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    The Locations of the Goonies: all the stages of the film

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    Joel Fulleda

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    I Goonies, a 1985 film born from a story by Steven Spielberg and developed through the skilful direction of Richard Donner, can certainly be considered a true cult movie, as confirmed by the enormous success that, even today, continues to collect. The film is set in the wonderful west coast of the United States, between Oregon and the Northern California, a setting that undoubtedly contributes to making an undoubtedly successful film even more suggestive, which has become a real model of the adventures genre for children.

    So here I am to describe the main locations trampled by Mickey, Chunk, Mouth, Data, Brand, Andy and Stef, as well as by the mythological Sloth and the antagonists Jake & Francis Fratelli, led by their "tender" Mom. Before proceeding, however, anyone who wants to become part of the world of the Goonies must recite the oath of affiliation:

    I will never betray my goon dock friends / We will stick together until the whole world ends / Through heaven and hell, and nuclear war / Good pals like us, will stick like tar / In the city, or the country, or the forest, or the boonies / I am proudly declared a fellow Goony.

    The great success of the Goonies

    For many admirers, the protagonists of the film were not just ordinary characters in a children's story, but rather, authentic idols and romantic growth mates. For sentimental past of this sort, the strong emotional bond can also override small inconsistencies scattered here and there in the plot. Therefore, it is difficult that those who, during a young age and with scarcely critical eyes, had the privilege of following the fortunate adventures narrated in the feature film, will be able to talk about it in a totally impartial way.

    However, the undoubted triumph can only be objectively proved by observing how it passed unscathed through several generations and successive eras of video playback devices. Since 1985 it has been shown in cinemas around the world and, passing through the era of VHs cassettes, DVDs, multimedia files and Blu-Ray, it has reached the present day, in which, it can also stream HD directly to TV.

    The immortality of this film production is easily explained through a balanced mix of multiple and fortunate elements. First of all, the screenplay is made up of the most classic ingredients that stimulate dreams and adventures: pirates, treasures, “trachobetti”, love, friendship, puzzles and dangers. The rhythm, with which the facts are embroidered, is rather tight since the opening credits and, in the whole narrative, they do not inhabit dead times. The dialogues between the characters, then, are always essential, straightforward and never banal; many expressions have also entered the current language.

    One by one, the actors of the film remain vivid in the memory because they are all characterized by considerable depth and robust personality; nevertheless, the diverse group that is formed results in a perfect combination of different individualities, ambitions and attributes. The soundtrack also boasts the illustrious signature of Dave Grusin for the instrumental motifs and that of Cyndi Lauper for the exclusive pop song: “The Goonies 'R' Good Enough”.


    • Route map
    • The location of Astoria
    • The locations of Cannon Beach and Ecola State Park
    • Le location di Goat Rock Beach
    • Where to sleep according to the itinerary

    Route map

    The part of the itinerary that takes place in Oregon, between Astoria and the coast (Cannon Beach and Ecola State Park), it is easily feasible all together, as the 2 areas are located about half an hour away by car. Things change instead for the scenes of the film shot in California, which are over 1000 km from the Oregon stages. If you want to follow the complete itinerary, you will therefore have to distribute it over several days; the easiest way to include all the stops is to take a tour of the coast and San Francisco in Seattle which, from Northern California continues north along the Pacific North West coast.

    The location of Astoria

    “Goondocks” ad Astoria

    The large company of the adolescent protagonists of the adventure has grown to Goon Docks, neighborhood of Astoria, in the state of Oregon. It is from the name of the imaginary neighborhood that the title of the film and the nickname of the band derive. Astoria, in addition to being one of the most beautiful coastal cities in the state, is a town with a rich historical past, testified by the many and appreciable period buildings. Founded in 1811, it was the first settlement west of the Rocky Mountains.

