THE NAKED GUN: FROM THE FILES OF POLICE SQUAD!
(director/writer: David Zucker; screenwriters: Pat Proft/Jim Abrahams/Jerry Zucker; cinematographer: Robert Stevens; editor: Michael Jablow; music: Ira Newborn; cast: Leslie Nielsen (Lt. Frank Drebin), Priscilla Presley (Jane Spencer), Ricardo Montalban (Vincent Ludwig), George Kennedy (Capt. Ed Hocken), O.J. Simpson (Nordberg), Susan Beaubian (Wilma Nordberg), Nancy Marchand (Mayor), Jeanette Charles (Queen Elizabeth II), Rave Birk (Pahpshmir), Reggie Jackson, Jim Palmer, Tim McCarver, Mel Allen, Curt Gowdy, Dick Vitale, Dick Enburg, Dr. Joyce Brothers. Runtime: 85; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producer: Robert Weiss/im Abrahams/Jerry Zucker/David Zucker; Paramount; 1988)
“Hilarious irreverent slapstick comedy satire.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
David Zucker (“Airplane!”/”Top Secret!”) directs this hilarious irreverent slapstick comedy satire, that’s based on the ill-fated ABC cop show. In 1982, the funny show only survived six episodes even though critically well-received. It’s co-written by Pat Proft and the TV creators called the ZAZ team (the director, his bother Jerry, and Jim Abrahams).Lt. Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen) is a bumbling LAPD in its elite Police Squad. When his partner Nordberg (O.J. Simpson) is found barely alive and riddled with bullets at a Panamanian boat docked at the harbor, Drebin and his supportive no-nonsense boss, Captain Ed Hocken (George Kennedy), investigate to clear Nordberg’s name. The suave shipping tycoon Vincent Ludwig (Ricardo Montalban) is suspected of being the leader of a heroin smuggling ring. Ludwig assigns his secretary, the daffy but sexy Jane Spencer (Priscilla Pressley), to help Drebin investigate the company books. This leads to an awkward romance between the two klutzes. It also leads to the bumbling cop uncovering the plans of Ludwig to assassinate the visiting Queen Elizabeth II (Jeanette Charles) of England. When Drebin uncovers that the Queen will be assassinated during the 7th inning stretch of a Seattle Mariners vs. California Angels game by one of the players, he manages to get on the playing field to miraculously stop a hypnotized Reggie Jackson from carrying out the sinister plot. The deadpan humor gave this viewer many delightfully funny moments, as the gags were expertly delivered by the adept cast and many of them were outrageously funny when not too crass.
REVIEWED ON 9/29/2016 GRADE: B