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Just before settling down to watch this film again I decided to read up on the legend that was Leslie Nielsen, and it was only then that I learnt that the King of Deadpan was legally deaf, and wore a hearing aid for most of his life. I found this baffling. Nielsen has the kind of comic timing that mere mortals can only dream of, yet he managed this throughout his film and TV career while barely being able to hear what his co-stars were saying. 'Legend' is a word that has lost much of its meaning through overuse these days, but I think it's fair to say that Leslie Nielsen is a legend of comedy.
The Naked Gun is a classic Nielsen film, and arguably the one that he's best known for, despite coming along after Airplane. It's easy to see why this film has become a classic. There are very few comedies in the same vein as The Naked Gun that do it quite as well. The jokes come relentlessly throughout the movie, and they rarely miss the mark, with Nielsen's infamous timing and delivery an absolute joy to watch. Tenuous innuendo and simple puns become comedy gold when they leave his lips, and no matter how silly the jokes may be ("nice beaver"), you will find yourself guffawing like an idiot for the full duration.
It may not be Citizen Kane in terms of quality, but it doesn't need to be. In fact, most of the charm of the film comes from the satirised Film Noir techniques and hilarious overacting from the likes of O.J. Simpson. The script varies wildly between slapstick silliness and painfully witty jokes, which may feel irregular in any other film, but somehow feels quite apt here. The Naked Gun had been finding its place in 'funniest films' lists ever since its release, and I have a feeling it will keep on doing so for many years to come.
In my opinion its not the late Leslie Nielsons best work, but its close to it! It is written by the writers of Airplane, which I think is one of (Airplane 2 being close behind) the funniest films I have ever seen. This is basically a cop film which is filled with cheap jokes, a constant garage of them! If you want a good story line, plot and to loose yourself in a film, go elsewhere, but if you want to smile, then make sure you watch this! It has a few famous faces in, and basically tells a story of a policeman (Frank Drebin) who is completely deadpan, which I have no idea how he does it with all the jokes going on in the background! I won't go into the storyline as it isn't about that, just get the film, get some friends round and start laughing! Enjoy!
Naked Gun is a rather belated spin-off of the early 80s TV series Police Squad. The original series ran for just six episodes, because American audiences didn't get its ironic tone and it took a further seven years before it was resurrected for the big screen. During that time, however, the series had become a cult favourite, meaning the film already had a built in audience, eager for more antics from incompetent Detective Frank Drebin. This time around, Frank is charged with heading up the security detail for the visit of Queen Elizabeth II. Unfortunately, it seems someone is out to assassinate the monarch...
Anyone who has ever seen either Police Squad! or Airplane! will know exactly what to expect: a stupid, over-the-top comedy that makes very little sense in terms of plot, but which will have you laughing so much that you will scarcely notice. Every scene is put together with the explicit intention of making the viewer laugh as many times as possible. There's one basic rule: if it might get a laugh, it goes in.
Effectively, this means that the humour is very broad-ranging and likely to appeal to everyone. Whilst it's not quite as scatter-gun in its approach to jokes as Airplane! was (there are fewer jokes playing out in the background of scenes), there's still plenty to keep you amused. As with all comedies, not everything works, but the humour comes so thick and fast that you scarcely notice the odd misfire. The variety of humour also means that there is something in the film that will appeal to most people.
Naked Gun relies a lot more on wordplay gags and slapstick style humour than its predecessor. This makes for some very funny moments and some inspired pieces of daft humour. There are certainly plenty of things that will make you laugh out loud and many others that will have you sniggering quietly. True, you don't quite get that same outrageous inventiveness that made Airplane! such a breath of fresh air, but it will still make you laugh more than most so-called comedies
The humour is, of course, still completely stupid and over-the-top, with the plot being mere background noise. This is not a complaint, since this is the whole point of the film. The humour might be a little more thinly spread than it was in the TV series (inevitable since it has 85, rather than 25 minutes to fill), but it still does a good job of capturing the absurd sense of fun of its predecessor. On the whole, it also does an excellent job of spreading the humour throughout the running time, with many of the film's funniest moments (the baseball game, for example) coming towards the end.
It's a shame that some of the jokes are recycled from the TV series because fans of the TV series will already be familiar with them, so they fall a bit flat. It's suggestive of slightly lazy writing that the producers chose to plagiarise themselves, rather than try and come up with new material.
Of course, much of the humour is very deliberately stupid or nonsensical, so if this style of slapstick, "thrown together" humour doesn't appeal to you, you're going to hate Naked Gun. I suspect that it's a bit of Marmite film - one that you will either love or hate.
Much of the humour is delivered through the characters, particularly through the deadpan delivery of Leslie Nielson Frank Drebin. The lines he utters are so completely absurd and his serious, straight delivery of them makes even fairly ordinary jokes a lot funnier when it comes from his mouth. One thing that has changed (and not for the better) is that Nielson occasionally strays from this successful formula and mugs to camera, letting the audience know that he is in on the joke, rather than just delivering his lines in all apparent seriousness. Even here, though, his sense of comic timing is so strong that you can easily overlook this.
