Explorers (1985)

 


 

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Ben Crandall, an alien-obsessed kid, dreams one night of a circuit board. Drawing out the circuit, he and his friends Wolfgang and Darren set it up, and discover they have been given the basis for a starship. Setting off in the ThunderRoad, as they name their ship, they find the aliens Ben hopes they would find… but are they what they seem?

Written by
Liz Jordan <[email protected]>

This adventurous space tale stars Ethan Hawke and young star River Phoenix as misfit best friends whose dreams of space travel become a reality when they create an interplanetary spacecraft in their homemade laboratory. Ben Crandall is a young visionary who dreams of space travel while watching late-night B monster movies, pouring over comic books, and playing Galaga in the confines of his bedroom. But one night he has a vivid dream of flying over a space-like circuit board and shares his visions with his best friend Wolfgang, a young scientific genius who is able to translate his dreams into a complex computer program that actually works. With the help of their new friend, they create a homemade spacecraft and embark on a secret adventure to another galaxy where they find that things are not always as different as they seem.

Written by
Anthony Pereyra {[email protected]}

Genre: Family,Sci-Fi,Fantasy,Adventure

Explorers (1985)
   
Release Date: 12 July 1985 (USA)
Country: USA
Director: Joe Dante
Cast:
  • Ethan Hawke
  • River Phoenix
  • Bobby Fite
  • Bradley Gregg
  • Georg Olden
  • Chance Schwass
  • Amanda Peterson
  • Danny Nucci
  • Jason Presson
  • Dana Ivey
  • Taliesin Jaffe
  • James Cromwell
  • Brooke Bundy
  • Tricia Bartholome
  • Eric Luke


33 Responses to Explorers (1985)

  1. FreakCitySF
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    The old post was deleted, I’m going to make my way up to Petaluma soon, wanted to see that tree and hillside!

    Thanks!

  2. jimbob02111980
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    I remember i loved this film as a kid, but only the first hour or so as soon as they make it up into space… the film kind of dies, such a shame!

  3. Petaluma-2
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    Scenes end has a lot of it to this day has yet to dvd of the film has many, unfortunately, and hopefully come out on the dvd times, exploring is a cult movie from the 80s

  4. letitcomedownmang
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    I’ve got this movie on the way soon. I haven’t seen it since I was very young. Somebody thought that this might be the movie I have been trying to remember. Please check out the link to the "I need to know" section of the board. TIA

    http://www.imdb.com/board/bd0000001/flat/154048684?d=154048684#1540486 84

  5. jrsl88
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    He looks like Chuck Jones.

    http://www.stargalaxy.com/sg_imglarge.php?image_id=140002&performe r=178&production=373&return=%2Fsg_gallery.php%3Fpage%3D1%26amp %3Bperformer%3D178%26amp%3Bproduction%3D373

    http://media.photobucket.com/image/chuck%20jones/infinite_green28/Thin gs%20That%20Rock/chuck-jones.jpg?o=9

    Anyone agree with me?

    Celebrating 70 years over the rainbow!

  6. icould_Fly
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    Hello there my dear friends :) <333

    As apart of my film coursework I’m doing a project on River Phoenix and his roles as an outsider. I’m here to conduct fan research in order to gain opinions and point of views. I’d be very glad if anyone could help me in my grand mission to educate my friend FROOGAN on River, and the marker! :D

    1 :: As a whole, not a half, do you think River Phoenix was an outsider and how would you define an outsider – in this context?

    2 :: Which of his roles would you consider him to be an outsider? and how do you think he portrays this?

    3 :: Was River a Hollywood insider or a Hollywood outsider and why do you think this?

    4 :: What is it about River that potentially made him an outsider/unique – based on your opinion of question 3

    5 :: What differs River from the stars we see today, if anything?

    6 :: How does he portray outsiders in comparrison to non outsider roles?

    Thanks

    Much love,

    Melii, Froogan and our film teacher

    xo xo

  7. HorrorFan78
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    Does anyone have this soundtrack? It’s out of print, and I’d be willing to pay a little cash for an MP3 or AIFF file of track number 9.

