McHale's Navy: The Complete Series on DVD No 17Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13The Civil War 25th Commemorative Edition DVD & Blu-ray Oct 13Aquarius: The Complete First Season DVD & Blu-ray Sep 15Justified: The Complete Series on Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13The Surface on DVD, VOD, and DIGITAL HD Sep 1

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Brad Pitt Says He's 'Angry' at the Finance Industry Aft...
Adele Speaks Exclusively on New Music:'The Most Poignan...
'The Walking Dead' reveals Glenn's fate ...
Adele Performs on Saturday Night Live: Video ...
Blacklisted: The Inside Story of Dalton Trumbo and the ...
Ryan Seacrest Confirms All American Idol Judges Will Re...
Fargo' Preview: 5 Reasons You Should Be Watching This S...
Bruce Willis makes Broadway debut...
Entertainment industry modifies plans after Paris trage...
Anne Frank's Diary Gains 'Co-Author' in Copyright Move ...

Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif

Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

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

"Wilma, I promise you, whatever scum did this, not one man on this force will rest for one minute until he's behind bars. Now, let's go grab a bite to eat."
- Lt. Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen)

Review By: Justin Stephen   
Published: August 14, 2000

Stars: Leslie Nielsen, Priscilla Presley
Other Stars: Ricardo Montalban, George Kennedy, O.J. Simpson
Director: David Zucker

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for Mature humor
Run Time: 01h:24m:56s
Release Date: August 15, 2000
UPC: 097363210078
Genre: comedy

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer

DVD Review

In the 1970's, brothers David and Jerry Zucker teamed up with Jim Abrahams at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to write and produce a stage show entitled Kentucky Fried Theater. This unique brand of comedy that they perfected carried them into the world of feature film with 1977's Kentucky Fried Movie, directed by John Landis. This film, while not a blockbuster, was the start of a genuine Hollywood success story. In 1980, the three of them co-wrote and co-directed the smash hit comedy Airplane!, and they haven't looked back since. The list of titles this team has created together and separately since then is long and distinguished, including Top Secret!, Hot Shots! and its sequel, Ruthless People, Ghost, My Best Friend's Wedding, and many others.

Based on characters from their short-lived television series "Police Squad!," The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! was their first comedy franchise, spawning two sequels. It also marked the first time that the trio added writer Pat Proft into their fold. Proft was himself an accomplished comedy writer, previously part of the writing team that brought us Police Academy, Bachelor Party, and Real Genius. The Zucker/Abrahams/Zucker comedic style is distinctive, relying heavily on verbal puns, visual sight gags, satire and slapstick. Plot, while present, is almost included as an afterthought.

Since they went through the trouble of actually writing a plot, I will go ahead and outline it. Lt. Frank Drebin is a member of "Police Squad," an elite unit of the Los Angeles Police Department. After one of his fellow officers is critically wounded under mysterious circumstances, Drebin uncovers a sinister plot hatched by local businessman Vincent Ludwig to assassinate the Queen of England on her upcoming trip to Los Angeles. While investigating Ludwig, Drebin falls in love with Jane Spencer, one of Ludwig's assistants. Does she really love him back, or is she just seeing him on Ludwig's orders? Can he uncover the assassination plot in time to save the Queen's life and his job?

Part of Zucker/Abrahams/Zucker's distinctive comedic style is to not cast experienced comedic players, but rather accomplished dramatic actors in the primary roles. It is their philosophy to let the "writing do the work." The actors themselves need only be able to deliver their dialogue without cracking up (easier said than done, to be sure). Leslie Nielsen, a veteran of almost countless dramatic television shows and films, stars as Lt. Drebin. He also had a small role in Airplane!. Priscilla Presley, former wife of Elvis and a longtime "Dallas" regular, plays the seductive Jane Spencer. George Kennedy, who won the Best-supporting Actor Oscar for 1968's Cool Hand Luke, plays Drebin's friend and boss, Captain Ed Hocken. The now-notorious ex-football star O.J. Simpson plays Officer Nordberg. Lastly, film-veteran and "Fantasy Island" star Ricardo Montalban plays Ludwig. The Naked Gun also gets a lot of mileage from its cameos. Walk-on roles are filled by everyone from "Weird Al" Yankovic to baseball great Reggie Jackson to sportscasters Dick Vitale and Curt Gowdy. In one hilarious bit of casting, film-great John Houseman sneaks in a performance as a driving instructor. Sadly, Houseman would not live to see this film hit the big screen.

The comedy in The Naked Gun is vintage Zucker/Abrahams/Zucker. Much of it is bawdy, if not downright disgusting. You will almost certainly spend most of the film chuckling, if not shooting milk from your nose. Lastly, there are so many subtle but hilarious sight gags slipped in (such as the baggage handler at the airport or the "snot" scene at the hospital) that repeated viewings may be necessary to catch them all.

