Beverly Hills Cop

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Beverly Hills Cop
Beverly Hills Cop.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Martin Brest
Produced by
Screenplay by Daniel Petrie, Jr.
Story by
Starring Eddie Murphy
Music by Harold Faltermeyer
Cinematography Bruce Surtees
Edited by
Production
companies
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • December 5, 1984 (1984-12-05)
Running time
105 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $15 million[2]
Box office $316.4 million[3]

Beverly Hills Cop is a 1984 American action comedy film directed by Martin Brest and starring Eddie Murphy as Axel Foley, a street-smart Detroit cop who heads to Beverly Hills, California to solve the murder of his best friend. Judge Reinhold, John Ashton, Ronny Cox, Lisa Eilbacher, Steven Berkoff, and Jonathan Banks appear in supporting roles.

This first film in the Beverly Hills Cop series shot Murphy to international stardom, won the People's Choice Award for "Favorite Motion Picture" and was nominated for both the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy and Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay in 1985. It earned $234 million at the North American domestic box office, making it the highest-grossing film of 1984 in the U.S.

Plot[edit]

Young and reckless Detroit police detective Axel Foley's latest unauthorized sting operation goes sour when two uniformed officers intervene, resulting in a high-speed chase through the city which causes widespread damage. His boss Inspector Douglas Todd reprimands Axel for his behavior and promises to fire him if another such incident happens again. Axel arrives at his apartment to find it has been broken into by his childhood friend, Mikey Tandino. Mikey did time in prison, but ended up working as a security guard in Beverly Hills, thanks to a mutual friend, Jenny Summers. Mikey shows Axel some German bearer bonds and Axel wonders how he got them, but chooses not to question him about it. After going out to a bar, they return to Axel's apartment, where two men knock Axel unconscious and then confront Mikey about the bearer bonds, beat him up, and kill him.

Axel asks to investigate Mikey's murder, but Inspector Todd refuses to allow it because of his close ties to Mikey. Axel uses the guise of taking vacation time to head to Beverly Hills to solve the crime. He finds Jenny working in an art gallery and learns about Mikey's ties to Victor Maitland, the gallery's owner. Posing as a flower deliveryman, Axel goes to Maitland's office and tries to question him about Mikey, but is thrown through a window by Maitland's bodyguards and arrested. At the police station, Lieutenant Andrew Bogomil assigns Sergeant John Taggart and Detective Billy Rosewood to follow Axel. After a series of encounters, including the trio's foiling of a robbery in a striptease bar, the three develop a mutual respect.

On the trail of Mikey's killers, Axel sneaks into one of Maitland's warehouses, where he finds coffee grounds, which he suspects were used to pack drugs. He also discovers that many of Maitland's crates have not gone through customs. After being arrested again, this time after a scuffle at Maitland's country club, Axel admits to Bogomil that Maitland is a smuggler, but is unsure of what exactly he is smuggling. In addition, Police Chief Hubbard, who has learned of Axel's ill-advised investigative actions, orders that Axel be escorted out of town. However, Axel convinces Rosewood to pick up Jenny instead and take her with them to Maitland's warehouse, where a shipment is due to arrive that day.

Axel and Jenny break into the warehouse and discover several bags of cocaine inside a crate. Before Axel can get this new found evidence to Rosewood, Maitland and his associates arrive. Maitland takes Jenny and leaves Axel to be killed, but after some hesitation, Rosewood enters the warehouse and rescues Foley. Taggart tracks Axel and Rosewood to Maitland's estate, where he joins the two in their efforts to rescue Jenny and bring Maitland to justice. After wiping out most of Maitland's men, Axel kills Maitland's right-hand man Zack, identifying him as Mikey's killer. With Bogomil's help, Axel executes Maitland and rescues Jenny. Bogomil fabricates a story to Hubbard that covers for all the participants without discrediting the Beverly Hills Police force. Realizing that he will be fired in Detroit, Axel asks Bogomil to speak to Inspector Todd and smooth things over for him. Later, Taggart and Rosewood meet Axel as he checks out of his hotel, and pay his bill. Axel invites them to join him for a farewell drink, and they accept.

Cast[edit]

Sylvester Stallone was originally considered for Foley but turned down the script.[4]

Production[edit]

The Beverly Hills City Hall featured prominently in the Beverly Hills Cop films as the police headquarters.

