AFI Catalog of Feature Films
Movie Detail
Name Occurs Before Title Offscreen Credit Print Viewed By AFI
Troop Beverly Hills
Alternate Title: Be Prepared
Director: Jeff Kanew (Dir)
Release Date:   22 Mar 1989
Premiere Information:   Los Angeles and New York openings: 22 Mar 1989
Production Date:   began 31 May 1988 in Beverly Hills, CA
Duration (in mins):   105
Print this page
Display Movie Summary


Cast:   Shelley Long (Phyllis Nefler)  
    Craig T. Nelson (Freddy Nefler)  
    Betty Thomas (Velda Plendor)  
    Mary Gross (Annie Herman)  
    Stephanie Beacham (Vicki Sprantz)  
    Audra Lindley (Frances Temple)  
    Edd Byrnes (Ross Coleman)  
    Ami Foster (Claire Sprantz)  
    Carla Gugino (Chica Barnfell)  
    Heather Hopper (Tessa DiBlasio)  
    Kellie Martin (Emily Coleman)  
    Emily Schulman (Tiffany Honigman)  
    Tasha Scott (Jasmine Shakar)  
    Aquilina Soriano (Lily Marcigan)  
  Introducing Jenny Lewis (Hannah Nefler)  
    David Gautreaux (DiBlasio)  
    Karen Kopins (Lisa)  
    Dinah Lacey (Cleo)  
    Shelley Morrison (Rosa [O`Flynn])  
    David Wohl (Dr. Honigman)  
    Tori Spelling (Jamie)  
    Daniel Ziskie (Arthur Barnfell)  
    Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Himself)  
    Brinda Andrews (Redondo troop leader)  
    Monty Ash (Old duffer)  
    Frankie Avalon (Himself)  
    Jan Bina (Freida)  
    Kathleen Bradley (Mrs. Shakar)  
    Eloise Broady (Starlet at party)  
    Dr. Joyce Brothers (Herself)  
    Mercy Bubalo (Troop photographer)  
    George Christy (Himself)  
    Patrika Darbo (Mar Vista troop leader)  
    Flo Di Re (Wilderness official)  
    Nancy Fish (Mrs. Grundman)  
    Annette Funicello (Herself)  
    Pamela Galloway (Mrs. Honigman)  
    Willie Garson (Bruce)  
    Mary Pat Gleason (Kindly troop leader)  
    Theodocia Goodrich (Old woman)  
    Bitsy Gorman (Pomona troop leader)  
    Mary Gregory (Judge)  
    James "Gypsy" Haake (Henri)  
    Alvin Ing (Ho)  
    Doug Laird (Motorcycle cop)  
    Robin Leach (Himself)  
    Cheech Marin (Himself)  
    Deborah Martin (Housewife)  
    Ted McGinley (Himself)  
    JoMarie Payton-France (Saleswoman)  
    William Pedraza (Latino bellboy)  
    Ron Perkins (Salesman)  
    Claudia Robinson (Wilderness official)  
    Deborah Rose (Beauty salon attendant)  
    Ann Ryerson (Bitsy Barnfell)  
    Christophe Schatteman (Beauty salon owner)  
    Hilary Shepard (Salesgirl)  
    Ramon Sison (Bong Bong)  
    Bob Snead (Phyllis Nefler's lawyer)  
    R. Sparkle Stillman (Old woman)  
    J.J. Wall (Jack Sprantz)  
    William Wallace (Officer Bill)  
    Joan Weitzner (Restaurant patron)  
    Anna Marie Wieder (Agnes Woodcock)  
    Karin Woodward (Wilderness official)  
    Tom Wright (Shakar)  
    Marion Kodama Yue (Karina Bong)  
    Pia Zadora (Herself)  

