|The Naked Gun series|
Region 1 DVD cover for the film series box set
|Directed by||David Zucker (1 and 2)|
Peter Segal (3)
|Produced by||Robert K. Weiss|
David Zucker (3)
|Written by||David Zucker|
Jim Abrahams (1 and 2)
Jerry Zucker (1 and 2)
Robert LoCash (3)
|Based on||Police Squad!|
by David Zucker
O. J. Simpson
|Music by||Ira Newborn|
|Cinematography||Robert M. Stevens|
|Edited by||Michael Jablow (1)|
James R. Symons (2-3)
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Box office||$350 million|
The Naked Gun is a series of American crime comedy films, created by Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker (ZAZ). All three films are based on their earlier television series Police Squad!, which was cancelled after six episodes.
Detective Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen) tries to uncover a plan to assassinate Queen Elizabeth II, who is on a state visit to the USA. The main suspect is Vincent Ludwig, a rich businessman (Ricardo Montalbán), who uses a hypnotic device to turn others into murderers. As with previous ZAZ spoof comedies, the plot was mostly culled from another--more serious--movie. In this case, it was Telefon wherein people were triggered into assassins via hypnotic phone calls (indeed, dialogue in the post-hypnotic suggestion demonstration scene is copied word-for-word from Telefon).
On the case, Drebin falls in love with Ludwig's assistant, Jane Spencer (Priscilla Presley). She knows nothing about Ludwig's plot, and after the pair spends the night together, Jane helps with Frank's investigation.
Frank discovers that Jane's new boyfriend, Quentin Hapsburg (Robert Goulet), is involved in an evil plan to kidnap Dr. Albert S. Meinheimer (Richard Griffiths), a scientist whom President George H. W. Bush (John Roarke) has chosen to determine a new national energy policy. Hapsburg plans to kidnap the real Dr. Meinheimer and replace him with a lookalike named Earl Hacker (also portrayed by Griffiths) who will endorse an energy policy according to the dictates of the energy lobby.
In the third film of the series, Frank is married to Jane, and he has retired from Police Squad. The film introduces the criminal Rocco Dillon (Fred Ward), who is stuck in prison. He is contacted by Papshmir to be given a target for a bombing. Frank is pulled out of retirement. He goes undercover pretending to be a prisoner named "Nick 'the Slasher' McGurk Jr., III" at the jail where Dillon is being held, and they break out of jail. Outside they are escorted by Dillon's gangster mother (Kathleen Freeman) to his country retreat, where Frank also meets Rocco's voluptuous moll (Anna Nicole Smith). The gang plots to blow up the Academy Awards. When Jane arrives looking for Frank, she is taken hostage.
On December 13, 2013, Paramount announced that a reboot of the franchise was in development, with Ed Helms starring as Drebin and Thomas Lennon and Ben Garant co-writing the screenplay. However, on January 11, 2014, Garant stated that the film will be more of a sequel than a reboot. In March 2015, David Zucker referred to the film as more of a reboot than a sequel, stating that it will not have the same spoofing style as the original series, while disagreeing with the choice of Helms as the lead, saying "I would want somebody who had never been in a comedy". Zucker was approached by the studio to produce the film. In August 2015, Helms gave an update on the film stating "You have to make something that a contemporary audience is going to like. We haven't seen many of those slapstick movies in a while, so I'm not sure what the right angle is on it", echoing Zucker's comments on the film's modern take. Zucker stated in 2017 that he was working on a script for a fourth Naked Gun film with Pat Proft. He described the film's plot as being about the son of Frank Drebin.
|The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!||87% (54 reviews)||76 (13 reviews)||A-|
|The Naked Gun : The Smell of Fear||57% (40 reviews)||65 (21 reviews)||B+|
|Naked Gun : The Final Insult||54% (35 reviews)||63 (21 reviews)||B+|
|Film||Release date||US/Canada gross||International gross||Total gross|
|The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!||December 2, 1988||$78,756,177||$61,000,000||$140,000,000|
|The Naked Gun : The Smell of Fear||June 28, 1991||$86,930,411||TBD||$86,930,411|
|Naked Gun : The Final Insult||March 18, 1994||$51,132,598||$71,300,000||$122,432,598|
|Vincent Ludwig||From the Files of Police Squad!||Falls from a stadium, then is run over by a bus, a steam roller, and the USC Trojan Marching Band.||Ricardo Montalbán|
|Quentin Hapsburg||The Smell of Fear||Falls from a great height (due to Ed accidentally pushing him out the window) but bounces off an awning and walks away, only to be mauled to death by a lion that had escaped from the zoo.||Robert Goulet|
|Rocco Dillon||The Final Insult||Falls from a catwalk in a theater, but because he has a cord attached to his ankles, the recoil elevates him and is sent flying away through the roof and into Papshmir's overflying private helicopter, which explodes seconds later (he was holding a ticking bomb).||Fred Ward|
|Man fixing a picture up onto the wall of his house||David Zucker||The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!||David Zucker directed the first two films|
|Driving Instructor||John Houseman||The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!||Final appearance|
|Baseball Announcer||Dr. Joyce Brothers||The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!||Also made a cameo in Police Squad!|
|Himself||James Earl Jones||Naked Gun : The Final Insult||Also made a cameo in Scary Movie 4|
|Papshmir||Raye Birk||Was the only actor to play the same villain twice in the saga, appearing as "Pahpshmir" in the first and last movie. His name is a play on the pap smear gynecological test.|
|Himself||"Weird Al" Yankovic||Has appeared in all three films--as himself in the first and last, and cameoing as a holdup man in the second.|
In the original film, veteran sports broadcasters Mel Allen, Curt Gowdy, Dick Enberg, Dick Vitale, Tim McCarver, and Jim Palmer are among those in a crowded booth. The baseball game features former Major League players like Jay Johnstone and, as an unexpected assassin, Reggie Jackson, as well as umpire Joe West.
In the second film, Zsa Zsa Gabor has a cameo as herself, slapping the police car siren featured in the intro, a reference to her 1989 arrest. Singer Mel Torme dances with Jane. And veteran character actors Lloyd Bochner, Tim O'Connor and Peter Mark Richman attend the climactic banquet, Bochner spoofing a classic Twilight Zone episode of his called "To Serve Man".
In the third film, at the Academy Awards, a musical number is performed by Pia Zadora and an award presented by Raquel Welch. Others seen at the ceremony include James Earl Jones, Olympia Dukakis, Elliott Gould, Mariel Hemingway, Mary Lou Retton, Florence Henderson, Morgan Fairchild, Shannen Doherty, and Vanna White. "Weird Al" Yankovic also made cameo appearances in all three movies.
The Naked Gun: ICUP, a point and click and adventure game, was released by Gamecentric Media and Paramount in 2012. The story and concept were penned by Robert LoCash, a writer of the third Naked Gun film. A press release by Gamecentric about the read "Spoofing modern crime dramas and lampooning popular video games, THE NAKED GUN: ICUP is designed as a continuation of the classic film franchise for the digital age. The game will be serialized over six episodes starting this fall with a new episode debuting monthly. Each episode will be fully voice-acted by top Hollywood talent to deliver a classic story-driven adventure supported by the itemized incentive structure of current popular social network games." Due to Leslie Nielsen's death in 2010, voice actor A.J Locascio took over as Frank Drebin's long lost son, Frank Drebin Jr.