That Thing You Do!

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German title That thing you do!
Original title That thing you do!
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1996
length 108 minutes
Age rating FSK 6
Director Tom Hanks
script Tom Hanks
production Jonathan Demme ,
Gary Goetzman ,
Edward Saxon
music Howard Shore ,
Adam Schlesinger
camera Tak Fujimoto
cut Richard Chew

That Thing You Do! is an American film from 1996 . With this film Tom Hanks made his debut as a director .


Guy Patterson, an ambitious drummer, led a dreary life as a temporary worker in his father's electronics store in the mid-1960s. This changes when the members of a local band he knows seek help out for their injured drummer. The band wants to take part in a school talent competition that evening. Guy agrees and influences the band significantly. When the "Oneders" perform, Guy plays the former ballad in a significantly faster, rhythmic beat and thus turns the song That Thing You Do! a rock 'n' roll piece.

The audience is thrilled, the Oneders win first prize, get engagements and record the song on record. During one of her busy performances, she becomes aware of a manager who signs her. When the song was even played on the radio, the Oneders ended up with a major record label and went on tour, renamed “The Wonders”, and eventually even appeared on the country's most successful TV show.

Soon there are difficulties within the band. The band founder and songwriter Jimmy soon feels that his art has been sold to commerce, and he also neglects his girlfriend Faye. The guitarist Lenny is more interested in the screaming girls and beautiful women than in the music, the bassist is already mentally in the Army, and Guy tries to please everyone and keep the band together.

Finally, the band falls apart when Jimmy realizes that it is not his talent that should be promoted, but rather the record bosses dictate the music. Lenny ran off to Las Vegas with a blonde beauty, got married there and got rich gambling, and the bassist long disappeared from the Army to Disneyland with his friends.

Guy accepts the end of the band and now plans to continue his own path as a musician. Later he and Faye will start a family and a music academy, Jimmy will enjoy success in another band, Lenny casino manager and the bassist with the Purple Heart will return from the Vietnam War .


“The directorial debut of Hollywood actor Tom Hanks largely avoids conflict and discord. Everything is carried by the cheerfulness of the film and television productions of the time in the field of the music business, which in some scenes is aptly poked fun at. "


Adam Schlesinger was named for the song That Thing You Do! for film awards Oscar , Golden Globe and Golden Satellite Award nomination and won the Florida Film Critics Circle Award . The film was nominated for the Young Artist Award for Best Musical or Comedy .

Inconsistencies in the film

  • When the band is looking for a name for the band, Jimmy makes the suggestion: "Heardsmen" and alludes to hearing and explains that it is one of the six senses.
  • At the beginning of the film, Lenny explicitly points out that he wrote the title “That thing you do!” Together with Jimmy. His name can no longer be found on the plate press.


The actors played the instruments themselves during the film and also sang. Since none of them mastered an instrument at the beginning, they had to be trained on it. You can often see very noticeably during the film that the two guitarists still often stare a little awkwardly at their fingerboard to find the next chord.

The song "That Thing You Do!"

That Thing You Do! was composed by Adam Schlesinger. The song was released for promotional purposes as a single by the fictional band The Wonders , known from the film, in the USA and made it to number 41 on the US Billboard charts.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. That Thing You Do! in the lexicon of international film Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used