Brenda Starr is a 1989 American adventure film based on the "Brenda Starr" comic strip by Dale Messick.
The film was directed by Robert Ellis Miller and starred Brooke Shields, Tony Peck, Timothy Dalton, Diana Scarwid and Jeffrey Tambor.
Even though the movie was shot in 1986, due to litigation issues over distribution rights, it wasn't released until 1989. It was released in the United States in 1992.
Mike is a struggling artist who draws the Brenda Starr comic strip for a newspaper. When Brenda comes to life and sees how unappreciated she is by Mike, she leaves the comic. To return her to her rightful place and keep his job, Mike draws himself into the strip.
Within her fictional world, Brenda Starr is an 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 in order to find a scientist with a secret formula, which will create cheap and powerful fuel from ordinary water. There, she must steal the formula from her competition and foreign spies.
- Brooke Shields as Brenda Starr
- Tony Peck as Mike Randall
- Timothy Dalton as Basil St. John
- Diana Scarwid as Libby Lipscomb
- Nestor Serrano as Jose
- Jeffrey Tambor as Vladimir
- June Gable as Luba
- Charles Durning as Francis I. Livright
- Kathleen Wilhoite as Hank O'Hare
- John Short as Pesky Miller
- Eddie Albert as Police Chief Maloney
- Mark von Holstein as Donovan O'Shea
- Henry Gibson as Professor Gerhardt Von Kreutzer
- Matthew Cowles as Captain Borg
- Tom Aldredge as Captain Borg Impostor
- Ed Nelson as President Harry S. Truman
- Sergio Kato as Cab Driver Jose
- Steve Millar as Flight Passenger and Hungry Restaurant Man
"Brenda Starr" was a box office failure, making only $30,000 during its first week. Due to the negative reviews from critics, it was soon pulled from theatres.
"Brenda Starr" received negative reviews from critics.
Entertainment Weekly's Owen Gleiberman gave the film a "F," saying that the character of Brenda Starr "comes off as a giggly (if spectacularly elongated) high school princess" and that the character "is so flaccid and cheap-looking, so ineptly pieced together, that it verges on the avant-garde. I suspect they won't even like it in France."
The Rolling Stone's Peter Travers wrote, "There's been so much negative insider buzz about Brooke's 'Brenda' that you might be harboring a hope that the damned thing turned out all right. Get over it. 'Brenda' is not as bad as the also-rans that Hollywood traditionally dumps on us before Labor Day ... it's a heap worse."
The New York Times' Janet Maslin said, "This would-be comic romp is badly dated in several conspicuous ways. Its cold war villains are embarrassingly outré (even allowing for the film's 1940's look, in keeping with the peak popularity of Brenda Starr as a comic strip heroine) ... most dated of all is Brenda herself, the "girl reporter" who worries chiefly about not running her stockings or breaking her high heels, and who in one scene actually uses a black patent leather handbag as a secret weapon."
Pamela Bruce from The Austin Chronicle said, "After gathering dust for five years, some studio executive decided that there just isn't enough dreck in the world and decided to unleash Brenda Starr upon us poor, unsuspecting mortals."