In 1977, Paramount executive Don Simpson came up with a movie idea about a cop from East Los Angeles who transferred to Beverly Hills.[5] Screenwriter Danilo Bach was called in to write the screenplay. Bach pitched his idea to Simpson and Paramount in 1981 under the name Beverly Drive, about a cop from Pittsburgh named Elly Axel.[5] However, his script was a straight action film and Bach was forced to make changes to the script, but after a few attempts the project went stale.[5] With the success of Flashdance (1983), Simpson saw the Beverly Hills film as his next big project.[5] Daniel Petrie, Jr. was brought in to rewrite the script and Paramount loved Petrie's humorous approach to the project, with the lead character now called Axel Elly, from Detroit.[5] Producer Jerry Bruckheimer claimed that the role of Axel Foley was first offered to Mickey Rourke, who signed a $400,000 holding contract to do the film. When revisions and other preparations took longer than expected, Rourke left the project after his contract expired, to do another film.

The script was then sent to Sylvester Stallone, who gave the script a dramatic rewrite and made it into a straight action film.[5] In one of the previous drafts written for Stallone, the character of Billy Rosewood was called "Siddons" and was killed off half-way through the script during one of the action scenes.[6] Stallone had renamed the lead character to Axel Cobretti with the character of Michael Tandino (James Russo) being his brother and Jenny Summers (Lisa Eilbacher) playing his love interest. Stallone has said that his script for Beverly Hills Cop would have "looked like the opening scene from Saving Private Ryan on the beaches of Normandy. Believe it or not, the finale was me in a stolen Lamborghini playing chicken with an oncoming freight train being driven by the ultra-slimy bad guy."[5] However, Stallone's ideas were deemed "too expensive" for Paramount to produce and Stallone ultimately pulled out two weeks before filming was to start. Two days later, the film's producers, Simpson and Bruckheimer, were able to convince Eddie Murphy to replace Stallone in the film, prompting massive rewrites.[7] Besides Stallone and Rourke, other actors who were considered for the role of Axel Foley included Richard Pryor, Al Pacino, and James Caan.[8]

Reception[edit]

Beverly Hills Cop received critical acclaim upon its release, and is considered by many as one of the best films of 1984.[9][10][unreliable source?] Janet Maslin of The New York Times wrote "Beverly Hills Cop finds Eddie Murphy doing what he does best: playing the shrewdest, hippest, fastest-talking underdog in a rich man's world. Eddie Murphy knows exactly what he's doing, and he wins at every turn".[11] Richard Schickel of Time magazine wrote that "Eddie Murphy exuded the kind of cheeky, cocky charm that has been missing from the screen since Cagney was a pup, snarling his way out of the ghetto".[12] Axel Foley became Murphy's signature role and was ranked No. 78 on Empire magazine's list of The 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time.[13] Also, Entertainment Weekly magazine ranked Beverly Hills Cop as the third best comedy film of the last 25 years. According to Christopher Hitchens, the British novelist and poet Kingsley Amis considered the film "a flawless masterpiece."[14]

Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes retrospectively collected reviews from 41 critics to give the film a score of 83%, with an average score of 7.2 out of 10.[15] In 2003, the film was picked as one of the 1000 Best Movies Ever Made by The New York Times.[16]

Box office[edit]

The film was released on December 5, 1984, and played in 2,006 theaters.[3] It debuted first at box office, making $15,214,805 in its first five days of release. Thanks to word of mouth, the film generated higher revenue in the weeks following the first week, with the highest one being in its fourth week of release, when it grossed $20,064,790 in five days. It stayed #1 for 14 non-consecutive weeks and tied Tootsie for the films with the second most weeks at #1 (the first is Titanic).[17] The film earned approximately $234,760,478 domestically and became the highest-grossing film of 1984.[18] It also became the highest-grossing R rated film of all-time, a rank it would hold until The Matrix Reloaded in 2003 (adjusted for inflation, Beverly Hills Cop is the third highest-grossing R rated film of all-time behind The Exorcist and The Godfather).[19] The film was also the second highest-grossing film worldwide in 1984, behind Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.[citation needed] Box Office Mojo estimates that the film sold over 67 million tickets in the US.[20]

Soundtrack[edit]

The soundtrack for Beverly Hills Cop won a Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media (1986). The instrumental-only title tune, "Axel F", is a cultural touchstone and has since been covered by numerous artists. The soundtrack was mastered by Greg Fulginiti, and featured different artists plus electronic style music.

The soundtrack was released on MCA Records, successor-in-interest to Paramount's old record division, the Famous Music Group (specifically Paramount Records).

