5.5/10
8,133
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 »

Photos

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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

The name of the volunteering organization, to which the film title refers, is "The Peace Corps". According to Wikipedia, "The Peace Corps is a volunteer program run by the United States government. The stated mission of the Peace Corps includes three goals: providing technical assistance; helping people outside the United States to understand American culture; and helping Americans to understand the cultures of other countries. The work is generally related to social and economic development. Each program participant, a Peace Corps Volunteer, is an American citizen, typically with a college degree, who works abroad for a period of 24 months after three months of training. Volunteers work with governments, schools, non-profit organizations, non-government organizations, and entrepreneurs in education, hunger, business, information technology, agriculture, and the environment. After 24 months of service, volunteers can request an extension of service". See more »

Goofs

In the graduation scene, the cable to the loan shark's earphone changes position between shots. See more »

Quotes

Tom Tuttle: Let's face it: you're afraid and you have a damn good reason to be. Albert Spear once said, "Fear is victory's fuel!" Oh, you spend a few years with me, pal, and we are going to turn that fear into high octane.
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

Spoofs The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) See more »

Soundtracks

As Time Goes By
Written by Herman Hupfeld
See more »

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User Reviews

One of the best comedies of all time
19 December 2003 | by eric12808See all my reviews

Tom Hanks is fantastic...the rest of the cast adds strong support. This film made me laugh so hard throughout. John Candy is great, Rita Wilson is wonderful, and the native characters add authentic flavor to the film. Honestly, anyone who doesn't appreciate the acting ability of Tom Hanks in this humor-filled picture is missing a lot. This is the kind of film you could watch a few times to fully appreciate all the underlying gags and subtle jokes. Terrific film!!!!!


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