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
Starring
Music by Randy Edelman
Cinematography Donald E. Thorin
Edited by Mark Melnick
Production
company
Weintraub Entertainment Group
Fries Entertainment
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]

Plot[edit]

On the last day of school in 1989, Phyllis Nefler (Shelley Long) is a socialite Beverly Hills wife with a heart of gold 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, and that she has drifted from the caring, imaginative personality that made him marry her. 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.

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 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. One campout results in the troop getting hit by a rain squall, which Phyllis and the girls flee to 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. Fred remarks 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.

Phyllis' unorthodox methods also run afoul of another scout leader, Velda Plendor (Betty Thomas), a mean-spirited, retired army nurse who ensures the Culver City "Red Feathers" in which her own daughter, Cleo (Dinah Lacey) is a member, runs 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 (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, 1,000 boxes. To prevent this from happening, Velda sabotages 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 to get the girls recognized merit badges. 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 salesmanship - a series of star-studded cookie sales in an untapped district. This proves successful, as the girls sell over 4,000 boxes of cookies, 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 it's in the backcountry, 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 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 after falling into a hole. Velda's boot and sock are removed and it's confirmed that her ankle is broken. The Red Feathers, especially 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 if they are 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 from the Wilderness Girls Organization for cheating on the trail and for putting the Troop Beverly Hills girls in jeopardy. 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.

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

Cast[edit]

  • 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 fiance.
  • 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

Locations[edit]

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.

References[edit]

External links[edit]