Summary: At a Southern California Wilderness Girls of America board meeting, militaristic Velda Plendor votes to disband the Beverly Hills chapter, Troop 332, since the scouts consistently underperform. However, the organization’s leader, Frances Temple, allows troop Beverly Hills one last chance with its new leader, Phyllis Nefler. Unknown to the board, Phyllis is a compulsive shopper with expensive tastes, and is determined to bankrupt her husband, Fred, before their pending divorce. Although the couple’s adolescent daughter, Hannah, is delighted that Phyllis is her new Wilderness Girls troop leader, Fred doubts that his wife, who once scrimped and saved to start his now-successful car muffler business, can prioritize camping over shopping. Despite their antagonism, Phyllis secretly longs for Fred, who has taken up residence in the guesthouse. Sometime later, Phyllis attends a training session lead by Velda Plendor. Dressed in a custom-made designer uniform and heedless of the Wilderness Girls’s staunch codes of humility, Phyllis provokes Velda’s crusade to get rid of troop Beverly Hills. The next day, the Beverly Hills girls go to a campsite beneath the Hollywood sign, chauffeured in limousines. During a rainstorm, Phyllis relocates the girls to the Beverly Hills Hotel, where they share ghost stories around the fireplace. The next morning, Velda and her sidekick, Annie Herman, arrive at the hotel to berate Phyllis, claiming she has debased their wholesome organization. Although Velma fires Phyllis, the indomitable Beverly Hills troop leader later attends the Annual Wilderness Craft Day convention and leads her girls in a fashion show, but they are laughed offstage. Meanwhile, Velda secretly orders Anne to spy on troop Beverly Hills with a hidden camera, posing as an assistant leader. At the next troop meeting, the girls confess their discontent. In response, Phyllis promises to train the girls how to survive the “wilderness” of Beverly Hills and to earn Wilderness Girls patches based on their accomplishments. Responding to the “Grooming,” “Create a Patch,” “Dance,” and “Community Service” mandates of the Wilderness Girls manual, Phyllis treats the young ladies to spa treatments, teaches them to appraise diamonds, leads them in dance moves, arranges cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training with a handsome police officer, and lets them entertain residents at a retirement home. Sometime later, Phyllis brings the troop to her divorce hearing to expose them to the U.S. legal system, and is devastated to learn that Fred is considering remarriage. The next day, Phyllis announces that the girls broke a record by earning thirty-six patches in three weeks, and plans a celebration aboard a dockside yacht. There, Hannah is decorated with her special “Sushi Appreciation” patch with parents Phyllis and Fred standing proudly on either side, but when they bend to kiss their daughter, Hannah ducks, hoping the soon-to-be divorcees will kiss each other. In the melee, Fred’s fiancée, Vicki Sprantz, falls off the yacht. Sometime later, Velda proudly exhibits a slideshow of Annie’s secret photographs to the organization’s leader, Frances Temple, hoping to have troop Beverly Hills disbanded for good. However, Frances questions Velda’s clandestine slides, and decides to maintain Phyllis’ leadership. In response, Velda orders Annie to move into the Nefler estate to uncover incriminating evidence, but the girl only witnesses Phyllis’ kindness. Sometime later, Velda announces that the two troops that sell over 1,000 boxes of cookies will compete at the Wilderness’ Girls Annual Jamboree to be that year’s champions. Although the red-feathered Culver City troop plots to take over the Beverly Hills territory, Phyllis arranges a dance performance and fashion show that results in the top-selling of 4,732 boxes. In celebration, Phyllis invites Velda to a black tie gala. When Fred shows up unexpectedly, he compliments his wife for becoming troop leader of the year, and notices she has reverted to the virtuous girl he fell in love with. As Fred announces that his engagement to Vicki has ended, Phyllis suspects he wants to renew their vows, but instead he asks for joint custody of Hannah, and the distressed Phyllis falls into the pool. Later, Velda berates Phyllis and orders her to take the Wilderness Jamboree seriously. Depressed at the loss of her husband, Phyllis drowns her sorrows in Evian bottled water and announces her resignation from troop Beverly Hills. However, the girls insist she has been a positive role model, and beg her to stay. Just then, Fred arrives with Hannah, and encourages Phyllis to lead the girls to victory at the jamboree. Sometime later, troop Beverly Hills arrives at the jamboree campsite in convertible Rolls Royces, ready to outperform the Culver City girls. As the teams race off on their first challenge, Velda fires Annie, who has become Phyllis’ confidante, and the girls of troop Beverly Hills are left to their own devices. Meanwhile, the Culver City red-feathers sabotage troop Beverly Hills and Phyllis loses her walkie-talkie after running away from a snake. Although it appears the red-feathers will win, troop Beverly Hills comes in first, sprinting away from a skunk. The next day, Velda takes over as the red-feathers’ leader and secretly severs the cords of a rope bridge. When Phyllis finds the collapsed bridge, she cries that the game is lost, but Hannah points out a nearby fallen tree that also crosses the ravine. Phyllis totters across the trunk so she can refasten the rope bridge. However, she slips and Hannah hurries to help her mother. Although the girl’s foot gets stuck, Phyllis dislodges her and they successfully cross the gorge. Watching through binoculars, Velda realizes troop Beverly Hills has repaired the bridge and decides to lead her group on a dangerous short cut. Eager to get to the finish line, Velda trips and breaks her ankle, but the Culver City girls, including Velda’s own daughter, leave their leader behind and march toward the finish line. Meanwhile, troop Beverly Hills stops to help Velda, but the cantankerous woman refuses to advise them of a shortcut, despite her injury, because she is intent on the red-feathers’ victory. Using their designer backpacks to create a makeshift stretcher, the girls drag Velda to the finish line. Although Culver City arrives first, they are disqualified because they are devoid of their leader. Just then, troop Beverly Hills crosses the finish line and are awarded the championship trophy. As Velda is fired from the organization, the parents celebrate their daughters’ victory. Fred kisses Phyllis, declares his love, and proposes remarriage. 

Production Company: Fries Entertainment  
  Avanti  
Production Text: Released through Columbia Pictures
Weintraub Entertainment Group Presents
a Fries Entertainment and Avanti Production
A Jeff Kanew Film
Distribution Company: Weintraub Entertainment Group  
  Columbia Pictures  
Director: Jeff Kanew (Dir)
  P. M. Scott (Unit prod mgr)
  Jack F. Sanders (1st asst dir)
  Dennis Capps (2d asst dir)
  Maggie Parker (2d 2d asst dir)
  Rob Mendel (DGA trainee)
Producer: Ava Ostern Fries (Prod)
  Charles Fries (Exec prod)
  Martin Mickelson (Co-prod)
  Peter MacGregor-Scott (Co-prod)
Writer: Pamela Norris (Scr)
  Margaret Grieco Oberman (Scr)
  Ava Ostern Fries (Based on a story by)
Photography: Donald E. Thorin (Dir of photog)
  Rob Hahn (Cam op)
  Dan Gold (1st asst cam)
  Jeff Thorin (2d asst cam)
  Mike Gershman ("B" cam op)
  Matt Alper ("B" cam 1st asst)
  Brian Glover (Film loader)
  Jim Boyle (Chief lighting tech)
  Peter Davidian (Lighting tech-Best boy)
  Rick Borchardt (Key grip)
  Robert Moore (Grip-Best boy)
  David L. Merrill (Dolly grip)
  Clyde Smith (Company grip)
  Albert Ramos (Company grip)
  Michael McGreevey (Company grip)
  William Moore (Company grip)
  Gale Adler (Still photog)
  Chapman (Cranes and dollys by)
Art Direction: Robert F. Boyle (Prod des)
  Jack G. Taylor, Jr. (Art dir)
Film Editor: Mark Melnick (Ed)
  Susan Godfrey (Asst ed)
  Mary Jo Markey (Asst ed)
  Ralph Milliken (Negative cutter)
Set Decoration: Anne McCulley-Reynolds (Set dec)
  Jerry Moss (Prop master)
  Ken Peterson (Asst props)
  Thomas E. Day (Asst props)
  Kenneth Westcott (Lead set dresser)
  Oscar Delgadillo (Set dresser)
  Gary H. Rizzo (Set dresser)
  Sterling Bingham (Standby painter)
  Wynands Productions Inc. (Set const by)
  Dan Wynands (Const coord)
  Giovanni Casalenuovo (Const paint forman)
  Alphonso Goris (Greensman)
  Sig Tinglof (Set des)
Costumes: Theadora Van Runkle (Cost des)
  Eddie Marks (Cost supv)
  Ann Culotta (Cost)
  Robin Borman (Cost)
  Deborah Hopper (Cost)
  Anthony Scarano (Cost)
  Somper Furs Beverly Hills (Furs provided by)
Music: Randy Edelman (Mus)
  Frank Fitzpatrick (Supv mus ed)
  Tom Villano (Mus ed)
  Ralph Ferraro (Orch)
  Dennis Sands (Mus scoring mixer)
  Elton Ahi Rusk Studios (Rec eng)
  Jonathan Scott Bogner (Mus clearance)
  Lou Hemsey (Addl mus)
  The Record Plant (Scored at)
  Stage M (Scored at)
  Brooks Arthur (Mus supv)
Sound: William B. Kaplan (Prod sd mixer)
  Earl Sampson (Boom man)
  Peggy Names (Cable person)
  Bill Varney (Supv rerec mixer)
  Michael Casper (Rerec)
  Daniel Leahy (Rerec)
  Fred Judkins (Supv sd ed)
  Tom McCarthy (Supv sd ed)
  Dino Dimuro (Sd ed)
  David M. Ice (Sd ed)
  Lenny Jennings (Sd ed)
  Edward Rossi (Sd ed)
  Burton M. Weinstein (Sd ed)
  Dan Engstrom (Sd ed asst)
  Karla Knorr (Sd ed asst)
  Dick Friedman (Supv ADR ed)
  Shelley Rae Hinton (ADR ed)
  Christopher Flick (ADR asst)
  Tanya Sharp David (ADR mixer)
  Greg W. Lowe (ADR rec)
  Taj Soundworks (Foley by)
  Kevin Bartnof (Foley artist)
  Dan O'Connell (Foley artist)
  Jim Ashwill (Foley rec by)
  Mary Jo Lang (Foley rec)
  Universal Studios Sound Department (Sd by)
Special Effects: Fred Z. Gebler (Spec eff coord)
  James Thomson (Spec eff)
  Cinema Research Corporation (Titles and opt eff)
  Kroyer Films, Inc. (Opening title seq by)
  Bill Kroyer (Opening title supv)
  John Kricfalusi (Opening title des)
Dance: Dorain Grusman (Choreog)
Make Up: Ken Chase (Ms. Long's make-up by)
  Susan Germaine (Ms. Long's hair stylist)
  Del Acevedo (Make-up artist)
  Hazel Catmull (Hairstylist)
Production Misc: Fern Champion (Casting)
  Pamela Basker (Casting)
  Sue Swan (Casting assoc)
  Lindsay D. Chag (Casting asst)
  Sandy Holt (Voice casting)
  Mimi Maynard (Voice casting)
  Pixcast (Extra casting)
  Trish Kinney Magged (Scr supv)
  Janis Benjamin (Prod coord)
  Laureen Sienko Majeske (Asst prod coord)
  Joe Murphy (Prod accountant)
  Stevie Lazo (Asst prod accountant)
  Dow Griffith (Loc mgr)
  Paul Hargrave (Loc mgr)
  Binnie Ruben (Loc mgr)
  Anne Strick (Unit pub)
  Arlene Singer (Studio teacher)
  Diane Sherry (Prod assoc)
  Alicia L. Smolen (Asst to Mr. Kanew)
  Sebastian Serrell-Watts (Prod asst)
  Lewis Kleinberg (Prod asst)
  Alexandra Anka (Prod asst)
  Mark Andrew Stolnitz (Prod asst)
  Scott Weldon (Prod asst)
  Savannah Boucher (Prod asst)
  Svea Christy (Prod asst)
  Charlene Beams (Secy to Ava Ostern Fries)
  Colleen Carroll (Asst to Martin Mickelson)
  Deborah Godert (Asst to Shelley Long)
  Mitch El-Mahdy (First aid)
  Ron Castro (Craft services)
  Variety Cinema Caterers (Caterer)
  Craig A. Pinkard (Transportation coord)
  Dick Johnson (Transportation capt)
  Maribeth Weber (Asst to Brooks Arthur)
  Steve Martin's Working Wildlife (Animals provided by)
Stand In: Conrad Palmisano (Stunt coord)
  Gary Morgan (Stunt coord)
  Donna Evans (Stunts)
  Lila Fini (Stunts)
  Bobby Porter (Stunts)
Color Personnel: Metrocolor® Laboratories (Col by)
  Bob Hagans (Col timer)
MPAA Rating: PG
Country: United States
Language: English

Music:
Songs: "Make It Big," written by Bill House, Mike Love and Terry Melcher, performed by The Beach Boys; "Kumbaya," choral arrangements and orchestration by Randy Edelman, music cues performed by The Inner Voices, music cues arranged by Morgan Ames; "The Lion Sleeps Tonight (Wimoweh) (Mbube)," new lyric & revised music by Hugo Peretti, Albert Stanton, George Weiss and Luigi Creatore, based on a song by Solomon Linda & Paul Campbell, performed by The Inner Voices, arranged by Morgan Ames; "Tall Paul," written by R. Sherman, R. Sherman and B. Roberts; "Mashed Potato Time," written by W. Garrett, R. Bateman, F. Gorman, G. Dobbins, B. Holland and K. Mann, performed by Dee Dee Sharp, courtesy of Dominion Entertainment, Inc.; "Twist And Shout," written by P. Medley and B. Russell, performed by Isley Brothers, courtesy of Original Sound Entertainment; "Pony Time," written by Don Covey and John Berry, performed by Chubby Checker, courtesy of Dominion Entertainment; "Hully Gully," written by Fred Smith and Cliff Goldsmith, performed by The Olympics, courtesy of Janus Records, Inc.; "Do The Freddie," written by D. Lambert and L. Pegues, performed by Freddie & The Dreamers, courtesy of Polygram Special Products, a division of Polygram Records, Inc.; "When I'm Sixty Four," written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, performed by The Inner Voices, arranged by Morgan Ames; "Cookie Time," written by Hillary Shepard and Nick Turner; "Happy Birthday To You," written by Mildren J. Hill and Patty S. Hill; "The Way We Were," written by M. Hamlisch, M. Bergman and A. Bergman, performed by The Inner Voices, arranged by Morgan Ames; "The Twist," written by Hank Ballard, performed by Chubby Checker, courtesy of Dominion Entertainment, Inc.; "French Kissin' In The USA," written by Chuck Lorre, performed by Carol Chapman, courtesy of Theodello Profunct.
Composer: Bob Roberts
  Hank Ballard
  Robert Bateman
  Alan Bergman
  Marilyn Bergman
  John Berry
  Don Covey
  Luigi Creatore
  Georgia Dobbins
  Randy Edelman
  William E. Garrett
  Cliff Goldsmith
  Freddie Gorman
  Marvin Hamlisch
  Mildred J. Hill
  Patty S. Hill
  Brian Holland
  Bill House
  Dennis Lambert
  John Lennon
  Chuck Lorre
  Mike Love
  Kal Mann
  Paul McCartney
  Phil Medley
  Terry Melcher
  Louis Russell Pegues, II
  Hugo Peretti
  Bert Russell
  Hillary Shepard
  Bob Sherman
  Dick Sherman
  Fred Smith
  Albert Stanton
  Nick Turner
  George Weiss
Source Text:

