Guest: Daryl Smith - Host of the Daryl Smith Podcast: Our Voices, Our Views, and Our Generation - Available on Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.
Plot Summary: Young and reckless Detroit Police Department detective, Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy), in hot water for an unauthorized sting operation, travels to Beverly Hills looking for the murderer of his childhood friend, Michael Tandino. With unlikely alliances between himself and the straight-laced Beverly Hills Police Force: Sgt. Taggert (John Ashton), Det. Rosewood (Judge Reinhold), and Lt. Bogomil (Ronny Cox), Axel soon finds that Michael and his other childhood friend Jenny Summers (Lisa Eilbacher) are caught in something much larger than one murder. Can the renegade cop and the by-the-book police work together to stop Victor Maitland (Steven Berkoff)?
Eddie Murphy as Detective Axel Foley
Judge Reinhold as Detective Billy Rosewood
John Ashton as Sergeant John Taggart
Lisa Eilbacher as Jenny Summers
Steven Berkoff as Victor Maitland
Ronny Cox as Lieutenant Andrew Bogomil
Jonathan Banks as Zack
Nominated for Best Original Screenplay (1984)
This film is No. 22 on Bravo's list of the 100 funniest films.
Nominated - AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies; #63 - AFI's 100 Years... 100 Laughs; Dectective Axel Foley - Nominated Hero - AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains
The soundtrack was released on MCA Records and won the Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media (1986).
The soundtrack also featured the song "Neutron Dance," performed by the Pointer Sisters, which became a Billboard Top 10 hit, and two Patti LaBelle hits, "New Attitude," which hit the top twenty on the US Billboard Hot 100, and the Grammy-award-winning "Stir It Up." The album was mastered by Greg Fulginiti at Artisan Sound Recorders.
The film stayed at number one for 13 consecutive weeks and returned to number one in its 15th weekend making 14 non-consecutive weeks at number one tying Tootsie for the film with the most weeks at number one. The film earned $234,760,478 in the United States, being the highest-grossing film released in 1984.
Adjusted for inflation, it is the third highest-grossing R rated film of all-time behind The Exorcist and The Godfather.
Did You Know:
Eddie Murphy, John Ashton, and Judge Reinhold improvised most of their comic lines. Literally hundreds of takes were ruined by cast members, actors or the director laughing during shooting. During the "super-cops" monologue, Ashton is pinching his face hard and looking down in apparent frustration. He is actually laughing. Reinhold put his hand in his pocket and pinched his thigh really hard, trying to prevent himself from laughing.
To cast the roles of Rosewood and Taggart, the director paired up various finalists and asked them to do some improvisation to get a feel for their chemistry. He paired up Judge Reinhold and John Ashton and gave them the following direction: "You are a middle-aged couple, married for years. You are having a conversation on an average evening." Reinhold immediately picked up a nearby magazine and the two improvised the "five pounds of red meat in his bowels" bit almost exactly as it eventually appeared in the movie.
During his tirade at the Beverly Palms Hotel, Axel pretends to be writing an article called "Michael Jackson: Sitting on Top of the World" for "Rolling Stone" magazine. In real life, "Playboy" ran an article called "Eddie Murphy: Sitting on Top of the World."
The movie was written for Sylvester Stallone, with the character of Michael Tandino as his brother, and Jenny Summers as his love interest.
According to Steven Berkoff in a UK newspaper interview, Sylvester Stallone quit the film because of disagreements about the orange juice for his trailer.
Sylvester Stallone said he left the project because he didn't think audiences would accept him as a naive, fish-out-of-water cop who was new to the lifestyle of Beverly Hills. He also didn't like the inclusion of comedy and didn't feel he was suited for it.
This is the first of seven Eddie Murphy movies in a row to open at #1 at the box office.
The shooting script was literally pasted together from the many scripts written for the project over the years. When they were stuck, Eddie Murphy would improvise dialog or create a scene.
The completed movie made such an impression on Paramount executives that they committed to a sequel moments after the first private executive screening of the completed film.
What is this movie is about?/Elevator Pitch: Action-comedy meets Fish-Out-of-Water starring biggest comedian of the day.
Best Performance: Eddie Murphy (Axel)
Best Secondary Performance: Ronny Cox (Bogomil)/John Ashton (Taggart)
Most Charismatic Award: Eddie Murphy (Axel) or Judge Reinhold (Rosewood)/Lisa Eilbacher (Jenny)/Steven Berkoff (Maitland)
Beverly Hills Palm Check-In
Banana in the Tailpipe
Country Club Buffet
Favorite Scene: Country Club Buffet/Cut to Credits/Final Shootout
Most Indelible Moment: Banana in the Tailpipe/Final Shootout/
Ned Beatty: Superman: The Movie, Deliverance, Toy Story 3, Network, Rudy, and Shooter
Lisa Banes: Gone Girl, Cocktail, A Cure for Wellness
Best Lines/Funniest Lines:
Serge: [taking notice to Axel's interest in the artwork] I see you look at this piece.
Axel Foley: Yeah. I was wondering how much something like this went for.
Serge: 130,000 dollar.
Axel Foley: Get the fuck out of here!
Serge: [laughing] No, I cannot! It's serious! Because it's very important piece.
Axel Foley: Have you ever sold one of these?
Serge: [proudly] Sell it yesterday to a collector.
Axel Foley: Get the fuck out of here!
Serge: No! I'm serious! I sell it myself!
Axel Foley: Disturbing the peace? I got thrown out of a window! What's the fuckin' charge for getting pushed out of a moving car, huh? Jaywalking?
Axel Foley: Tell Victor that Ramon - -the fella he met about a week ago? - -tell him that Ramon went to the clinic today, and I found out that I have, um, herpes simplex 10, and I think Victor should go check himself out with his physician to make sure everything is fine before things start falling off on the man.
Det. Billy Rosewood: Police! You're all under arrest!
[armed thugs answer with a long hail of machine gun fire]
Sgt. Taggart: You do that again, I'll shoot you myself!
Detective Rosewood: Wow. You know, it says here that by the time the average American is fifty, he has five pounds of undigested red meat in his bowels.
Sergeant Taggart: Why are you telling me this? What makes you think I have any interest in that at all?
Detective Rosewood: Well, you eat a lot of red meat.
Axel Foley: Can you put this in a good spot? 'Cause all of this shit happened the last time I parked here.
Axel Foley: Before I go, I just want to say one thing. The supercop story... was working. And you guys just messed it up. I'm still trying to figure you guys out, but I haven't yet. But it's cool, though. You just f*** up a perfectly good lie.
Axel Foley: This is the cleanest and nicest police car I've ever been in in my life. This thing's nicer than my apartment.
The Stanley Rubric:
Audience Score: 8.75 (93% Google, 82% RT)
What does Jenny do for work now?