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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:

$25,857,416

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

Mr. White's (Tom Hanks) first name is 'Andy'. (revealed only once; when Play-Tone President, Sol Siler, (Alex Rocco) is interrupted by Jimmy (Johnathon Schaech) while Sol stuffs himself with a deli sandwich and angrily retorts: "ANDY, What in the bloody hell is this? Auditions during my lunchtime?..."; at that point, Mr. White pulls Jimmy away.) (Andy is also the name of the boy in the Toy Story movies, whose favorite toy is "Woody", voiced by Tom Hanks.) See more »

Goofs

The three Marines who walk into the restaurant coffee shop have the Marine Corps eagle, globe, and anchor emblem on their shirt collars. This has never been part of the Marine uniform. They also have on ribbons from the Vietnam War, but during the time of this movie (1964) the Marines had not yet entered that war. See more »

Quotes

Lenny: [at Villapiano's after they've sung "All My Only Dreams"] Table 19, your pizza's ready.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Goofy is listed as "Himself" 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.
See more »

Connections

References Beach Blanket Bingo (1965) See more »

Soundtracks

Cock n' Bull
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 moosenmoo35244See 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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