Prescilla Presley also shows a surprisingly deft comedic touch as Drebin's new love interest, Jane. Like Nielson, she plays her role deadpan, but with a mischievous twinkle in her eye and her role is well-written to play on the genre stereotypes that we are all familiar with. Indeed, it's through the interplay between Frank and Jane that much of the humour unfolds.
It's a shame that the focus is so much on Drebin and Jane, because this leaves little opportunity for other favourite recurring characters from the TV show to make their mark and their appearances are either muted or non-existent. Johnny Shoeshine is nowhere to be seen, deviant boffin Ted Olson makes just one short appearance and is reduced to the role of Q-style inventor. His seedier side (one of the funniest aspects of his character in the TV show) is also played down (presumably to avoid alienating a wider audience not familiar with the original show). Ricardo Montalban, meanwhile, is lumbered with a pretty straightforward "bad guy" role and given little chance to exhibit any comedic muscles.
The biggest let-down, though, is George Kennedy replacing Alan North as Drebin's boss, Ed. The banter and interplay between Ed and Frank in the original TV series was a real highlight of the original series. Kennedy, on the other hand, barely seems to recognise that he's in a comedy and his absolutely straight (non-ironic) delivery of lines gives Nielson very little to work with. Even when the banter is there in the script, it falls rather flat in the delivery and Kennedy is not really suited to this kind of role. Presumably, he was brought in because he was a "bigger name" than Alan North, but it's not to the benefit of the film and upsets the excellent interplay which had been established by the TV series.
Unlike many modern comedies, Naked Gun has the good sense not to drag itself out for too long. Recognising that its general silliness and lack of any real plot can only sustain it for so long, the running time is just 85 minutes - only marginally longer than a couple of the original Police Squad! episodes sown together.
Whilst it might not shine quite as brightly as the original TV series, Naked Gun is still a very funny film. Providing you buy into its completely stupid humour, it's a film that will make you laugh throughout, and also one you can enjoy time and time again.
Director: David Zucker
Running time: approx. 85 minutes
© Copyright SWSt 2012
What an absolute classic of a film. I love watching these films with my dad as well as the Police Squad series.
The films took the concept and characters of police squad and placed them into a longer runnig and better funded episode. But on top of that the writing by Jerry Zucker and Jim Abrahams was just that much better.
Synopsis: Leslie Nielsen, plays Lt Frank Drebin, a wise streetcop in a dirty part of town, except thats what hed like you to think. Frank and his partner Ed uncover a sinister plot that one of the most respected citizens in the city, Vicent Ludwig, intends to kill Queen Elizabeth 2nd when she visits the city. Hes going to do this by using his stooge Papshmir to use a microchip and post-hypnosis to turn a basball player into a weapon, at the touch of a button. Through investigation, Frank meets the beautifal Jane, Ludwigs assistant, she is oblivious of the plan so she helps Frank and they fall in love.
Who doesnt like the deadpan way Leslie Neilsen delivers a line "theres nothing quite like blowing away a fleeing suspect". Neilsen who used to work on 1950`s sci fi programs as serious characters and starred in Forbidden Planet, proved in Airplane that he could do dead pan slap stick. Hes fantatsic in this as Is George Kennedy and OJ Simpson as Franks long suffering partners who provide at least in soem part the serious relief. Prescilla presley was great as the seducteress Jane and these films really made her. Ricardo Montalban is equaly great as the scheming and ultimately agast villian, who wonders what exactly is Frank Drebin driving at all the time, but is so self confident in his charm. Also like him as Khan in Star Trek 2 ! best villian actor ever.
Zucker and Abrahams writing is superb, as they had already proven with Airplane, from the moment you see the familiar car seren ploughing through the bowling allay, the girls shower and the water slide you know you in for at least 200 laughs !
FILM ONLY REVIEW
Frank Drebin is a bumbling police officer who gets called upon when his partner s found almost dead in Los Angeles harbour. He goes to see Nordberg and gets information about a boat called 'I luv You' and drugs on it. Drebin and his chief try to investigate the drug story but they are up against top business man Vincent Ludwig. Drebin goes to speak with Ludwig and is introduced to Jane Spenser who is told to help him with his enquiries.
Drebin and Jane start a love affair and soon Drebin is onto something a lot bigger than the drug scandal. He hears a rumour that Ludwig is going to have Queen Elizabeth killed on her visit to Los Angeles. Can bumbling Drebin stop the assassination and with Nordberg make a full recovery?
I have seen this film so many times in the past but have ever really sat down and watched the whole thing in one sitting, after hubby's instance both me and my Nan sat and watched this last night and we both loved it. The story is good and the comedy and acting is excellent. The story and film is a spin off from the 1980's Police Squad series.
