6.9/10
66,348
319 user 113 critic

The 'Burbs (1989)

Trailer
1:37 | Trailer
An overstressed suburbanite and his neighbors are convinced that the new family on the block are part of a murderous Satanic cult.

Director:

Joe Dante

Writer:

Dana Olsen
Reviews
Popularity
2,393 ( 827)
1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Hanks ... Ray Peterson
Bruce Dern ... Mark Rumsfield
Carrie Fisher ... Carol Peterson
Rick Ducommun ... Art Weingartner
Corey Feldman ... Ricky Butler
Wendy Schaal ... Bonnie Rumsfield
Henry Gibson ... Dr. Werner Klopek
Theodore Gottlieb ... Reuben Klopek
Courtney Gains ... Hans Klopek
Gale Gordon ... Walter Seznick
Dick Miller ... Garbageman
Robert Picardo ... Garbageman
Cory Danziger ... Dave Peterson
Franklyn Ajaye ... Detective
Rance Howard ... Detective
Learn more

More Like This 

The Money Pit (1986)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A young couple struggles to repair a hopelessly dilapidated house.

Director: Richard Benjamin
Stars: Tom Hanks, Shelley Long, Alexander Godunov
Dragnet (1987)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

The equally-straight-laced and "by the book" nephew of Joe Friday must work with his more laid-back partner to solve a mystery.

Director: Tom Mankiewicz
Stars: Dan Aykroyd, Tom Hanks, Christopher Plummer
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A detective must adopt a rambunctious dog in order to help him find a killer.

Director: Roger Spottiswoode
Stars: Tom Hanks, Mare Winningham, Craig T. Nelson
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A soon-to-be-married man's friends throw him the ultimate bachelor party.

Director: Neal Israel
Stars: Tom Hanks, Tawny Kitaen, Adrian Zmed
Big (1988)
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

After wishing to be made big, a teenage boy wakes the next morning to find himself mysteriously in the body of an adult.

Director: Penny Marshall
Stars: Tom Hanks, Elizabeth Perkins, Robert Loggia
Splash (1984)
Comedy | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A young man is reunited with a mermaid who saved him from drowning as a boy. He falls in love with her, not knowing who or what she is.

Director: Ron Howard
Stars: Tom Hanks, Daryl Hannah, Eugene Levy
Innerspace (1987)
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A test pilot is miniaturized in a secret experiment, and accidentally injected into a hapless store clerk.

Director: Joe Dante
Stars: Dennis Quaid, Martin Short, Meg Ryan
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

When a hypochondriac learns that he is dying, he accepts an offer to throw himself in a volcano at a tropical island, and along the way there, learns to truly live.

Director: John Patrick Shanley
Stars: Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Lloyd Bridges
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A highly successful advertising executive decides to put his job on hold after getting an update from his father that he and his wife are divorced and decides to extend his break after revealing that his father is a diabetic.

Director: Garry Marshall
Stars: Tom Hanks, Jackie Gleason, Eva Marie Saint
Comedy | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A man picked randomly out of a crowd is made the target of CIA survelliance and pursuit.

Director: Stan Dragoti
Stars: Tom Hanks, Lori Singer, Dabney Coleman
Punchline (1988)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A medical school dropout and a housewife/mom try to make it as stand-up comedians. They become friends and help each other out at an NYC comedy club.

Director: David Seltzer
Stars: Sally Field, Tom Hanks, John Goodman
Volunteers (1985)
Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

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
Stars: Tom Hanks, John Candy, Rita Wilson
Edit

Storyline

This story takes place in a typical American neighborhood, when some new neighbors come to live in the house next to Ray Peterson. These new people are really strange; nobody has ever seen them, their house is a real mess, and during the night you can hear weird noises from their basement. The only thing they know is their name: Klopeks. One day Walter (an old man of the neighborhood) suddenly disappears and everyone starts to suspect the Klopeks... Written by Chris Makrozahopoulos <makzax@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He's a stranger in an even stranger land... Suburbia See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was finishing filming when Big (1988) was released by Twentieth Century-Fox in June 1988. Tom Hanks had been featured on the front cover of Entertainment Weekly and personally read the article to the cast and crew when it had come out. See more »

