6.6/10
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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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Popularity
3,075 ( 304)
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:

You don't need a driver's license to reach the stars. 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

At one point, the boys are watching at the Drive-In a movie featuring a spacefaring hero named Starkiller. George Lucas originally intended the lead character of his movie Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) to be called Luke Starkiller until he changed it to Skywalker at the last minute. See more »

Goofs

At 07:16 on the DVD, "2517 Davana County School District" is written on the side of the school bus, but at 49:58, the sheriff's helicopter lands by a sign reading "Davanna County" and at 50:51, deputy Gordon reads a copy of the "Davanna County Gazette". See more »

Quotes

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

Alternate Versions

Some international video and television versions omits several musical cues from the soundtrack including a moment where Jerry Goldsmith's score accompanies the Mr. Ed theme sung by Wak and the 80s music Wak listens to on Darren's Walkman (in these versions, you can't hear the music at all). Several score cues are also missing aboard Wak's spaceship and in the first third of the film. It is unclear where this is a mastering issue or a music rights issue. See more »

Connections

References Mister Ed (1958) See more »

Soundtracks

She Likes Me
Composed and Conducted by Jerry Goldsmith
See more »

User Reviews

 
Delightful 80's teen movie
12 June 2007 | by Maarten1985See all my reviews

The idea of watching this movie came after seeing "Stand By Me" and learning more about River Phoenix' accomplishments.

Being born in the 80's myself and interested in the teen/adventure movies like "Stand By Me" and "The Goonies", I learned about "Explorers" which also featured the late River Phoenix. So last night I eventually got to watch "Explorers".

The movies introduces the three main characters very well; each having their own background with their own unique capabilities. Wolfgang Müller (River Phoenix) is the intelligent creator of complex things, Ben Crandall (Ethan Hawke) is the dreamer but his intelligence is not to be underestimated and Darren Woods (Jason Presson) is a normal, but a bit lonely, kid who happened to stumble into Ben's life and sees the opportunity to 'escape' from or rather to forget his problems at home for a while.

As the movie continues, the plot evolves very well. The switching between excitement and adventure leaves the watcher wanting for more. Up until 20 minutes or so before the end I thought the movie was 'perfect'.

The part following in which the aliens are introduced did not contribute much. I think this is mainly because the movie ended right after that part. If the writers had wrote a better ending, giving a meaning to the whole scene of meeting the aliens, then I think the movie would have lasted for about 10-15 more minutes.

But then again, the movie is about 3 teenagers having their dreams come true and not so much about meeting aliens.

For me it was the first time I saw Ethan Hawke play as young as that age (15). He was fairly easy to recognize and despite his age he did a very good performance. The same goes for Jason Presson and the late River Phoenix, who was barely recognizable. His character was something totally different than he would play in future films.

Also barely recognizable was Robert Picardo as Wak, Wak's Father and Starkiller. Knowing him mostly from his role in "Star Trek: Voyager" (bald) and (his voice) from "Totall Recall" I had difficulties actually recognizing him.

To conclude: "Explorers" is a delightful, heartwarming teen/adventure film about 3 teenagers having their dreams come true. All of the 3 main actors, and all supporting actors, did a superb job. I think this movie is highly underrated and that not many people know it exists.

I hope to see more films like this in the future. But nowadays, teen/adventure movies are either complete nonsense or Disney movies for children. Oh well, I think times just have changed... a lot.

My score is 7 out of 10 for great acting, a good story but a bit of a let down ending.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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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 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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