Leslie Neilsen takes the lead role of Frank Drebin and he is excellent. He shows us so many different sides in the film, he is a hard police man but he is very emotional and open with Jane and I found this was a good mix and I loved the humour he bought to the film. He was daft ad funny both at the same time and how he managed to keep a straight face at times is beyond me. He worked well with his chief and they seemed to bounce off each other with ease. The love affair with Jane was good and she too was a good character. Jane was played by Priscilla Presley and she bought a more stable and sensible character to the film. She did have some good funny moments but I found she was more normal than the other roles.
We had a load of other great support actors including, O J Simpson, Ricardo Montalban and George Kennedy and for me they all bought something different an fun to the story.
This film is very funny if you are in the right mind frame for it, it is made by the same people who made the Airplane film so it is that type of humour. There are some great one liners from the character but the majority of the laughs come from the background in the scenes. I have to say this film was slightly spoilt as hubby decided he would start laughing before the funny bits happened so both me and Nan were expecting something funny to happen. Some may find the slap slick quit daft at times so would advise this is a funny film for when you want something mindless and a film you don't have to use a lot of brain power on.
The film was made in the 80's and this is very apparent from the costumes and hairstyles. There were a lot of old and outdated props used but this seemed to help the film and make it more funny. I think this would still hold strong against today's comedies. The special effects were quite bad but again this helped with the comedy side of the film.
The music was good but nothing special, it was all suitable and appropriate for the places in which it was used but I would not go out of my way to get the soundtrack for this.
There are a lot of similarities between this film and the Police Squad series which I have seen a good few episodes of over the years and think this makes film makes the cross over very well. It makes it seem more familiar and as if I already know a lot about each of the characters. Don't worry though if you have never seen the series as you don't need to have any prior knowledge before watching the film to be able to understand it.
This is a film only review so there are no bonus features to speak about. The running time of the film is 85 minutes and it has a 15 rate. I would say that this rate is slight high and teenager from around 13/14 would love this film. There is a few sexual references and one scenes where safe sex is practiced but this s hilarious and children know about condoms by this age anyway.
I have to give this film a good solid 4 stars as it was very enjoyable. I am in my 20's, hubby in his 30's and my Nan is the great age of 81 and we all loved it so it does appeal to all ages. This is a great film for when you are in need of a good laugh.
Director: David Zucker
Producer: Robert K. Weiss
Writers: Jerry Zucker, Pat Proft, Jim Abrahams and David Zucker
Stars: Leslie Nielsen, Priscilla Presley, O. J. Simpson, George Kennedy and Nancy Marchand
This comical movie was first released by Paramount pictures in the winter of 1988 and runs for an hour and 25 minutes.
This movie and it's characters are based on Leslie Nielsons television characters from the short lived television series entitled 'Police Squad', with the same Abrahams and the two Zucker's writing both the 'police squad' series and this comical movie
Personally, I am a big fan of Leslie Nielson and find most of his movies to be hilarious and well worth watching, really getting to know his comical style in some of his earlier movies, such as the Airplane classics in 1980 and 1982. Plus his later movies such as Repossessed, Spyhard and even the 2 sequels to this movie itself.
So I wanted to watch this one as I new, or more hoped, that this one would be just as silly and just as well worth watching for the shear hilarity of it.
Sergeant Frank Drebin, (Nielson), is a determined officer who uses any means to get what he wants.
When Nordberg, (O.J.Simpson), tries to arrest Ludwig, (Montalban) for drug dealing things don't quite go according to plan, leaving him in a very bad state indeed.
So when Drebin hears about his friends plight he is soon on the trail of Ludwig using the few clues which he managed to get from Nordberg.
Unfortunately, during Drebin's investigation, he finds that Nordberg is suspected of not being quite on the level, giving him only 24 hours to solve the case and clear his friends name.
Things get even more complicated for Drebin's, especially when he discovers that Ludwig is planning on having a very well known and very respected British figure head assassinated, in full view of thousand of sports fans.
But when Drebin meets Ludwig's assistantJane Spencer, (Pricilla Presley), things get even more complicated for the Sergeant as he is soon smitten, leading to an even more complicated case indeed.
** IN CONCLUSION...
As I first thought, before I started watching this many years ago, I knew this movie was going to be just as good a comedy as Nielson's others of the same genre.
And how right I was, especially with the opening of this movie letting you know exactly how the movie will evolve.
I don't want to spoil it for any one who hasn't seen this movie but the beginning involves several well known political figures, including Yasser Arafat, Gaddafi and even Mikhail Gorbachev, who, after having an unfortunate incident with Nielson's cracking character, reveal some rather comical facts about themselves, much to the viewers amusement.
Then, after the initial scenes, the fun just gets better and better as Nielson stumbles along with his investigations, leading to many scrapes and even more hilarious results.
The plot is more on the 'mad' side involving several 'well known' faces, who, at some point everyone will recognise at least one face, and it is the fact that you recognise the 'well known' faces that the plot managed to achieve the comical style it aimed for.
Some of the scenes are a little 'far fetched' in parts but as it is a slapstick comedy you should expect this, otherwise you should just turn it off and watch something else, such as 'Gone with the Wind'.
