The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!

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The Naked Gun:
From the Files of Police Squad!
The Naked Gun Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by David Zucker
Produced by Robert K. Weiss
Written by
Based on Police Squad! 
by David Zucker
Jim Abrahams
Jerry Zucker
Starring
Music by Ira Newborn
Cinematography Robert M. Stevens
Edited by Michael Jablow
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • December 2, 1988 (1988-12-02)
Running time
85 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $12 million
Box office $78.8 million[1]

The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (also known as simply The Naked Gun) is a 1988 American comedy film. The film stars Leslie Nielsen as the bumbling police lieutenant Frank Drebin. The film also stars Priscilla Presley, George Kennedy, and O. J. Simpson.

The film features fast-paced slapstick comedy, including many visual and verbal puns and gags. The film is based on the character created by Nielsen in the television series Police Squad!.[2] The core creative team behind Police Squad! and the movie series includes the team of David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and Jerry Zucker as well as Pat Proft in varying combinations.[3]

Released on December 2, 1988, the film was a critical and commercial success, which led to two sequels: The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear (1991) and Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult (1994).

Plot[edit]

The film's introductionary scene shows Frank Drebin, whilst taking a vacation in Beirut, disrupting a conference of America's greatest enemies who are trying to conceive a terrorist plan to humiliate the US. In Los Angeles, Officer Nordberg attempts to bust a heroin drug operation at the docks organized by Vincent Ludwig, and is shot by Ludwig's henchmen. After being briefed on the case by his boss, Captain Ed Hocken, Police Squad Lieutenant Frank Drebin visits Nordberg in the hospital. Nordberg provides cryptic clues, including a picture of Ludwig's ship on which the deal had been organized. Frank meets with police scientist Ted Olsen, who has invented a cufflink that shoots a tranquilizer dart. Frank learns through Ted that Nordberg's jacket tested positive for heroin. Police Squad is in charge of security for the visit of Queen Elizabeth II to Los Angeles, and Ed tells Frank that he has 24 hours to clear Nordberg before word gets out about what happened and detracts from the queen's visit.

When Frank visits Ludwig in his office, Ludwig learns that Nordberg is still alive. Ludwig has his assistant, Jane Spencer, assist Frank in his investigation, and the two fall in love. However, Jane is unaware of her employer's illegal activities. After Frank leaves the office, Ludwig meets with Pahpshmir, a participant of the Beirut meeting, to discuss an assassination plot against the queen. Ludwig agrees to do it for $20 million, with Pahpshmir wondering how he plans to pull it off. Ludwig explains that using a beeper he will create the assassin using post-hypnotic suggestion. Ludwig unsuccessfully attempts to have Nordberg killed at the hospital; while the hypnotized doctor escapes Frank, he accidentally ends up riding a ballistic missile into a fireworks store, leaving the assassination motive unknown.

Frank enters Ludwig's office searching for evidence. Although Frank finds a note from Pahpshmir addressed to Ludwig which confirms his suspicions, he inadvertently starts a fire that destroys the note and the office. Frank later has a run-in with one of Ludwig's henchmen at his factory in a stockyard, and after that confronts Ludwig with his allegations at a reception for the Queen's arrival. Frank misinterprets Ludwig's presentation of a musket to the Queen as an attack and tries to protect her, but only causes more of a problem and is fired from Police Squad. Afterward, Jane finds out about the plot and tells Frank that the plan will be executed at a baseball game between the Seattle Mariners and the California Angels at Anaheim Stadium during the seventh inning stretch and that one of the players will perform the act.

In order to search the players, Frank knocks the home plate umpire out with a baseball bat and takes his place, frisking the players for weapons while they are at bat. The seventh-inning stretch begins and Ludwig activates his 'sleeper', Reggie Jackson. Jane alerts Frank, who chases after Jackson and tackles him, but Jackson manages to get away when Frank's action starts a general riot between the two teams. Ludwig holds Jane at gunpoint as he begins to leave the stadium while Jackson takes aim at the Queen. Frank tries to incapacitate Jackson with one of his cufflink darts, but misses and hits a large woman on the upper deck. The woman falls over the railing and lands on Jackson, incapacitating him and saving the Queen's life.

