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Hook (film)

Hook Directed by Steven SpielbergProduced by Frank Marshall
Gerald R. MolenWritten by J.M. Barrie(book)
James V. Hart
Nick CastleStarring Dustin Hoffman
Robin Williams
Julia Roberts
Bob Hoskins
Maggie Smith
Charlie KorsmoMusic by John WilliamsEditing by Michael KahnDistributed by TriStar PicturesRelease date(s) December 13, 1991Running time 144 minutes Country  United StatesLanguage EnglishBudget $70 million Allmovie profileIMDb profile

Hook is a 1991 family action/adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Dustin Hoffman, Robin Williams, Julia Roberts, Bob Hoskins and Maggie Smith. The film is based on J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan and acts as a sequel to the events in the novel, focusing on a grown-up Peter Pan who has forgotten his childhood. Although it received mixed reviews, it was one of the most financially successful films of 1991.



Successful corporate lawyer Peter Banning (Robin Williams) has become so engrossed in his work that he has lost touch with his wife Moira (Caroline Goodall) and his children Jack (Charlie Korsmo) and Maggie (Amber Scott). The family travels to London to visit Moira's grandmother Wendy Darling (Maggie Smith), who also raised Peter and other orphans. While the adults are at a banquet honoring Granny Wendy for her work, Jack and Maggie are kidnapped, with the only clue being a dagger holding a note signed "Jas. Hook, Captain", informing Peter that his presence is necessary to retrieve his children. Wendy tells Peter that this is the real Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman) and that he is the real Peter Pan, but he doesn't believe her.

He is dragged in his sleep to Neverland by Tinker Bell (Julia Roberts), and wakes up unnoticed among the pirates. When he observes Hook boasting of kidnapping Peter's children to use as bait, he reveals himself. Hook is disgusted at his nemesis' ineffectual condition, but Tinker Bell talks him into giving Peter three days to train for a duel. She takes Peter to the Lost Boys, who initially don't believe he's Peter Pan, especially Rufio (Dante Basco), the current leader. They come to believe he's Peter Pan and help re-train him, but he is hampered by his inability to remember being a boy or how to fly.

Back on the Jolly Roger, Hook and Smee (Bob Hoskins) attempt to convince Peter's children that their parents never loved them. Although Maggie does not fall for the ploy, the often-overlooked Jack listens, and with Hook cheering him on at a pirate baseball game (as his father had failed to do), he comes to accept the pirate as a father figure.

Peter eventually remembers everything, including his flight-enabling "happy thought": becoming a father, the reason he left Neverland. As Peter Pan, he leads the Lost Boys into battle with the pirates. Rufio takes on Hook while Peter rescues his son and daughter; the boy is mortally wounded, and tells Peter that he wishes he had a father like him. Peter wants to take his children home immediately, but realizing that Hook will not stop and will return to threaten his family time and again, resumes the duel. It ends when the giant crocodile (now stuffed) seemingly comes back to life and swallows Hook. Peter passes on his sword and leadership to the biggest of the Lost Boys, Thud Butt, and flies back to London with his children. He awakens in his regular clothes at the famous statue of Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, and sees Tinker Bell one last time. He assures her that he still believes in fairies, and she leaves. He returns to his family, finally remembering who he is, and appreciating them all as he should.


Barrie apparently considered writing a story in which Peter Pan grew up; his 1920 notes for the latest stage revival of Peter Pan include possible titles for another play: "The Man Who Didn't Couldn't Grow Up" or "The Old Age of Peter Pan".[1]



From the critical standpoint, this film is one of Steven Spielberg's less successful films. Rotten Tomatoes scores the movie at a 22% (rotten) rating among 36 critics,[2] although registered users of the site give it a much higher (fresh) rating of 71%. IGN's Steven Spielberg Featured Filmmaker article states:[3] "This is the one Spielberg film that I simply cannot watch. To do so pains me. Literally, I feel sick. It's a meandering, emotionless, wretched mess of a film containing a whole gaggle of characters that are in no way made appealing throughout the entirety of the film."

Despite these mixed reviews, the film was very financially successful and managed to gross $119,654,900 in the U.S.A. alone. (subtotal)[4] Worldwide its figure stood at $300,854,823. At the end of the year, the film stood as the 4th highest grossing movie of 1991.

