Down the Ballot

Friday, January 23, 2015

Hey, mister? Are you hungry? I got a Baby Ruth.

Ruth! Ruth! Baby! Ruth! 

Growing up in Oregon there are just films that YOU HAVE to see at least once. If you don't instantly love these films, then there isn't anything wrong with you per se, but you should seek some sort of professional help from a doctor or film buff. 

1985 brought some great films to theaters; Back to the Future was the biggest hit of the year. There was both a Rambo film and Rocky film released, several quality Chevy Chase films (how many years can you say that about since?) and a favorite of this Oregonian: The Goonies

Yes, as I turn 30, so does The Goonies. It was released on June 7, 1985 to nearly 2000 theaters nationwide. What's not to love about this film? It has adventure, pirates, mystery, treasure, a little romance and probably most often overlooked are the class struggle elements of the film.


One of my favorite moments is when Chunk is being interrogated by the Fratellis.


The neighborhood of the Goons is being systematically dismantled by a country club for more land. The country club uses influence and pressure to force the homes of the Goons into foreclosure. If it was not for the small fraction of the treasure of 'One-Eyed Willy' that Mikey was able to keep, the Goons would have been out on the streets while the new expansion of the country club was taking over their neighborhood. Sadly, not every community can rely on a plucky group of youth to find a lost hidden treasure to bail them out. 

Goonies has taken on a whole cult following, and especially here in Oregon. The Oregon Film Museum is housed in the old Clatsop County Jail from the film. It is filled with props, promotional materials and other goodies from the film. At the 20th Anniversary celebration they had a lot of the original cast on hand to help celebrate the opening. As of 2014 there is even serious talk about the long speculated Goonies II. 

Several of the cast members from film would later go on to do some wonderful work as adults. Sean Astin, Corey Feldman, Josh Brolin, Martha Plimpton are all names we now know from work other than Goonies.

Josh Brolin shares a memory of the film with Conan O'Brien.

While I think that there is a lot to appreciate about this film, the background into making it and the legacy it leaves, by far the most important thing to appreciate is the story itself and how well it is told. For just a moment it makes you curious about the old junk in your grandmother's attic and if there might be a treasure map hidden on some old family relic.

One of the shows I've been watching is The Goldbergs. It is about a middle class family set in the suburbs of Philadelphia during the 80s. The youngest son is a film enthusiast and loves the Goonies. The older siblings decide to pull a joke on him create a treasure map that then causes him to assemble his own team of Goonies. The series creator hoped the episode would introduce the Goonies to a whole new generation of kids. It was a wonderful episode.

I will for sure be watching The Goonies this year to help celebrate us both turning 30. 

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