It is cram packed with cracking one liners, albeit some are as old as Nielson himself, but they are still well placed throughout the movie, and some cracking slapstick innuendoes.
The acting is just out and out silliness, bringing many laughs throughout the 85 minutes that this movie runs.
Nielson is fantastic as the bumbling police officer who couldn't catch a cold even if he used an infected handkerchief. But the way his character somehow manages to always come up smelling of roses is remarkably hilarious.
His slapstick style may seem a little far from some of his really early movies, such as the horror, Dark Intruder and the Western Gunfight at Abilene but it just goes to show that Nielson is an all rounder and will give anything ago.
Then there's Pricilla Presley who has taken on the part of Jane and does a fine job at it, although, intentionally or not, she does come across a little amateurish through many of her scenes, but this just seems to add to the comical satire of the movie.
It is one of them movie's that doesn't need a lot of concentration to follow as the story is easy to follow, although if you do manage to lose the plot then the slapstick filled scenes will soon get you back on track.
It's like watching a mix of Bruce Willis in Die Hard with a blob of Chief Wiggums day at work in the Simpsons, together with a dash of Inspector Jacque Clouseau from the Pink panther.
In all, a great movie for a funny night in front of the television with a tub of pop corn and a nice fizzy drink. It is one of them movies that must be watched at least once by everyone as it will make 99.9% of the population cry with laughter.
If you do want to get a copy of this dvd then you can get it nice a cheap from the likes of amazon, they are selling it for £3.21 at the moment, with free delivery as well... what a bargain indeed.
If you have ever watched Neilson's 1980 movie Airplane, or that movies 1982 sequel, and you found them to be 'bad' movies then you may not enjoy this Neilson movie as it has the same style of slapstick comedy.
But who can say they haven't laughed at least one part of any of these movies.
There have always been two kinds of comedy. First, you have comedy based upon fast written, clever dialogue. Then there are the comedies that are all show, and use anything and everything that is visual. Then one day David Zucker (Airplance, Naken Gun 2 1/2), Jerry Zucker (Ghost) and Jim Abrahams (Hot Shots) had the idea of putting them both together. The initial result was Airplane, which was brilliant. Then there was the Police Squad Series, which introduced us to Frank Drebbin. Then came this, which brought Police Squad to the film. The result is one of the funniest films of all times, that literally send up every film you can imagine. There are plays on Dirty Harry, Popeye Doyle from The French Connection, 50's crime show, Humphrey Bogart. Literately anything and everything that could best mocked is mocked.
The tagline says it all - The Villain. Even Mother Theresa wanted him dead.
The film revolves around hapless detective Frank Drebbin (Leslie Nielson) as (in a purpose written clichéd plot) he tries to find the person who set his partner (O.J Simpson) up for drug dealing at the docks. Along with his Captain Ed Hawkin (scene stealing George Kennedy) move from the Mayor's office, to the docks, to the hospital and to the rich businessman Vincent Ludwig's office as they discover a plot to assassinate someone very important and famous.
I really do think this is one of the funniest films of all time. Jokes are crammed in to the extent that every time you watch it, you see or hear something you didn't even before. There are even jokes written into the credits at the end. You will almost laugh yourself to death with this film.
The Naked Gun is an hilarious silly romp of a film where the humour appears on the surface to be quite basic however it is in fact an incredibly clever play on words and misdirection, the gags in this film are a mixture of verbal and visual with the emphasis probably on the latter.
Leslie Nielson stars as inept police detective Frank Drebin, in this film he is intent on preventing an assasination attempt on our own Queen. Alongside him is the former wife of Michael Jackson and daughter of Elvis, Priscilla Presley in the days before plastic surgery affected her looks as the love interest for Drebin. You will also see disgraced jailbird OJ Simpson in this film as well.
All of the Naked Gun films have paper thin plots which are just a back drop to allow the film to progress and the gags to flow, it is a real laugh fest with this sort of film, lots of slap stick comedy and surreal visual jokes it is in the same vein as the classic comedy film Airplane.
Nielson is excellent in playing the dead pan straight talking Drebin, he is a very visual comic and this film format suites him perfectly. This is a totally unpretentious comedy that is a joy to watch as you giggle at some truly silly material.
The film runs for eighty five minutes and can be bought on Amazon for £8.16.
There was a time when Leslie Nielsen ruled the deadpan comedy acting stakes. His role in Airplane! was hilarious, and as this is made by the same people, the same literal and quickfire comedy is applied, with hilarious effect.
Police Squad is a silly comedy TV show that films as a serious show but is full of gags. This is a big screen outing for Nielsen as Frank Drebbin, out on the hunt to solve crime, chatting up witnesses and generally causing chaos, mayhem and hilarious disaster wherever he goes. There are some classic scenes here, and it is almost worth completely ignoring the plot and going straight for the funny bits. In essence, the plot is merely a vehicle to carry the comedy through an hour and a half, and with the haphazard and accident prone Nordberg (O J Simpson) and the sultry grieving widow Priscilla Presley, the comedy keeps comedy.
