January 17, 2013
Steve Guttenberg, Bubba Smith, Kim Cattrall, and Michael Winslow
In my opinion, Police Academy is the first really
entry on my countdown, because I know what the visceral reaction is
going to be to it. Most of the people who grew up in the 80's
who see "Police Academy" on a movie countdown are going to have the
exact same reaction. They are going to say "You mean that
movie with all those terrible sequels? Why would you even
five minutes writing about Police Academy? That whole franchise was an
Well yes, I will agree with you. The Police Academy
franchise sucked. It sucked hard. I wouldn't wish
most of the Police Academy
movies on my worst enemy.
However, the first Police Academy movie did NOT suck, and it is high
time it gets the respect that it has always deserved.
One of the things I love to say when I am talking about
movies is to forget about sequels. Forget all of them.
Because a sequel has nothing to do with the original.
sequel was a different movie made by different people, under different
circumstances, and usually starring different actors and made by a
different director. Yes, if done right a sequel can continue
story, true, but usually it was just a quickie way to cash in on what
probably a hit movie. By definition a sequel doesn't have to
contain any character development, it doesn't have to introduce
anything new, all it has to do is follow the exact same formula that
people loved so much in the original. Oh, and the second and
third time around the actors will probably just be phoning it in.
And in no franchise does that paragraph apply more accurately
than to the Police Academy franchise.
Police Academy one? Hilarious comedy. Easily one of
the funnier movies of the 80's.
Academy two? Funny, but ultimately irrelevant. It
different movie that was made by different people and I don't really
care about it.
Police Academy three through infinity?
Irrelevant to any of the discussion. At that point
edgy R rated comedy became a stupid PG rated family franchise, and
was just in it for a paycheck.
Police Academy was released in 1984, and right off the
it was notorious. Why? Well because it is
movie I can ever remember that Siskel and Ebert gave zero stars.
Seriously, go read Roger Ebert's review of the original
Academy movie. He gave it zero stars. In fact in
I think he said something like if you and your friends want to go see
this movie, you would be better off pooling your money and making your
own movie. Or something like that. He really did
And I have no idea why. I am wondering if maybe
just cut him off in traffic on the way to the theater that day.
Or maybe the counter girl at Wendy's forgot to put sour cream
his potato that afternoon. All I know is that he hated Police
Academy with a
passion, and he told everybody else that they should hate it too, and I
have never understood why. I can think of a
hundred movies from the 80's that were worse than Police Academy.
And I can only think of about ten or so that were any funnier.
The plot of Police Academy is as follows. In 1984
a forward thinking woman is elected mayor of a large American city (I
forget which city she is the
mayor of, I don't think they actually say in the movie), and she passes
a law stating that the police department will no longer be able to
discriminate based on what type of a person you are. From now
the police department will be open to women, it will be open to
minorities, it will be open to the weak, it will be open to criminals,
it will be open to the handicapped. Basically it will now be
to anyone. And of course this means that hundreds of people
have no business EVER being a police officer run down to the precinct
and sign up.
And, well, to use an old cliched expression, at that point hilarity
Seriously, like I said before, I don't know if I could name
more than ten movies from the 80's that were any funnier than Police
Academy. At the very least, it was at least as funny as
Revenge of the
Nerds. In fact it was basically the exact same story as
Revenge of the
Nerds. Outcasts try to fit in somewhere that they don't
they fail, they are mocked, and then they band together to suddenly
become really good at it and actually surprise everyone. Bam,
that is Revenge of the Nerds, and that is also Police Academy.
And I have never understand why one is considered a classic
comedy of the 1980's and the other one is treated like dog shit.
Academy has one of the best ensemble casts of any comedy of the 1980's.
Yes I know it was ridiculous to see the exact same characters
the exact same stuff in six different sequels, but if you go back and
you watch the first one you can see how new and how funny it was.
Steve Guttenberg has never been better in a movie (although
that really isn't saying much.) David
Graf (Tackleberry) is easily one of my favorite movie characters of all
time, in the original Police Academy he was a complete psychopath.
was great as the reluctant florist Hightower ("You know, flowers 'n
shit.") I loved the two douchebag suck-ups Copeland and
Blanks. Marion Ramsey as Hooks practically steals the entire
movie. And then on top of that you have G.W. Bailey
Lieutenant Harris (a great underrated 80's bad guy) and George Gaynes
Brewster's father of all people!) as the idiotic Commandant Lassard.
defy anyone to watch Police Academy now and tell me this wasn't a fun
And I haven't even talked about Michael Winslow the sound
effects guy or Leslie Easterbrook's chest yet! Or the world
famous Blue Oyster Bar!
