The Goonies | 1985
The fondly remembered Steven Spielberg-produced kids’ adventure was filmed mostly up in the Pacific Northwest, around Astoria, on the Oregon coast at the border with Washington State, and introduced the world to the delights of the truffle shuffle.
Astoria stands on the mouth of the Columbia River and ‘Goondocks’ is the fictitious name of the waterfront neighbourhood where the kids live.
The Walsh house, from which Mikey (Sean Astin) and his family are due to be evicted, is 368 38th Street, off Franklin Avenue, near Columbia Field, to the east of town. Data (Ke Huy Quan) lives a mere zipwire away, next door at 304 38th Street. These are private homes so please be respectful of residents.
Mikey’s dad works in Astoria itself at the Flavel House Museum, 441 8th Street, at Duane Street. One of the best preserved Queen Anne houses in the Northwest, the Flavel House was built in 1885 for Captain George Flavel, a river bar pilot, and has been restored to its original Victorian appearance.
Just across Duane Street, the crooked Fratelli family, lead by formidable mother (Anne Ramsey) spring Jake Fratelli (Robert Davi) from Clatsop County Jail, 732 Duane Street, after a faked suicide. The old jail building is not only still unchanged, it now houses the Oregon Film Museum.
Celebrating movies made in the state, the Film Museum opened in 2010 to coincide with the 25th anniversary of The Goonies, and also features exhibits related to films such as Kindergarten Cop, Twilight, Sometimes A Great Notion and National Lampoon's Animal House.
The police chase following the Fratellis roars through the streets of Astoria before ending up more than 20 miles south, in the middle of a motor rally on Cannon Beach. At the southern end of Ecola State Park, the beach had previously featured in Spielberg’s slapstick comedy 1941 and went on appear in Twilight.
Also heading for Ecola State Park are Mikey and his chums, after discovering the treasure map of pirate One-Eyed Willy. The terrific view of the beach and its landmark Haystack Rock, is from the forested Ecola State Park Road to the north. The abandoned old café used as a hideout by the Fratellis was built specially for the film in the park.
Beneath the café, the Goonies discover the underground tunnel which inevitably leads them to the long-dead One-Eyed Willy and his treasure.
It’s obviously a much longer tunnel than it appears in the film. When they finally emerge into daylight, they’re on the coast of Northern California.
Although the end credits thank Bodega Bay (famously the location for Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds), the beach with the jagged rock formations is about 15 miles north of the town. Across the Russian River from the town of Jenner, it’s Goat Rock Beach, Goat Rock Road, 5400-5900 N Hwy 1. Part of the Sonoma Coast State Park, It’s a beautiful spot, but also home to a colony of harbour seals – you’re advised to stay at least 50 yards from the seals (particularly between March and August when they’re pupping), and no dogs are allowed on the beach at any time.
By the way, if you find Dave Grusin’s catchy chase music is subliminally familiar, believe it or not, it’s a revamping of Handel’s Sarabande – the original of which is used throughout Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece Barry Lyndon. Go ahead, take a listen.