It's the delivery that wins you over. Lines such as 'Nice beaver', quickly followed by someone bringing onto screen a stuffed beaver, as well as the accident prone Nordberg hurting himself half a dozen times in quick succession, make this an absolute joy to watch. very similar in style of comedy to films and TV shows such as Dragnet and Airplane!, it really encompasses the kind of deadpan comedy I love watching. In real life, it's really hard to pull off, as you require situations to be in your favour and relevant, and to this extent director David Zucker must be given praise for letting Nielsen do what he does best, and making sure it comes across as perfect on the screen. The scriptwriters should also take a bow: there are some very clever plays on words, and this had me in stitches for most of its duration. There aren't any particular moments of genius, but the comedy is constant and regular, and doesn't let up, even during the closing credits.
A true comedy film, and one I definitely recommend watching, it is well worth taking the advice that NOTHING is this film is done in a serious way, even if it seems it is. Something comedic and stupid is always lurking round the corner. Knowing this doesn't spoil anything, as you can't really prepare for how clever the scriptwriting is. Great film, well worth the watch, and although the sequels it produced were okay, this is by far and away the better of the Naked Gun films. Currently available for £8.15 on amazon.co.uk but I'm sure you can get hold of it for cheaper elsewhere. Hilarious stuff, highly recommended.
I was not expecting much from this film and thought it was going to be rubbish but I was surprised at how funny it was. Although I have got the DVD this is just a film only review.
Leslie Nielsen plays the incompetent cop in this movie but somehow ends up saving the day (I thought this was actually quite similar to the Pink Panther in that way.) He ends up finding out about a plot to assassinate the Queen. Along the way there are many stupid moments and he meets a woman who is his girlfriends.
The whole film is completely stupid including the plot but somehow while being daft and stupid is still very funny! The jokes are sort of clever but also stupid. A classic one is "Wilma, I promise you; whatever scum did this, not one man on this force will rest one minute before until he's behind bars. Now, let's grab a bite to eat" Another really funny moment is in the credits where you see his car going through someone`s house, up a rollercoaster e.t.c! This is all silly really but is somehow incredibly funny! There is not one brilliant moment but so many little bits you can`t stop laughing! Even when something serious happens like Nordberg (another cop played by OJ Simpson which is weird!) is shot by some drug dealers and gets his hand burnt on a radiator, his fingers caught in a window, gets his leg trapped and then falls off the boat! There is also a funny sex scene and many other really funny moments which I won`t mention here!
The acting is quite good and while nothing brilliant is good enough for a silly film like this!
Leslie Nielsen Frank Drebin
Priscilla Presley Jane Spencer
Ricardo Montalban Vincent Ludwig
George Kennedy Ed Hocken
OJ Simpson Nordberg
Overall this is a really funny film which is very silly really but provides so many laughs you have to watch it really!
I bought this with the other two movies in HMV for about seven or eight pounds so I will also be reviewing the others soon!
You can buy this film for £8.15 from Amazon but I am sure it is cheaper elsewhere!
5/5 Silly but hilarious!
This review may appear on other sites under the names ns1209 and mariofan123.
Essentially a full-length film adaptation of the old Police Squad! shows, 'The Naked Gun' is a spoof cop film in which Leslie Nielsen plays as Detective Frank Drebin, a comitted but utterly incompetent cop who finds himself inmbroiled in a plot headed by wealthy industrialist to assassinate the Queen of England by brainwashing people 'Manchurian Candidate' style to turn them into assassins that can be switched on by uttering a simple previously embedded phrase.
Its all wonderfully silly stuff, and features some fantastic slapstick comedy, such as when his partner Nordberg (played by one OJ Simpson) bungles a raid on a drug-barons's boat in which he kicks a hole in the door in an effort to kick it through, giving the assembled criminals ample time to load and cock their guns before blowing him away, at which point he stumbles into a hot radiator burning his hands, gets his fingers caught in a closing window, gets his leg caught in a bear trap and *then* falls out of the boat into the sea. Meanwhile another scene sees Drebin infiltrate a sinster meeting between the Iranian Ayatollah and Mikael Gorbechof, getting the Russian premier in a headlock before wiping the birthmark off his head with a towel with an excited exhaltation of "I knew it!!"
Much of the humour comes from the fact that it is all completely po-faced and deadpan yet utterly, stupendously daft at the same time, mixing a noir-style narrative with Laurel and Hardy style theatrics.
Some may find OJ Simpson's lighthearted performance jarring against his present status of convicted multiple murderer, but with wonderfully silly dialogue, and a fantastic performance by Nielsen, the Naked Gun remains a hilarious spoof film with endless rewatchability.
Following on from the runaway success of the spoof movie "Airplane" in 1980, the Zucker brothers decided to expand the Leslie Nielson TV comedy series "Police Squad" (1982) into a full length movie.
"Naked Gun - From The Files Of Police Squad" hit the movie screens in 1988, a full six years after the original Police Squad series which surprisingly only ran for six episodes. Police Squad itself had come into being as a direct result of the success of Airplane, and the rave reviews that previously straight actor Leslie Nielson had received for his hilarious role of a doctor in the movie.
