Troop Beverly Hills
|Troop Beverly Hills|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Jeff Kanew|
|Produced by||Jerry Weintraub
Ava Ostern Fries
|Screenplay by||Pamela Norris
Margaret Grieco Oberman
|Story by||Ava Ostern Fries|
Craig T. Nelson
|Music by||Randy Edelman|
|Cinematography||Donald E. Thorin|
|Edited by||Mark Melnick|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Running time||106 minutes |
Troop Beverly Hills is a 1989 adventure comedy film. Produced by Weintraub Entertainment Group and directed by Jeff Kanew, it starred Shelley Long, Craig T. Nelson, Betty Thomas, Mary Gross, Stephanie Beacham and introduced Jenny Lewis as Hannah Nefler. The film also features a host of young stars including Tori Spelling, Carla Gugino, Emily Schulman, Ami Foster, and Kellie Martin
On the last day of school in 1988, Phyllis Nefler (Shelley Long) is a Beverly Hills wife recently separated from her husband, Freddy (Craig T. Nelson), a wealthy owner of an auto shop chain. Freddy feels Phyllis has become a self-absorbed "shopaholic" who never follows through on her commitments. To prove him wrong, Phyllis decides to become the new den mother of their daughter, Hannah's (Jenny Lewis) unruly, leaderless local girl scout troop of Wilderness Girls. Although Phyllis severely lacks the skills found in most troop leaders, she resolves to teach the girls how to survive in "the wilds of Beverly Hills," even customizing new merit badges for her troop. Despite her unorthodox ways, Phyllis demonstrates an unwavering commitment to the girls' well-being and acts as a surrogate mother/friend to the girls, who are often neglected by their own wealthy and distracted parents. Her unorthodox methods run afoul of another scout leader, Velda Plendor (Betty Thomas), a traditionalist who runs her troop, the Culver City "Red Feathers" (of which her own daughter, Cleo (Dinah Lacey) is a member), like a military unit. Because Velda has considerable pull at the regional council level, she revokes Phyllis' customized merit badges and sends her assistant troop leader, Annie Herman (Mary Gross), to infiltrate Troop Beverly Hills.
Much to Velda's dismay, Troop Beverly Hills, which is yet unrecognized by the regional council, can gain recognition by passing a series of tests at an upcoming Jamboree. However, in order to qualify for the Jamboree, and to show up Velda, the troop needs to sell cookies, and a lot of them. To prevent this from happening, Velda sabotages Troop Beverly Hills by selling cookies in their own neighborhood. Seeing this, Annie betrays Velda and joins Phyllis' troop for real. With her help, Phyllis decides to beat Velda at her own game and devises a new plan to sell cookies---a series of star-studded events. It's a success, as the girls sell over 4,000 boxes of cookies, way more than enough to qualify for the Jamboree. Phyllis is then hit with a one-two punch: even though Freddy has broken up with his new girlfriend, he wants to proceed with the divorce, including joint custody of Hannah; and Velda meanly tries to talk her out of attending the Jamboree, warning that someone might get hurt. She sinks into a deep depression and finally decides to disband the troop, but Hannah and the other girls talk her out of it.
During the Jamboree, the Red Feathers try to get ahead of Troop Beverly Hills by misdirecting them into a snake-infested swamp which causes the troop to lose vital radio contact with Annie, but a skunk scares Phyllis and the girls into running through a shortcut, making them first in the qualifying event. In the final run, Velda takes charge of the Red Feathers herself and cuts down a rope bridge, but this also fails. However, when Velda cheats a final time by going into a restricted area used only for hunting, she wounds herself on a bear trap. The Red Feathers, especially Cleo, leave her behind for the sake of winning. Troop Beverly Hills finds her and reluctantly carries her to the finish, but only after Phyllis reminds the girls that they have to be considerate to those in need, even if they are adversaries.
The Red Feathers cross the finish line first but are disqualified because they did so without their leader. Although Cleo runs off with the trophy, Troop Beverly Hills is declared the winners of the Jamboree and are validated as true Wilderness Girls. Francis Temple, the regional leader, fires Velda from the Wilderness Girls Organization for cheating on the trail and for putting the Troop Beverly Hills girls in potential danger. In turn Velda hurls insults at the councilwomen for recognizing Troop Beverly Hills. The girls' families show up moments later and are very proud of them. Freddy, impressed by Phyllis' complete turnaround, decides to call off the divorce, and he and Phyllis get back together.
Next Year in Summer 1989, Troop Beverly Hills is seen as the new Poster Troop while Velda's shown with a very humiliating job at Kmart announcing a "Blue Light Special" on cookies in one of the aisles.
- Shelley Long as Phyllis Nefler, a Beverly Hills socialite and new leader of Wilderness Girls Troop Beverly Hills.
- Craig T. Nelson as Freddy Nefler, Phyllis' entrepreneur husband and Hannah's father.
- Betty Thomas as Velda Plendor, the ruthless leader of a rival troop who despises Phyllis and her troop's Beverly Hills-attitude.
- Mary Gross as Annie Herman, Velda's assistant and spy, and later Phyllis's assistant.
- Jenny Lewis as Hannah Nefler, Phyllis and Fred's daughter who just wants her mother to lead like a normal troop leader. She's also a skilled gymnast.
- Emily Schulman as Tiffany Honigman, the daughter of a prominent Beverly Hills plastic surgeon.
- Carla Gugino as Chica Barnfell, a stern girl who's generally left alone by her jet-setting parents.
- Aquilina Soriano as Lily Marcigan, the daughter of Dictator Bong Bong and Karina (based on Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos respectively) who rule an unspecified Southeast Asian country.
- Kellie Martin as Emily Coleman, the daughter of an unemployed actor.
- Tasha Scott as Jasmine Shakar, the outspoken daughter of a well-known boxer.
- Heather Hopper as Tessa DiBlasio, the daughter of two well-known movie directors.
- Ami Foster as Claire Sprantz, a child actress/daughter of a romance novelist and a successful lawyer.
- Audra Lindley as Frances Temple, the head leader of Los Angeles County Wilderness Girls who is often undermined by Velda.
- Stephanie Beacham as Vicki Sprantz, Claire's mother, romance novelist, and Phyllis' friend.
- Shelley Morrison as Rosa, Phyllis' maid who helps out with the troop.
- Dinah Lacey as Cleo Plendor, Velda's daughter. The two don't have much of a mother/daughter-relationship, pretty much just a troop leader/scout relationship.
- Tori Spelling as Jamie, Cleo's friend who helps sabotage Troop Beverly Hills.
- Willie Garson as Bruce.
- Mary Pat Gleason as Kindly troop leader.
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as Himself
- Frankie Avalon as Himself
- Dr. Joyce Brothers as Herself
- Annette Funicello as Herself
- Robin Leach as Himself
- Cheech Marin as Himself
- Ted McGinley as Himself
- Pia Zadora as Herself
- Troop Beverly Hills at the Internet Movie Database
- Troop Beverly Hills at the TCM Movie Database
- Troop Beverly Hills at AllMovie
- Troop Beverly Hills at Box Office Mojo
- Troop Beverly Hills at Rotten Tomatoes