Michael Winslow the sound effects guy. Always a crowd pleaser.
Steve Guttenberg. The Gute.
of things that I think gets lost about Police Academy is the fact that
the original was NOT a kid's movie. No way, not even close.
This was about as R rated as a comedy could get. I
one of the running gags in the movie is that people who are standing at
a podium will wind up getting a blow job. People forget how
and how R rated the original movie was. Of course the sequels
much more kid friendly along the way, not to mention much more
family friendly. And that is the
"Police Academy" that most people remember. So I think most
be surprised if they go back and watch the original and they see how R
rated it was. Although it makes sense if you look at who made
The same people who wrote Police Academy also wrote Bachelor
Party. Believe me, these were NOT movies I was
see when I was a kid.
"... which I think is good. Very good for the academy."
Academy is one of those comedies that I go back and watch every couple
of years, and it absolutely stands up as well now as it always has.
It is still funny. The writing is still good.
characters are still great. The music is still awesome.
have never understood why people think that they hate this movie.
In fact there are some dramatic scenes in Police Academy that
forget are even in there. There is one scene with
Hightower that is about racism that is about as far from comedy as you
can get. Again, people forget that Police Academy wasn't just
mindless comedy. There was some actual social commentary in
Also, at one point a guy gets his head stuck in a horse's butt.
So there is a little something for everyone.
You told no one? Not a soul.
in all, Police Academy is one of the better comedy movies of the 80's,
and it is a damn shame that it has been lumped in with its
for so many years. I mean, it is funny, it is inspiring, it
some really iconic scenes and characters. The music
great. It has a great ending. So what's not to
I defy you not to laugh when Tackleberry starts
and he goes madass on someone. Especially the scene at the
shooting range where he goes crazy and he starts kicking down doors.
These are the kind of scenes that make comedy fun.
Tackleberry about to lose his shit
I had one wish for this entry, it is that everyone who reads this goes
out and finds Police Academy and they watch it again. Because
know that just about everyone has seen it at least once. But
I bet you haven't
seen it in a long time. And I bet you have forgotten how
was. And how charming it was. And, I know this is
but for a really edgy R rated comedy I bet you have forgotten how
good hearted and innocent it was. It really was a different
type of comedy from a
different era. And I think it holds up about as well as
any comedy from the 80's.
As I mentioned before, it is certainly as funny and as charming as
Revenge of the Nerds was. And that one is considered a
classic. So go figure.
people talk about a movie like Police Academy, they love to
annoying phrases like "turn off your brain" or "mindless
But fuck that. Police Academy is just a funny
period. Aint no turning off your brain about it.
it and you are going to laugh, I don't care how smart or how not smart
you are. A funny movie will always be funny.
What you will
NOT expect is that when you watch Police Academy, and you
will find yourself actually being charmed by it.
something that no one sees coming. You will find yourself
actually pulling for this random little group of misfits. You
will find yourself rooting for Mahoney. You will find yourself smiling
when Hooks discovers her inner badass (such a great scene).
this is easily one of the better comedies of the 1980's. It
has never been a bad movie. I'm not
sure why it has taken so long for the world to admit that.
Don't move, dirtbag!
favorite IMDB user reviews about Police Academy
Up the "Academy"... - 9
Yep, this is the one that started it all. The right one to blame.
"Police Academy" - never duplicated, countlessly imitated.
But before you go throwing any stones...this one is funny.
believe it or not, its joke success ratio is amazingly high. Is it
because it's R-rated? That's a lot of it, but it also has a good
Director/co-writer Wilson also created TV's "WKRP in
Cincinnati", Israel and Proft have written "Bachelor Party" and some
other funny stuff you may have heard of (they had a hand in the "Naked
And the cast, in this instance, is fresh!
Guttenberg has seldom been better, nor has Cattrall (well, maybe except
for "Porky's"), Gaynes, Bailey, Smith, Winslow or Easterbrook. There
are a handful of good lines, more good scenes here than in any four of
the sequels you can name and plenty more opportunity for good old
raunchy "Animal House"-style guffaws.
You don't believe me?