Despite the poor reviews that the movie gained from some critics, over the years the movie has become more and more popular among the younger generations and with family audiences.[citation needed]

References to Peter Pan

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  • An elderly Tootles is one of the characters in the film, and is referred to as Wendy's "first orphan". Tootles was one of the original Lost Boys. In the book, all the original Lost Boys were adopted by Mr. Darling (Wendy's father), though none of the others have roles in the film besides Tootles.
  • In both the book and film, Wendy greets Peter by calling him "Boy".
  • Granny Wendy recites a prayer-like speech as she leaves Maggie and Jack in the nursery, asking the lights to guard the sleeping babes. This is a direct quotation from the Broadway musical based on the play, which is in turn a reference to the book. In the book Mrs. Darling says, "Night-lights are the eyes a mother leaves behind her to guard her children." (Chapter 2: The Shadow)
  • When Tinker Bell is first trying to get Peter to remember her, she says, "I drank poison for you!" This is a direct reference to the events in the book. (Chapter 13: Do You Believe in Fairies?)
  • The invisible dinner sequence is inspired by the lines in the book: "The difference between (Peter) and the other boys at such a time was that they knew it was make-believe, while to him make-believe and true were exactly the same thing. This sometimes troubled them, as when they had to make-believe that they had had their dinners." (Chapter 6: The Little House)
  • After human-sized Tinkerbell kisses Peter, and he remembers he has to save his children, Tink says to him, "You silly ass, Go!" In the book, Tinkerbell repeatedly calls Peter a "silly ass".
  • A number of lines in the film's dialogue are directly lifted from the book. Among them are:
    • "When the first baby laughed for the first time, the laugh broke into a thousands pieces and they went skipping about. That was the beginning of fairies." In the film this is recited by Granny Wendy and Maggie Banning. In the book it is spoken by Peter to Wendy. (Chapter 3: Come Away, Come Away!)
    • "I can't come with you. I have forgotten how to fly. I'm old, Peter. Ever so much more than twenty. I grew up a long time ago." Spoken by an aged Wendy to Peter in both the film and book (though the Wendy in the film is already a grandmother, the book adult Wendy is middle-aged).
    • "Strike, Peter. Strike true." In the film this is spoken by a defeated Hook to Peter. In the book it is spoken by a guilty Tootles to Peter. (Chapter 6: The Little House)
  • Some of the dialogue are modifications of lines in the novel, such as:
    • When Peter confronts Hook for the final battle at the end of the film, they say: "Peter Pan, prepare to meet thy doom." "Dark and sinister man, have at thee." This exchange is almost directly lifted from the book, Chapter 15: Hook or Me This Time, the original line being: "Proud and insolent youth, prepare to meet thy doom." "Dark and sinister man, have at thee."
    • During the duel between Peter and Hook, Hook says "Thus perished Peter Pan". This is a flip of the original line "Thus perished Jas. Hook", which is from Chapter 15: Hook or Me This Time.
    • Peter's quote in the movie "to live will be an awfully big adventure" refers to a line in the book: "to die will be an awfully big adventure". (Chapter 8: the Mermaid's Lagoon). Though the original line is spoken by Hook when he attempts suicide.
  • In the movie, when Hook listens to Maggie singing, he is holding a strange cigar holder which branches out into two cigars. Hook has such a device in the book.
  • In the movie, Hook repeatedly talks about "Good Form" and "Bad Form!" In the book, Hook thinks about this after he has captured the lost boys.
  • Toward the end of the movie, Tootles says "I've missed the adventure again, haven't I, Peter?" This is in reference to the book, as it is mentioned that the reason Tootles was so humble was because, by some misfortune, he missed most of the adventures the Lost Boys participated in.

