328 user 116 critic

The 'Burbs (1989)

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.


Joe Dante


Dana Olsen
2,514 ( 597)
1 nomination. See more awards »





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 (as Brother Theodore)
Courtney Gains ... Hans Klopek
Gale Gordon ... Walter Seznick
Dick Miller ... Garbageman
Robert Picardo ... Garbageman
Cory Danziger ... Dave Peterson
Franklyn Ajaye ... Detective
Rance Howard ... Detective


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


Life In The Burbs Will Never Be The Same Again! See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Before Jerry Goldsmith took on the assignment of scoring the film, director Joe Dante had momentarily considered the late Oscar winner Georges Delerue to write the score for the film but he personally didn't think "he would score a picture such as this one". The film would mark at the time, the fourth collaboration between Goldsmith and Dante who would go on to collaborate together four more times with ultimately Dante's Looney Tunes Back In Action as the final film he would score for the director as well his last before his untimely passing in 2004 due to cancer. See more »


During and after the scene with the bees, Walter walks towards his door three times. See more »


Art Wiengartner: [emptying the Klopeks garbage into the street] Give me that.
Joe, Garbageman #2: Here you go.
[empties bag in street]
Vic, Garbageman #1: What are YOU doin'?
Joe, Garbageman #2: You asked me to help.
Vic, Garbageman #1: [groans in annoyance]
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the Universal Studios logo appears, 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 »


Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Voyeur Movies (2015) See more »


Written by Alex Mitchell, Ricky Beck Mahler & Gary Sunshine
Performed by Circus of Power
Courtesy of RCA Records
See more »

User Reviews

A Fun Romp Through Suburbia
19 August 2004 | by Krog__See all my reviews

Wanna' sit down and watch a movie that doesn't take itself seriously and stars Tom Hanks? Here ya' go!

The basic plot to this not-quite-funny comedy is that a group of suburbanites think that a family of creepy new neighbors are actually sick killers who offed another neighbor. They go through all sorts of adventures and situations, trying to get to the bottom of the mystery that, it seems, only exists within their minds.

Who cares if the ending is cliche? Well, I do, but not in a movie like this where there is no underlying meaning or message and is just in existence to have a little bit of fun. Which is, by the way, what you'll have: a little bit of fun.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

17 February 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Life in the Burbs See more »


Box Office


$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,101,197, 20 February 1989

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (workprint)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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