Five ordinary people needed a miracle...

"The quickest way to end a miracle is to ask it why it is...or what it wants."

Frank Riley

*batteries not included

Release Date: December 18, 1987

The five remaining tenants of 817 East 8th Street are in desperate need of a miracle. Their building is set to meet the wrecking ball and they will lose everything they have. An unscrupulous real estate developer is tormenting the five holdouts and trying everything to force them out; to the point of even hiring a gang leader named Carlos to harass them.

Just when they are about to give up, their miracle hap­pens... Amblin Entertainment's *batteries not included is a warm, touching movie about tiny spaceships, the people they encounter, and the magical relationship that develops between them.

The future looks bleak for Frank and Faye Riley (Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy). Faye is becoming more unpredictable and eccentric, often out of touch with reality. She even thinks the local gang leader Carlos (Michael Carmine) is their dead son. Frank, devoted to Faye, copes with her delusion while he fights to save their home and the café that has been their livelihood for decades. Now, the demolition threatens to destroy everything.

Nothing can save these good people—including neighbors Harry (Frank McRae, 1941, Used Cars), a quiet, sweet-natured tenant, pregnant single mother-to-be Marisa (Elizabeth Peña) and artist Mason (Dennis Boutsikaris)—until tiny and mysterious spaceships glide through an open window left open by Faye one night. Soon, a lively relationship springs up between the little spacecraft family and their earthly hosts. The unexpected visitors bring the tenants together and find a way to help each of them. The five humans left in 817 East share a secret that mystifies an entire neighborhood and ultimately dazzles them all.

*batteries not included started out as a concept for the Amazing Stories anthology series that Amblin Television produced from 1985-1987. The concept, an idea by Steven Spielberg originally called "Gramps and Grammie and Company," was developed into a story and a first draft by Amazing Stories writer Mick Garris. It became the basis for a new screenplay co-written by Brad Bird (Family Dog) and Matthew Robbins (The Sugarland Express). They also collaborated on The Main Attraction, an Amazing Stories episode conceived by Spielberg, scripted by Garris and then redrafted by Bird and Robbins, who would also direct.

About the Film

About the Film

CAST
  • HUME CRONYN,
  • JESSICA TANDY,
  • FRANK MCRAE,
  • ELIZABETH PEÑA,
  • MICHAEL CARMINE,
  • DENNIS BOUTSIKARIS
DIRECTOR
  • MATTHEW ROBBINS
SCREENWRITERS
  • BRAD BIRD & MATTHEW ROBBINS AND BRENT MADDOCK & S.S. WILSON,
  • STORY BY MICK GARRIS
PRODUCERS
  • RONALD D. SCHWARY,
  • STEVEN SPIELBERG,
  • KATHLEEN KENNEDY,
  • FRANK MARSHALL
CINEMATOGRAPHER
  • JOHN MCPHERSON
PRODUCTION DESIGNER
  • TED HAWORTH
COSTUME DESIGNER
  • AGGIE GUERARD RODGERS
VFX SUPERVISOR
  • BRUCE NICHOLSON
EDITOR
  • CYNTHIA SCHEIDER
COMPOSER
  • JAMES HORNER