|Archie: To Riverdale and Back Again|
|Written by||Evan Katz|
|Directed by||Dick Lowry|
|Theme music composer||Mark Snow|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Editors||Byron "Buzz" Brandt|
|Running time||100 minutes|
|Production companies||Riverdale Productions and Kent/QMA|
Patchett Kaufman Entertainment
|Original release||May 6, 1990|
|Preceded by||The New Archies|
|Followed by||Sabrina the Teenage Witch|
Archie: To Riverdale and Back Again is a 1990 American live-action made-for-television comedy film based on comic book characters published by Archie Comics. It was produced by DiC Entertainment and premiered on NBC Sunday Night at the Movies on May 6, 1990. It was shown in Britain as Weekend Reunion.
Archie Andrews, fifteen years after graduating from Riverdale High, has become a successful lawyer and is preparing to marry his fiancée, Pam, and move to "the big city." Before doing that, however, he returns home to Riverdale for his high school reunion and save his friend Pop Tate's diner.
Archie and company are all now in their early thirties, with the trials and tribulations one might expect to have happened to such a group over the years:
When Archie sees Betty and Veronica for the first time in fifteen years, all his old feelings for them come flooding back, threatening his engagement--and it doesn't help that the girls renew their pursuit of Archie, heedless of the fact that he has a fiancée. Meanwhile, Archie also tries to keep Reggie, helped along by an uncharacteristically menacing Mr. Lodge, from evicting Pop Tate from his soda shop, under the pretext of expanding his gym. Hiram Lodge doesn't want Archie near Veronica and still thinks Archie is wrong for Veronica. Archie ultimately saves the Chock'lit Shoppe, though he loses Pam in the bargain, and decides to stay in Riverdale. Veronica and Betty and Jughead decided to move back to Riverdale. Reggie sees the errors and reconciles with his friends.
Almost all of the characters in the movie are regular or recurring characters in the originating comics:
|Christopher Rich||Archie Andrews|
|Lauren Holly||Betty Cooper|
|Karen Kopins||Veronica Lodge|
|Sam Whipple||Forsythe "Jughead" Jones|
|Gary Kroeger||Reggie Mantle|
|Jeff Hochendoner||Moose Mason|
|Debi Derryberry||Midge Mason|
|Mike Nussbaum||Pop Tate|
|Fran Ryan||Miss Grundy|
|David Doyle||Mr. Weatherbee|
|J. D. Hall||Coach Clayton|
|Cindy Ambuehl||Ethel Muggs (Big Ethel)|
|James Noble||Hiram Lodge|
Additional characters were mostly created for the movie to indicate the passage of time, such as the regulars' children or new romantic partners:
|Billy Corben||Jordan "Jughead Junior" Jones|
|Aeryk Egan||Max Mason|
|Matt McCoy||Robert Miller|
The NBC movie, broadcast during the May sweeps period, was seen as a pilot for a possible series. It received mixed reviews, though was well received by some critics, who especially praised the casting and performances from the actors. The movie finished a disappointing 51st in the Nielsen ratings.
Archie Comics published a one-shot comic book adaptation of the TV movie which coincided with its premiere. Stan Goldberg and Mike Esposito drew the sections of the book featuring the characters in flashback as teens, while Gene Colan drew the characters as adults, in a realistic style and more "serious" look akin to Rex Morgan, M.D., and John Byrne drew the cover. The comic also shows a flashback to the incident where Archie and Betty were alone in a motel room together (from Betty and Me #40, February 1972). Back Issue! described the one-shot as "an offbeat, impressive package".
The film was released on VHS in 1997 from New Horizons Home Video, with the movie re-titled as Archie: Return to Riverdale. In Australia, it was released on VHS as Archie's Weekend Reunion.