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Can it really be 25 years since the release of The Goonies? It is not exactly a classic. It is probably best remembered as an early effort from people like teen-ager Josh Brolin and director Richard Donner who went on to more successful and prestigious projects. But it inspires a lot of devotion from the generation that came of age in the 80’s. Monica Hesse writes about a 25th-anniversary celebration of this Steven Spielberg-produced family favorite in the Washington Post. Astoria, Oregon, where the film was made, is hosting a gathering of fans.
“The Goonies” are . . . how to explain them if you were not born in the ’70s or ’80s, the sweet spot of obsession? They were a club of seven misfits, including a fat kid (Chunk — forced to perform the indignity of the Truffle Shuffle on command), a loudmouth and a gadget whiz. They all went on a treasure hunt below the earth to find a missing pirate ship and to escape the Fratelli brothers — cons who kept their mutant sibling, Sloth, locked in the basement, when all he wanted was a Baby Ruth.
And now, the fans are gathering in Astoria to explore the house where the kids found the treasure map and do the Truffle Shuffle. Cast members are there to sign autographs and pose for pictures.
At one point in the movie, the Goonies have a chance for rescue, when they realize they are below the town wishing well and that popular jerk Troy, standing above, could pull them up. Mikey persuades everyone to stay. He wants to finish the adventure, not capitulate to the adults outside and the Troys of the world.
“That’s the line I quote the most,” says Brandon Lerner, a fan from Seattle. ” ‘It’s all over the second we ride up Troy’s bucket.’ “
That’s the thing. True Goonies know that when Mikey said refuse the bucket, when he said, “It’s our time down here,” he wasn’t talking about the bottom of the cave. He was talking about wanting to stay in childhood just a little longer, because it can never be retrieved.
And when adults make the pilgrimage to Astoria, they’re not coming for the Truffle Shuffle. They’re coming to show that Mikey was wrong, that sometimes it can.