The Naked Gun
|The Naked Gun series|
Region 1 DVD cover for the film series box set
|Directed by||David Zucker (1 and 2)
Peter Segal (3)
|Produced by||David Zucker
Robert K. Weiss
|Written by||David Zucker
|Based on||Police Squad! created by Zucker, Abrahams, and Zucker|
O. J. Simpson
|Music by||Ira Newborn|
|Cinematography||Robert M. Stevens|
|Editing by||Michael Jablow (1)
James R. Symons (2)
James R. Symons (3)
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Running time||253 minutes|
The Naked Gun is a series of American crime comedy films written and produced by Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker and distributed by Paramount Pictures. All three films are based on their earlier short-lived ABC television series Police Squad!, which was cancelled after six episodes.
From the Files of Police Squad! (1988)
Detective Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen) tries to uncover a plan to assassinate Queen Elizabeth II, who is on a state visit to the USA. The main suspect is Vincent Ludwig, a rich businessman (Ricardo Montalbán) (hired by Papshmir, an arch-villain) who discovered a way of hypnotising anyone into committing a murder at the press of a remote control. It appears that the victims are responding to a post-hypnotic suggestion, but the film makes no effort to clarify the point, apart from suggesting some device in their wrist-watches. As with previous ZAZ spoof comedies, the ostensible "plot" was mostly culled from another—more serious—movie. In this case, it was Telefon wherein people were triggered into assassins via hypnotic phone calls (indeed, dialogue in the post-hypnotic suggestion demonstration scene is copied word-for-word from Telefon).
On the case, Drebin falls in love with Ludwig's assistant, Jane Spencer (Priscilla Presley). She knows nothing about Ludwig's plot, and after the pair spend the night together, Jane helps with Frank's investigation.
The Smell of Fear (1991)
Frank discovers that Jane's new boyfriend, Quentin Hapsburg (Robert Goulet), is involved in an evil plan to kidnap Dr. Albert S. Meinheimer (Richard Griffiths), a scientist whom President George H. W. Bush (John Roarke) has chosen to determine a new national energy policy. Hapsburg plans to kidnap the real Dr. Meinheimer and replace him with a lookalike named Earl Hacker (also portrayed by Griffiths) who will endorse an energy policy according to the dictates of the energy lobby.
The Final Insult (1994)
In the third film of the saga, Frank is married to Jane, and he has retired from Police Squad. The film introduces the criminal Rocco Dillon (Fred Ward), who is stuck in prison. He's contacted by Papshmir to be given a target for a bombing. Frank is pulled out of retirement. He goes undercover pretending to be a prisoner named "Nick 'The Slasher' McGurk Jr., III" at the jail where Dillon is being held, and they break out of jail. Outside they are escorted by Dillon's gangster mother (Kathleen Freeman) to his country retreat, where Frank also meets Rocco's voluptuous moll (Anna Nicole Smith). The gang plots to blow up the Academy Awards. When Jane arrives looking for Frank, she is taken hostage.
Unproduced Naked Gun 4 film
While it has yet to happen, Paramount has attempted to develop a fourth installment of Naked Gun without Leslie Nielsen. The aim was for a straight-to-video release, but the script was so well received it briefly shifted to the theatrical division before getting stalled over budgeting. Alan Spencer reportedly wrote a treatment for the film.
- The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! – 89% at Rotten Tomatoes
- The Naked Gun 21⁄2: The Smell of Fear – 55% at Rotten Tomatoes
- The Naked Gun 331⁄3: The Final Insult – 52% at Rotten Tomatoes
- The first film grossed around $78,756,177
- The second film grossed around $86,930,411
- The third film grossed around $51,132,598
Cast of characters
- Leslie Nielsen as Sergeant Frank Drebin, Detective Sergeant Lieutenant Police Squad. He is the protagonist of all three films and the former TV series Police Squad!. In the first film, he meets Jane Spencer and they fall in love; in the second film, they resume their romance; in the third film, they are married, and Frank is retired from the force. Frank is a very successful police officer, who seems to solve all crimes by accident, many times causing mayhem and havoc in the process, usually not noticing at all.
- Priscilla Presley as Jane Spencer (Jane Drebin in the third film). In the first film she is Vincent Ludwig's assistant, but knows nothing about his world domination plans. After she spends the night together with Frank, she helps him with his investigation. In the second film, her relationship with Frank is revealed to be over. She has a new boyfriend, Quentin Hapsburg. This is the second time she falls for a man with evil plans. She and Frank make up during the end of the second film. In the third film (in which she is married to Frank, who is retired from the force) the audience learns that she is now a lawyer.
- O. J. Simpson (Peter Lupus, TV series) as Officer Nordberg, one of Frank's colleagues. He and Frank are partners for about five years, and he is Frank's best friend as stated in the first film. Nordberg always gets himself in very painful situations in all of the films.