  8. FreakCitySF
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    Says it was filmed partly in Petaluma! I’m up there tomorrow was wondering if anyone knew where at in Petaluma!

    chris

  9. matias_celentano
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    I saw it when I was just a kid…I just remember a group of kids, a basketball ball beating on a wall, a garden with labyrinthine form from where the kids "travel" to a forest, then I can remember a suspending bridge, and a dinosaur (made with stop motion) onto the forest, my last memento is a kind of bathtub forehead the sea (!)…

    One detail more I can add: the biped dinosaur had a horn on his head…

    I remember that I saw it about 1995 on the argentinian 13 TV channel, but I’m very sure that the film was done on the 80’… thanks…

    I hope someone help me, sorry my bad english, I’m from Argentina.

  10. DelMinor
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    I can remember the nigh I saw it, vividly.

    It was a night similar to the nights in the movie.

    A little cool, clear sky, lots of stars.

    That is why I remember the night I saw it so well, cuz when the movie ended and I left the theatre, it felt like I was in the movie cuz the time of year was similar.

    I was 14 years old.

    Good times…

    __________________________________________

    +++ Jason (Formerly Delphinus)

  11. carlstaples74
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    when dick miller’s cop looks up at the ship, nearly a tear in his eye. The music, and the acting are really special. Anyone agree?

  12. tweetiepie001
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    During the drive in movie one of the characters said "he’s attacking you from the rear" i literally snorted into my pizza

  13. lordasaki
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    Has anyone read the book or the screenplays? I’ve seen two places that have the screenplay, but you have to buy them for $15 =/ I’ve always been curious as to how unfinished the movie actually was, and what scenes didn’t make it.

  14. otes4
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    Does anyone know if the Thunder Road ship exists somewhere? I really want to see it in person, it’s been a life-long dream of mine. Otherwise I guess I’m just going to have to build one myself! I’ve actually tracked down an individual tilt-a-whirl tub, I just don’t know how I’m going to get it (it’s in GA and I’m in NE). The 2 old dryer windows are what worries me, no idea where I’d find those. But anyway, if anyone knows where the ship is today, please let me know. I’m dying here!

  15. blueeyesentertainment
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    Yet, it is RP who won the Young Artist Award. Strange. Ethan gives the better peformance in the movie by far.

  16. FreakCitySF
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    I’m thinking Joe Dante or the writer put that in intentionally and then defined it loosely so that kids would then use it to tease each other not really knowing it’s associated with genital enlargment?

    just a thought

  17. Wickedshyn
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    The mouse in Wolfgang’s basement told Ben to go to hell he also said it to Wolfgang’s dad. I didn’t catch that the first time watching but I watched it again with subtitles and i haven’t laughed that hard in a long time.

  18. Remisser
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    Where were they filming when they looked up to the sky to see such an awesome view of so many stars in the sky?

  19. pipihehd
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    I thought it was the best in history that I’d seen in any movie, reminiscent of many people’s preteen years, only this one turns out to be a dream come true (somewhat)

  20. tonyclifton2
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    Can anyone please list all the films (if there’s more than one) that resemble this one? Because I have a vague memory of a film in which a kid or more built or had a spaceship but I could’ve sworn it’s not this one, supreme though it is. I’m not thinking of Flight of the Navigator, either. I think it was made in the 90s…

  21. theshape78
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    hey guys just stopping by to say that my thunder road is going as planned you guys are gonna love it.but i also got some sad dissapointing news i talked to joe dante in indy a couple weeks ago and told him im making thunder road he said well that will be the only one then i said what.he said after the filming was done in 84 they tore it apart and sent it to the scrap yard so it hasnt existed in about 24 years so fans the real thunder road is gone forever..he said he still has the production model on a shelf in his bedroom but the full size prop is gone…but dont you guys worry im bringing it back in full detail…i wont let you guys down im a sucker for detail…thunder road lives…

  22. jay_guevara-1
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    I found this on Youtube and thought I’d post the links to it seeing as no-one else has done so yet. It’s a couple of clips of Joe at an IGN screening of the film talking to the audience and discussing Explorers’ status as an unfinished project.