    All the locations of the town that appear in the film are concentrated in the first part of the story. The prison, from which Jake Fratelli (Robert Davi) escapes assisted by his brother Francis (Joe Pantoliano) and his mother (Anne Ramsey), is located at 732 on Duane Street, in the built-up area (Downtown).

    Photo by Another Believer

    Today the former county penitentiary has been conveniently transformed into the(1) Oregon Film Museum, dedicated to the films shot in these places. The main attraction is the cell, at whose bars, Jake pretends to be hanged thanks to a pipe hidden behind his back. The tool is now carefully positioned on the same bars together with the ticket which, in the opening cinematic sequence, attracts the attention of the jailer who finds the body of the brigand apparently examining; the writing shows the following words:

    You Schmuk! Do you really think I’d be stupid enough to kill myself?

    Many other relics, always linked to the Goonies adventure, are exhibited in the rooms obtained from the former prison: the much coveted treasure, with the Willy the Patch skull itself, the raincoat of Data (Jonathan Ke Quan), equipped with his prodigious and always very useful inventions, the wallet of Chester Copperpot, the explorer who disappeared many years ago during the unfortunate treasure hunt and the medallion found by Mickey Walsh (Sean Astin) in the attic of the house together with the famous map of the legendary pirate. Furthermore, often the black off-road vehicle, used by the Fratelli gang to escape far from prison, is parked by the museum curators right outside the entrance.

    The off-road vehicle of the Brothers Band

    After Jake's dramatic escape, the police chase begins in an attempt to hunt down the fleeing Brothers gang. While the cameras film the race on four wheels, some points of the city are immortalized and the protagonists of the comedy are presented. Behind cheerleader Andy (Kerri Green) the police cars parade while the girl is intent on performing choreographic rehearsals at the (2) Warren Field, bordered by 18th Street, 20th Street and Exchange Street. Today there is no longer any American football field here, however, for the reunion of the thirtieth anniversary of the release of the film, the actors were spotted on the same training ground.

    Rosalita (Lupe Ontiveros), the maid of the Walsh house, is almost hit by the 4 × 4 driven by Mamma Fratelli, as she crosses the(3) crossroads of Lief Erikson Drive and 37th Street, where the cafeteria still stands on the corner today Astoria Coffee Co. In a deleted scene, the Goonies enter this venue and Mickey compares the treasure map to a real map of the territory for sale at the counter.

    The line of cars then whizzes by at full speed in front of the(4) house in Mouth, aka Clark Devereaux (Corey Feldman), distracting him from his job as his father's plumbing assistant. On (5) East Mooring Basin Boat Ramp, on whose adjacent platforms you can see beautiful sea lions basking in the sun, Stef Steinbrenner (Martha Plimpton) dives into a tank to retrieve a magnificent specimen of plastic crab, while cars whiz by on the dock behind her.

    The last city point captured during the pursuit is the (6) Lower Columbia Bowl, at number 826 of Marine Drive. Here, Lawrence “Chunk” Cohen (Jeff Cohen), exalted by the rare and spectacular scene along the street, succeeds in the task of blasting a slice of pizza and a strawberry milk shake at the same time, soiling the internal showcase of the game room. Those who happen to be here, will not be able to give up a game of bowling and the purchase of a T-shirt complete with an embossed Chunk effigy.

    Obviously, the Walsh family lives in the upper part of the city, in Goon Docks. There (7) home of the Goonies, located at 368 38th Street, is the real operations center for friends who are often moved to adventure precisely by the secret treasures hidden in the attic of Mr. Walsh, curator of the city museum.

    Walsh house

    Next to the home of the Walsh brothers, al 344 of the same street, also arises (8) house where Data lives together with his family. The proximity of the two houses allows the little genius of Chinese origin, renamed "Agent 00-Data", to test his own acrobatic inventions ... the imprudent and unorthodox mission "Wings of the Wind" is filmed right in the opening bars of the film .

