9 user

The Beniker Gang (1984)

G | | Drama | 2 November 1984 (USA)
Five orphans in an orphanage don't want the authorities to break up the family they made of each other: Arthur, the eldest, who writes the advice column Dear Lola; Ben who eats paper; ... See full summary »


Ken Kwapis


Judie Angell (based on the novel "Dear Lola" by), Jeffrey Kindley (screenplay)


Learn more

More Like This 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

The goofy students of a remedial drivers education class find themselves butting heads with their abusive police instructors.

Director: Neal Israel
Stars: John Murray, Jennifer Tilly, James Keach
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A new transfer student to St. Basil's Boys' Prep School tries to fit in while romantically pursuing a troubled young girl.

Director: Michael Dinner
Stars: Donald Sutherland, Andrew McCarthy, John Heard
Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

A mysterious potion switches the personalities of a buttoned up doctor and his laid back son.

Director: Rod Daniel
Stars: Dudley Moore, Kirk Cameron, Margaret Colin
Kansas (1988)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A young man returning home to attend a wedding hooks up with a drifter who turns out to be a violent bank robber. Before he knows it, the man finds himself involved in the robber's plans.

Director: David Stevens
Stars: Matt Dillon, Andrew McCarthy, Leslie Hope
Class (1983)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A young man in private school spends one crazy night out, but soon realizes the woman he hooked up with is not who he expected.

Director: Lewis John Carlino
Stars: Jacqueline Bisset, Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy
Stripes (1981)
Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Two friends who are dissatisfied with their jobs decide to join the army for a bit of fun.

Director: Ivan Reitman
Stars: Bill Murray, John Candy, Harold Ramis
Fresh Horses (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

A Cincinnati college student breaks off his engagement to his wealthy fiancée after he falls in love with a backwoods Kentucky girl he meets at a party. She claims to be 20 years old, but ... See full summary »

Director: David Anspaugh
Stars: Molly Ringwald, Andrew McCarthy, Patti D'Arbanville
Only You I (1992)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

A man goes on vacation to find the right woman - and ends up having to choose between two of them!

Director: Betty Thomas
Stars: Tom McFadden, Andrew McCarthy, Joel Murray
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

Expatriate Henry Miller indulges in a variety of sexual escapades while struggling to establish himself as a serious writer in Paris.

Director: Claude Chabrol
Stars: Andrew McCarthy, Nigel Havers, Barbara De Rossi
Dr. M (1990)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

In the not-too-distant future, Berlin is shocked by a series of spectacular suicides. A policeman's investigations lead him to a beautiful, enigmatic woman and the revelation of a sinister ... See full summary »

Director: Claude Chabrol
Stars: Alan Bates, Jennifer Beals, Jan Niklas
Dead Funny (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

Viv comes home from work and finds her boyfriend Reggie pinned to her kitchen table with a long knife. Who murdered him?

Director: John Feldman
Stars: Elizabeth Peña, Andrew McCarthy, Paige Turco
Dream Man (Video 1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

Kris is a homicide cop with psychic abilities. She works to prove that the prime suspect in her latest case (the much younger husband of the millionaire victim) is innocent. But are her ... See full summary »

Director: René Bonnière
Stars: Patsy Kensit, Bruce Greenwood, Andrew McCarthy


Cast overview, first billed only:
Andrew McCarthy ... Arthur Beniker
Jennifer Dundas ... Cassie Beniker
Charles Fields ... Edmund Beniker
Jeff Alan-Lee ... James Beniker
Danny Pintauro ... Ben Beniker
George Martin ... Judge Pink
Will Patton ... Forest Ranger
J.T. Walsh ... Principal Stoddard
Mary Hamill Mary Hamill ... Edith Stamwick
William Duell William Duell ... Postmaster Greaves
Anthony Heald ... Mr. Uldrich
Richmond Hoxie ... Attorney
Peter McRobbie ... Mr. Millhauser
Paddy Croft Paddy Croft ... Mrs. O'Malley
Joyce Reehling Joyce Reehling ... Miss Nickerson


Five orphans in an orphanage don't want the authorities to break up the family they made of each other: Arthur, the eldest, who writes the advice column Dear Lola; Ben who eats paper; introvert James ; Cassie, the only girl; and Edmond. They run away from the orphanage to stay a family, but it won't be so easy. Written by Jonathan <jrd@netvision.net.il>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

2 November 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dear Lola See more »

Filming Locations:

Howell, New Jersey, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Scholastic Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The "notebook", the cover of which is eaten during class, was fabricated from an edible paste colored with food dye to make it look like the real thing. See more »


Performed by Zacherle
Written by Bobby Pickett and Leonard L. Capizzi
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

As my great-aunt Ida used to say...
30 September 2017 | by Hey_SwedenSee all my reviews

"The Beniker Gang" is definitely agreeable family fare, a feature film adaptation of the novel "Dear Lola" by Judie Angell. Andrew McCarthy stars as Arthur Beniker, an 18 year old at an orphanage who is very close to some of his fellow orphans: Cassie (Jennifer Dundas), Edmund (Charles Fields), James (Jeff Alan-Lee), and Ben (Danny Pintauro). So much so, in fact, that the five of them are willing to do anything not to let their little "family" get split up. One day, they make a break from the orphanage, and travel cross country to set down roots in Missouri. They face snobbery from suspicious local townspeople, and Arthurs' capabilities as a supervisory figure come into question, although he's actually maintained a good living as the person behind the nationally syndicated "Dear Lola" advice column.

The film isn't exactly all that sensible, or realistic, in some ways. But the five young actors in the primary roles are just so damn appealing that you do buy into them as a family of sorts. They also have good chemistry with each other. (One oddball character quirk that the story gives Ben is that he has a tendency to eat paper(!).) You also certainly understand Arthurs' decision to want to plead his case in court.

This is ultimately a warm-hearted fable, with adequate pacing, and decent location shooting in New Jersey and New York state. It's not subtle when it wants to manipulate you, and some viewers may have a hard time keeping the tears at bay. But it does also have a good sense of humour, and at its best it can be pretty charming. One twist well into the story has Alan-Lee revealing his past, born into a carny background, and toting around a makeup kit that could easily rival the legendary Lon Chaneys'.

The performances are wonderful right across the board. McCarthy is excellent, and the supporting cast features a number of familiar, reliable actors: Will Patton, George Martin, J.T. Walsh, William Duell, Bill Smitrovich, and Anthony Heald.

Appropriate viewing for your younger family members.

Seven out of 10.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 9 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed