5.5/10
8,487
44 user 17 critic

Volunteers (1985)

1962, after Yale graduation, womanizing Lawrence flees a gambling debt that his rich dad won't pay. He takes his roomie's place as Peace Corps Volunteer in Thai Golden Triangle with 2 other PCVs. Will he survive 2 years?

Director:

Nicholas Meyer

Writers:

Keith Critchlow (story), Ken Levine (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Hanks ... Lawrence Bourne III
John Candy ... Tom Tuttle from Tacoma
Rita Wilson ... Beth Wexler
Tim Thomerson ... John Reynolds
Gedde Watanabe ... At Toon
George Plimpton ... Lawrence Bourne Jr.
Ernest Harada ... Chung Mee
Allan Arbus ... Albert Bardenaro
Xander Berkeley ... Kent Sutcliffe
Ji-Tu Cumbuka ... Cicero (as Ji-Tu Cumbaka)
Guillermo Río Guillermo Río ... Sumo Guard (as Guillermo del Rio)
Jacqueline Evans Jacqueline Evans ... Aunt Eunice
Pamela Gual Pamela Gual ... Tammy the Stewardess
Philip Guilmant Philip Guilmant ... Yale President (as Phillip Giulmant)
Chick Hearn Chick Hearn ... Announcer
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Storyline

Lawrence is a rich kid with a bad accent and a large debt. After his father refuses to help him out, Lawrence escapes his angry debtors by jumping on a Peace Corp flight to Southeast Asia, where is assigned to build a bridge for the local villagers with American-As-Apple-Pie WSU Grad Tom Tuttle and the beautiful and down-to earth Beth Wexler. What they don't realize is that the bridge is coveted by the U.S. Army, a local Communist force, and a powerful drug lord. Together with the help of At Toon, the only English speaking native, they must fight off the three opposing forces and find out what is right for the villagers, as well as themselves. Written by Michael Silva <silvamd@cleo.bc.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The boys from "Splash" are back together! See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Comedy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The name of the volunteering organization, to which the film title refers, is "The Peace Corps". According to Wikipedia, "The Peace Corps is a volunteer program run by the United States government. The stated mission of the Peace Corps includes three goals: providing technical assistance; helping people outside the United States to understand American culture; and helping Americans to understand the cultures of other countries. The work is generally related to social and economic development. Each program participant, a Peace Corps Volunteer, is an American citizen, typically with a college degree, who works abroad for a period of 24 months after three months of training. Volunteers work with governments, schools, non-profit organizations, non-government organizations, and entrepreneurs in education, hunger, business, information technology, agriculture, and the environment. After 24 months of service, volunteers can request an extension of service". See more »

Goofs

On the plane, the Peace Corp volunteers are singing "Puff, the Magic Dragon" in 1962. Peter, Paul and Mary recorded the song in 1962 and it wasn't released until 1963. See more »

Quotes

Lawrence Bourne III: Well, look at the time. We've been talking for over ten hours. You know, Beth; we'll be awfully busy once we get to Loon Ta. Why don't we take tonight for ourselves; little dinner, dancing and then see what develops. You know, there's only one thing we haven't shared.
Beth Wexler: You mean you spent that time talking to me and being nice so that you could have sex with me?
Lawrence Bourne III: Well, yes. I mean I think I've put in the hours, don't you?
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Crazy Credits

Tom Hanks' character has firstname "Lawrence". Hanks saves the village. As film fades to black for credits, a large group of "volunteers" gather around Hanks. Just as black for start of credits shows, chants of "Lawrence, Lawrence, Lawrence..." are heard. Absolutely a tribute to scene of O'Toole as Lawrence of Arabia marching across traintop to chants of "Lawrence, Lawrence, Lawrence..." See more »

Connections

Spoofs The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) See more »

Soundtracks

Wolverton Mountain
Written by Merle Kilgore (as M. Kilgore) and Claude King (as C. King)
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User Reviews

 
Give it some credit
27 December 2000 | by GlenrobSee all my reviews

I was surprised to see Volunteers rate out at just a 5 on a scale of 10. But that rating is pretty consistent across all demographics, so maybe I'm just a sucker for Hanks and Candy. I *know* I'm a sucker for Rita Wilson.

Still, I thought the movie offered several good laughs, solid performances from all the principal characters, and a feel-good ending. If nothing else, it should have taught you the words to Washington State University's fight song!

If you haven't seen it, rent it with an open mind. It REALLY IS better than a 5.


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Details

Country:

USA | Mexico

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 August 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Volunteers See more »

Filming Locations:

Mexico See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,184,360, 18 August 1985

Gross USA:

$19,875,740

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$19,875,740
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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