20 user 21 critic

Brenda Starr (1989)

A comic book artist struggling with his "Brenda Starr" strip decides to draw himself into it when his comic book character is disappointed and leaves the strip.


Noreen Stone (story), James D. Buchanan (story) (as James David Buchanan) | 4 more credits »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Brooke Shields ... Brenda Starr
Timothy Dalton ... Basil St. John
Tony Peck ... Mike Randall
Diana Scarwid ... Libby 'Lips' Lipscomb
Nestor Serrano ... Jose
Jeffrey Tambor ... Vladimir
June Gable ... Luba
Charles Durning ... Editor Francis I. Livright
Kathleen Wilhoite ... Reporter Hank O'Hare
John Short ... Cub Reporter Pesky Miller
Eddie Albert ... Police Chief Maloney
Mark von Holstein Mark von Holstein ... Donovan O'Shea, Public Enemy #3
Henry Gibson ... Professor Gerhardt Von Kreutzer
Ed Nelson ... President Harry S. Truman
Tom Aldredge ... The Fake Capt. Borg


Mike is a struggling artist who draws the "Brenda Starr" strip for the papers. When Brenda comes to life in the strip and sees how unappreciated she is by Mike, she leaves the strip. To get her back, and keep his job, Mike draws himself into the strip. In her world, Brenda Starr is the Ace Reporter for the New York Flash. She is talented, fearless, smart, and a very snappy dresser. The only competition she has is from the rival paper's top reporter Libby Lipscomb. Brenda heads to the Amazon jungle to find a scientist with a secret formula which will create cheap and powerful gas from ordinary water. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The movie was also orphaned by the bankruptcy of New World Pictures, who originally picked up the U.S. distribution rights to the film, which were eventually acquired by Triumph Releasing. Though New World did retain foreign rights. See more »


Cub Reporter Pesky Miller: You're just sore because Brenda got the O'Shea story while you were sitting on your claws!
Libby 'Lips' Lipscomb: Haha! Little man, I don't care about the O'Shea story. "Small potatoes." I'm working on something so big it'll really clean your clock, Starr! Put you right out of the newspaper game! All you poor saps. So, tata!
See more »


Referenced in Inside 'The Living Daylights' (2000) See more »


The Missouri Waltz
Written by Frederick Logan & James Shannon
Published by Forster Music Publishing Company (ASCAP)
See more »

User Reviews

Some interesting approaches but lame result
14 August 2016 | by IndustriousAngelSee all my reviews

As a comic-book fan I'll take the time to review this mess, because there were some good intentions and thoughts on display here.

First, the pros: The switch from comic strip to life action was a good idea, and the plot element of the creation trying to escape her creator's whims has enormous potential. Timothy Dalton is perfectly cast, here (as in Rocketeer) he's completely believable in a comic book way. Brooke Shields looks good in her various outfits. Many of the sets and support roles have that comic-book simplicity and cardboard character to match the strip style. And some of the gags do actually work.

Now, the cons: Pretty as she is, Brooke Shields is missing that mischievous glint in her eyes the role would need - in most scenes, she more feels like another extra than the main part. Tony Peck as the artist is a complete non-entity. As a consequence, the promising idea of the creator trying to coax his creation back into service never catches fire and in fact completely collides with the incongruous 'plot', which in itself has no momentum and kind of meanders along to carry Brooke from one exotic location to the next. But the most annoying thing are the lame tries at physical comedy and slapstick - to pull that off, you need a well-rehearsed team and actors capable of such a kind of comedy and an editor with an eye for rhythm. Not a single requirement is met here so I ask myself, seriously, why they didn't go the other way and just show setup/result which would have played well on the comic strip theme, too (panel one: guy approaches banana peel - panel two: he's sitting on the floor). Instead, virtually every single instance of physical comedy in "Brenda Starr" is painful to watch.

I can (and do) recommend this solely for comic book enthusiasts, and only for the good intentions they had, not the boring mess which ended up on screen.

2 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 20 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

15 April 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Brenda Starr See more »

Filming Locations:

San Juan, Puerto Rico See more »


Box Office


$16,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$30,035, 19 April 1992

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Black and White (archive footage)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed