Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Ivan Reitman|
|Produced by||Ivan Reitman|
|Screenplay by||Murray Salem
|Story by||Murray Salem|
Penelope Ann Miller
|Music by||Randy Edelman|
|Editing by||Wendy Greene Bricmont
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Release dates||December 21, 1990|
|Running time||111 minutes|
Kindergarten Cop is a 1990 American comedy-thriller film directed by Ivan Reitman and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as John Kimble, a tough police detective, who must go undercover as a kindergarten teacher to catch drug dealer Cullen Crisp (Richard Tyson), before Crisp can get to his ex-wife and son, while along the way he discovers his passion for teaching. Pamela Reed plays his partner Phoebe O'Hara, and Penelope Ann Miller plays Joyce, the teacher who becomes Kimble's love interest. The original music score was composed by Randy Edelman. Schwarzenegger received a salary of $12 million for the film.[not in citation given]
Los Angeles Police Detective John Kimble (Schwarzenegger) trails drug kingpin Cullen Crisp (Richard Tyson) through a Los Angeles shopping mall to a meeting with Danny, an informant who recently saw Crisp's ex-wife Rachel and his son, Cullen Junior, in another state. Crisp shoots and kills Danny, and is arrested by Kimble, but not before relaying word to his mother Eleanor (Carroll Baker) about the news. Kimble convinces Danny's drug-addicted girlfriend Cindy (Alix Koromzay) to identify Crisp in a lineup and hold him in jail, but as the only witness is unreliable the case against him is not strong enough to stand.
Kimble and his partner Phoebe O'Hara head to Astoria, Oregon, posing as husband and wife so that O'Hara, a former schoolteacher, can pose as a substitute kindergarten teacher for Astoria Elementary School, to locate Cullen Junior. Believing Rachel has stolen $3 million dollars in drug money from Crisp, Kimble is to recover the money and offer her immunity to testify against him. However, O'Hara's love of food leads to a sudden case of gastroenteritis and Kimble, who has zero teaching experience, is forced into the substitute role instead. School principal Miss Schlowski (Linda Hunt) warns Kimble that she is uneasy with the idea of an undercover police officer posing as a teacher, and Kimble is frustrated due to his lack of experience with children. After general chaos and being unable to control his class during a fire drill, Kimble finally vents his frustrations to O'Hara, and she tells him that in order to manage the class Kimble needs to show them strength and confidence. Kimble begins to apply his police training to deal with the kids, and slowly wins them over, introducing his pet ferret as the class mascot.
Kimble believes a shy and quiet boy named Zach is a victim of child abuse, and may also be Cullen Junior. After confronting the mother, Zach returns to school with a bruise down his back and Kimble confronts the father physically. Although Kimble believes he has committed a grave mistake and blown his cover, Miss Schlowski tells him that despite his lack of teaching experience he is a natural at it, and she secretly is excited that he punched out the father. Kimble also finds himself attracted to Joyce (Penelope Ann Miller), a fellow teacher. After Kimble and O'Hara, who is now posing as Kimble's sister, accidentally run into her at a restaurant, they discover her son Dominic believes his father has left them and moved to France. However, Joyce confides in Kimble that she has been on the run from her husband, who lives in California, was into criminal activity, and has tried to kidnap Dominic at least once before. Kimble deduces that Joyce is really Rachel Crisp and that Dominic is Cullen Junior, however he is conflicted as to whether or not he should tell Joyce the truth.
Back in California, Eleanor arranges to overdose Cindy with a batch of poisoned heroin, and the lack of witnesses sets Cullen free. The pair head to Astoria to locate Rachel and Cullen Junior. Kimble's superiors order the officers to break their cover and force Joyce to reveal the location of the money, or else be at the mercy of Cullen with no police protection. A horrified Joyce tries to run away with Dominic and blames Kimble for leading Crisp to her. She tells him that she never stole any money from Crisp, and that it was a rumor started by Crisp himself to serve as a reward for finding her. Kimble convinces her that he is truly concerned for Dominic's welfare and he wishes to see Crisp behind bars.
Crisp poses as the father of a kindergartener moving from Phoenix in order to scope out the school and catches sight of both Cullen Junior and Kimble. Unwilling to confront Kimble directly, he sneaks back in and starts a fire in the library, and grabs Dominic during the confusion. His classmates spot Crisp and follow their "stranger danger" training to inform Kimble of what happened. O'Hara leads the kindergarten class outside and tries to follow Joyce back in, but Eleanor runs her over with a car and steals her gun. Crisp convinces the boy to trust him and tries to escape Kimble's pursuit. Joyce runs into Crisp and tries to convince him to let their son go, but Crisp refuses and punches Joyce in the face, which nearly scares Dominic away. As Crisp attempts to apologize, Kimble sneaks in, but Crisp takes Dominic hostage. The class ferret, which Dominic smuggled in his sweater, bites Crisp in the neck, causing his shot to hit Kimble in the knee, and Kimble picks his gun back up and shoots Crisp twice, killing him. Eleanor Crisp comes into the room and shoots Kimble in his shoulder, and advances on him to take Dominic. Before she can fire a fatal shot at Kimble for killing Crisp, O'Hara comes to the rescue by hitting Eleanor with a baseball bat. Eleanor is arrested, while the unconscious Kimble (much to the sadness of the children) is hospitalized. During Kimble's recovery, O'Hara and her chef fiancé invite him to their wedding. After his recovery, he reunites with his kindergarten class and Joyce, sharing a kiss with her.
- Arnold Schwarzenegger as Detective John Kimble: A tough Austrian born LAPD street cop who's forced to take an undercover assignment as a Kindergarten teacher. The main protagonist.
- Penelope Ann Miller as Joyce Paulmarie / Rachel Myatt Crisp: A teacher whom Kimble falls for but who is also Crisp's ex-wife. Has a young son named Dominic who is in Kimble's kindergarten class.
- Pamela Reed as Detective Phoebe O'Hara: Kimble's partner and a former school teacher who gets food poisoning, forcing him to cover for her on the assignment. She briefly poses as Kimble's sister, "Ursula Kimble".
- Linda Hunt as Miss Schlowski: The school's strict principal. Though initially suspicious of Kimble, she eventually grows to respect him when he assaults Zach's universally-disliked abusive father.
- Richard Tyson as Cullen Crisp, Sr.: A drug kingpin who is obsessed with tracking down his ex-wife and son.
- Carroll Baker as Eleanor Crisp: Crisp's overbearing mother and assistant in his criminal empire who is just as obsessed with seeing her grandson again.
- Christian and Joseph Cousins as Dominic Paulmarie / Cullen Crisp, Jr.: Joyce and Crisp's son who becomes close to Kimble.
- Andrew Dimarco as Zach Sullivan: A shy student in the class and the first one who Kimble suspects is Crisp's son, though he later learns that his mother is still married to his father and they are dealing with domestic violence. As a policeman with a hatred for injustice, Kimble later assaults Zach's father, whom he knows the law cannot touch easily, and berates his mother for her cowardice to protect Zach.
- Cathy Moriarty as Jillian
- Ben Diskin as Sylvester, Jillian's son
- Miko Hughes as Joseph, who enjoys telling people of the anatomical differences between boys and girls which he apparently learned from his father who is a gynecologist.
- Sarah Rose Karr as Emma, one of Kimble's students.
- Richard Portnow as Captain Salazar, Kimble and O'Hara's boss.
- Tom Kurlander as Danny, a drug runner and Crisp's informant, as well as his murder victim.
- Alix Koromzay as Cindy, Danny's drug-addict girlfriend and the only witness to his murder, which helps lead to her demise.
- Bob Nelson as Henry Shoop: O'Hara's fiancee.
- Tom Dugan as Crisp's lawyer
- Emily Eby as Julie
- Odette Yustman as Rosa
- Angela Bassett as Flight Attendant
Brian Bruney was an extra in the film. He was 8 years old at the time.
In addition to the Cousins twins, a second set of identical twins was cast to play part of Kimble's class. The difference was that Tiffany and Krystle Mataras, who later went on to star in Problem Child 2 as the daughters of one of the antagonists, actually played a set of identical twins named Tina and Rina.
The film received mixed reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes gives it a score of 50% based on reviews from 30 critics. It holds a rating of 61% at Metacritic based on reviews from 15 critics, indicating "[g]enerally favorable reviews".
Reviewer Caryn James of The New York Times has said, "Like Twins, which was also directed by Ivan Reitman, nothing in Kindergarten Cop is as funny as the idea of it." In Kim Newman's review for Empire he said "with a heart of purest mush, Kindergarten Cop still manages to be generally entertaining" and gave the film 3 stars out of 5. In a review for EW.com, it was said at the time of release that "the movie never quite gels" and "Kindergarten Cop is not going to generate quite the mega-hit business their producers are counting on", and gave the movie a 'C' grade. Roger Ebert said "Kindergarten Cop is made up of two parts that shouldn't fit, but somehow they do, making a slick entertainment out of the improbable, the impossible and Arnold Schwarzenegger" and awarded the film three stars.
In 2012, as an April Fool's Day joke, it was announced that Kindergarten Cop was selected for a release on DVD and Blu-ray Disc as part of the Criterion Collection, a video-distribution company dedicated to the release of "important classic and contemporary films." It was said to be selected as important in part because of its genre-revisionist use of both the policier and family comedy genres in the same film. 
Despite the mixed reviews, the movie was a box office success, making over $200 million worldwide.
At Astoria, Universal Studios hired local artists to paint murals on the walls, provided new playground equipment, fenced the playground, and laid a new lawn and hedges around the school building. Most of the filming was completed after school was out in June 1990, therefore many of the students and staff were able to be in the movie as extras. Students' artwork was also used. Teachers and neighbors, as well as students, were used in filming; viewers see Astor School's custodian, "Mr. John" raising the flag for an early morning scene. Of note, Schwarzenegger's contract required that a private studio (for daily workouts and weightlifting) be provided for the actor and his personal staff; a suitable studio was located but when an agreement could not be reached, the actor threatened to pull out of the production. An Astoria business owner stepped in and donated unused commercial space deemed suitable and the shoot went on.
Also filmed in or near Astoria:
- John and Phoebe stayed at the Bayview Motel, 783 W. Marine Drive, Astoria. The vintage lodging facility "played itself" in the film.
- Scenes involving John and Phoebe walking to dinner, and Crisp and his mother shopping, were filmed on Commercial Street in downtown Astoria.
- The exterior portions of the restaurant scene were filmed outside the Seafare Restaurant at the Red Lion Inn, 400 Industry St., in Astoria.
- Scenes at Joyce and Dominic's house (interior and exterior) were filmed at a private residence located at 414 Exchange St., Astoria.
- Highway scenes were filmed on U.S. 26 east of Seaside, Oregon, 20 miles from Astoria.
- The school picnic was filmed at Ecola State Park near Cannon Beach, Oregon, 25 miles south of Astoria.
Information on Astoria-area locations are courtesy of the Astoria & Warrenton Area Chamber of Commerce.
Interior school scenes were shot at Universal Studios in Hollywood. The film's opening scene was filmed at the Westfield MainPlace in Santa Ana, California and South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, CA.
|Kindergarten Cop: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack|
|Film score (Digital download / Audio CD) by Randy Edelman|
|Released||August 31, 1993|
- Astoria School Theme [1:06]
- Children's Montage [3:21]
- Love Theme (Joyce) [2:30]
- Stalking Crisp [3:40]
- Dominic's Theme/A Rough Day [1:54]
- The Line Up/Fireside Chat [2:57]
- Rain Ride [1:55]
- The Kindergarten Cop [1:27]
- Poor Cindy/Gettysburg Address [2:06]
- A Dinner Invitation [0:47]
- Love Theme Reprise [1:25]
- A Magic Place [2:54]
- Kimball Reveals the Truth [1:45]
- The Tower/Everything Is OK [2:29]
- Fire at the School [5:38]
- Closing [2:14]
- King, Susan (December 21, 1990). "Ivan Reitman, 'Kindergarten Cop's' Top Sergeant : Movies: The director of 'Ghostbusters' and 'Twins' faces his biggest challenge yet: a room full of tykes. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger was cowed.". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 2, 2010.
- "Arnold Schwarzenegger". The Numbers. Retrieved February 19, 2009.
- "Kindergarten Cop". Rotten Tomatoes (Flixster).
- "Kindergarten Cop". Metacritic. CBS. Retrieved October 30, 2011.
- James, Caryn (December 21, 1990). "Kindergarten Cop (1990)". The New York Times. Retrieved October 30, 2011.
- "Kindergarten Cop". Empire. Retrieved October 30, 2011.
- Gleiberman, Owen (December 21, 1990). "Kindergarten Cop (1990)". EW.com. Retrieved October 30, 2011.
- Ebert, Roger (December 21, 1990). "Kindergarten Cop (PG-13)". rogerebert.suntimes.com. Retrieved October 30, 2011.
- Collection, Criterion. "Kindergarten Cop Ivan Reitman". Criterion Collection Site. http://www.criterion.com. Retrieved 2 April 2012.[dead link]
- Broeske, Pat H. (January 8, 1991). "WEEKEND BOX OFFICE : Moviegoers Go for the Laughs". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 11, 2011.
- "Filming locations for Kindergarten Cop". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved June 21, 2009.
- "Schwarzenegger film scenes set in Astoria". Eugene Register-Guard. Associated Press. May 25, 1990. p. 13D.
- "An Oregon principal is the real Kindergarten Cop". People 35 (2). January 21, 1991. Retrieved July 6, 2013.
- Astoria & Warrenton Area Chamber of Commerce
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- Kindergarten Cop at the Internet Movie Database
- Kindergarten Cop at allmovie
- Kindergarten Cop at Box Office Mojo
- Kindergarten Cop at Rotten Tomatoes