In Naked Gun the Zuckers and Nielson revive the role of Frank Drebin, the crazy police lieutenant from Police Squad. The comedy is every bit as wild, wacky and wonderful as in Airplane. George Kennedy is also game for a laugh as Ed, Drebin's captain.
There's no real plot to speak of, or at least no plot that makes any real sense. All that was really required of the storyline was a simple vehicle on which to build the almost constant stream of one-line gags and comedy scenarios that makes this movie so hilarious. Queen Elizabeth is coming to town, and a baddie (who has all the trappings of a goodie) called Ricardo Montalban (Vincent Ludwig) has been hired to do her in. Of course, it's Drebin's duty to ensure this never happens, but first he must prove that Montalban actually is a baddie to the powers that be.
Pricilla Presley proves conclusively she was much more than a celebrity wife with a fine performance as Jane, Drebin's girlfriend. Indeed, the interplay between Presley and Nielson provides a feast of laughs, not least the scene where they first make love and decide to practice "safe sex". The full body latex condoms they both don to protect themselves from STD's give a whole new meaning to the expression!
Also watch out for Drebin's crazy driving. It's for sure he never took a police driving course and his inability to drive (or park) a car safely will bring tears of laughter to your eyes. (At least it did to mine)
Look out too for the first appearance of the notorious O. J. Simpson as Detective Nordberg. He doesn't get such a large part in this movie as he would in subsequent sequels, which is no bad thing, but he is actually plays his small part fairly well and is quite amusing.
This movie never won any Oscars or awards, but if you're a fan of goofy comedy and superb one-liners then it is one that you simply must consider adding to your DVD collection.
No DVD extras worth mentioning, unless you include the director's commentary. Normally I will, at best, simply glance at these, but in the case of the Zuckers their commentary is nearly as funny as the movie itself. Well worth a look. There are also a couple of theatrical trailers.
I recently purchased the box set of all three Naked Gun movies at eBay for a mere £5.52. (£8 including the postage and packing) It's also currently on offer at Amazon (January 2008) starting at £5.79. (Superb value) As ever shop around for the best price.
© KenJ January 2008
Despite it being a meagre six episodes long, the Police Squad! series gained more than a substantial following thanks to its mix of hilarious one liners, numerous sight gags and sheer slapstick humour. It wasnt surprising, then, that six years later in 1988 the first of the movies based on the series, The Naked Gun, was released taking all the action to the big screen. It remains a true benchmark in terms of parody and films these days just dont come close to matching the quality, wit and fun that the film gives you.
The Police Squad! series and The Naked Gun were from the comedy creators Jeff and David Zucker. These had already made a name for themselves with the classic comedy Airplane! in 1980. With the success of the TV series behind them the cinematic version of Police Squad would no doubt offer more of the same. There were some slight changes to the cast. George Kennedy would now play Ed and Nordberg would have O.J. Simpson take the role. Yet Leslie Nielsen, now a household name when it comes to parody films, would be reprising his role as hapless cop Frank Drebin.
In the film the guys at Police Squad face their biggest job to date, namely making sure the Queen is kept safe on her trip over to America. While investigating a possible criminal case on Vincent Ludwig (Ricardo Montalban) Drebin discovers a plot to assassinate the Queen. Unfortunately, after an incident involving a lot of fire and expensive furniture, any evidence he did have of such an attempt is lost as he is thrown off the case. It is up to him and his friends to try and stop the plan from going ahead no matter how stupid having a Queen seems to them. And whats a film without a little love interest? Drebin soon falls for Ludwigs assistant Jane (Priscilla Presley) and they soon both hit it off but Ludwig could also see an end to that. With all this going on its going to be surprising if Drebin can fit in a donut break.
The plot is simply a device for all the comedy to act around it and even with an assassination attempt hanging over a key public figure the film never slips into anything resembling a serious scene. Indeed when the opening has Drebin fight Middle East dictators on a plan to destroy America by pulling wedgies and poking them in the eyes you can tell that serious doesnt get a mention. The comedy can be very slapstick as the above example shows and isnt just contained in the beginning but all through the movie, normally involving the very unlucky Nordberg. I was never a big fan of slapstick comedy unless it can be pulled off well and this film manages to do that because of the way the cast and scenes are used to high effect. Yet that alone doesnt save the film from just being a film with a lot of people getting hurt in funny places. Laughter needs to come in other forms and, luckily, the film doesnt disappoint.
A big part of the series was the one-liners and visual gags that were dotted all the way through the shows. The film also has these in abundance. So good were some of the set-ups the more hardened observer will see the film unashamedly using material from the shows in the film. The dialogue can be anything from bad taste Mrs. Nordberg, I think we can save your husband's arm. Where would you like it sent? to the downright silly I'm sorry I can't hear you. Don't fire the gun while you're talking. You cant express on paper (or in this case screen) just how funny the script can be. The jokes can be bad, predictable, cheesy and corny but theyre sometimes theyre so bad they can be utterly fantastic. Its important to keep your eyes trained and alert on the film too with so many visual gags its a requirement to watch this film several times through. There is so much going on in the backgrounds, foregrounds anywhere on screen that its a visual assault on the eyes to keep track at everything going on. By no means a bad thing this film throws everything at you in order for you to have a fun time in watching the proceedings.
