Archie: To Riverdale and Back Again

Watch Archie: To Riverdale and Back Again

  • PG
  • 1990
  • 1 hr 34 min
  • 5.3  (507)

Archie: To Riverdale and Back Again is a television movie that premiered in 1990 and offers a nostalgic trip for fans of the classic Archie Comics series. Directed by Dick Lowry, the film reimagines the idyllic small-town life of Riverdale years after the gang of lovable characters we know from the comics have grown up. Christopher Rich stars as the forever red-headed Archie Andrews, with Lauren Holly taking on the role of the girl-next-door Betty Cooper and Karen Kopins portraying the wealthy and glamorous Veronica Lodge.

At the heart of Archie: To Riverdale and Back Again is a high school reunion which brings Archie Andrews back to his hometown of Riverdale, a place where he spent his adolescent years tangled in an enduring love triangle between Betty and Veronica. Once back, Archie, now a successful lawyer, stumbles back into the simplicity and comfort of small-town life, sparking a sense of longing for the unhurried and genuine days of his youth.

The film rejoins Archie and his friends as they navigate the complexities of adulthood. The audience is given a window into the lives they lead now—lives filled with professional accomplishments and personal challenges. It's a look at how they've changed, and yet, how much remains the same in the dynamics of their relationships. Archie is faced with the lure of simpler times as he grapples with an impending engagement to his girlfriend from the city, a character who represents his current life outside of Riverdale.

Rich brings life to an Archie who is easily recognizable—the same kindhearted, occasionally clumsy character, but now dressed in the responsibilities and attire of an accomplished attorney. His portrayal offers a depth to Archie's character that fans of the comic strip may not have seen before, showing the paths not taken and the lingering regrets from his past.

Lauren Holly's portrayal of Betty offers a glimpse into the life of a woman who left Riverdale to become a successful novelist. Betty has grown in her own right, but her return to Riverdale reignites old feelings and hopes that many will relate to—the what-ifs of first love. Holly's performance adds layers to the character, as she grapples with her own life decisions and the pull of her hometown.

On the other side of the spectrum, Karen Kopins's Veronica is as glamorous and sophisticated as ever, but life in the big city hasn't necessarily translated into happiness. Veronica's journey in the film explores the price of wealth and the quest for true fulfillment beyond material things.

Also making a return are other beloved characters such as Jughead Jones, played by Sam Whipple, who still enjoys his food but now juggles being a single father to a son who very much mirrors his own quirky traits. Archie's rival Reggie Mantle makes an appearance, still imbued with the same playful arrogance he displayed in his youth.

The movie is rife with Easter eggs and nods to the original comics, from the iconic Pop's Chocklit Shoppe to the memorable comic book attire the characters are known for. This allows fans to appreciate the subtle details that bring Riverdale to life. The set design, costumes, and overall aesthetic play heavily on nostalgia while also addressing themes like progress, the inexorability of change, and the enduring importance of friendship.

The plot weaves together moments of reflection, humor, and drama. Central to this is whether Archie will follow his heart back into the world of Riverdale and revisit the unresolved elements of his past, or if he will choose the future he's carved out for himself elsewhere. As the weekend unfolds, the characters are drawn into situations that mirror their high school days, and old relationships are tested while new understandings are forged. The beauty and pain of growing up are explored, proving that no matter how far one goes in life, there's something about their hometown that remains part of their identity.

Archie: To Riverdale and Back Again is a trip down memory lane not just for Archie and his friends, but also for the audience who grew up with the comic books. It’s a reminder that although life moves forward, the youthful joys, heartaches, and friendships from our past continue to shape us in profound ways.

This made-for-TV movie strums on the heartstrings of sentimentality while embedding a tale of rekindled love and redemption, allowing longtime fans to revel in the enduring legacy of Archie Comics. It is a film that combines the innocence of its source material with adult themes, resulting in a sweet and at times bittersweet narrative that resonates with anyone who has ever looked back upon their own "Riverdale" with both fondness and regret.

Archie: To Riverdale and Back Again is a 1990 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 34 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.3.

Archie: To Riverdale and Back Again
Where to Watch Archie: To Riverdale and Back Again
Archie: To Riverdale and Back Again is available to watch free on Peacock, Plex, The Roku Channel Free, Pluto TV and Tubi TV. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime and Amazon. Some platforms allow you to rent Archie: To Riverdale and Back Again for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 34 min
  • IMDB Rating
    5.3  (507)