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Off Beat (1986)

Joe Gower's job is skating through library shelves, fetching books. A police officer/friend of his is chosen to participate in a charity dance performance. Gower agrees to take his place in... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Joe Gower
Rachel Wareham
Abe Washington
Pete Peterson
Jacques d'Amboise ...
Mary Ellen Gruenwald
Mrs. Wareham
Mr. Wareham
The Commissioner
Gun Shop Salesman


Joe Gower's job is skating through library shelves, fetching books. A police officer/friend of his is chosen to participate in a charity dance performance. Gower agrees to take his place in the show by posing as a police officer. He falls for a female officer in the show and gets into various scrapes with fellow cops and also crooks. And he dances. Written by Melissa Portell <mportell@s-cwis.unomaha.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Real Life Adventures Of A Make-Believe Cop. See more »


Comedy | Crime | Romance


PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

11 April 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Policía por error  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$2,011,192 (USA) (13 April 1986)


$4,842,778 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Top-billed star Judge Reinhold got cast after having featured prominently in the box-office hit action-comedy Beverly Hills Cop (1984) which starred Eddie Murphy. See more »


Referenced in Death Wish 4: The Crackdown (1987) See more »


Ain't She Sweet
By Milton Ager and Jack Yellen
See more »

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User Reviews

Don't tell anyone, but I didn't mind it.
20 June 2017 | by (Hampshire, England) – See all my reviews

Judge Reinhold stars as librarian Joe Gower, who owes his cop pal Abe (Cleavant Derricks) a favour after unwittingly blowing an undercover drugs bust. So when Abe is chosen by his boss to take part in a police charity dance show, he gets Joe to take his place; at first Joe is reluctant to take part, but eventually he learns to loosen up and enjoy himself, especially after falling for pretty dance partner, hostage negotiator Rachel Wareham (Meg Tilly).

A gentle, PG-rated rom-com starring a prancing Judge Reinhold finds its way into my DVD 'to watch' pile, causing me to momentarily slip into Austin Powers mode (That's not mine! I'm telling you baby, that's not mine. This sort of thing ain't my bag, baby!). Then I remember: I was given the DVD as part of a freebie job lot by a work colleague, who was moving to the States, so I feel a little bit better about myself.

I watch the film so that I can add it to my pile of films destined for the local charity shop, and am surprised to find that it isn't all that bad. Not great, mind you, and not a 'keeper' (it's still going down the charro), but pleasant enough for a one-time viewing. Don't expect any outrageous, off the wall comedy (as the blurb on the cover promises)—there isn't any (unless the sight of Reinhold in Lycra counts). Do expect some mildly amusing silliness, a spot of heartwarming romance, and lots of familiar faces (the supporting cast including Joe Mantegna, Harvey Keitel, Fred Gwynne, John Turturro, and magician Penn Jillette).

5.5/10, rounded up to 6 for IMDb.

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