Leave It to Beaver (film)
|Leave It to Beaver|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Andy Cadiff|
|Produced by||Robert Simonds|
|Written by||Brian Levant
|Based on||Leave it to Beaver
by Bob Mosher
Erik von Detten
|Music by||Randy Edelman|
|Cinematography||Thomas Del Ruth|
|Editing by||Alan Heim|
|Studio||Robert Simonds Productions|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Running time||84 minutes|
Beaver (Cameron Finley) gets his heart set on a bicycle in the store window, but does not think his parents will shell out that money for it. Eddie Haskell (Adam Zolotin) tells him that if he sucks up to his father (Christopher McDonald), by signing up for football, he will be sure to get the bike on his upcoming birthday. Beaver enrolls on the football team and doggedly endures the practices, despite his disadvantage of being smaller than most his teammates. As Eddie predicted, Ward is glad Beaver signed up for football, as evidenced by a brief fantasy Ward has of Beaver making a touchdown while several professional football players all fail to tackle him. However, the first game of the season ends poorly when Beaver passes the ball to a kid on the opposing team when he mistakingly remembered him as a friend from summer camp. On the first day of school five days later, Ward and June (Janine Turner) tell Wally to drop Beaver off and pick him up for a few days because he has never ridden his bike there before. At school Beaver sits beside a very pretty girl named Susan Akatsu (Brenda Song) and has a kind teacher named Miss Landers (Grace Phillips). After school Eddie asks Wally to come to the soda shop to see him flirt with Karen (Erika Christensen). Eddie does not want Beaver to follow them, so Wally leaves him alone at the bike rack telling him he will be back in a second.
Beaver is polishing his bike when a punk teenager (Glenn Walker Harris Jr.) comes over and admires it and asks him if he can show him some cool bike tricks. He agrees and the boy shows him some tricks before riding off with the bike. Inside the shop it becomes apparent that Karen likes Wally, not Eddie. When Wally and Eddie come out of the shop and hear that Beaver's bike got stolen they look for it but can't find it. During dinner that night, the boys try to cover up the fact that the bike was stolen, but to no avail. When Ward hears this he is upset with Beaver, but angrier at Wally because he was responsible for watching Beaver. In the boys' bedroom, they get into a fight which sends Beaver's new computer flying out the window. Wally grabs the wire and tries to pull it in and does, but the wire breaks, and it falls out the window and crashes into many pieces.
Beaver decides to skip football practice and study instead, and Wally starts spending more time with Karen now instead of Beaver. Beaver catches up with the punk who stole his bike, who challenges him to a dangerous stunt to climb into a gigantic coffee mug atop the local cafe, but when Beaver does so, the punk rides off again and Beaver is stuck. The fire department and Ward help get Beaver down, whereupon Ward realizes Beaver may be under too much pressure. Ward says he has found out about Beaver's neglect of practices, but says he can quit the team if he wants. Beaver, however, decides to go back to the team no matter how poorly he has been doing. During the last game, Beaver gets a catch and runs it for a touchdown. At the Mayfield Festival, Beaver chases after the kid who stole his bike and he uses a concession stand to block his way and he ends up flying to a table of pies and slides through the table with his face covered in pie and Beaver gets his bike back. At home, Ward sees Beaver polishing his bike and tells his dad that the bike would be safer if it stays in the house and he decides to read Beaver a bedtime story whereupon in the boys' bedroom is a newspaper headline about the winning game, aptly titled "Leave It to Beaver".
- Christopher McDonald as Ward Cleaver
- Janine Turner as June Cleaver
- Cameron Finley as Theodore 'Beaver' Cleaver
- Erik von Detten as Wallace 'Wally' Cleaver
- Adam Zolotin as Eddie Haskell
- Erika Christensen as Karen
- Alan Rachins as Fred Rutherford
- E.J. de la Peña as Larry Mondello
- Justin Restivo as Lumpy
- Geoff Pierson as Coach Gordon
- Louis Martin Braga as Gilbert Bates
Cameos by actors and actress from the original Leave it to Beaver.
The only three actors from the Original series, who didn't make a cameo in this film were Hugh Beaumont (the original Ward Cleaver), Tony Dow (the original Wally Cleaver) and Jerry Mathers (the original Beaver Cleaver). Dow declined to make an appearance after he, Brian Levant, and Richard Correll (the original Richard Rickover) were turned down to be the possible directors. It is not publicly known why Mathers didn't participate in this film. Hugh Beaumont died before the film was made.
The movie was poorly received by critics, as it currently holds a rating of 21% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 28 reviews.
Home video release history
- January 20, 1998 (VHS, DVD, and LaserDisc)
- March 20, 2007 (DVD – Family Favorites 4-Movie Collection, with The Little Rascals, Casper, and Flipper) (Note: All of these films are presented in anamorphic widescreen.)