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
|Music by||Randy Edelman|
|Cinematography||Thomas Del Ruth|
|Edited by||Alan Heim|
Robert Simonds Productions
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
Leave It to Beaver is a 1997 film that is a remake of the TV series of the same name. There are many in-jokes related to the series within it. It features all the original regular characters, all played by new actors.
Beaver has his heart set on a model bicycle in a store window, but does not think his parents will buy it for him. Eddie Haskell happens to show up and barge in on them checking it out and invites Beaver into hearing out advice telling him that if he wants the best chances of getting it on his next upcoming birthday is if he signs up for football, which Eddie knows that Beaver's father is a big fan of. Eddie also tells Beaver that once he succeeds in getting that bike, then that is when he resigns any further participation. Beaver acknowledges how much that would be using others which he knows is Eddie's habit of bargaining to others, but however he takes his advice and joins the football team and endures the practices, despite his disadvantage of being smaller than his teammates. Ward is glad Beaver signed up for football unlike June because she believes that he is too young and short for such a risky game, but the first game ends poorly when he in a slip of mind passes the ball to a kid on the opposing team who he remembered as a friend from summer camp. On the first day of school five days later, Ward and June tell Wally to drop Beaver off and pick him up for a few days because he has never ridden his bike there before. He has a kind teacher named Miss Landers. After school Eddie asks Wally to come to the soda shop to see him flirt with Karen. Eddie does not want Beaver to follow them, so Wally leaves him alone at the bike rack telling him they should return shortly.
Beaver is polishing his bike when a punk-dressed teenage boy comes over and asks if he can show him some neat bike tricks. He agrees and the boy shows him some tricks before finally riding off with it. Inside the soda shop, Karen likes Wally and not Eddie. When Wally and Eddie come out of the shop and hear that Beaver's bike was stolen they look for it but can't find it. At the time Ward returns that afternoon, Wally and Beaver are undecided about how he might take it if they broke the bad news to him. During dinner that night, the boys try to cover up the stolen bike plight. Through forcing them to come clean when they do a poor job in doing so, when Ward hears about this, he becomes upset with Beaver, but grows angrier at Wally because he made him responsible for watching Beaver. Over Wally being upset with having to be forced to watch him all the time, in the boys' bedroom, he and Beaver get into a fight which sends Beaver's new computer flying out the window. They almost recover the whole thing safe and sound, though through the last attempts in the process, Wally is left holding onto and pulling in the wire of the monitor and tries to pull it in, but the wire comes loose and breaks, and it crashes into pieces. During the whole fight and computer deal, Ward gets into a discussion with June about the way their sons are, about the whole bike deal, and if maybe he should admit to overreacting some and should go up and apologize for his tirade that the bike matter leads towards. Just as he is on the verge of doing so and extending some trust to them, that is when the monitor breaks and crashes, and finishes off his patience towards them, leading to them ending up becoming grounded.
Beaver skips football practice and studies instead, and Wally spends time with Karen. She breaks up with him after reuniting with her ex-boyfriend, Kyle, at a skating rink they agree to attend. Beaver and Eddie manage to sneak out and spy on Wally's date, even to witness the break-up. As they all return home, Beaver catches up with the boy who stole his bike but fails through a clever stunt the boy pulls on all of them who go after him in attempts to get it back. A while later, Beaver encounters the boy again this time without being on his bike who challenges him to climb up the building of a local cafe into a gigantic coffee mug atop to prove that there is no coffee in it and therefore is just a steam engine that makes the illusion of steaming coffee in exchange for giving him back his bike, but when he does and ends up getting stuck in there, the boy assumes that he is welching on the deal and rides off again. Larry who witnesses it gets the police on the case and come that night the fire department and Ward help get him down, whereupon Ward realizes Beaver may be under too much pressure. Ward found out about him skipping football practice, but through enough talking over and reconciliation, Ward says he can quit the team if he prefers, but Beaver however decided to go back to it and give it another shot. During the last game, he catches the ball and through seeing the boy who stole his bike at the end of the opposing team's side which he almost goofed on again on running towards and almost reaching manages to chase him to the other side and scores a touchdown. At the Mayfield Festival, he continues chasing him. Kyle trips Beaver to help his little brother escape, and Wally retaliates by pushing him into a tub of fudge; Karen is also put off by Kyle's bullying and a rude remark he makes about the Cleavers and leaves him for Wally. Beaver uses a concession stand to block the boy's way, he ends up flying into a table of pies, slides down it, causing pies to drop on to him and fly into Judy who was standing in the right place. Through this, Beaver finally retrieves his bike. At home, June and Ward see him polishing it and he tells them that it would be safer if it stays in the house and he decides to read to Beaver.
- Christopher McDonald as Ward Cleaver
- Janine Turner as June Cleaver
- Cameron Finley as Theodore "Beaver/Beav" Cleaver
- Erik von Detten as Wallace 'Wally' Cleaver
- Adam Zolotin as Eddie Haskell, Jr.
- Erika Christensen as Karen L. Connelly
- Alan Rachins as Fred Rutherford
- Grace Phillips as Miss Landers the School Teacher
- E.J. de la Peña as Larry Mondello
- Justin Restivo as Lumpy
- Geoff Pierson as Coach Gordon
- Louis Martin Braga as Gilbert Bates
- Shirley Prestia as Clara Hensler
- Brighton Hertford as Judy Hensler
- Fran Bennett as Dr. Beawood the School Psychologist
- Glenn Walker Harris Jr. as a punk who steals Beaver's bike
- Matthew Carey as Kyle
- Brenda Song as Susan Acustis
Cameos by actors and actresses from the television series
The film 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.)
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