297 user 91 critic

Howard the Duck (1986)

A sarcastic humanoid duck is pulled from his homeworld to Earth where he must stop a hellish alien invasion with the help of a nerdy scientist and a cute struggling female rock singer who fancies him.


Willard Huyck


Steve Gerber (Marvel comics character: Howard the Duck), Willard Huyck | 1 more credit »
1,911 ( 11)

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From $3.99 (HD) on Prime Video

5 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Lea Thompson ... Beverly Switzler
Jeffrey Jones ... Dr. Walter Jenning
Tim Robbins ... Phil Blumburtt
Ed Gale ... Howard T. Duck
Chip Zien ... Howard T. Duck (voice)
Tim Rose ... Howard T. Duck
Steve Sleap Steve Sleap ... Howard T. Duck
Peter Baird Peter Baird ... Howard T. Duck
Mary Wells Mary Wells ... Howard T. Duck
Lisa Sturz Lisa Sturz ... Howard T. Duck
Jordan Prentice ... Howard T. Duck
Paul Guilfoyle ... Lieutenant Welker
Liz Sagal Liz Sagal ... Ronette, Cherry Bomb
Dominique Davalos ... Cal, Cherry Bomb
Holly Robinson Peete ... K.C., Cherry Bomb (as Holly Robinson)


A scientific experiment unknowingly brings extraterrestrial life forms to the Earth through a laser beam. First is the cigar smoking drake Howard from the duck's planet. A few kids try to keep him from the greedy scientists and help him back to his planet. But then a much less friendly being arrives through the beam... Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


More adventure than humanly possible. See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official site





Release Date:

1 August 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Howard See more »


Box Office


$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,070,136, 3 August 1986, Wide Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby (35 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Chip Zien was cast as the voice of Howard after filming was completed. During filming, puppeteer Tim Rose spoke Howard's lines through a microphone. See more »


In the diner scene, when Howard is levitated and spun around near the ceiling by Dr. Jenning, the shadow reveals a pole reaching from the ceiling to Howard to achieve this effect. See more »


Howard T. Duck: What is this place?
Beverly: Uh... Cleveland?
Howard T. Duck: Cleve-Land? U-huh. That's a perfect weird name for this planet.
See more »

Alternate Versions

West German theatrical version was cut to secure a "Not under 12" rating. See more »


Referenced in Best of the Worst: Wheel of the Worst #4 (2014) See more »


Don't Turn Away (Reprise)
Written by Thomas Dolby and Allee Wills
Performed by Lea Thompson, Holly Robinson Peete (as Holly Robinson), Dominique Davalos and Liz Sagal
Produced by Thomas Dolby
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

"They Call Him Howard The Duck...ain't no way to conceal it..."
3 July 2006 | by MetalGeekSee all my reviews

I was 16 years old when HOWARD THE DUCK made it to the screen in 1986, and I actually paid money to see it at my local theatre. (Judging from its famously-meager box office take, I was one of only a few dozen who did the same.) In the 20 years since, HOWARD has gone down in Hollywood history as one of the most expensive movie bombs EVER and it is generally looked down upon by "serious" film fans. I have to ask them: WHY? Howard the Duck KICKED ASS in 1986 and it still kicks ass today! It had everything: a talking duck for a hero, gigantic Dark Overlords from outer space, crashes, explosions, endless duck puns, remarkably decent special effects (most of which still hold up today), bad '80s synth-rock songs, and Lea Thompson at her most gorgeous in the role of Beverly Switzer, punk rocker and Duck-o-philiac. If it were not for this film I would not have developed my lifelong crush on Miss Thompson (which still persists to this day... if you watch her infamous tender love scene with Howard in which she's wearing only her underwear and you DON'T fall immediately in love with her, there's something seriously wrong with you!), nor would I say "Hey, there's Phil Blumburtt!" every time I see Tim Robbins in another movie. I'm sure the majority of the cast and crew involved with HOWARD would like to forget that the movie ever happened, but judging from the comments on this board, there are untold legions of bad-'80s-movie devotees out there like me who loved this movie then, still love it now, and are dying to own HOWARD THE DUCK on DVD. It absolutely astounds me, that with the amount of CRAP out there filling video store shelves, HOWARD has never achieved a DVD release. It's been 20 years, where's our 2-Disc 20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition, Mister Lucas? I'm still getting by with my taped copy of HOWARD that I recorded off of HBO back in the '80s, and it's about due for a replacement! Seriously folks, don't believe the hype. HOWARD THE DUCK is worth seeing, and it's nowhere near as bad as you've heard. Trust me. MetalGeek has never lied to you before.

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