Musical score

The score for Hook was composed and conducted by John Williams. As in many of his fantasy-adventure scores, Williams makes extensive use of leitmotifs (musical themes related to characters, emotions and actions), using one or more themes in each song to describe on-screen story and interaction. In fact, Hook may have one of the most leitmotivically-dense scores of all time, with some 20 odd autonomous melodic ideas recurring through the movie.[citation needed] An incomplete sample, just from the officially released soundtrack, which omits about half of the written score:

  1. "Prologue" (Peter Pan theme)
  2. "We Don't Want To Grow Up" (Tinkerbell theme) *
  3. "Banning Back Home"
  4. "Granny Wendy" (Childhood theme)
  5. "Hook-Napped" (Prologue Theme, Captain Hook theme)
  6. "The Arrival of Tink and the Flight to Neverland" (Tinkerbell theme, Childhood theme)
  7. "Presenting the Hook" (Pirate theme, Captain Hook theme)
  8. "From Mermaids to Lost Boys" (Mermaid theme, Neverland Theme, Lost Boys theme)
  9. "The Lost Boy Chase" (Lost Boys chase theme)
  10. "Smee's Plan" (Captain Hook theme)
  11. "The Banquet" (Lost Boys theme)
  12. "The Never-Feast" (Lost Boys, Childhood, When You're Alone *)
  13. "Remembering Childhood" (Childhood theme, Neverland theme, Peter Pan theme)
  14. "You are the Pan" (Peter Pan theme #2)
  15. "When You're Alone* (When You're Alone *)
  16. "The Ultimate War" (Peter Pan, Captain Hook, Tinkerbell, Childhood, Lost Boys)
  17. "Farewell Neverland" (Neverland, Lost Boys, Peter Pan theme #2, and Tinkerbell)

*Tracks 2 and 15: Music composed by John Williams/lyrics written by Leslie Bricusse. "When You're Alone" was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song in 1992.


The novelization of Hook was written by fantasy novelist Terry Brooks.


Mattel released a line of Hook toys in 1991 which included action figures and child-themed accessories based on Captain Hook, Peter Pan, and the Lost Boys. The first series of items had a widespread release and were abundant in stores but did not sell well despite the financial success of the film. A second series including strictly action figures was released in 1992 with limited distribution in small quantities. Hook toys have little to no value on the secondary market with the exception of the second series figures which are now extremely difficult to acquire.[citation needed] The fast-food chain, McDonalds, also had toys in their Happy Meals children's meals, that consisted mostly of a figure and a boat. The exception was the mermaid, which could be wound up. All the Happy Meals toys could float.


  1. ^ Birkin, Andrew: J M Barrie & the Lost Boys (Yale University Press, 2003)
  2. ^ IGN: Featured Filmmaker: Steven Spielberg
  3. ^ IGN: Featured Filmmaker: Steven Spielberg
  4. ^ Hook (1991) - Box office / business

External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Hook v • d • ePeter PanCharacters Peter Pan · Wendy Darling · Captain Hook · Tinker Bell · The Lost Boys · other charactersOfficial books
and plays The Little White Bird · Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up · Peter and Wendy · Peter Pan in ScarletFilms/TV series Peter Pan(1924) · Peter Pan(1953) · The Lost Boys · Peter Pan and the Pirates · Hook · Return to Never Land · Peter Pan(2003) · Finding Neverland · Tinker BellRelated people J. M. Barrie · Llewelyn Davies boys · Sylvia Llewelyn Davies · Arthur Llewelyn Davies · Charles Frohman v • d • eFilms directed by Steven Spielberg1970sThe Sugarland Express(1974)  · Jaws(1975)  · Close Encounters of the Third Kind(1977)  · 1941(1979) 1980sRaiders of the Lost Ark(1981)  · E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial(1982)  · Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom(1984)  · The Color Purple(1985)  · Empire of the Sun(1987)  · Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade(1989)  · Always(1989) 1990sHook (1991)  · Jurassic Park(1993)  · Schindler's List(1993)  · The Lost World: Jurassic Park(1997)  · Amistad(1997)  · Saving Private Ryan(1998) 2000sArtificial Intelligence: A.I.(2001)  · Minority Report(2002)  · Catch Me if You Can(2002)  · The Terminal(2004)  · War of the Worlds(2005)  · Munich(2005)  · Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull(2008) TBA Tintin · The Trial of the Chicago 7 · Interstellar · Lincoln Categories: 1991 films | American films | Fantasy adventure films | Fantasy-comedy films | Films based on plays | Films directed by Steven Spielberg | Films produced by Steven Spielberg | Films shot anamorphically | Peter Pan films | Pirate films | TriStar films | Amblin Entertainment filmsHidden categories: All articles with unsourced statements | Articles with unsourced statements since April 2008 | Articles needing additional references from May 2008 | Articles with unsourced statements since February 2007 | Articles with unsourced statements since February 2008

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