The Naked Gun can also get down and into the realms of toilet humour (the condom scene will stick in your minds for a good few weeks) like the seemingly endless number of (teen) comedy films we have today. Yet do not be fooled in thinking the film is crass or over-the-top in terms of gross-out gags. It isnt and by todays standards can be fairly tame. It can run with something up to the line but never crosses it, which goes to show that the Zuckers know when enough is enough unlike the movies today that tend to over do the grossness and leave out the element of actual comedy.
Leslie Nielsen is, of course, the shining star of the film. Now a staple in pretty much any spoof film he can deliver one-liners, pull stupid stunts and still have a serious look on his face with not even a flicker of a self-knowing smile. With his overly white hair and deadpan style he cant help but command the screen when hes on. Yet the other cast members do equally well. Priscilla Presley gets the role of the sexy and somewhat clumsy female lead down to a tea and often her jokes are a tad subtler than those in the rest of the film. Although an unlikely pairing at first the duo of herself and Nielsen is a highlight to the film and, for once, the romantic element of the film doesnt bog the rest of it down. O.J. Simpsons role in this film isnt as big as the other two and he seems only to be there for the physical pain gags but he still manages to make his role in the film worthy of note. Montalban and Kennedy also add to the film, the former making for a good villain though maybe not as devious as the latter two in the sequels he still does well in playing the bad guy.
There is very little wrong with the film. In fact go in expecting a silly ninety minutes or so of comedy and youll be treated with a nigh on perfect film. Those expecting their comedy to be a bit more highbrow will have to look elsewhere for their laughs because The Naked Gun doesnt aspire to that. A testimony to a good film, and comedies especially, is that you dont mind to watch it again and again even if you know what happens or know the jokes coming up. I keep coming back to this film and the others in the series and I still manage to find them entertaining years after originally seeing them and, since Ive got older Ive managed to understand a few more of the jokes, which always helps.
Along with Airplane! this is one the classic spoof films ever made. Coming up to its twentieth anniversary the film is still just as fresh and sharp as ever. It doesnt pretend to be clever and it can be overly silly but the Naked Gun charms you so well that youll be laughing throughout. A great cast, quick script and visual gags-aplenty make this comedy a must see. If you have yet to see it then do so soon and see what youve missed out on.
THE NAKED GUN IS
THE NAKED GUN IS NOT
Full of toilet humour
Full of many naked people
The Naked Gun 'trilogy' of movies, although that word hardly seems appropriate in light of the film's silliness and lack of anything epic, is one of the rare things to have come out of America that I find truly funny. The jokes are all very well written and the actors are even better, especially Leslie Nielsen, finally finding what he's best at following roles in "The Forbidden Planet"-esque sci-fi and "Murder She Wrote" programmes. His deadpan delivery of some of the lines makes for some painful laughs! The Naked Gun films chronicle the attempts of Lieutenant Frank Drebbin to successfully solve the cases he is working on, which he somehow eventually succeeds in, against all logic. Foreign enemies, voluptuous females and accidental detours all make sure he has a very hard time getting anywhere. Priscilla Presley makes her first appearance in Frank's life here, and we also see the Police Squad gang Nordberg, the Chief whose name I forget, and the 'Q' character whose contraptions are considerably less advanced than in James Bond films, although I've never watched one. The plot of this film is that Frank is given the responsibility of protecting the Queen when she arrives: yes it is that Queen. However, he must also attempt to solve the case that put his friend Nordberg (O. J. Simpson) in hospital, quite clearly controlled by Ricardo Montalban's character. (He is Khan in Star Trek, amongst other things). I'd recommend this movie to anyone who likes Monty Python and 'silly humour' films in that vein. The jokes are constant and varied, from lines such as: "Would you like a nightcap?" "No thanks, I don't wear them." To visual jokes such as Nordberg's chalk outline where he landed in the sea and Frank practicing 'safe sex' with a full body condom, to the Film Noir voice overs as Frank wanders the streets, ending
with the punchline "...and where the hell was I?" as he looks back to the distant city and realises he's been walking in wilderness for several miles. For fans of obvious and subtle visual humour and characters who can deliver these lines so well, Naked Gun would be recommended, especially as I find this the funniest of the three films. Leslie Nielsen is the perfect aged police investigator, just don't watch this if you feel like watching something of an epic nature ("Lord of the Rings", "Casablanca") as you won't get that here.
