Arts and Entertainment

Re-watching The Goonies as it turns 35 years old

As the 35th anniversary year of its debut, it seemed only right to re-watch a certain movie, which otherwise has become a timeless classic, The Goonies.  It is story by Steven Spielberg, which was written by Chris Columbus, and then directed by Richard Donner.  As for the story, it follows Mikey (Sean Astin) and his friends — that’s right, you guessed it, “The Goonies.”

DVD copy of the cult classic, The Goonies

The Goonies clan consist of our main character’s older brother Brandon (Josh Brolin), his inventive friend, Data (Ke Huy Quan), a very talkative buddy, Mouth (Corey Feldman), and a very lovable klutz, Chunk (Jeff Cohen).

We learn quite early on that Mikey and his friends’ family homes are planned to be torn down by a wealthy family who is hoping to use the extra land to build a golf course. But at the same time, we also learn that Mikey has just found what seems to be a pirate’s map in his attic leading to treasure.  Hoping to find the treasure to solve their families’ money woes, he takes his friends on an adventure to find it.  Unbeknownst to them, though, the local criminal family is also on hunt for this sacred treasure too.

Early on in the film, we are also introduced to our family of antagonists, The Fratellis. The Fratellis are a notorious Italian family of criminals with the leader being Mama Frattelli (Anne Ramsey). Alongside Mama Fratelli are her three sons — two being Jake Fratelli (Robert Davi) and Francis Fratelli (Joe Pantoliano). Working from the Lighthouse Lounge, the family is currently in the business of printing counterfeit money. As criminals, it is safe to say that the Fratellis are no strangers to being involved in fights, as well as very intense criminal activity.

But there is one member of the family, who is not like the others. We don’t meet him until halfway through the film, but the character’s nickname is Sloth and his name in the movie is Lotney Fratelli.  This is never actually mentioned in the film, though, which is why most movie watchers continue to call the lovable Fratelli simply by his nickname, Sloth (played by John Matuszak).

As mentioned earlier, it is not until about halfway through the film when we are finally introduced to Sloth, a man with a variety of disabilities and who is depicted as a monster. What leads to us learning a little bit more about Sloth is after Chunk has been caught and interrogated by the Fratellis, soon being tied up and locked away alongside Sloth. At first, Chunk makes a somewhat sheepish attempt to introduce himself to Sloth, but as soon as he gets a glimpse of Sloth’s appearance, he is left terrified and attempts to scream out for help. But as time passes. Chunk attempts to befriend Sloth over their love of food, giving the man his chocolate bar to eat, for example.

It is not until the ending where we learn some form of backstory about Sloth, albeit a minuscule amount of information; it is enough to connect the dots for us as viewers though. We learn how Sloth was mistreated as a baby, his mother’s attempt of calming him only caused to reopen those old wounds, which is ultimately how Sloth and the Goonies defeat the antagonists before escaping and sharing their incredible story to the local authorities and the news station in the end.

For me, the most moving part of the film is the ending when Chunk takes it upon himself to have Sloth adopted into his family, with the intent of taking care of him and providing him with the loving home and family that he deserves — a heart-warming ending to a movie, which can truly only be described as one-of-a-kind.

While The Goonies is widely known as a movie for kids, as an adult, there are aspects of the film that one never noticed thirty-five years ago as a child.  A scene where one of the fraternity brothers has hoaxed suicide – you may not have seen this scene, and that is due to it being cut to make the film more playable for television broadcasts. Scenes such as these, as well as a few others, have been cut from the televised version of the movie over the years, so parents should be urged to watch the film, if you happen to own it on DVD and perhaps unedited, before allowing your child to view it unattended.

It is safe to say that in 2020, The Goonies has its flaws, but it can only be expected due to its release being almost 35 years ago.  Our culture has certainly changed.  It definitely has its moments where you cannot help but laugh — or become a bit teary-eyed. From Chunk’s truffle shuffle to Sloth getting his happy ever after ending, there is nothing but surprises and hilarity throughout The Goonies, making it definitely a recommended must-watch movie, if you have not already.

After all, be sure to stay both safe and entertained out there by re-watching a few classic movies at home!

Featured photo by Skitterphoto from Pexels

Goonies image CC-BY-2.0 yamayadori

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