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The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Crime | 2 December 1988 (USA)
Incompetent police detective Frank Drebin must foil an attempt to assassinate Queen Elizabeth II.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Jeannette Charles ...
Ed Williams ...
Ted Olsen
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Al
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Leslie Maier ...
'Weird Leslie'
Winifred Freedman ...
Stephie
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Foreman
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Storyline

A re-run of many of the gags from the original TV series 'Police Squad'. An Airplane type spoof, this time with the an incompetent lieutenant (Drebin) who always 'gets his man'. Visual gags come thick and fast, and it's impossible to catch them all with one viewing. The plot.. Queen Elizabeth II of England is coming to town, and Vincent Ludwig has plans to assassinate her using a brainwashed baseball player. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Villain. Even Mother Teresa wanted him dead. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 December 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Police Squad!  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,300,000, 4 December 1988

Gross USA:

$78,041,829
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ricardo Montalban was cast as the main antagonist Vincent Ludwig due to his performance as Khan Noonien Singh in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982). See more »

Goofs

When Drebin is riding in the back seat of the "driver's ed" car, the gear shift stays in the same position even while the car is reversing. See more »

Quotes

Ludwig: So they were able to get him to the hospital in time?
Frank: Yes, he's in the intensive care ward at Our Lady of the Worthless Miracle.
See more »

Crazy Credits

[Note: Mr. Weiss is the Second Unit Director] See more »

Connections

Spoofs Popeye (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

God Save the King!
(1744) (uncredited)
Music attributed to Henry Carey
Played at the ballgame in honor of the Queen
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
An Absolute Success from the ZAZ comedy team.
3 April 2008 | by See all my reviews

The writing team of David Zucker, Jim Abrahams and Jerry Zucker became a famous success after "Airplane!" made nearly 24 times its budget. Although "Kentucky Fried Movie" exceeded its own 33 times, it was their second film that gripped the attention of the critics and the public alike. They parlayed its success into the six episode show "Police Squad." After "Top Secret!," they went back to their short-lived television show and made the first of three "Naked Gun" films. Bringing back the show's star Leslie Nielsen and their signature machine gun paced humor, they crafted their finest work.

Why did I spend 100 words, giving the background to this movie? The answer is that there is not much else to say without spoiling the hilarious content. I grew up on Abbott and Costello, Laurel and Hardy, and the Three Stooges; the first two are legendary and the third has a fiercely loyal following to this day. It has been difficult ever since for a comedy to impress me. There are only two comedies I have given a vote of ten stars. "The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!" is even better than "Spaceballs."

Inept Lt. Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen) of Police Squad returns from abroad to the news that his partner (O.J. Simpson, when he was still funny) has been shot. We see it happen in the first of many sequences where we think the joke is over and then see it go on and on using wildly out-of-place props. Meanwhile, Vincent Ludwig (Ricardo Montalban), one of the most respected citizens in Los Angeles, has concocted an elaborate scheme to assassinate the visiting Queen of England! Thankfully, Lt. Drebin's boss (Oscar winner George Kennedy) and the rest of Police Squad have been assigned to protect her. That means Drebin must cross horns with Ludwig to prevent international disaster from culminating…at a Major League Baseball game! I am a *huge* baseball fan, and the climax is the most sensationally funny scene I have ever watched. I even saw my hometown team, although Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker clearly had no idea how bad the Seattle Mariners were at the time. They do prove that you don't have to know baseball to make it into the Television Booth.

From an acting standpoint, "The Naked Gun" is about as good as it gets. Comedy is an entirely different discipline than dramatic acting. That is why you hear about certain actors simply as "comedians." Some critics and acting teachers believe comedy is harder. Nielsen is the king of treating outrageous scripts like they are "The Ten Commandments." He has been in many bad comedies, but with the right script, few are better at making even the best jokes funnier than they already are.

Also notable is Ricardo Montalban. He publicly mentioned that he took the part for money to buy a new Chrysler. I immediately thought of Sean Connery upon reading this. After "Thunderball," Connery grew uninterested in playing James Bond, possibly from the strain of four films in four years plus the deplorable Japanese media's behavior during the shooting of "You Only Live Twice." In both that film and the later "Diamonds Are Forever," a role he only took for the cash, his boredom is unmasked in the two worst lead performances of the series.

Such is not the case with Montalban. His facial expressions during the seventh inning stretch of the baseball game and his conversation with a terrorist whose name I would never wish on anybody look like they come from a man enjoying the part. The ability to keep external factors off the screen or stage is one of the fundamental cores of acting that has been lost on many talented thespians through the years. Montalban is not one of them.


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