6.9/10
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223 user 72 critic

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.

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1,456 ( 24)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Guy Patterson
... Faye Dolan
... Jimmy
... Lenny
... The Bass Player
... Mr. White
... Tina
... Lamarr
... Chad
... Horace
... Sol Siler
... Del Paxton
... Troy Chesterfield
... Margueritte
... 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:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 October 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

¡Eso que tú haces!  »

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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Director's cut)

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The bass player played by Ethan Embry is never explicitly named. All references to him in the film are as, "the bass player", and in the credits he is listed as "T.B. Player". See more »

Goofs

In regards to the three Marines wearing Marine Corps devices on their khaki blouses (never done), these same Marines are wearing pre-1959 enlisted rank insignia, which do not have the crossed rifles which would have been present on the post-1959 insignia of the movie's time period, which is 1964. See more »

Quotes

[Last Title Card]: T.B. Player served two tours of duty in Vietnam, receiving the Purple Heart for wounds sustained at The Siege of Khe Sanh.
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Crazy Credits

Goofy is listed as "Himself" See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Drew Carey Show: That Thing You Don't (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Twangin'
Written by Mike Piccirillo
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Unless you were there.
21 January 2008 | by See all my reviews

THAT THING YOU DO

Unless you were there. Unless you were of that age, that time and particularly if you were a male and trying to force your grimy little fingers into a "C" chord on a Harmony acoustic guitar that was semi in tune…well, you will not understand the depth that this movie has. This movie and "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" capture something that was so real, so tangible but has slipped so completely away from any succeeding generations grasp that to try and film it's time and moment seems impossible. And yet, Tom Hanks did it. I don't know how he managed to grasp the era and the people so well as I thought he was a little too young for that time period. He nails this every boy's fantasy with wit, wisdom and just a touch of sadness. The cast turns in, a spot on encapsulation of people that will be very familiar to any struggling band member from the period. Tom Hanks himself turns in a solid performance as a man apart of, yet removed from the music itself. Men of his age at that time all actually read the Playboy philosophy espoused by Hugh Hefner and secretly wanted to be as cool as one of the Rat Pack. He did a super job of directing this effort and keeping the frenetic pace. All of this brings us to the music, which for the most part is expertly crafted (and I was surprised to see Hanks wrote some of the music also) to remind us of the era. I enjoyed all the songs for what they are. It is "homage" which is not exactly copying but using the elements to pay tribute to the influences that shaped the music of that era. People who grew up in the 80's or 90's have no conception of what the music was like then. They can hear it, and yes even appreciate it, but they don't understand that it was rarely on TV, it was not the background music for every commercial you heard or saw and radio stations that played it were decidedly looked down upon. It was not woven into the fabric of life like it is now. It was new, it was dangerous and you had to search it out. You had to want it. That's why I so enjoyed this movie. Even with some of it's false steps and it's occasional heavy handedness that would over power the subtleties of real life I found this movie a guilty pleasure that is completely satisfying and an absolute joy to watch.


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