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: A


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: The Naked Gun is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and is anamophically enhanced. While the transfer is solid, it is not possible to hide the fact that this is a twelve-year-old film. The images presented are not particularly crisp. There is a fine, but virtually omnipresent graininess throughout. You may have to peer intently to notice it on smaller TVs, and even on larger sets it shouldn't be particularly distracting. The colors are generally rich, but are perhaps a little over-saturated in places. Black levels are adequate but unexceptional.

In the commentary track, it is mentioned that some theaters matted the picture improperly, allowing the very top of the tube top that Presley wears in the sex scene to be seen (she is supposed to be nude so this top should not be visible). Ironically, it is also visible in this transfer. This is a rather notable framing gaffe.

Image Transfer Grade: B


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Frenchyes
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: While the disc advertises this as 5.1, an overwhelming majority of the audio originates from the front three channels. The surrounds are only used for subtle enhancement of the music (and then only sometimes) and, on two occasions, for surround effects. Both of these occasions revolve around the use of a public address system in the film. The first occurs when Drebin gets off the airplane early in the film and addresses reporters from a press conference podium. The second appears during the final baseball game sequences, where the public address announcer can also be heard from the surrounds. There are several other instances (such as the hilarious press conference/urination scene) where the surrounds could have been put to good use but were, sadly, not.

Generally, the sound is solid and adequate for the film with good distinction between dialogue, sound effects, and Ira Newborn's original music. I didn't notice any specific low frequency effects, but your subwoofer will see occasional and light use in support of the front channels.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 27 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
1 Feature/Episode commentary by Writer/Director David Zucker, Producer Robert Weiss, and host Peter Tilden
Packaging: Amaray
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: The Naked Gun is not strong in the extras department. Only a feature-length commentary and a theatrical trailer are included. However, I was not too terribly disappointed since the commentary track is not only very informative for fans of the film, it is also hilarious. David Zucker, Robert K. Weiss (who has a cameo in this film as the hotdog vendor) and "host" Peter Tilden have very good rapport. I have no idea who Peter Tilden actually is (imdb.com does list one actor of this name), but he seems to have a very good familiarity not only with Zucker and Weiss, but with the film as well.

I feel compelled to mention that I was rather disappointed with the English subtitles on this disc. The actual spoken dialogue and the subtitles quite often disagree significantly, with words consistently left out of the printed sentences. It certainly does not appear to be an act of censorship, but of carelessness (or some other reason unbeknownst to me).

Extras Grade: C+


Final Comments

Even if you have never seen any of the Naked Gun films, chances are very good you have seen some of the Zucker/Abrahams/Zucker team's other work, be it Airplane!, Top Secret!, or Kentucky Fried Movie. If you liked any of those, you will probably like The Naked Gun as well. If you haven't, give it a look. You will likely find it impossible not to laugh.


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90


Microsoft Store


movie, the big short, steve carell, ryan gosling, christian bale, michael lewis, brad pitt, music, adele, hello, 19, 21, 25, television, the walking dead, amc, davod alpert, glen, heads up, saturday night live, 25 album, skyfall, nrj awards, graham norton, herbert biberman, john howard lawson, lester cole, ring lardner jr., samuel ornitz, adrian scott, albert maltz, alvah bessie, edward dmytryk, dalton trumbo, reality, american idol, ryan seacrest, mariah carey, nicki minaj, ellen degeneres, jennifer lopez, harry connick jr., keith urban, simon cowell, paula abdul, randy jackson, steven tyler, kara dioguardi, televison, fargo, fx, kirsten dunst, jesse plemons, jean smart, jeffrey donovan, bokeem woodbine, brad garrett, patrick wilson, celebrity, bruce willis, laurie metcalf, misery, broadway debut, paris tragedy, u2, foo fighters, steven spielberg, natalie portman, book, the diary of anne frank, otto frank, swiss foundation, daytime talk, 2000 shows, justin timberlake, jennifer aniston, sequel, animated, finding nemo, finding dory, disney-pixar, diane keaton, eugene levy, inventor, hedy lamarr, google doodle, ecstasy, samson and delilah, bbc music, angelina jolie pitt, by the sea, troubled marriage, mr. & mrs. smith, gwen stefani blake shelton, country music awards, the voice, miranda lambert, jon stewart, john oliver, hbo, wonder woman, nicole kidman, amazonian warrior, gal gadot, chris pine, nick lachey, 98 degrees, pot grower, ohio, nanette lepore, oscar robertson, frostee rucker, the red bulletin, james bond, daniel craig, naomi harris, bond girl, a. o. scott, 1977, star wars, elvis, beatles, sesame street, j.k. rowling, israel, palestine, culture for coexistence, harry potter and the deathly hallows, ricky gergais, 2016 golden globes, hollywood foreign press association, jessica biel, 2015 fashion group international night of stars gala, flip phone, the power of love, huey lewis, michael j. fox, back to the future, carrie, bipolar disorder, quinn, saul, jonas, comedy, selena gomez, lupus, chemotherapy, estrogen, lupus foundation of america, dancing with the stars, maksim chmerkovskiy, carrie ann inaba, bruno tonioli, julianne hough

On Facebook!
Promote Your Page Too



Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store