ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Film Review: The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!

Updated on November 8, 2015
Film Frenzy profile image

Written by: Jason Wheeler, Film Frenzy Senior Writer & Editor.


In 1988, David Zucker released the comedy film The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!, based off the television series Police Squad. Starring Leslie Nielsen, Priscilla Presley, Ricardo Montalban, George Kennedy, O. J. Simpson, Susan Beaubian, Nancy Marchand, Raye Birk, Jeannette Charles, Ed Williams, Tiny Ron, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Reggie Jackson, and Jay Johnstone, the film grossed $78.8 million at the box office. Polled as the 14th best comedy of all time and selected by The New York Times as one of the best 1,000 movies ever made, Empire Magazine named it as the 7th funniest comedy film ever. It also received two sequels.


When Police Lieutenant Frank Drebin finds that his friend, Officer Nordberg, was wounded during an attempted heroin bust, he begins an investigation to find those responsible. However, he soon stumbles into a plot to assassinate Queen Elizabeth II.


A film from the comedic trio that unleashed Airplane! onto the world, The Naked Gun is a brilliantly made spoof film parodying cop films along with film noire. And true to the fashion set forth by Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker, the film is full of great jokes hit the audience at ramming speed. That’s also great for the jokes that don’t do too well as the next one comes speeding in fast, not leaving anyone time to think about failed gags. But fortunately, that doesn’t happen too often and the audience is continually blindsided by good joke after good joke.

And what makes the film so good is that a lot of the humor changes up between hits, going from slapstick and visual puns to humorous homages and misdirection. And it actually starts during the opening credits with a cop car viewed from the angle of its emergency lights careening through impossible situations, such as on rollercoaster tracks, in a private home and a women’s shower. Presumably it’s driven by Drebin as the films show that he’s not such a great driver, referenced in how he tells Jane that after meeting her, he noticed thing she never saw before, like stop lights. But his terrible driving isn’t just when he’s behind the wheel, but instructing a student driver too.

But, as stated, there’s plenty more from there, like Drebin complimenting Jane on her beaver, only for her to hand him a taxidermy beaver. One of the most notable situations is when he’s snooping and accidentally sets the room on fire. His escape is full of insane humor, like him trying to climb between anatomically-correct statues and accidentally fondling a real woman between them. It just continues to develop humorously with him breaking off a certain piece of the statue, falling into the room with said woman and brandishing it while trying to catch his breath. The mayor is none too happy.

Speaking of the mayor, she does a great job in providing the straight man to Drebin, where none of the police officers, or even the chief, seem to care that he’s a bumbling moron. They’re all trying to list reasons why he should be kept on the force following an accidental tackling of Queen Elizabeth, but since she actually sees the absurdity of everything, she realizes how much of a danger Drebin is. Turns out she relents after his insanity saves the day. And even then, she does provide some humor due to her believing herself in a perfectly normal universe when she’s in one where Drebin has the ability to save the day.

What’s more is that it seems that Drebin hilariously just seems to find crazy situations to get into. At the beginning of the film, he’s seen in Beirut beating up a meeting of dictators and it turns out that he just went to the country for a vacation.

However, what really makes the humor so well done is Nielsen’s delivery of Drebin’s lines. He delivers them like he’s actually in a dramatic cop film noir. To have a guy that sounds like he’s narrating an actual case that involves an assassination of Queen Elizabeth II by Reggie Jackson turned Manchurian candidate with nothing but deadpan seriousness is hilarious. And then he never has any comical reactions to anything that happens. It works because for him, it’s a normal day on the force, as opposed to the mayor who, as mentioned above, thinks Drebin’s antics aren’t making for a normal day.

5 stars for The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!

the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent WNI's positions, strategies or opinion


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)