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

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

Director:

David Zucker
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3,162 ( 76)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Leslie Nielsen ... Frank Drebin
Priscilla Presley ... Jane Spencer
Ricardo Montalban ... Vincent Ludwig
George Kennedy ... Ed Hocken
O.J. Simpson ... Nordberg
Susan Beaubian ... Mrs. Nordberg
Nancy Marchand ... Mayor
Raye Birk ... Pahpshmir
Jeannette Charles Jeannette Charles ... Queen Elizabeth II
Ed Williams Ed Williams ... Ted Olsen
Tiny Ron Tiny Ron ... Al
'Weird Al' Yankovic ... 'Weird Al'
Leslie Maier Leslie Maier ... 'Weird Leslie'
Winifred Freedman Winifred Freedman ... Stephie
Joe Grifasi ... Foreman
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Storyline

A rerun of many of the gags from the television series Police Squad! (1982). An Airplane! (1980)-type spoof, this time with the an incompetent Lieutenant Frank 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:

You've read the ad, now see the movie! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 December 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Naked Gun See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,331,746, 4 December 1988

Gross USA:

$78,756,177

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$78,756,177
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During Vincent Ludwig's (Ricardo Montalban's) first encounter with Lieutenant Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen), Ludwig is feeding his "fighting fish" small minnows. This is identical to a scene in Bruce Lee's Game of Death (1978) where we see Dr. Land (Dean Jagger) (the main villain) feeding the same fish. See more »

Goofs

Frank's hair changes appearance while in the car outside Ludwig's apartment. See more »

Quotes

Frank: It's true what they say: Cops and women don't mix. It's like eating a spoonful of Drano; sure, it'll clean you out, but it'll leave you hollow inside.
See more »

Crazy Credits

"Man and Woman Deleted from Fireworks Scene... GREG & SHARON BRESLAU" See more »

Alternate Versions

When aired on Comedy Central, Frank's line "Nice beaver" was changed to "Nice one", ruining the joke. See more »

Connections

Referenced in American Crime Story: From the Ashes of Tragedy (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Louie, Louie
(1955)
Written by Richard Berry
Performed by Rice University Marching Owl Band
Courtesy of Rhino Records, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Even when you're not laughing you'll still be chuckling (as long as you're in the mood)
11 July 2004 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Fresh from tackling terrorism in Beruit, with his own unique hands on style, Lt Frank Drebin is immediately called onto the job to investigate the near fatal shooting of a fellow officer. Det Nordberg was gunned down investigating a case in the docks and Drebin's investigation begins with the company that Nordberg was undercover with – that of pillar of the community Vincent Ludwig. As Frank falls for Ludwig's PA, the beautiful Jane Spencer, he uncovers proof of a dastardly plot by Ludwig – but who will believe him?

If there is a man, woman or child on this earth who can say, hand on heart, that they just don't find Airplane, Naked Gun, Police Squad and the like funny then I would very much like to meet the sad sack just to discover what it takes to elicit a smile from them. Needless to say, this sort of film is very much my type of thing but not to the point where I cannot spot a good one from a bad one. In fact one of the big downsides of this film is that it did create many copies that just couldn't do it as well – so we have had spoofs of all sorts of genres recently, but too many have more hits than misses.

It is to this films credit that it has a very high hit/miss ratio and I enjoy it so much because the laughs keep coming. The material is very silly but it is the constant straight face that it delivers it with that is perfect and makes it work. Other films of the ilk have been overly silly without keeping this straight face. However, our characters here seem oblivious – apart from the odd one who gives the other a funny look etc, and this makes the goings on even funnier. The plot is silly but that doesn't matter as you will be laughing too much to really care. Having seen it so often I have stopped roaring the way I did the first time but I still chuckled all the way.

The writing and direction is spot on – delivering sharp lines that make me laugh due to their sheer unexpectedness or the way they are so very out of place as well as sight gags that are imaginative and clever. However lets not forget a delivery by a very talented cast who make the material work. Praise goes to Nielsen in the lead; he may have worn his role thin over the years with typecasting and, shall we say 'less than perfect' material but give him the tools and he'll do you a job. He can be straight, he can dither or he can just be a clown and he does them all here – his delivery is great whether it's action or reaction shots. Likewise I felt the rest of the cast did well even if most of them are given reaction shots to Drebin. Presley is straight and funny for it while Kennedy seems to fit into the material with ease. OJ doesn't have as much chance to be funny and seems a little stiff in the scenes he is in, but he is still good – just pales a little when next to the others. I love Montalban and he uses his ooze really well in this film – and his reaction shots are very good. The support is all good but it is Nielsen doing his (now) time-honoured turn as spoof-master than steals the show.

Overall I love this genre and consider this film (indeed the series) to be up there with Police Squad and Airplane. It is not as hilarious as Airplane but it has way more hits than misses and is relentlessly funny. As a film it isn't perfect but anyone watching this who complains about plot holes, lack of character development or lack of narrative really have missed the point.


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