The Naked Gun Cover

Yet another giggle-worthy movie from the ‘80s; alas, this one is not quite as much of a giggle-fest as “Top Secret”. The gags do not come quite so thick and fast, although this movie is still a worthy antidote to every iron-jawed cop movie ever made. And the image of Queen Elizabeth in formal royal regalia, passing a hot-dog and participating in a ‘wave’ at a sports event is still pretty funny. So is the brief throwaway gag of Leslie Nielson as Frank Drebin, and his love-interest, played by Priscilla Presley laughing in starry-eyed delight as they leave a showing of “Platoon”. Nielson has made this sort of parody tough-guy role so much his own that it’s nearly impossible to see him in anything else and not crack up, even though he had a long, long run of playing serious and/or fairly heroic parts on television and in movies before being noticed for a certain comical obliviousness in “Airplane!” and heading up the short-lived Police Squad TV series.

Other co-stars in the Naked Gun series were more easily able to shift from this kind of comedy to absolutely straight dramatic roles. They managed to steal the various comic scenes they were in – George Kennedy as the earnest police sidekick, Ricardo Montalban as the resident villain, and Priscilla Presley – and still move on to other projects without being typecast permanently. But there was one actor among the cast, who purely made my skin crawl whenever he appeared in a scene, and not for a good reason, either; O.J. Simpson, as the accident-prone Officer Nordburg. That was running gag which long-after events in real life rendered not so funny at all. The Naked Gun is still amusing, still a bit of classic movie parody – but it’s not wall-to-wall funny as “Top Secret”.

Extra features on this DVD release include a group commentary by the director and producer, and the complete theatrical trailer. The Naked Gun is available through Amazon.com and other retail outlets.

Sgt. Mom is a free-lance writer and member of the Independent Authors Guild who lives in San Antonio and blogs at The Daily Brief. Her current book project – The Adelsverein Trilogy is also available through Amazon.com. More about her books is at her website www.celiahayes.com.

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