Cop and a Half

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Cop and a Half
Theatrical release poster
Directed byHenry Winkler
Produced byPaul Maslansky
Written byArne Olsen
Music byAlan Silvestri
CinematographyBill Butler
Edited by
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • April 2, 1993 (1993-04-02)
Running time
93 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$4 million[1]
Box office$40.7 million[2]

Cop and a Half is a 1993 American family 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.

Cop and a Half opened at #1 in the US and grossed $40.7 million worldwide against a $4 million budget. 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 with his grandmother 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 place him in the care of veteran Detective Nick McKenna (Reynolds), who dislikes children, and the two team up in a comic series of events to find the killer and take down a drug kingpin who ordered the hit.



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 between April and June 1992.[6]

Reynolds reportedly argued with director Winkler through the shoot and later became convinced that producer Brian Grazer refused to work with him again as a result.[7]


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, based on 15 reviews, with an average rating of 2.8/10.[8] Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade of "B+" on scale of A+ to F.[9] 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."[10] Film critic and historian Leonard Maltin seemed to agree: "A hemorrhoid-and-a-half to anyone who sits all the way through this...abjectly painful comedy, which does about as much for Reynolds' career as Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot did for Sylvester Stallone's."[11] 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.[12] 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."[13]

Box office[edit]

The film debuted at No.1.[14] In its second week it dropped to number 3.[15] Industry analysists expected it to open with $4 million, but it grossed $6 million.[16] Variety attributed the film's opening to its poster, which they said is reminiscent of Kindergarten Cop.[17] 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, making the film a considerable success against its modest $4 million budget.[2]


Awards Category Subject Result
Stinkers Bad Movie Awards[18] Worst Picture Nominated
Worst Actor Burt Reynolds Nominated
Worst Actor Norman D. Golden II Nominated
Golden Raspberry Award Worst Actor Burt Reynolds Won[19]
Worst New Star Norman D. Golden II Nominated[19]
Young Artist Award Best Actor Under Ten in a Motion Picture Nominated[20]


A straight-to-DVD sequel, entitled Cop and a Half: New Recruit, was released on August 10, 2017, starring Lou Diamond Phillips and Lulu Wilson.


In October 2020 a cafe on the central coast of NSW Australia opened entitled Cup and a Half as a tribute to the film. The cafe owners expressed a desire to host a cast reunion in early 2021 prasing the film, describing it as "a lost treasure".


  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. ^ Hirschberg, Lynn (1996-06-16). "Deliverance". The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved 2018-08-28.
  8. ^ "Cop & 1/2 (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
  9. ^ "Cinemascore". Archived from the original on 2018-12-20.
  10. ^ Boyar, Jay (April 2, 1993). "'Cop And A Half' Isn't A Whole Lot Of Fun - Orlando Sentinel". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
  11. ^ Maltin, Leonard (2008). Leonard Maltin's 2009 Movie Guide. Penguin Group. p. 281. ISBN 9780452289789.
  12. ^ Gene Siskel. "The Joy of Watching 'The Joy Luck Club'" TV Guide; January 25, 1997; Page 18
  13. ^ Ebert, Roger (April 2, 1993). "Cop and a Half". Ebert Digital LLC. Retrieved December 9, 2015.
  14. ^ Fox, David J. (April 6, 1993). "Weekend Box Office : 4 Oscars Give 'Unforgiven' a Boost". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 11, 2011.
  15. ^ Fox, David J. (April 13, 1993). "Weekend Box Office : Filmgoers Accepting 'Proposal'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 11, 2011.
  16. ^ Klady, Leonard (April 6, 1993). "Kidpower propels nat'l B.O." Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved October 24, 2016.
  17. ^ Marx, Andy (May 4, 1993). "Art imitating art in one-sheets". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved October 24, 2016.
  18. ^ "1993 16th Hastings Bad Cinema Society Stinkers Awards". Los Angeles Times. Stinkers Bad Movie Awards. Archived from the original on 2006-10-17. Retrieved April 2, 2013.
  19. ^ a b Wilson, John (2007). "Fourteenth Annual Razzies (1993)". The Official Razzie Movie Guide. Grand Central Publishing. ISBN 9780446510080.
  20. ^ "Fifteenth Annual Youth in Film Awards". Young Artist Association. Retrieved 2016-10-24.

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