Frank follows Ludwig to the top of the stadium and shoots Ludwig with the other cufflink dart, causing him to fall over the side of the stadium where he is struck by a passing bus, run over by a steamroller, and finally marched on by the USC marching band. Some of the band members inadvertently step on Ludwig's beeper, and Jane is hypnotized into killing Frank by using Ludwig's gun. Frank breaks Jane's hypnotized state by openly professing his feelings for her and giving her an engagement ring. Frank and Jane meet Mayor Barkley, who reinstates Frank back to Police Squad, and a recovered Nordberg congratulates him - until Frank inadvertently pushes Nordberg's wheelchair down the stadium's stairs.

Cast[edit]

Major League Baseball players Reggie Jackson and Jay Johnstone have cameo roles as themselves, as do umpires Joe West, Doug Harvey, Hank Robinson, Ken Kaiser and Ron Luciano. Professional announcers Curt Gowdy, Jim Palmer, Tim McCarver, Mel Allen, Dick Enberg, and Dick Vitale appear as play-by-play commentators, as does Dr. Joyce Brothers. John Houseman appears (uncredited) as a driving teacher.

Production[edit]

The film was shot at various locations in and around Los Angeles, California.[4] The Queen's reception was filmed at the Ambassador Hotel, which closed almost exactly a month after this film opened. The Ambassador is noteworthy for having been the location where Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated. Although the film's climax takes place at a California Angels home game, the baseball scenes were filmed in Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium, home of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Upon its initial release, The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! received critical acclaim, and has since been regarded as one of the greatest comedy films of all time.[5][6] On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 86%, based on 51 reviews, with an average rating of 7.3/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "The Naked Gun is chock full of gags that are goofy, unapologetically crass, and ultimately hilarious."[7] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 76 out of 100, based on 13 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[8]

It was voted the 14th best comedy of all time in a Channel 4 poll.[9] The film was selected by The New York Times as one of The Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made.[10] It was named the 7th Funniest Comedy Ever on a poll by Empire.[6]

Box office[edit]

The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! grossed $78.8 million at the box office.[11] The film was released on December 2, 1988 and in its opening weekend, finished in first place, grossing $9.3 million.[12] In its second weekend, it grossed $6.1 million, falling to second place behind the newly released Twins ($11.2 million).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988)". Box Office Mojo. 1989-02-28. Retrieved 2012-06-12. 
  2. ^ Harper, Hilliard (1988-11-29). "Creators of a TV Flop Get Just Dessert with Naked Gun". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-18. 
  3. ^ Easton, Nina J. (1988-12-02). "Naked Truth Behind 'Naked Gun' : Direct From the Files of the Play Squad". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-18. 
  4. ^ Easton, Nina J. (1988-12-02). "Naked Truth Behind `Naked Gun' Direct From the Files of the Play Squad". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-18. 
  5. ^ Wilmington, Michael (1988-12-02). "MOVIE REVIEW : 'Naked Gun' Fires Away With Gags, Laughs". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-18. 
  6. ^ a b "The 50 Funniest Comedies Ever, Feature | Movies - Empire". gb: Empireonline.com. Retrieved 2016-05-04. 
  7. ^ gun
  8. ^ "The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2016-05-04. 
  9. ^ Life Of Brian 'top comedy film' - Film and tv - Entertainment - Manchester Evening News[dead link]
  10. ^ "The Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made". The New York Times. 2003-04-29. 
  11. ^ "The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2016-05-04. 
  12. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for December 2-4, 1988". Box Office Mojo. 2016-03-05. Retrieved 2016-05-04. 

External links[edit]