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 their manager.

Director:

Tom Hanks

Writer:

Tom Hanks
Reviews
Popularity
3,037 ( 113)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

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
Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Once their single charts, the boys are shown playing new instruments that are historically accurate. TB Player has a Fender Jazz Bass, Lenny has a Fender Jaguar and Jimmy plays a Rickenbacker 360/12 (Model 360, 12 string). The 360/12 was introduced in 1964 with one of the first instruments presented to and played by George Harrison of the Beatles. See more »

Goofs

When the Asian photographer is snapping shots at the Playtone reception, he's holding the camera in a vertical position even though the group is clearly horizontal. See more »

Quotes

Heckler: Hey, when are you gonna play "That Thing You Do!"?
Lenny: Ah, has our fame preceded us?
Heckler: We came here to meet girls and dance, and we can't meet girls until we dance!
Lenny: [to Jimmy, the Bass Player, and Guy] All right, this seems like an opportune moment to pick it up a little.
[to the heckler]
Lenny: OK, here's one for the kid in the back.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Goofy is listed as "Himself." See more »

Alternate Versions

The music videos, which can found on the home video versions of the movie, contain extra footage not seen in the film. Some of the music video scenes include extra footage of the band playing games and riding the rides at the carnival. See more »

Connections

References The Ed Sullivan Show (1948) See more »

Soundtracks

Mr. Downtown
Written by Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman, and Mike Piccirillo
See more »

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.


10 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 239 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 October 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

That Thing You Do! See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$26,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,208,595, 6 October 1996

Gross USA:

$25,857,416

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$34,585,416
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 »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed