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The Beniker Gang [VHS]

4.7 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Andrew McCarthy, Jennifer Dundas, Charles Fields, Jeff Alan-Lee, Danny Pintauro
  • Directors: Ken Kwapis
  • Writers: Jeffrey Kindley, Judie Angell
  • Producers: Doro Bachrach, Jane Startz, Marcus Viscidi, Margaret Roiphe
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • VHS Release Date: January 18, 1994
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6302877539
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,714 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

VHS

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
This movie is a kids movie, starring a young Andrew McCarthy and an even younger Danny Pintauro (who played Jonathan on "Who's the Boss?"). The story is about a bunch of orphaned children who vow to stick together as a family. The kids move to a small town and start their life together. The character Arthur played by Andrew McCarthy works on a newspaper advice column known as Dear Lola (everyone assumes Lola is an elderly lady). The story revolves around the kids keeping the fact that they do not live with an adult from the small town. This movie is very charming, and has a sweet story. Beniker gang is one of my childhood favorites.
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Format: VHS Tape
The Beniker Gang is about a group of orphans who run away from an orphanage with the help of 18-yr old orphan Arthur Beniker (Andrew McCarthy) who earns his living as an advice columnist known as Dear Lola. It's a movie about their struggle and hope to stay together as a real family while hiding and running from the authorities who want to split them up.
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Format: VHS Tape
This one of three movies ("Benji" being one and "The Adventures of Milo and Otis" being the other) that I did not edit before showing other peoples' children. I love it for its family spirit and its good lessons. It has a plot and children will actually sit through it, two things sometimes difficult to reconcile.
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Format: VHS Tape
One of Andrew McCarthy's best heart-warming performances. This was a film can be watched by the entire family.
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Format: DVD
When I was growing up, The Beniker Gang was in heavy rotation in our house. It seemed the Disney Channel played this movie a lot (along with tons of other great stuff) and we even had it shown to us once or twice in elementary school. It always felt like a "popular" movie. That's what makes it so vexing that it wasn't until recently it became available on DVD.

Compared to the often over-processed, plastic cinematography of movies today, it's striking how "rough" the Beniker Gang looks. The colors and contrasts are pretty muted compared to the latest Transformers flick. Of course, not every movie in the 80's looked this "grindhouse-y" but this was certainly more common back then.

Is this muted, unprocessed world a bad thing? Absolutely not. I am someone who firmly believes that the less processed a movie looks, the more timeless and dreamlike its hold on the viewer can be. And such is the case with the Beniker Gang.

Indeed, if one were to really look at this movie with a snarky, post-modern eye, it could be taken to task in all kinds of ways. The cyncial critic could say it's "hokey." Or he would notice that the movie just coasts on through, glossing over potential plotholes before the audience has time to ask questions. And it has a very short (87 min) running time, with many scenes feeling abbreviated. (For example, the carnival backstory of one of the kids is launched into with very little buildup. Another example, the movie tells us that a Halloween party at the school is coming up, and rather than letting that "pay off" a bit later in the movie--bam, we get the Halloween party right away.)

But you know what? It all works. The audience (assuming they're willing to be told a gentle story) doesn't care about those things.
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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
This was very hard to find and Amazon came through. I adore Andrew McCarthy and this early in his career movie is fun to watch and good for kids t watch, too. Good family movie about strong family ties.
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By A Customer on August 25, 2003
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
When I was a kid, I used to watch this movie all the time. As an adult, I've watched it once or twice and I still love it. The characters are great, the actors are brilliant and the story is heartwarming.
I think Rooneyfan reviewed the wrong movie. LOL!
Someone else said something about Jon Cryer being in this movie, but he is NOT. The actor who plays James (that's the one I'm assuming the reviewer was referring to because he bears a slight resemblance to Cryer) is named Jeff Alan Lee and this is the only movie he's ever been in.

Edit: the case that the DVD was in smells very bad. I'm switching the case to a blank one I have and throwing the case the movie came in into the recycle bin.
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Format: DVD
In reality Arthur would be arrested for kidnapping and any attempt by him to explain his action would be used against him in a court of law. He would never see the children again (except maybe in court) and he would receive a lengthy prison sentence. In prison he would be in danger from the other inmates because he would be seen as a child abuser and when he finally got out of prison he would be required to register as a sex offender even though nothing sexual is even hinted at. This is only the most obvious of the many unbelievable aspects of the movie, there are also questions like: How did the children become so close, yet have so much trouble seeing each other in the orphanage? Why is an eighteen-year-old still in the orphanage? Was the van stolen and if so why was that never brought up? Why is the orphanage just now trying so hard to place the two younger boys? How does Arthur continue his Dear Lola column while on the road? (Remember, this is pre-Internet and cell phone.) For that matter, why couldn't the orphanage and police trance them through his Dear Lola connections? How does Arthur watch Cassie directly through the windshield as she approaches the house when the van was not directly facing the house when Cassie got out? Why is a child custody hearing held in open court, with the public in attendance? I could go on.

But this is a movie, not reality, and as such it is cute, charming, fun and adorable. Suspend reality for an hour and a half and just have fun watching the movie. This is one of those feel good movies where you just know that somehow everything will work out in the end.
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