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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
2,443 ( 84)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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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:

That Thing You Do! See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$26,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,208,595, 6 October 1996

Gross USA:

$25,809,813

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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Toni Basil, who recorded the song Mickey (1981) was the choreographer. In Mickey, she sings the line "You take me by the heart when you take me by the hand." The Chantrellines sing "I want you to know, when you hold me hand, you hold my heart." 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

Guy Patterson: When was the last time you were decently kissed? I mean, truly, truly, good and kissed?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Soundtrack released on the fictional Play-tone records. See more »

Alternate Versions

In the 2007 two disc version there is an extended version not shown in theaters. Before "The Wonders" appear on national television, Guy arrives back at the hotel in a drunken state and finds an excited Mr. White with the good news about being on television the next day. Waiting for Mr. White is his male friend "Lloyd" played by Howie Long. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Hold My Hand, Hold My Heart
Written by Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman, and Mike Piccirillo
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A great little film with cult movie ambitions
1 April 2004 | by TigerMannSee all my reviews

"That Thing You Do!" is a perfect film about a group of guys in the mid-1960's inspired by Thelonius Monk-type jazz and Beatles-esque pop music. With one hit single, they are catapulted to clean-shaven, teen idol stardom. The band "The Wonders" could easily have been the 60's pop group "The Turtles" or "The Beau Brummels." The film's plot is fairly simple, yet it doesn't veer off into the typical VH1 Behind The Music avenue of excessive sex and drugs. Matter of fact, they aren't even mentioned. Written, directed and starring Tom Hanks, "That Thing You Do!" is honest and easily palitable for younger audiences. It rarely strays away from its theme: The climax and downward slope of musical fame. Viewers can also appreciate several 60's pop culture bones, thrown by Hanks himself to a nostalgic audience of youngsters such as myself. Plot occassionally gives way to hype and music, but that's okay. I was sort of looking for that. I really appreciated the "The Wonders" drummer relationship to "Dell Paxton," a jazz musician that's obviously a Thelonius Monk reference. Check them out jamming together during the third act of the film. Now THAT'S what I call truly remarkable music. The song "that thing you do" could easily have been a number one single in 1965. It's a simple, hook-laden piece of popcorn that's catchy on a near paranormal level. It was written by members of the modern pop/rock group "Fountains of Wayne." One can only wish for more music such as this today. There's enough innocence in it to guarentee parents' wide-eyed approval ... and just a bit of angst to attract the attention of hormone-raging teenagers the world over. Definetly an excellent movie for your shelf ... right next to your DVD copies of "A Hard Day's Night" and "The Beatles Anthology." Also ... check out "The Beau Brummels." Rhino Records has issued a great best-of package. One has to wonder if Tom Hanks had them in mind while writing the script. They had a few hits, though none will be as remembered as the poppy "Laugh, Laugh." A true gem from 1960's rock 'n roll.


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