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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
4,998 ( 105)

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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

Plot Keywords:

alien | boy | spaceship | teenager | dog | See All (35) »

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

Cherie Currie was considered for a part but, according to her autobiography, she was in the throes of drug dependency and couldn't even make it to a meeting. 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

Heinlein the Mouse: [pressing buttons] I would like... cheese... go... to... hell...
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Connections

References Fantasy Island (1977) See more »

Soundtracks

All Around the World
by Robert 'Bumps' Blackwell (as R. Blackwell) and Monica Millet (as M. Millet)
Performed by Little Richard
Courtesy of Speciality Records, Inc.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Classic kids' adventure, hugely underrated
6 November 2003 | by theojhymanSee all my reviews

All kids should watch this - between the ages of 6 and 13. I saw this when it came out on video - I was 8 - don't know how I missed it at the cinema - it couldn't have had a big release in the UK. I loved the detail and imagination within this movie - like the one dream that the three boys all share, the sphere they create from their computer, the guard dog they give bubble gum to, the amusement ride seat they turn into their spaceship, with windows made from the fronts of washing-machines and TVs. And our three heroes make a great team. They are all very different in character, yet share that same dream of escape and adventure. Ethan Hawke is the main hero - the one that most viewers will relate to - the average 80's kid hooked on television, daydreaming during school lessons and a huge crush on the girl next door. River Phoenix is his nerdy computer-whiz friend with an Einstein-like crazy father (played by James Cromwell) and Jason Presson is the mature, yet weird kid with a troubled home-life. The magic of this movie is in its innocence and the dreams that the kids are able to turn into reality. The first half is pure 80's kids' adventure movie. The second half becomes pure "Dante", as it dives into 50's-style B-movie sci-fi - exactly what Dante is referencing and sending up, yet paying homage to at the same time. What our heroes find out in space is certainly not what they expect or what we expect. They feel let down by their discovery and in some way, we do too. But there are so many great scenes in this film - the chemistry between the 3 main actors is great - they really bond well together and we get drawn into the film because of Dante's attention to detail in these characters. It's a funny combination of child adventure and B-movie sci-fi but kids will love it, and as you grow up, you learn to see (like many great kids' films) many new details that pass you by as a kid but keep you entertained all over again from a different perspective. A highly overlooked 80's adventure movie, almost as good as The Goonies, but far less commercial, due to Dante's unique approach. Go and see it now, or see it again or watch it with your kids - you will all love it.


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