6.9/10
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That Thing You Do! (1996)

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A local Pennsylvania band scores a one hit wonder in 1964 and rides the star-making machinery as long as they can, with lots of help from its manager.

Director:

Tom Hanks

Writer:

Tom Hanks
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Popularity
3,030 ( 353)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Director: Nora Ephron
Stars: Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Ross Malinger
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Everett Scott ... Guy Patterson
Liv Tyler ... Faye Dolan
Johnathon Schaech ... Jimmy
Steve Zahn ... Lenny
Ethan Embry ... The Bass Player
Tom Hanks ... Mr. White
Charlize Theron ... Tina
Obba Babatundé ... Lamarr
Giovanni Ribisi ... Chad
Chris Ellis ... Horace
Alex Rocco ... Sol Siler
Bill Cobbs ... Del Paxton
Peter Scolari ... Troy Chesterfield
Rita Wilson ... Margueritte
Chris Isaak ... Uncle Bob
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Storyline

Recounts a fable of a pop rock band formed a year after the Beatles took America by storm in early 1964. Jazz aficionado Guy Patterson, unhappily toiling in the family appliance store, is recruited into the band the Oneders (later renamed the Wonders) after regular drummer Chad breaks his arm. After Guy injects a four/four rock beat into lead singer Jimmy's ballad, the song's undeniable pop power flings the Wonders into a brief whirlwind of success, telling the tale of many American bands who attempted to grab the brass ring of rock and roll in the wake of the British Invasion. Written by Rick Gregory <rag.apa@email.apa.org>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In every life there comes a time when that dream you dream becomes that thing you do.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 October 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

¡Eso que tú haces! See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$26,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,208,595, 6 October 1996, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$25,809,813, 24 January 1997

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$34,585,416, 26 January 1997
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The character names Haise and Mattingly are references to Apollo 13 (1995), which also starred Tom Hanks. See more »

Goofs

During the talent show the bass player's suit is green. At one shot towards the end, after they finish playing, his suit is blue. Then it turns green again. See more »

Quotes

Mr. White: OK, the first thing that needs to change is the name. It's confusing. From now on, you are The Wonders.
Lenny: As like, I wonder what happened to the O-Ne-Ders?
Mr. White: Exactly.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Mickey Mouse is listed as "Himself" See more »

Alternate Versions

When re-released on DVD in 2007, the film came with the original theatrical cut, and an extended cut of the film. The extended cut included the following changes:
  • 1) Extended scenes showing Guy Patterson's relationship with Tina in Erie, PA.
  • 2) Extended scenes of the band rehearsing.
  • 3) Jimmy coaxes Guy's uncle to record the song "All My Only Dreams" as a B-side to "That Thing You Do."
  • 4) The band's experience at the Orpheum Theatre in Pittsburgh.
  • 5) The Bass Player's romantic affair with a member of The Chantrellines.
  • 6) After the band has unofficially split, Guy meets up again with one of his idols, Del Paxton. Del and a number of fellow Jazz members are also in the studio, working on some new music. Guy contacts a local Jazz DJ who had interviewed The Wonders. The DJ tells Guy that he can get him a job if he could interview Del and his friends.
  • This makes the ending differ from the theatrical cut, where Guy was unsure just what he would do while staying in California. The Extended Cut now has Guy secure with a job.
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Connections

References Spartacus (1960) See more »

Soundtracks

Dance with Me Tonight
Written by Scott Rogness and Rick Elias
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Entertaining and mostly musically accurate for the period
13 December 1998 | by LSealsSee all my reviews

I just finished watching this again tonight and am still impressed by the little details that Hanks gets right such as the period guitars and amps (loved seeing those blond Fender Bassman amps), awful PA systems and other musical trappings of the period. The music is infectious (I liked the song they played in Wisconsin that Lenny sang - can't think of the title) and there's a lot in there that I still remember about having a garage band back in that era. There's just so much right about this movie that I'd recommend it to anyone. Another impressive score for do-it-all Hanks.


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