- George Kennedy (Alan North, TV series) as Captain Ed Hocken, Frank's boss. Ed encourages Frank to talk to Jane in the second movie. It is revealed in the first film that he is married to a woman named Ethel, although in the second film he is married to a woman named Edna (and it is stated that he has been for 30 years).
- Ed Williams as Ted Olson, a scientist who works at the lab. In Police Squad!, Ted was always giving a highly suspect or dangerous lesson to a kid, in a parody of Watch Mr. Wizard. This joke was not recycled for the films. Ted does create a couple of new inventions, which include: the Swiss-army shoe, the anti-graffiti wall, and the cufflink dart. He, Frank Drebin, and Al are the only characters who each appeared in both Police Squad! and the Naked Gun films portrayed by the same actor.
- Ronald "Tiny Ron" Taylor as Al, a very tall colleague of Frank, whose head is always out of frame. Al was recurring character on Police Squad! but only made a cameo in the first film.
|Vincent Ludwig||From the Files of Police Squad!||Falls from a stadium, then is run over by a bus, a steam roller, and the USC Trojan Marching Band.||Ricardo Montalbán|
|Quentin Hapsburg||The Smell of Fear||Falls from a great height (due to Ed accidentally pushing him out the window) but bounces off an awning and walks away, only to be mauled to death by a lion.||Robert Goulet|
|Rocco Dillon||The Final Insult||Falls from a catwalk in a theater, but because he has a cord attached to his ankles, the recoil elevates him and is sent flying away through the roof and into Papshmir's overflying private helicopter, which explodes seconds later (he was holding a ticking bomb).||Fred Ward|
|Man fixing a picture up onto the wall of his house||David Zucker||The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!||David Zucker directed the first two films|
|Driving Instructor||John Houseman||The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!||Final appearance|
|Baseball Announcer||Dr. Joyce Brothers||The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!||Also made a cameo in Police Squad! Brothers died on May 13, 2013.|
|Himself||James Earl Jones||Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult||Also made a cameo in Scary Movie 4|
|Papshmir||Raye Birk||Was the only actor to play the same villain twice in the saga, appearing as "Papshmir" in the first and last movie. His name is a play on the pap smear gynecological test.|
|Himself||"Weird Al" Yankovic||Has appeared in all three films—as himself in the first and last, and cameoing as a holdup man in the second.|
Other notable appearances
In the original film, veteran sports broadcasters Mel Allen, Curt Gowdy, Dick Enberg, Dick Vitale, Tim McCarver, and Jim Palmer are among those in a crowded booth. The baseball game features former Major League players like Jay Johnstone and, as an unexpected assassin, Reggie Jackson, as well as umpire Joe West.
In the second film, Zsa Zsa Gabor has a cameo as herself, slapping the police car siren featured in the intro, a reference to her 1989 arrest. Singer Mel Torme dances with Jane. And veteran character actors Lloyd Bochner, Tim O'Connor and Peter Mark Richman attend the climactic banquet, Bochner spoofing a classic Twilight Zone episode of his called "To Serve Man".
In the third film, at the Academy Awards, a musical number is performed by Pia Zadora and an award presented by Raquel Welch. Others seen at the ceremony include Vanna White, Mary Lou Retton, Florence Henderson, Morgan Fairchild, Shannen Doherty, and Elliott Gould.
- "Studio Wanted To Make Naked Gun 4 Without Nielsen". CinemaBlend.com. 2010-12-02. Retrieved 2012-08-17.
- "The Naked Gun 4 In Development". Film Junk. 2008-08-20. Retrieved 2012-08-17.
- "The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2009-09-13.
- "The Naked Gun 21⁄2: The Smell of Fear (1991)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2009-09-13.
- "The Naked Gun 331⁄3: The Final Insult (1994)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2009-09-13.
- "BoxofficeMojo". The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!. Retrieved January 19, 2008.
- "BoxofficeMojo". The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear. Retrieved January 19, 2008.
- "BoxofficeMojo". The Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult. Retrieved January 19, 2008.
- In the films, Hocken was portrayed by George Kennedy, and Nordberg by O.J. Simpson, Johnny and Lincoln both did not return in the films and Al only appeared in the first film.
- "The Internet Movie Database". The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!. Retrieved January 19, 2008.
- "The Internet Movie Database". John Houseman. Retrieved January 19, 2008.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: The Naked Gun|
- The Naked Gun series at AllRovi
- The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! at the Internet Movie Database
- The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! at AllRovi
- The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear at the Internet Movie Database
- The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear at AllRovi
- Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult at the Internet Movie Database
- Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult at AllRovi