Directed by: Tom Hanks
Written by: Tom Hanks
Produced by: Edward Saxon, Gary Goetzman, Jonathan Demme, Terry Odem
Other cast: Liv Tyler, Charlize Theron, Tom Everett Scott, Johnathon Schaech
Release date: October 4, 1996
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Music
Running time: 1h 48min
Wily band manager Mr. White helps a small town band achieve big time success when they release a Beatles-style pop song in 1964. Pennsylvania band the "Oneders" become a sensation after their drummer breaks his arm, and is replaced by jazz enthusiast, Guy Patterson, who injects something a bit different into their music.
→ In every life there comes a time when that dream you dream becomes that thing you do.
♦ Tom Hanks named the beach band (Capn’ Geech and the Shrimp Shack Shooters) after two seafood restaurants near Beaufort, South Carolina, where many scenes in Forrest Gump (1994) were filmed. Captain Geech’s was on Lady’s Island, but is now closed. The Shrimp Shack is still open for business on St. Helena Island.
♦ Tom Hanks claimed that he wrote the script while on the promotional tour for Forrest Gump (1994) due to his boredom doing non-stop interviews.
♦ Tom Hanks’s writer-directorial film debut.
♦ Tom Hanks named his production company Play-Tone after the fictional record label in the movie.
♦ During the montage of clips while a song plays, we see the band cavorting on a large map of the United States. At one point, one of the characters falls off of his bicycle at approximately the location of Cleveland, Ohio. This is because before becoming famous, Tom Hanks spent years there acting in local theater, and remains to this day a die-hard Cleveland Indians fan. The “stumble” therefore represents his time spent there on his way to national stardom.
♦ Tom Hanks is an Oakland Raiders fan, and named the pizza place (out by the airport), where the band is the house band, “Villapianos” after former Raider linebacker Phil Villapiano.
• Next, this “Oneders”, with the O-N-E, it doesn’t work. It’s confusing. From now on, you boys’ll just be… simply The Wonders.
• It is very important that you don’t stink today.
• I don’t want any of this lover’s lament crap. I want something peppy, something happy, something up-tempo. I want something snappy.
• You know, Horace was right about you, Guy; you are the smart one. Lenny is the fool, Jimmy is the… talent, and Faye is… well, now, Faye is special, isn’t she? And you are the smart one. That’s what I think, anyway.
• We bow, right? In unison, and we’re off the stage before the applause dies out.
• You unplug and you run, run offstage! Smiling, smiling, of course.
• Good morning, Guy. We have a crisis here – your bass player has disappeared, and you are still in bed! Just calling to tell you to get your patootie down to the television studio! You’re gonna be on TV tonight!
• OK, the first thing that needs to change is the name. It’s confusing. From now on, you are The Wonders.
• “That Thing You Do” is the fastest rising single in the history of the Playtone label. As of tomorrow morning, you Wonders – you’ve got the #7 record in the country.