Nancy Drew (2007 film)

Nancy Drew

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Andrew Fleming
Produced by Jerry Weintraub
Written by Andrew Fleming
Tiffany Paulsen
Starring Emma Roberts
Josh Flitter
Max Thieriot
Rachael Leigh Cook
Tate Donovan
Daniella Monet
Kelly Vitz
Marshall Bell
Laura Harring
Music by Ralph Sall
Cinematography Alexander Gruszynski
Edited by Jeff Freeman
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release dates
  • June 15, 2007 (2007-06-15)
Running time
99 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $20 million
Box office $30.7 million

Nancy Drew is a 2007 American neo-noir mystery comedy film loosely based on the popular series of mystery novels about the titular teen detective. It stars Emma Roberts as Nancy Drew, Max Thieriot as Ned, Kay Panabaker as George, and Amy Bruckner as Bess Marvin. Set in Los Angeles, it was directed by Andrew Fleming.

Critics' reactions were mixed, with the general thought of it being refreshing.[1][2] The film grossed $30,666,930 worldwide on a $20 million budget.


Nancy Drew (Emma Roberts) and her widowed father, Carson Drew (Tate Donovan), temporarily move from their quaint hometown River Heights to California, where Carson has a temporary job. Nancy's father also wants to use this time as a way to stop his daughter's sleuthing as he finds it to be dangerous, and encourage her to focus on high school and living like a normal teenager. But unbeknownst to Carson, Nancy chose their California house because its previous owner, Dehlia Draycott, was a movie star who disappeared for several months before being murdered during a house party and found in her pool. Nancy struggles to fit in at her new school, only befriending a younger boy, Corky (Josh Flitter). After discovering a letter that Draycott wrote to an unknown "Z", who was supposedly Draycott's lover, she realizes that the sleuthing world is the only place she fits in and decides to solve the mystery behind her dad's back. From photographs of Draycott during her last film, Nancy deduces that she had a baby and secretly gave it up for adoption. Nancy eventually finds Draycott's child, who turns out to be a young single mom named Jane Brighton (Rachael Leigh Cook), and who also turns out to be the sole beneficiary of Draycott's will, which has disappeared. Nancy receives a threatening phone call telling her to get off the case, and contacts her father's business associate, Dashiel Biedermeyer (Barry Bostwick), the lawyer of the Draycott estate, to assist her with the case.

Meanwhile, as an early birthday present, Nancy's father presents her with the blue Nash Metropolitan convertible she left back at home in River Heights. Along with her roadster comes her long-time friend, Ned Nickerson (Max Thieriot). Ned understands her persistence in sleuthing and finds himself assisting Nancy with the Draycott mystery. Corky becomes jealous of Nancy and Ned's close relationship and tries his best to get Nancy's attention. At one point, a bomb is left in Nancy's roadster. Nancy manages to remove it and though she is knocked unconscious in the blast, she soon comes to consciousness. The trio spend numerous hours together, discovering an underground passageway to a neighbor's basement, which is rented by Leshing (Marshall Bell), the sketchy groundskeeper to the Draycott estate.

One afternoon, a tearful Jane arrives on Nancy's doorstep and announces that her daughter has been taken away from her on false charges of child endangerment. She reveals that after Nancy's initial visit, a man showed up on her doorstep and threatened her. Nancy demands that her father take up Jane's case. He agrees as Jane stays with them. While watching a Dehlia Draycott film, Nancy realizes that Draycott must have hidden her revised will in a prop from one of her movies. She tracks the will to a Chinese antique shop, but just after retrieving it, Nancy is chloroformed into unconsciousness from behind and kidnapped by the villain's henchmen, and left in a locked room. Naturally, Nancy escapes, but gets into a car crash and must go to the emergency room. Her father, along with Biedermeyer, arrives and demands to know what is going on. She admits to her secret sleuthing and explains about Draycott's hidden will. Biedermeyer offers them a ride home so he can sign a lucrative business deal with Mr. Drew.

Nancy discovers that Biedermeyer was Draycott's manager at the time of her death, would be disinherited by the appearance of a new will, and signs his papers with a large "Z," as his middle name is Zachary, and concludes that he is Dehlia Draycott's supposed love. However, when he questions Nancy about the will, she manages to jump out of the moving car, leaving her father with Biedermeyer and his men. Nancy manages to make it all the way home and is caught by Biedermeyer who threatens to "squeeze the will out of her." When Nancy asks him why he killed Dehlia, he replies that Dehlia went a little crazy after she put Jane up for adoption, and wanted to leave her career to be with her caretaker Leshing. He also reveals that Jane is actually Leshing's daughter, something that Leshing never knew about, and demands the will. Nancy kicks Biedermeyer in the shin and escapes, but is once again cornered by Biedermeyer and his henchmen. Leshing arrives via the secret passageway and knocks the henchmen unconscious with a shovel and Nancy reveals that she secretly recorded Biedermeyer's murder confession. While the police arrive to arrest Biedermeyer and his accomplices, Nancy reveals to Leshing that Jane's his daughter, which he in turn reveals to Jane, and which leads to them hugging for the first time. The will is restored to its rightful owner, Jane's able to get back her daughter and she ends up converting the Draycott mansion into a home for single mothers and their children as the Drews return to their home in River Heights.

As Nancy watches a video sent by Jane and her new Draycott Home for Single Mothers, she's both happy and sad that the mystery's over. She goes outside to see Ned repairing her car, and they kiss. Afterwards, Mr. Drew comes out to tell Nancy that she has a long-distance phone call for a new mystery in Scotland (something involving the Loch Ness Monster and missing diamonds). She's just as cheerful as ever as she runs back into the house to learn of the new case.


Several well-known actors make uncredited guest appearances throughout the movie. Bruce Willis appears as himself, shooting a crime film in Los Angeles; Adam Goldberg plays Willis' director Andy; Chris Kattan plays one of the burglars Nancy catches in the opening sequence of the film; Lindsay Sloane plays a saleslady in a clothing boutique; Eddie Jemison appears as an adoption clerk; and Geraint Wyn Davies makes a brief appearance as a drama teacher.

Background and production

Before Roberts was hired, actress Amanda Bynes was considered to portray Nancy, but her schedule prevented her from taking the role. The film was shot in 2006. At this point in time, Emma Roberts did not have her driver's license. Though she was in possession of a permit, by law she was unable to drive the roadster for the car chase scenes all by herself. The movie was filmed in several California cities, including South Pasadena, Los Angeles, Santa Clarita, Long Beach, La Canada Flintridge and Burbank.[3]

Nancy's car in the film is a blue Nash Metropolitan convertible.

United States TV rights

U.S. cable networks, such as ABC Family and Disney Channel, acquired the rights to the 2007 film version of Nancy Drew.

Home media

Nancy Drew was released on DVD and Blu-ray on February 11, 2008 in a single-disc edition and combo pack.


On Rotten Tomatoes the film has a rating of 49%, with the site's consensuses reading, "Emma Roberts is bubbly and charming as Nancy Drew, the junior detective. But despite her best efforts, Nancy Drew still lacks excitement, surprise, and compelling secondary characters." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 53 out of 100, based on 31 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[4]

Plugged In said that "the film has all of the oversimplifications of a teen mystery novel with a little—but not enough—humorous self-awareness tossed in to make the story satisfying for adults". Opening at #7 in the U.S. box office, the film grossed $6,832,318 on its opening weekend and has since grossed $25,612,520 in the US and $5,054,410 overseas for a total $30,666,930 worldwide.[5]

Book adaptions

A novelization of the movie was written by Daniella Burr the year of the film's release and published by Simon Spotlight.


  1. "Come to California" (Matthew Sweet)
  2. "Perfect Misfit" (Liz Phair)
  3. "Kids in America" (The Donnas)
  4. "Pretty Much Amazing" (Joanna)
  5. "Looking for Clues" (Katie Melua)
  6. "Hey Nancy Drew" (Price)
  7. "Like a Star" (Corinne Bailey Rae)
  8. "Nice Day" (Persephone's Bees)
  9. "Blue Monday" (Flunk)
  10. "We Came to Party" (J-Kwon)
  11. "All I Need" (Cupid)
  12. "Party Tonight" (Bizarre)
  13. "When Did Your Heart Go Missing?" (Rooney)
  14. "DARE" (Gorillaz featuring Shaun Ryder)


  1. "'Nancy Drew' solves the modern girl blues.". Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. Retrieved July 1, 2007.
  2. MacDonald, Moira (June 15, 2007). "Teen detective dazzles as she takes on Tinseltown". The Seattle Times. Retrieved July 2, 2007.
  3. "Filming locations for Nancy Drew (2007)". Retrieved July 2, 2007.
  4. "Nancy Drew". Retrieved January 17, 2008.
  5. "Nancy Drew". Retrieved July 2, 2007.
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