  1. "New Attitude" by Patti LaBelle
  2. "Don't Get Stopped in Beverly Hills" by Shalamar
  3. "Do You Really (Want My Love?)" by Junior
  4. "Emergency" by Rockie Robbins
  5. "Neutron Dance" by Pointer Sisters
  6. "The Heat is On" by Glenn Frey
  7. "Gratitude" by Danny Elfman
  8. "Stir It Up" by Patti LaBelle
  9. "Rock 'N Roll Me Again" by The System
  10. "Axel F" by Harold Faltermeyer

Chart positions[edit]

Year Chart Position
1985 Billboard 200 1

Awards and honors[edit]


Also, the film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:

Legacy[edit]

Sequels

The film spawned two sequels, both starring Eddie Murphy, in 1987 and 1994. Judge Reinhold also reprised his role of Billy Rosewood for the sequels. The second film met with mixed reviews but was a box office success while the third film was less successful critically and commercially. Faltermeyer's "Axel F" was used in both sequels.

Television series

In 2013, a television series was reported to be in the works for CBS.[26] The pilot was written by Shawn Ryan and directed by Barry Sonnenfeld. Brandon T. Jackson was cast as Axel Foley's son.[27] The series was not picked up, but Ryan reported that it tested well enough for Paramount to put a fourth film into production.[28]

Video games

References[edit]

  1. ^ "BEVERLY HILLS COP (15)". British Board of Film Classification. December 10, 1984. Retrieved November 28, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Beverly Hills Cop Production Budget". The-Numbers.com. Retrieved May 21, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "Beverly Hills Cop". Box Office Mojo. 
  4. ^ O'Connell, Sean. "Sylvester Stallone turns down Beverly Hills Cop Script according to book". Retrieved August 11, 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Cronin, Brian (2013-01-16). "Movie Legends Revealed: Sly Stallone as Axel Foley?". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 2014-06-12. 
  6. ^ "Re-Cast: Five Blockbusters Completely Changed For Their Star". Empire Magazine. Retrieved 2010-11-13. 
  7. ^ Gruson, Linsey (1984-12-16). "EXIT STALLONE, ENTER EDDIE MURPHY". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-06-12. 
  8. ^ Gruson, Linsey (1984-12-16). "20 Fascinating Facts About The 'Beverly Hills Cop' Franchise". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-06-12. 
  9. ^ "The Greatest Films of 1984". AMC Filmsite.org. Retrieved May 21, 2010. 
  10. ^ "The Best Movies of 1984 by Rank". Films101.com. Retrieved May 21, 2010. 
  11. ^ "Beverly Hills Cop, Film Review". The New York Times. April 29, 2003. Archived from the original on October 3, 2012. Retrieved May 21, 2010. 
  12. ^ "Cinema: Eddie Goes to Lotusland". Time. December 10, 1984. Retrieved April 26, 2010. 
  13. ^ "Empire's The 100 Greatest Movie Characters". Empire. Retrieved May 21, 2010. 
  14. ^ "The Amis Inheritance". New York Times. Retrieved September 27, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Beverly Hills Cop Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 21, 2010. 
  16. ^ "The Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made". The New York Times. April 29, 2003. Retrieved April 26, 2010. 
  17. ^ "Longest Top Ranking Movies (Conesecutive Weeks". Box Office Mojo. 
  18. ^ Box Office Mojo 1984 DOMESTIC GROSSES
  19. ^ Box Office Mojo All Time Grosses R-Rated tab
  20. ^ "Beverly Hills Cop (1984)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 31, 2016. 
  21. ^ "Bravo's 100 Funniest Movies of All Time". Boston.com. July 25, 2006. Retrieved May 21, 2010. 
  22. ^ "Bravo's "100 Funniest Movies"". listsofbests.com. Retrieved May 21, 2010. 
  23. ^ "AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies Nominees" (PDF). Retrieved August 20, 2016. 
  24. ^ "AFI's 100 Years...100 Laughs" (PDF). American Film Institute. Retrieved August 20, 2016. 
  25. ^ "AFI's 100 Years...100 Heroes & Villains Nominees" (PDF). Retrieved August 20, 2016. 
  26. ^ Hibberd, James (February 22, 2013). "Hollywood Insider: What's Going on Behind the Scenes: TV's Pilot Season Goes (Very) High-Concept". Entertainment Weekly. New York: Time Inc.: 26. 
  27. ^ Child, Ben. "Beverly Hills Cop TV series shot down". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 January 2016. 
  28. ^ Obenson, Tambay A. "'Beverly Hills Cop' TV Series Officially Dead. BUT Pilot Tested Well, So 4th Movie In Development". Indiewire. Retrieved 26 January 2016. 
  29. ^ "Beverly Hills Cop (PS2):Amazon.co.uk:PC & Video Games". www.amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-07-13. 

External links[edit]