Volunteers (1985)


No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...


Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

When his father (George Plimpton) refuses to pay off his gambling debts, spoiled rich boy Lawrence Bourne III (Tom Hanks) flees the debt collectors by climbing aboard a Peace Corps plane headed to Thailand. Stuck in an isolated village, the reluctant Lawrence must team up with the enthusiastic Tom Tuttle (John Candy) to attempt to build a bridge and help out the local townsfolk.

Rating: R (adult situations/language)
Genre: Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Carl Gottlieb, Ken Levine, Keith F. Critchlow, David Isaacs
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 13, 2001
HBO Video



as Lawrence Bourne III

as Tom Tuttle from Taco...

as Beth Wexler

as John Reynolds

as At Toon

as Lawrence Bourne Jr.

as Chung Mee

as Lucille

as Souvanna

as Albert Bordonaro

as Kent Sutcliffe

as Evelyn Bourne

as Aunt Eunice

as Yale President

as Announcer

as Sumo Guard
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Volunteers

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (3)

Promising premise and opening shortly descend into unduly protracted tedium.

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

A blasé Hanks redeems this string of sexist, racist, comic clichés with winning charm. It's funny.

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

A little melancholy may blend with the laughter ''Volunteers'' draws at the expense of those earnest days when a President was urging people to ask what they could do for their country.

Full Review… | May 21, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Hanks is excellent and has a way with funny lines that marks him as one of the better droll comic actors, if given the right material. Here, writers Ken Levine and David Isaacs have provided the actors with solid jokes.

Full Review… | December 23, 2013
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Often funny premise, but comedy cast makes it work.

June 1, 2007

...a silly, thoroughly unmemorable comedy...

Full Review… | February 18, 2006
Reel Film Reviews

Audience Reviews for Volunteers


A fun movie, pretty well written, with a good cast, and everything else is pretty average for an 80s comedy. I wanted to rate this higher, but there were a bunch of stupid jokes thrown in that I thought the movie could have done without. Otherwise, it's an exciting, fun, charming little comedy. Overall I enjoyed it anyway, even though it's not the best it could be.

Aj V

Super Reviewer

Tom Hanks plays a rich Harvard snob Lawrence Bourne III, a Yalie with an upper-crust accent who joins the Peace Core to escape his gambling debts. Once on the plane, however, he has second thoughts and as soon as he gets off the plane, Lawrence literally goes down on his knees and begs the leader to send him back. But his pleas go in vain. Things begin to look up when an attractive fellow Corps woman, Beth (Rita Wilson) is assigned to the same village, along with an over-zealous but good-hearted engineer, Tom Tuttle from Tacoma, Washington (played by John Candy).

However, Beth won't give him the time of day and Tom is a royal pain in the ass nevertheless the trio gets immersed in an elaborate scheme to build a bridge. Hanks and Candy are very humorous while Gedde Watanabe plays a local named Toon, a fast-talking kid who went to an American School in Bangkok who helps Hanks and Candy communicate with his people.

Lawrence ends up building the bridge, but then realizes that it was a dreadful mistake, as he comes face to face with brainwashed Communists, deviant drug pushers and John Reynolds, as the crazed CIA operative, who names his Bowie knife "Mike."

A piece of trivia for you to digest: It was on this movie set that Tom Hanks won the heart of his second wife Rita Wilson and the duo are still married to date.

Deb S

Super Reviewer


Not very strong but some scattered laughs and exotic Thailand locations. John Candy lends Tom Hanks a helpful comedy hand once again just like in Splash.

Doctor Strangeblog

Super Reviewer

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