Global opinion ------------------ One of the best comedies ever done. The best Leslie Nielsen’s film I ever seen (in his funniest role, of course, I can’t forget his “forbidden planet”). A non-stop jokes film. As said on the Dvd cover “impossible not to laugh”. The past ----------- I have to tell you something really funny about this movie title. Here in spain, the translators are sometimes so silly. Can you imagine that “the naked gun” is translated as “agarralo como puedas” ---> “take it as you can”?. It’s silly, isn’t it? Well, it all began when that “genius” translator wrote “aterriza como puedas ---> land as you can” for the great movie "airplane". That film was created by Zucker-Abraham-Zucker, the same than “naked gun” so that’s why the translator put it again that “as you can”. So we can find LOTS of films with that “as you can” for example: “spy hard” it’s here “espia como puedas ---> spy as you can”, “learn as you can”.... I hate it!! This is one of the reasons I always watch films in the original version. Don’t let a bad translator break your movie! Now it’s time to talk about “police squad”. The naked gun it’s from 1988, but 6 years before, in 1982 the writers/directors Zuckers&Abrahams made a tv serie called “Police Squad”. This show was starred by Leslie Nielsen as lt. Frank Drebin. The tv show had a 30 minutes format and it was only 6 chapters long. The movie took the roles and some jokes from that serie, so the movie was called “The naked gun: from the files of Police Squad”. Another translators mistake: Here the tv show was never played, so the title had no reference to the police squad. Roles ------------
Leslie Nielsen it’s Frank Drebin the worst detective in history. His methods are... no methods. The rest of the cast were different from the tv serie to the movie. One of my favourites it’s the Frack’s Boss (in the movie played by George Kennedy) in the tv show it’s sometimes even better than Drebin itself!. In the Tv show was played by Alan North (younger and funnier than the Kennedy’s one). Nordberg’s character was really different too. On tv he was stronger and with the look of an italian-gansgster. In the movie the character was played by OJSimpson (american football player and even more known 'cos he was declared not-guilty of killing his wife). Nordberg’s character was funnier on movie than on Tv. There are some other great characters: “The tall agent”: We can’t see that agent’s face cos he is too all to be on the camera. We can only see from his knees to his shoulder. Another great character it’s the squad’s scientific (similar to bond’s “Q”) played by the same actor on both versions. The movie ------- Inspired by the tv serie, but the movie have their own plots, it’s really difficult to extend a 30 minutes show to a full motion film, so the best was to create a new plot structure. Anyway the movie takes some of the best jokes of the tv program, some of that jokes were impossible to be adapted to the long motion structure (for example the recurrent joke at the end titles on the serie, one of the best I ever seen!). I’ll talk about the other naked gun movies in future ops... Plot --------------- Queen Elizabeth is travelling to the USA, the mission of protect her is designed to the best policemen team: “the police squad”. The problem is that someone wants to kill her, ¿Will be Frank Drebin able to save her?... ¿How many destructions, fires and accidents will it cost? Th
e jokes ----------- There are so many great jokes on this film. Some of them are reused later on other films. The best “original” jokes of this movie are: * Someone it's killed... when the police paint the white lines on the floor to show were the body was found... sometimes that paints are not really... usual. * Leslie Nielsen's face. His facial movements are great. * The way Frank Drebin drive and stops his car. * Keep you eye on the screen! Sometimes the funniest thing it's not at the front of the scene. Keep your eye on everything. Another grat moments: · To listen that great version of the Usa’s hymn, this time by Enrico Palazzo. “la la laaaaa la la laaaaa”. · Baseball’s strikes! · I like to use condoms · That powerful microphone at the W.C.’s conference. There are so many jokes in “the naked gun”, so it’s impossible to write it all. I’d seen this films millions of times but it’s never enough. Now I have the Dvd version and it’s cool, cos you can enjoy the audio-commentary version, and in the other hand, you can keep your copy useful forever. (my vhs copy of the film was now so apalling) One of the best sentences: - Lady... a cigarrette? - Yes, I know!! Cast: Leslie Nielsen Priscilla Presley George Kennedy Ricardo Montalban O.J. Simpson Written by Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and Pat Proft Directed por David Zucker Music by de Ira Newborn Paramount pictures 1988 Extra Features: Theatrical trailer, Group commentary with David Zucker (director, writer), Robert Weiss (Producer) and Peter Tilden (Host) It’s great to listen the commented version. You’ll learn lots of curiosities previously unknown.
Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker, the creative troika behind Airplane!, scored another hit with this big-screen adaptation of their short-lived television show Police Squad!. Deadpan as ever, Leslie Nielsen revives his TV role of Lt Frank Drebin, the idiot with a detective's badge. The jokes come thick and fast, gathering a momentum that lasts until the final act. Ricardo Montalban is a perfect foil as a villain whose aquarium is invaded by Drebin during routine questioning, and George Kennedy is delightful in a self-parodying part as an earnest but obtuse lawman. There's a hilarious bit when Drebin--wearing a live police wire while going to the bathroom--can be overheard over the loudspeakers at a speech given by a flustered mayor (Nancy Marchand). And yes, that's OJ Simpson as a detective who ends up on the wrong side of numerous Drebin blunders. --Tom Keogh, Amazon.com