The Goonies – Behind The Scenes

Behind the Scenes of The Goonies.

            There seems to be a trend of movies that was very prevalent in the eighties. That is the mature, yet appropriate film that explores what it was like to truly be a child at the time. Movies such as The Never Ending Story and Stand by Me came out at this period and wowed audiences with their gritty stories and brilliantly written children characters. The kids in these movies just had such bright and fun-loving personalities while still trying to be serious, like normal kids. In many people’s opinions, the movie that best emulated this was Spielberg’s The Goonies. This is an excellent tale of adventure and fun as a group of young friends go off in search of pirate treasure to pay off their prents’ debts. Still resonating with fans to this day, a cult has formed around this movie in all of its comedic and adventurous glory. Let’s see what treasures we can find ourselves as we take a behind the scenes look at the 1985 hit, The Goonies.

Pirate Ship Set


Raise the main sails and chart a new heading. The enormous pirate ship that houses the long lost treasure of One-Eyed Willy in the film is truly a marvel in set design. There is a definite sense of authenticity that this construct has from its design and its aged and decrepit look. The effects and set team truly outdid themselves with this accomplishment.

It is said that the head set-designer tried various different techniques on the wood to acquire that antiquated feel to this ship which is meant to be from the 16th century. Eventually, it was decided upon that the best course of action to do a combination of various actions.

One such was to carve into the wood, producing scratches and grooves throughout the exterior design. This helped damage and wear to appear on the hull, like you would expect to see on a veteran pirate ship that has weathered many battles and storms. Another method utilized was to concoct a special stain for all of the wood used that would preserve it while giving it an ancient dullness.

You can also see in the image, cranes and lighting equipment that were utilized for the actual scenes with this ship and even the pit the characters would jump into as they were forced from the ship.