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Weintraub Entertainment Group, Inc. 24/3/1989 dd/mm/yyyy PA409520

PCA NO: 29604
Physical Properties: Sd: Dolby Stereo® in selected theatres
  col:
  Lenses/Prints: Lenses and Panaflex® camera by Panavision®; Prints by The Film House Group

 
Genre: Comedy
 
Subjects (Major): Beverly Hills (CA)
  Camping
  Divorce
  Girl Scouts
  Honor
  Materialism
 
Subjects (Minor): Beverly Hills Hotel (Beverly Hills, CA)
  Cookies
  Family relationships
  Fashion shows
  Mothers and daughters
  Spies
  Yachts and yachting

Note: End credits include “Special Thanks” to: “U.S. Department of Agriculture, Division of Forestry, Inyo National Forest; State of California – The Resources Agency, Department of Parks and Recreation; City of Beverly Hills.”
       Referring to the picture by its working title, Be Prepared, the 13 Feb 1988 LAHExam published a casting call for the film, which was expected to begin production in spring 1988. The news item also noted that the narrative was loosely based on real life experiences of producer Ava Ostern Fries, who reportedly spent fifteen years of motherhood writing about the experience at night while being married to executive producer Charles Fries. Nearly two weeks after the LAHExam casting call, a 26 Feb 1988 HR article announced that comedian Shelley Long had been hired to play “Phyllis Nefler.” Long revealed the casting the previous day, when she was honored as ShoWest’s first “Female Comedy Star of the Year.” A shooting schedule was set to begin late Apr 1988 or early May 1988 in Los Angeles, CA. Although Long’s company, Itzbinso Long, was listed as a co-producer with the Weintraub Entertainment Group, her studio is not credited onscreen.
       Still listing the picture as Be Prepared, HR production charts on 7 Jun 1988 confirmed that principal photography began in Los Angeles on 31 May 1988. According to production notes in AMPAS library files, all exterior locations were situated in Beverly Hills, CA, with the exception of several sequences shot in Malibu State Park. Beverly Hills locations included stores along Rodeo Drive, Spago Restaurant, the Beverly Hills Hotel, the Jane Fonda Workout, Cartier, and Giorgio’s perfumery, as well as at various estates. After a thirty-year rule that prohibited filming inside the Beverly Hills City Hall, the ban was lifted for the production. Photogarphy also took place on Sunset Boulevard, and a stately house located on the street was recreated on a Universal Pictures soundstage. The “Nefler” mansion included a “built-in swimming pool” which was “dug right into the floor of the soundstage.” Director of photography Donald E. Thorin used twenty-five “musco” lights so the interior shots appeared to be filmed outside.
       As stated in a 22 May 1988 LAT article, the Girls Scouts of America refused to endorse the picture due to their disapproval of the way girls were portrayed.
       On 4 Jul 1988, L.B. Press-Telegram noted the title changed to Troop Beverly Hills.
 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Hollywood Reporter   26 Feb 1988   p. 1, 118.
Hollywood Reporter   7 Jun 1988.   
Hollywood Reporter   23 Mar 1989   p. 4, 61.
LAHExam   13 Feb 1988.   
Los Angeles Times   22 May 1988.   
Los Angeles Times   23 Mar 1989   p. 3.
L.B. Press-Telegram   4 Jul 1988.   
New York Times   23 Mar 1989   p. 12.
Variety   29 Mar 1989   p. 14.

Display Movie Summary
The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
Advanced Search
Support our efforts to preserve hisotory of film
Help AFI Preserve Film History

© 2017 American Film Institute.
All rights reserved.
Terms of use.