6.7/10
6,712
106 user 7 critic

Fandango (1985)

Five college buddies from the University of Texas circa 1971 embark on a final road trip odyssey across the Mexican border before facing up to uncertain futures, in Vietnam and otherwise.

Director:

Kevin Reynolds

Writer:

Kevin Reynolds
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kevin Costner ... Gardner Barnes
Judd Nelson ... Phil Hicks
Sam Robards ... Kenneth Waggener
Chuck Bush Chuck Bush ... Dorman
Brian Cesak Brian Cesak ... Lester Griffin
Marvin J. McIntyre Marvin J. McIntyre ... Truman Sparks
Suzy Amis ... The Girl
Glenne Headly ... Trelis
Pepe Serna ... Gas Station Mechanic
Elizabeth Daily ... Judy
Robyn Rose Robyn Rose ... Lorna
Stanley Grover Stanley Grover ... Phil's Dad
Jane A. Johnston ... Phil's Mom
Don Brunner ... Heckler #1
Michael Conn Michael Conn ... Heckler #2
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Storyline

It's 1971 at the University of Texas, Austin. College buddies, facing graduation, marriage, and the draft, skip out of their own graduation party and head to the Mexican border for some adventure, a buried secret, and one last go-around at "the privileges of youth". Written by Scott Butler <sydtech@skypoint.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's the privilege of youth.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 January 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Фанданго See more »

Filming Locations:

Alpine, Texas, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$50,437, 27 January 1985, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$91,666
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

This motion picture's opening title card read: "Austin, Texas. May 15, 1971." See more »

Goofs

When Kenneth is leaning out of the car in the back seat to pick up the beer bottle from the road, the wire holding the car door open can be seen. Don't try this at home son, this is movie magic. See more »

Quotes

Phil Hicks, Groover: "Do you know what "E" means? Do you know what "E" means? It means empty, Douchebag! Like your head!"
Gardner: "Well, I guess I'm just not officer material"
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mike & Mike: Episode dated 11 February 2015 (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Born To Be Wild
Written by Mars Bonfire (uncredited)
Performed by Steppenwolf
Courtesy of MCA Records, Inc.
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User Reviews

 
Ebullient Moptops
3 March 2006 | by jldmp1See all my reviews

Spielberg disowned his involvement in this (read: 'funding')...it's not hard to see why.

-- Spielberg's camera is a lifeless automaton, it simply records stories. His camera has nothing to do with the story itself... Reynolds' camera is self-aware, acknowledged, and is part of the *visual narrative*: an active participant in the art.

-- Spielberg's only concern is telling stories...this has no real 'story'. Nothing 'happens': it's all about a state of mind.

-- Spielberg deliberately tells everything in the manner of a simpleton's comic book, as neatly laid out storyboards that a mental 10-year old can effortlessly digest...Fandango cannot be described in comic book terms; it is based on the indecipherable chalkboard scrawls of a stoner.

Here we meet the Groovers (the Fab Four), plus one inert member (the 'fifth Beatle') who undertake a journey through moviedom, including "Giant", "Ten Commandments", "Badlands", etc. There's no goal -- the 'goal' ends up being a chance to wink at the audience -- other than the journey itself. It's all about living in the moment, the consequences are never encountered. This is everything that "Stand By Me" is and so much more.

It is visually rooted in constructed memories...note the photographs as bookends. Along the way, Reynolds 'constructs' the war with fireworks and tombstones. This is cinematic eloquence.

It is also self-referential; the 'construction' of the wedding banquet is carried out in precisely the same way as the movie itself was made: with a little help from Reynolds' friends.

The capper is the ceremony and reception dance. The dance is a fandango, but the musical platform is not, it is the gifted Metheny's "It's For You". All of the movie's emotions *visually* swirl and coalesce around the song/dance amalgam and eventually resolve within it...this is beyond mere movie soundtracks: this is a magic carpet ride for the soul. For one minute, a world disappears, and another world constructed just for two takes its place -- a entire world of emotion expressed through the physical action of lovers (a dance, a kiss that almost was, a facial expression of realization), instead of through words. Is the construction 'real', or is it the stuff of dreams? Reynolds lets us decide.

It's a shame the boys went on to give us the execrable "Robin Hood" and the pointlessly outsized "Waterworld". But for one brief instant, they got it oh so right.


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