Goofs

When Ray and Carol talk in their parked Jeep, the headrests are missing. They appear as they pull out of the driveway. See more »

Quotes

Ricky Butler: Oh, Mr. Rumsfield, be careful! Queenie...
Mark Rumsfield: [steps in poop] Goddamn it!
Bonnie Rumsfield: Uh-oh.
Mark Rumsfield: Walter. Walter! Walter!
Ricky Butler: I love that dude.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the Universal Studios logo, the camera zooms into Earth and to where the film takes place. At the end of the film, the effect is played in reverse. See more »

Alternate Versions

A deleted scene has Ray, Ricky, Walter, and Bonnie all standing by a ladder which leads to someone's roof. By their clothes, it is the same day they break into Walter's house. See more »

Connections

Featured in Scene by Scene: Tom Hanks (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Won't You Be My Neighbor?
(uncredited)
Written and Performed by Fred Rogers
See more »

User Reviews

 
A deliciously black comedy...
17 August 2004 | by mastac-1See all my reviews

The world of black comedies has seen few truly classic entries in the past few years. It's a very specific sub genre of comedy that is extremely hard to do well as films like Very Bad Things frequently signify. Too many of Hollywood's more recent offerings feature truly tasteless gags that poke fun at subjects that should simply be left well enough alone. Well I have to say that Hollywood could learn a thing or two from its own past in this department. I recently rediscovered a childhood favourite of mine, The Burbs, and I have to admit that age has not in the least bit dulled the film's razor sharp wit and acid tongued dialogue

Tom Hanks plays Ray Peterson, an overstressed suburbanite who's decided to spend his vacation lounging around the house in a vain effort to relax. Of course he finds his efforts hindered by the constant presence of his somewhat excitable neighbors Art Weingartner (Rick Ducommun) and Mark Rumsfield (Bruce Dern) who suspect the new family in the neighbourhood, the Klopeks, of being mass murderers. Together these three decide to look into the suspicious nature of their new neighbors and just what exactly it is they get up to at night, the time when the otherwise reclusive Klopeks seem to be at their most active.

The premise is basically the set up for another of Joe Dante's (who directed both Gremlins and its remake in all but name, Small Soldiers) bedlam filled romps through suburbs in which he casts a sideways glance at all things American dream.

Quite frankly, my nostalgia for this movie makes it hard to find fault with it. Hanks is as funny as ever, playing it relatively straight compared to his other performances of the period and bringing a lovely shade of deep seated unease to an otherwise grounded character. Bruce Dern fills his role wonderfully, as the military obsessed Rumsfield, a character surprisingly reminiscent of survivalist Burt Gummer from the Tremors movies in both his nature and ability to steal scenes. The only weak link in the leading trio is Ducommun, which is a shame as it is really Art that drives the story more than any other character in the movie. Sure, Art has to be slightly obnoxious and a little irritating but Ducommun overplays these aspects so much that I began to find it painful to watch him as the end of the movie approached. It's hardly a surprise when Hanks tries to kill him. I can't help but feel that perhaps the late John Candy would have fit the role slightly better, bringing some more human and likable qualities to the character.

At times however, The Burbs can feel a little uneasy in its pacing and sense of humour. Scenes like the screaming at the bone, although funny, seem out of place in what is otherwise a movie with a very dry sense of humour. Meanwhile the Klopeks are unveiled as characters perhaps a little too late in the story for the audience to truly develop any kind of opinions about them.

Despite some small problems however, The Burbs remains an extremely funny movie with some terrific dialogue and almost universally good performances from its cast. I defy anyone not to laugh at Rumsfield's fall from the roof of his house or every man Ray's furious rant at the movie's close. For fans of black comedies, The Burbs is a perfect antidote to the current glut of obnoxious Hollywood gross out comedies and the Farrelly Brothers increasingly desperate to offend pieces.


48 of 63 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 319 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 February 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Life in the Burbs See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,101,197, 20 February 1989

Gross USA:

$36,601,993

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$49,101,993
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (workprint)

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.



Recently Viewed