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The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!

The Naked Gun:
From the Files of Police Squad!
File:The Naked Gun Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by David Zucker
Produced by Robert K. Weiss
Written by Jerry Zucker
Jim Abrahams
David Zucker
Pat Proft
Based on Police Squad! 
by David Zucker
Jim Abrahams
Jerry Zucker
Starring Leslie Nielsen
Priscilla Presley
Ricardo Montalbán
George Kennedy
O. J. Simpson
Nancy Marchand
Music by Ira Newborn
Cinematography Robert M. Stevens
Edited by Michael Jablow
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • December 2, 1988 (1988-12-02)
Running time
85 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $12 million
Box office $78.8 million[1]

The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! is a 1988 American comedy film. It is the first in The Naked Gun series of films starring Leslie Nielsen, Priscilla Presley, George Kennedy, and O. J. Simpson. The three films (the other two being The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear, and Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult) chronicle the adventures of Nielsen's character, the bumbling police lieutenant Frank Drebin.

The film series is based on the character created by Nielsen in the television series Police Squad!.[2] The core creative team behind Police Squad! and the movie series includes the team of David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and Jerry Zucker as well as Pat Proft in varying combinations.[3]

The films feature fast-paced slapstick comedy, including many visual and verbal puns and gags.


In Los Angeles, Officer Nordberg attempts to bust a heroin drug operation at the docks organized by Vincent Ludwig, and is shot by Ludwig's henchmen. After being briefed on the case by his boss, Captain Ed Hocken, Police Squad Lieutenant Frank Drebin visits Nordberg in the hospital. Nordberg provides cryptic clues, including a picture of Ludwig's ship on which the deal had been organized. Frank meets with police scientist Ted Olsen, who has invented a cufflink that shoots a tranquilizer dart. Frank learns through Ted that Nordberg's jacket tested positive for heroin. Police Squad is in charge of security for the visit of Queen Elizabeth II to Los Angeles, and Ed tells Frank that he has 24 hours to clear Nordberg before word gets out about what happened and detracts from the queen's visit. Frank visits Ludwig in his office. Ludwig learns that Nordberg is still alive. Ludwig has his assistant, Jane Spencer, assist Frank in his investigation and the two fall in love. Jane is unaware of her employer's illegal activities.

After Frank leaves the office, Ludwig meets with Pahpshmir to discuss an assassination plot against the queen. Ludwig agrees to do it for $20 million, with Pahpshmir wondering how he plans to pull it off. Ludwig explains that using a beeper he will create the assassin using post-hypnotic suggestion. Ludwig unsuccessfully attempts to have Nordberg killed at the hospital.

Frank enters Ludwig's office searching for evidence. Although Frank finds a note from Pahpshmir addressed to Ludwig which confirms his suspicions, he inadvertently starts a fire that destroys the office. Frank later has a run-in with one of Ludwig's henchmen at his factory in a stockyard, and after that confronts Ludwig with his allegations at a reception for the Queen's arrival. Frank misinterprets Ludwig's presentation of a musket to the Queen as an attack and tries to protect her, but only causes more of a problem and is fired from Police Squad.

Jane finds out about the plot and tells Frank that the plan will be executed at a California Angels baseball game during the seventh inning stretch and that one of the players will perform the act. In order to search the players, Frank knocks the home plate umpire out with a baseball bat and takes his place, frisking the players for weapons while they are at bat.

The seventh-inning stretch begins and Ludwig activates his 'sleeper', Reggie Jackson. Jane alerts Frank, who chases after Jackson and tackles him. Ludwig holds Jane at gunpoint as he begins to leave the stadium while Jackson takes aim at the Queen. Frank tries to incapacitate Jackson with one of his cufflink darts, but misses and hits a large woman on the upper deck. The woman falls over the railing and lands on Jackson, incapacitating him and saving the Queen's life.

Frank follows Ludwig to the top of the stadium and shoots Ludwig with the other cufflink dart, causing him to fall over the side of the stadium where he is marched on by the USC marching band. Some of the members inadvertently step on Ludwig's beeper and Jane is hypnotized into killing Frank by using Ludwig's gun. Frank breaks Jane's hypnotized state by openly professing his feelings for her and giving her an engagement ring. Frank and Jane meet Mayor Barkley, who reinstates Frank back to Police Squad, and a recovered Nordberg congratulates him.


Major League Baseball players Reggie Jackson and Jay Johnstone have cameo roles as themselves, as do umpires Joe West, Doug Harvey, Hank Robinson, Ken Kaiser and Ron Luciano. Professional announcers Curt Gowdy, Jim Palmer, Tim McCarver, Mel Allen, Dick Enberg, Jesse Ventura, and Dick Vitale appear as play-by-play commentators, as does Dr. Joyce Brothers.


The film was shot at various locations in and around Los Angeles, California.[4] The Queen's reception was filmed at the Ambassador Hotel, which closed almost exactly a month after this film opened. The Ambassador is noteworthy for having been the location where Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated. Although the film's climax takes place at a California Angels home game, the baseball scenes were filmed in Los Angeles, at Dodger Stadium.


Critical response

The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! received positive reviews from critics at the time of its release, and has since been considered one of the greatest comedies of all-time.[5][6] On Rotten Tomatoes the film has a rating of 86%, based on 51 reviews, with an average rating of 7.3/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "The Naked Gun is chock full of gags that are goofy, unapologetically crass, and ultimately hilarious."[7] On Metacritic the film has a score of 76 out of 100, based on 13 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[8]

It was voted the 14th best comedy of all time in a Channel 4 poll.[9] The film was selected by The New York Times as one of The Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made.[10] It was named the 7th Funniest Comedy Ever on a poll by Empire Magazine.[11]

Box office

The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! grossed $78.8 million at the box office.[12] The film was released on December 2, 1988 and in its opening weekend, finished in first place, grossing $9.3 million.[13] In its second weekend, it grossed $6.1 million, falling to second place behind the newly released Twins ($11.2 million).

See also


External links