6.9/10
56,980
223 user 75 critic

That Thing You Do! (1996)

Trailer
2:28 | Trailer

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ON DISC
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
2,961 ( 413)
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, 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

In the theatrical version of the film, Guy's sister Darlene only has one line - after her father announces that Guy left them "in a lurch" and promotes her, she asks: "Does that mean that you will start paying me?". In the extended cut however she has more lines, including berating Guy for mentioning their competition's name in home appliances when he pitches Tina's idea to their father at the shop. See more »

Goofs

At the Mercyhurst College Talent Show, right after the song when the emcee is yells "Oh, my goodness!", Guy is standing, but half a second later, he's sitting when Jimmy tells him, "That was way too fast, man." See more »

Quotes

Lenny: [girls climb on top of car] Well... *I* like Wisconsin.
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Crazy Credits

Soundtrack released on the fictional Play-tone records. 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 the 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

Referenced in 3rd Rock from the Sun: Dick Solomon's Day Off (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
sweet, nostalgic story of a rock band
23 August 2001 | by hbsSee all my reviews

My guess is that Tom Hanks is a really nice guy. He certainly seems like it when he's interviewed, and since he wrote and directed this movie, and it's really nice, too, that seems to be more evidence.

This is a very small movie. It has no pretensions, but just tells a simple story about a small-town band that makes good. It paints a nostalgic picture of the 60's -- I grew up in a small town during that time, and life wasn't so idyllic in my town -- but it isn't trying for gritty realism. The cast is attractive and more than adequate (some are quite good, including Hanks as the band's manager), and the story is observant enough to be an enjoyable confection. It's very nice family movie (my kids liked it, and so did I).


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