5.5/10
7,977
37 user 15 critic

Volunteers (1985)

R | | Comedy | 16 August 1985 (USA)
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 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:

Ready or not, here they come See more »

Genres:

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:

Alles hört auf mein Kommando 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 movie spoofs two David Lean epics, Lawrence of Arabia (1962) and 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: [throwing cigarettes and gum to the villagers] That's right, Lawrence Bournes III; rich American.
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 There's Nothing Out There (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

As Time Goes By
Written by Herman Hupfeld
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A consistently underrated movie.
15 February 2000 | by kavengaSee all my reviews

Volunteers is a consistently underrated movie. I usually agree with the typical video guide reviews, but I fall out of bed on this one. Volunteers is a very funny, well written, well acted film. It is so packed with humour it reminds me of the old Mad Magazines with the jokes written in the margins. Some of the humour is rather subtle and the dialogue rolls right over it. If you're not paying attention, you might miss it.

Tom Hanks is perfect as Lawrence Bourne III, the Ivy League cad. John Candy is at the top of his form as the brainwashed Tom Tuttle from Tacoma. Geddy Watanabe as the "street smart" Thai gives a performance on par with his Long Duc Dong of Sixteen Candles. And Rita Wilson is totally convincing as the idealistic Peace Corps volunteer out to teach the masses the advantages of Self-Styling Adorn.

If you don't think the ratings are off on this one, I suggest this test. Watch Splash and Volunteers back to back and see which one you think is funnier. Both star Hanks and were made at about the same time. Splash was highly rated by the guides while Volunteers was given mediocre ratings. I think the ratings should be reversed.


23 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
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