Cop and a Half

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Cop and a Half
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Henry Winkler
Produced by Paul Maslansky
Written by Arne Olsen
Music by Alan Silvestri
Cinematography Bill Butler
Edited by
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date
  • April 2, 1993 (1993-04-02)
Running time
93 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $4 million[1]
Box office $41 million[2]

Cop and a Half is a 1993 American buddy cop-comedy film directed by Henry Winkler, and stars Burt Reynolds, Norman D. Golden II, and Ray Sharkey in his final role. Reynolds plays a veteran cop who reluctantly takes an eight-year-old child (Golden) as his partner to solve a murder investigation.

The film was followed by a lower budget, direct-to-DVD sequel, Cop and a Half: New Recruit (2017).


Devon Butler (Golden) is an eight-year-old boy who lives in Tampa and dreams of being a cop. He watches police TV shows, knows police procedures and plays cops and robbers with his friend Ray. One day, while snooping around in a warehouse, he witnesses a murder. He goes to the police, who want the information, but he refuses to give it unless they make him a cop. They then team him with veteran cop (and child hater) Detective Nick McKenna (Reynolds), and they team up in a comic series of events to find the killer and take down a drug kingpin who ordered the hit. They eventually come to a mutual understanding in order to bring the killer to justice.



Macaulay Culkin was approached to play the child.[4] Culkin dropped out, along with Kurt Russell, who was attached to play Det. McKenna, when the film was delayed for script rewrites. The child co-star was rewritten to be female, then back to male once Golden was cast.[5] Shooting took place in Tampa, Florida.[6]


Joey Lawrence's "Nothin' My Love Can't Fix" is used as the end title song.[5]


The film holds a 17% approval rating at the film review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes, where two reviews out of the twelve polled are positive.[7] Jay Boyar of the Orlando Sentinel wrote, "Just about the only really enjoyable thing about Cop and a Half is Norman D. Golden II, who is genuinely cute and a pretty good little actor besides."[8] Film critic and historian Leonard Maltin called it "abjectly painful" and wrote, "And a hemorrhoid-and-a-half to anyone who sits all the way through it."[9] Critic Gene Siskel also excoriated the film, seeing it as indicative of "artistic bankruptcy" on Burt Reynolds' part, and singled out Norman D. Golden II's performance as "awkward". Siskel later called it the worst movie of 1993. Siskel speculated that NBC thought little of the film when they aired it in its broadcast-network debut, pointing out that they scheduled it opposite the 1997 Super Bowl.[10] However, Roger Ebert gave it 3 stars out of a possible 4, saying, "There isn't much that's original in Cop and a Half, but there's a lot that's entertaining, and there's a winning performance by a young man with a big name, Norman D. Golden II, who plays little Devon Butler, a kid who dreams of someday wearing the shield."[11]

Box office[edit]

The film debuted at No.1.[12] In its second week it dropped to number 3.[13] Industry analysists expected it to open with $4 million, but it grossed $6 million.[14] Variety attributed the film's opening to its poster, which they said is reminiscent of Kindergarten Cop.[15] It grossed a total of $31.9 million in the US and another $8.8 in other territories for worldwide total of $40.7 million.[2]


Awards Category Subject Result
Stinkers Bad Movie Awards[16] Worst Picture Nominated
Worst Actor Burt Reynolds Nominated
Worst Actor Norman D. Golden II Nominated
Golden Raspberry Award Worst Actor Burt Reynolds Won[17]
Worst New Star Norman D. Golden II Nominated[17]
Young Artist Award Best Actor Under Ten in a Motion Picture Nominated[18]


  1. ^ Zink, Jack (1992-03-17). "Florida Ready To Get Cameras Rolling". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved 2015-12-09. 
  2. ^ a b "Cop and a Half". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2015-12-09. 
  3. ^ "Florida Son Burt Reynolds Comes Of Age". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 2011-01-11. 
  4. ^ "Imagine Inks Winkler To helm 'Cop'; Wooing Culkin". Variety. 1991-03-03. Retrieved 2016-10-24. 
  5. ^ a b "Cop & 1/2". American Film Institute. Retrieved 2016-10-24. 
  6. ^ "Reynolds Resumes Filming 'Cop And A Half' In Tampa". Orlando Sentinel. 1992-05-07. Retrieved 2016-10-24. 
  7. ^ Copy and a Half at Rotten Tomatoes
  8. ^ "'Cop And A Half' Isn't A Whole Lot Of Fun - Orlando Sentinel". 1993-04-02. Retrieved 2015-03-09. 
  9. ^ Maltin, Leonard (2008). Leonard Maltin's 2009 Movie Guide. Penguin Group. p. 281. ISBN 9780452289789. 
  10. ^ Gene Siskel. "The Joy of Watching 'The Joy Luck Club'" TV Guide; January 25, 1997; Page 18
  11. ^ Ebert, Roger (1993-04-02). "Cop and a Half". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2015-12-09. 
  12. ^ "Weekend Box Office : 4 Oscars Give 'Unforgiven' a Boost". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-01-11. 
  13. ^ "Weekend Box Office : Filmgoers Accepting 'Proposal'". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-01-11. 
  14. ^ Klady, Leonard (1993-04-06). "Kidpower propels nat'l B.O." Variety. Retrieved 2016-10-24. 
  15. ^ Marx, Andy (1993-05-04). "Art imitating art in one-sheets". Variety. Retrieved 2016-10-24. 
  16. ^ "1993 16th Hastings Bad Cinema Society Stinkers Awards". Stinkers Bad Movie Awards. Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 2006-10-17. Retrieved April 2, 2013. 
  17. ^ a b Wilson, John (2007). "Fourteenth Annual Razzies (1993)". The Official Razzie Movie Guide. Grand Central Publishing. ISBN 9780446510080. 
  18. ^ "Fifteenth Annual Youth in Film Awards". Young Artist Association. Retrieved 2016-10-24. 

External links[edit]