5.5/10
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40 user 15 critic

Volunteers (1985)

1962, after Yale graduation, womanizing Lawrence flees a gambling debt that his rich dad won't pay. He takes his roomie's place as Peace Corps Volunteer in Thai Golden Triangle with 2 other PCVs. Will he survive 2 years?

Director:

Nicholas Meyer

Writers:

Keith Critchlow (story), Ken Levine (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Hanks ... Lawrence Bourne III
John Candy ... Tom Tuttle from Tacoma
Rita Wilson ... Beth Wexler
Tim Thomerson ... John Reynolds
Gedde Watanabe ... At Toon
George Plimpton ... Lawrence Bourne Jr.
Ernest Harada ... Chung Mee
Allan Arbus ... Albert Bardenaro
Xander Berkeley ... Kent Sutcliffe
Ji-Tu Cumbuka ... Cicero (as Ji-Tu Cumbaka)
Guillermo Río Guillermo Río ... Sumo Guard (as Guillermo del Rio)
Jacqueline Evans Jacqueline Evans ... Aunt Eunice
Pamela Gual Pamela Gual ... Tammy the Stewardess
Philip Guilmant Philip Guilmant ... Yale President (as Phillip Giulmant)
Chick Hearn Chick Hearn ... Announcer
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Storyline

Lawrence is a rich kid with a bad accent and a large debt. After his father refuses to help him out, Lawrence escapes his angry debtors by jumping on a Peace Corp flight to Southeast Asia, where is assigned to build a bridge for the local villagers with American-As-Apple-Pie WSU Grad Tom Tuttle and the beautiful and down-to earth Beth Wexler. What they don't realize is that the bridge is coveted by the U.S. Army, a local Communist force, and a powerful drug lord. Together with the help of At Toon, the only English speaking native, they must fight off the three opposing forces and find out what is right for the villagers, as well as themselves. Written by Michael Silva <silvamd@cleo.bc.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Tom Hanks and John Candy are building a bridge between two cultures... even if no one wants it. See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Comedy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Mexico

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 August 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Volunteers See more »

Filming Locations:

Mexico See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,184,360, 18 August 1985

Gross USA:

$19,875,740

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$19,875,740
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When John Candy attempts to destroy the bridge he says "What have I done?". This is the same line Colonel Nicholson (Alec Guinness) says before the bridge is destroyed in The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957). See more »

Goofs

The peace corps plane changes from a prop plane to a jet between shots. See more »

Quotes

Lawrence Bourne III: Just a minute, stewardess!
Tammy: Yes?
Lawrence Bourne III: Could you get the pilot to send a telegram for me?
[Writes down message]
Lawrence Bourne III: 'Dear Dad. Have made terrible mistake and joined the Peace Corps. Please arrange to have me brought home at once. Your loving son, blah, blah, blah Lawrence'.
Tammy: Are you sure?
Lawrence Bourne III: Do I look like I'm associated with this hootenanny? And when you come back, bring me something with alcohol in it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Tom Hanks' character has firstname "Lawrence". Hanks saves the village. As film fades to black for credits, a large group of "volunteers" gather around Hanks. Just as black for start of credits shows, chants of "Lawrence, Lawrence, Lawrence..." are heard. Absolutely a tribute to scene of O'Toole as Lawrence of Arabia marching across traintop to chants of "Lawrence, Lawrence, Lawrence..." See more »

Connections

Referenced in Psychos in Love (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

Puff the Magic Dragon
Written by Peter Yarrow and Leonard Lipton
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Who wants to be developed?
18 January 2006 | by mattijamSee all my reviews

Volunteers (1985) is quite a comedy. It can't be taken too seriously, but it does have that deeper aspect as well - it's how do we know, when those who are developed don't want to be developed. Volunteers say we don't.

Tom Hanks isn't as convincing as he is in his later movies, but it's his teamwork with late John Candy that really gives a spark to this movie. What a comedian we lost when we lost John Candy! I would recommend Volunteers for those who enjoy clever but simply ridiculous comedy. It's the level of exaggeration that makes this movie as funny as it is. I must have watched it at least four times, and John Candy has really made me feel great every time.


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