crandall: What do you mean? You can hardly see the strings.
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

References The Maltese Falcon (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

Space Movie
Composed and Conducted by Alexander Courage
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
quite a movie to explore
14 July 2005 | by lee_eisenbergSee all my reviews

The '80s yielded a number of movies about kids going on adventures, but "Explorers" was something else. On the surface, it seems like any other movie, but the aliens aren't what anyone is expecting. Mostly, the movie is about Ben Crandall (Ethan Hawke), Wolfgang Muller (River Phoenix) and Darren Woods (Jason Presson), and their fantasies.

And then there are director Joe Dante's touches. Dick Miller - whom Dante always casts - plays a cop who discovers the boys' spaceship. Robert Picardo (another frequent Dante player) voices one of the aliens. And of course Dante has many allusions to '50s B-movies. Maybe "Explorers" isn't anything special, but it's still pretty fascinating.


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