    Check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgfhkqVS8no&NR=1 and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1vaWfJDq80&feature=related

  23. Anonymous
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    This message has been deleted by the poster

  24. Anonymous
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    This message has been deleted by the poster

  25. Anonymous
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    This message has been deleted by the poster

  26. ThrowingChicken
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    I was showing this movie to the youngsters and I eagerly awaited the scene where the boys are pushing the tilt-a-whirl up the street and it ends up rolling backwards on its own as the circus music plays, but to my disappointment the scene was absent from the movie! My friends who had seen the movie in the past could not recall the scene I was describing and figured I was thinking of a different movie, but having just seen Explorers on TV a couple of years ago I know the scene belongs to this film. So what the hell, why was this scene absent from my DVD?

  27. ebertfan92
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    http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/videolinks/thatguywiththeglasses/nost algia-critic/2384-top-11-underated-nostalgic-classics

    Bruce Helmick: The first writer/producer/director/actor diagnosed with Asperger’s.

  28. mfettema777
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    It was a hoot recognising him at the drive-in scene, didn’t pick him as Wak though. How ironic that he had his beginnings in this movie, and just about all he’s ever been seen in since is Star Trek, Star Gate, and other alien-based flicks.

  29. Violent Cop
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    Anyone remember it? It would change shapes etc.

    "I farted and it relieved my lower stomach pain momentarily."

  30. BeautifulGreenBeast
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    Near the end of the film theres a line that the alien’s father says while grabbing the ship and is all "BYE BYE!" it always cracked me up. Does anyone know where I could get a .wav file of it?

  31. luskateradactyl
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    September 28, 29

    Special DOUBLE-FEATURE

    of EXPLORERS/FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR!!!!

    Explorers (1985)

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0089114/

    Sun: 3:30 & 7:30; Mon: 7:30

    Flight of the Navigator (1986)

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091059/

    Sun: 5:40 & 9:40; Mon: 9:40

    New Beverly Cinema

    7165 West Beverly Blvd.

    Los Angeles, CA 90036

    http://www.newbevcinema.com

    (323) 938-4038

    +Special Guest in person the director of EXPLORERS on Monday!

  32. sibelian
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    Why does everyone think they’re a let down? I think they’re funny. The whole point of the movie is that Ben’s setting himself up for a huge disappointment. Why shouldn’t aliens have family troubles and silly antennae and short attention spans?

    All portrayals of aliens in films are projections of what people want aliens to be, grand, mysterious, wise, powerful, scary, Godlike and solving humanity’s problems. Well, maybe humanity’s gotta solve it’s OWN problems and answer it’s own questions! Dante made stupid-looking bug-eyed monsters with silly voices deliberately, he was putting on screen things about ourselves that we’re embarassed about and won’t project into that slot. We reserve the "alien" slot in stories for things that we want, even when we’re telling stories about things other than aliens, fantasy movies have wise magicians and elegant elves, scary, imposing, wondrous dragons what have you. Action movies have guys that can leap buildings ina single bound, war movies have guys that run towards grenades rather than away from them…

    Dante’s guys aren’t wise or mysterious and won’t tell you the Force is with with you. They’re lumpy and vulnerable and have blobby dangly bits and they’re nervous and anxious to impress and ultimately more than a bit ridiculous, like people.

    Whole point of movie is that the aliens’ most important feature might be that they are *friendly* and that might be good enough.

    Anyway, that’s what I think. I’m sure everyone else just wants a re-run of ET or Close Encounters or Cocoon or Alien. What for?! these films have already been made, those stories already told! This isn’t a grand story about Man meeting the Infinite that’s 2001, this a comedy!

    Didn’t anybody else SEE Gremlins? This is a Dante movie!

  33. areyouforcereal
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    hey im doing a project on this movie and i need a song for each character and i need help with wolfgangs character.. anybody know a good song that would go with him???

    "The trestle upstream is gone, but the river is still around. So am I."-The Body

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