Invoking the memory of One-Eyed Willy*

Nobody thought Mikey would someday make a similar journey into Mordor…

*If you’re of a certain age, you get the reference. If not, read on.

I don’t know if I would call THE GOONIES (1985) a guilty pleasure.  (I enjoyed it, but wouldn’t place it in my top 10.)

This is not one of those movies people are embarrassed to admit liking. Probably the opposite.

There are more than a few times it’s mentioned as an example of “why don’t they make ’em like that anymore?” or “this is the kind of thing I’m looking for.” If somebody tells you your script has the same kind of vibe, consider it a high compliment.

Just goes to show – create a kid-friendly adventure that tells a smart story and doesn’t insult the audience’s intelligence, and you’re set.  Almost 30 years later, and it’s still fresh in a lot of minds and recalled with great fondness.

I mean, have you watched it recently?  Once you get past some of the cheesiness, it’s actually a quality example of great storytelling.  It’s not complicated. Everything’s laid out in simple terms. Good guys, bad guys, multiple goals.

But it also goes beyond the mechanics.

Part of the appeal is that it really captures the basic kid-like spirit of adventure, and we get to go along for the ride.  Pirates, treasure maps, booby-trapped underground caves and tunnels. What’s not to like?

It’s also an original story.  I can’t think of anything similar that came before it (feel free to let me know if there is), and it still works as a template.

This is the kind of story I love to watch, and really love to write. No qualms about letting my inner 12-year-old throw his two cents into the development process. It adds a certain element of authenticity that something like this really needs.

Suggestion: If you decide to make this part of some forthcoming moviewatching experience, make sure you get a copy as non-edited as possible. We caught the TV cut and it was awful. Bad edits (including for commercials), pan and scan, poor picture quality overall. Bleah.

3 thoughts on “Invoking the memory of One-Eyed Willy*

  1. I have never looked at a Baby Ruth without grinning ever since I saw this. Oh, that and the David statue.

  2. Ugh, would you believe I never saw this? And I am of that certain age. And I’m a huge fan of Stand By Me. All of that being said, I still get the reference. Damn, that Spielberg dialogue!

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