Troop Beverly Hills

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Troop Beverly Hills
Troop Beverly Hills.jpg
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
Music by Randy Edelman
Cinematography Donald E. Thorin
Edited by Mark Melnick
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date
  • March 24, 1989 (1989-03-24)
Running time
103 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $18 million
Box office $8,508,843[1]

Troop Beverly Hills is a 1989 American adventure comedy film. Produced by the Weintraub Entertainment Group and directed by Jeff Kanew, starring Shelley Long, Craig T. Nelson, Betty Thomas, Mary Gross, Stephanie Beacham and introducing 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.[2]


On the last day of school in 1989, Phyllis Nefler is a socialite Beverly Hills wife with a heart of gold recently separated from her husband, Freddy, a wealthy owner of an auto shop chain. Freddy feels Phyllis has become a self-absorbed "shopaholic" who never follows through on her commitments, and that she has drifted from the caring, imaginative, personality that made him marry her. Phyllis thinks Freddy has sold out in his career and is a rude, uncaring and uninterested workaholic who doesn't have time for his family. In an attempt to try and salvage and maintain her relationship with her daughter during Phyllis and Freddy's ongoing contentious divorce, Phyllis decides to become the new den mother of their daughter, Hannah's, unruly, leaderless local girl scout troop of Wilderness Girls.

While Phyllis is boutique-hopping along Rodeo Drive, the council is reviewing her application, then approving it as they believe Phyllis has the makings of an excellent den leader. Although Phyllis lacks the skills found in most troop leaders, due to a lack of interest in anything to due with nature or anything found in the 'wilderness', she resolves to teach the girls how to survive in "the wilds of Beverly Hills," even customizing new merit badges for her troop. One campout results in the troop getting caught in a rain squall, prompting Phyllis to take the girls to 'camp out' at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Despite her unorthodox ways, Phyllis demonstrates an unwavering commitment to the girls' well-being and acts as a surrogate mother/friend to the girls, some of whom are sometimes neglected by their own wealthy and distracted parents and are in need of someone to simply be there for them. Fred tries to undermine Phyllis once again, remarking that he was hoping to see Hannah learn a few outdoors and civil defense skills, such as first aid, and he is unsure about that under Phyllis' mentorship. It is clear however, that while Phyllis isn't providing the girls with a typical scouting experience, she is giving each girl something they desperately need- attention and care, even if it's through her own methods.

Phyllis' unorthodox methods also run afoul of another scout leader, Velda Plendor, a mean-spirited, retired army nurse who runs the Culver City "Red Feathers" in which her own daughter, Cleo, is a member, like a military unit. Because Velda has considerable pull at the regional council level, she declares Phyllis' customized merit badges ineligible and sends her assistant troop leader, Annie Herman, to infiltrate Troop Beverly Hills and act as a mole and spy in Velda's eventual plan to sabotage the Troop.

Much to Velda's dismay, Troop Beverly Hills can gain recognition from the regional council by passing a series of tests at an upcoming Jamboree. However, in order to qualify, the troop needs to sell 1,000 boxes of cookies. To prevent this, Velda one-ups Troop Beverly Hills by selling cookies in their own neighborhood. Seeing this, as well as realizing Velda's true personality, Annie becomes Phyllis' assistant for real, offering her abilities and insider knowledge to the girls. The parents of the girls, appreciative of Phyllis and Annie's leadership, offer to buy the cookies themselves in order to go to the jamboree, but Phyllis suggests another idea- both to beat Velda at her own game and teach the girls valuable business and salesmanship skills: a series of star-studded cookie sales in a previously untapped district. Phyllis's smarts and creativity prove successful, as they sell over 4,000 boxes, 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; whilst Velda meanly tries to talk her out of attending the Jamboree, warning that it's 20 miles from the nearest campsite, and 100 miles from the nearest 4-star hotel. She sinks into a deep depression and finally decides to disband the troop, but Hannah and the other girls, enamored with the Phyllis, talk her out of it.

During the Jamboree, the Red Feathers trick Troop Beverly Hills by misdirecting them into a snake-infested swamp, causing the troop to lose vital radio contact with Annie. In a stroke of good luck, 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 after falling into a hole. Velda's boot and sock are removed and it's confirmed that her ankle is broken. The Red Feathers, lead now by Velda's daughter Cleo, leave her behind for the sake of winning. Troop Beverly Hills finds her, barefoot and bitter, 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 adversaries.

The Red Feathers cross the finish line first but are disqualified because council law stipulates the leader must be with the troop. Although Cleo and her friend Jamie run 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 for cheating and for putting the Troop Beverly Hills girls in jeopardy. In turn, Velda, now disgraced, hurls insults at the councilwomen. The girls' families show up moments later and are very proud of them. Freddy, intrigued by Phyllis's complete turnaround, is interested in calling off the divorce. After both working through their issues with one another, they get back together.

The next year, Troop Beverly Hills is the designated Poster Troop and Velda is forced to take a humiliating job at Kmart, a fate she tried to threaten Annie with earlier.


  • 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. She is the main antagonist of the group and wants to rid of Troop Beverly Hills.
  • Mary Gross as Annie Herman, Velda's assistant and spy, and later Phyllis' assistant.
  • Karen Kopins as Lisa, Freddy Nefler's new fiancé.
  • Jenny Lewis as Hannah Nefler, Phyllis and Freddy'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 an army superior/soldier-one.
  • 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


Many landmarks in Beverly Hills are seen throughout the film, including: Beverly Hills Hotel, Cristophe Salon, Jane Fonda's "Workout", Wolfgang Puck's Spago, and Rodeo Drive.


Troop Beverly Hills was poorly received by critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, it holds a rating of 8% based on 13 reviews.[3]


External links[edit]