    Once in possession of Willy l'Orbo's maps, the gang sets out on a treasure hunt on their bmx bikes, the most popular bicycles in the 80s before the advent of mountain bikes. The boys pass in front of the (9) Flavel House Museum, briefly saying goodbye to Mickey's dad, intent on lowering the American flag from the pole of the city's main museum; the splendid building is located at 714 Exchange Street.

    Flavel House

    The historic home can be visited and the guided tour lasts about an hour. Captain George Flavel's former quarters are strategically located on one of the hills of Astoria; still today the structure retains the dome from which the maritime entrepreneur could observe and control the naval traffic.

    The locations of Cannon Beach and Ecola State Park

    South of Astoria, the spectacular Oregon Coast stretches for hundreds of miles. In this rugged and wild stretch, tourists love to practice various activities ranging from trekking to whale watching. The most famous and touristic place is certainly Cannon Beach, whose natural symbol is represented byHaystack Rock, a monolith of about 70 meters high which stands out near the city beach.

    Precisely on this stretch of the beach, the Mamma of the Fratelli band, to escape definitively the police during the aforementioned chase, wisely chooses to mix among the other 4 × 4 vehicles in the (10) Off-road rally starting right near Haystack Rock.

    From the northern end of the beach, the(11) Ecola State Park Road, road that leads to the homonymous park preserved by the State of Oregon. Along this winding road, two important sequences of the film were shot: the first when Mickey stops his bicycle and, orienting himself with the monolithic rocks scattered along the coast, he manages to identify the place from which to start to search for the entrance to the underground tunnels. built by the pirate to hide their capital of gold, diamonds and other precious stones. The second sequence resumes Brandon who, launching in pursuit of his younger brother on a children's bicycle, is hooked by the car of his rival in love Troy (Steve Antin), who combines him with a dangerous take-off towards the escarpment.

    Going up, after entering the park, the road leads to a first parking lot from which some paths branch off along the coast. On that promontory, just near the parking lot for cars, along the slope to the north, stood the left and apparently disused (12) Restaurant of the Fratelli band, from which, the Goonies, access the underground galleries that lead to the treasure. Mouth, translating the clues written in Spanish on the map, indicates the path to his friends: “Diez veces diez, ten times ten; long strides to the nearest northern point; here you will find the tree… ".

    The shelter, built specifically for the comedy, was demolished immediately after filming was completed. Today, in place of the famous hiding place, it rises a small hut, useful reference to identify the exact location more quickly.

    Le location di Goat Rock Beach

    After having presented the splendid places immortalized in the initial part of the film on the Oregon coast, we can move to California for the description of the fascinating beach portrayed in the closing bars of the film. It is precisely the coastal area of Jenner, in the county of Sonoma (which we already told you about in our article on Napa and Sonoma Valley).

    From the main promontory of the (13) Goat Rock State Beach, two policemen on quads are framed heading north, sighting the Goonies in the distance and giving them help (one of the two policemen, the one on the right with white hair, is Richard Donner!). In the same sequence, the seven protagonists walk exhausted on the wide and jagged beach, extremely tested by the dangerous adventure that has just ended.

    Behind them, on the opposite side of the promontory, there is a cluster of interesting rock formations a few meters from the shore, which make the panorama truly unique and scenographic. We are a (14) Cauldron Point, site where the cunning, brave and enterprising Goonies bring their last farewell to Willy the Orbo. Looking south, the company sadly watches the pirate ship finally make its way to the horizon, after being trapped for hundreds of years in unexplored caves and caverns.

    Where to sleep according to the itinerary

    For the part of the route in Oregon there is nothing better than sleeping in the town of the Goonies, Astoria, where you will find a number of accommodations. For the Goat Rock Beach area of ​​California you can consider both San Francisco (1 hours away) and the many towns near the beach. Here is a series of useful links for finding accommodation in these areas:

    • Astoria
    • Goat Rock Beach
    • Our tips for sleeping in San Francisco
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