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The 'Burbs (1989)

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An overstressed suburbanite and his fellow neighbors are convinced that the new family on the block are part of a murderous Satanic cult.

Director:

Joe Dante

Writer:

Dana Olsen
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Popularity
2,059 ( 60)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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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
Brother Theodore ... 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
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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:

A comedy about one nice guy who gets pushed too far. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 February 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Life in the Burbs See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,101,197, 19 February 1989, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$36,602,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$49,102,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Imagine Entertainment See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The Klopek's house address is 669. When ray and Art use the heavy door knocker on their door the 9 slides down changing the Klopek's house number to 666 which is foretold in the King James Holy Bible. Revelation 13:18 "Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six." A score is defined as 20 so threescore is 3 times 20. So the number of the Beast, some define this to mean the number of Satan, or the devil, is 666. See more »

Goofs

Walter rides home in a car with different license plates on the front and the back. See more »

Quotes

Hans Klopek: Sardine?
Bonnie Rumsfield: I'm trying to cut back.
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 cooking at the barbeque. It isn't the barbeque that he needs to fix though, it is a metal one that sits by his brick one. See more »


Soundtracks

The Showdown
(uncredited)
Written by Ennio Morricone
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Satan is good. Satan is our pal.
27 March 2017 | by Hey_SwedenSee all my reviews

"The 'Burbs" is writer / co-producer / actor Dana Olsens' deliberately warped invention. The idea is to remove the picture perfect outer layer of average American suburban life and reveal what potential insanity could be bubbling underneath. In so doing, he also makes fun of suburbanites who seem to make it their business to know everybody elses' business.

Tom Hanks stars as Ray Peterson, your typical 'burb dweller, who ends up severely stressed out when his nutty neighbors - Bruce Dern as ex-military man Mark Rumsfield and the late comedian Rick Ducommun as nosey instigator Art Weingartner - spur him to action. They keep hearing weird noises, and seeing weird things, concerning the newcomers to the street, the Klopeks (Henry Gibson, Brother Theodore, Courtney Gains), and wonder just what the hell is going on inside the Klopek house. To make matters more interesting, their elderly neighbor Walter Seznick (Gale Gordon) goes missing. Could the Klopeks be responsible for his disappearance?

Ray tries his best to be rational and skeptical, but finds himself drawn in more and more by his kooky comrades and the things he witnesses. Acting as a genuine voice of reason is his understandably frustrated wife Carol (Carrie Fisher).

The whole thing becomes rather over the top, but then a sense of anarchy to his stories has always been filmmaker Joe Dantes' ("Piranha" '78, "The Howling", "Gremlins") strong suit. Olsen and Dante have fun with the dark comedy aspect to this yarn, and there are some quite funny bits along the way. Viewing the whole circus from the sidelines is neighborhood teen Ricky Butler (Corey Feldman), who tries to convince his peers that the goings on here are better than any movie they could watch. Among those who really get into the spirit of the material are production designer James Spencer and composer Jerry Goldsmith.

Hanks is terrific, and much like the legendary Gene Wilder, proves to be a master at freaking out in a comedic way. But the whole cast is great, with Ducommun often going to town on the scenery. The cast is filled with familiar faces: Wendy Schaal, Dick Miller (Dantes' good luck charm for many years), Robert Picardo, Franklyn Ajaye, Rance Howard, Nicky Katt, Kevin Gage, Patrika Darbo. Olsen himself appears as a cop.

While the story is ultimately rather predictable, it does keep you watching, and amused - and may make you wonder what goes on behind your own neighbors' doors.

Seven out of 10.


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