Think about the scene with the hooker (Spelvin) in the speaker's
podium. Then think about the punch line ("Good speech."). You see? Ah,
Take it from a hard-bitten veteran of the series. This
is as good as it gets. You want to see a funny movie about cops?
Register at your local "Police Academy".
Six stars, plus a star more for Guttenberg's final scene. Classic.
Underrated Slapstick - 11 February 2002
the tiring six sequels that poorly followed this film made one wonder
"Have they given up yet?" But the original "Police Academy" is a great
example of ensemble cast of characters and uproarious slapstick comedy.
An underrated gem in 1980's comedy. In fact, I dare say that this
delightfully funny satire of life in police training has some of the
most lovable, wildly hilarious characters of comedies made in the past
thirty years. I whole-heartedly recommend watching "Police
Academy"...but the sequels...ugh...
Damn Funny Film - 18
"Police Academy" films were very much a let down. Number 1, HILARIOUS.
Number 2, OK, but not a classic. Number 3, better than 2 but not nearly
as good as 1. The rest. I cry if I watch them. A chuckle here and there
isn't enough for me. Just my humble opinion.
This first, however
IS a classic movie. Not an intellectual art film, just a very funny
movie that has managed to entertain millions for quite some time.
Anyone who walks into this film with the idea that it's anything but a
silly, off the wall comedy, and who feels films must have a message or
some deep meaning, is in for a disappointment. Honestly, why would some
pretentious snob watch this in the first place? The advertising is
fairly clear as to what type of movie this is. But I digress.
basic story line is that a bunch of folks who would never, EVER, have a
chance at being police officers under the strict guidelines have their
shot when a 'forward thinking' mayor takes over and opens opportunities
to EVERYONE. Disaster is being invited here. However, as it turns out,
whether or not the recruits really wanted to be cops, they become some
damn fine cops. In real life, it's amusing to see that this can
actually happen. The best candidates on paper can be the biggest flops
and those who, on paper, should be avoided, sometimes excel.
Guttenburg should make a comeback. I really don't give a rat's ass what
some may think of him, he's got a lot of comedic talent and he proved
it in this riotous (yes, there IS a riot in the film!) movie. Steve,
come back, we need ya!
The defining 80s comedy,
though not really the best - 5 September 2011
hard to say what exactly makes "Police Academy" such a classic. Sure,
it was a massive box office hit, but check out the massive box office
hits from this last ten years and see how many you completely forgot
existed. Maybe "Police Academy" remains so well-known because it
spawned such a ridiculous amount of knock-offs. If you wanted to make
popular horror in the 80s, you could do it easily by lazily rehashing
"Friday the 13th". If you wanted to make a successful comedy, you just
had to make this one but with a different kind of academy. Who can
forget Rick Sloane's "Vice Academy"-franchise? I can't. I've tried. It
may just be a lot simpler though: "Police Academy" is just pretty
funny. It's not the most intelligent movie ever made, but it does have
a lot of jokes good enough to live through six sequels and stay
relatively fresh. The characters are all stereotypes (there are
attempts at giving them some depth, but I gotta say those are pretty
stilted and pathetic), but at least their one characteristic is usually
really funny. Pretty much everyone with a pulse likes to sit back and
watch Tackleberry be completely insane, or hear Jones do his Bruce Lee
routine, because the actors are so good at what they do. Classic stuff.
I don't think "Police Academy" is the best movie ever made, but it's
easy to get its popularity.
Hey wait, maybe it's the brilliant theme song. I've got it stuck in my
head right now, and so do you. It owns.
Coptastic!!! - 28
I have to rate these types of movies on the level of enjoyment they
have given me. Police Academy is an absolute classic.
Words used by the 'holier than thou' to describe this film:
stereotypical, racist, crude, rude, infantile, plot less, chauvinistic,
dated, juvenile, adolescent, inane, humourless, exploitative
Words use by me to describe this film:
people should make more films like this instead of making films like
The Piano, Troy, Gladiator or any film that takes itself seriously and
as a work of art. If you want to make a movie as art, then play it in
some urban art-house gallery loft on a bed sheet suspended from the
decaying plasterwork of a quirky pointlessly high ceiling. Leave 'the
movies' to us average punters. We don't want none of your farcical
takes on modern life or your desperately driven visions of the meaning
We want Tackleberry to smash his cop helmet on the
bonnet of a squad car, crying that 'there was gun play sir, and he
missed it'. We want Captain Harris sticking a loudspeaker to his mouth
and having his lips ringed by brown shoe polish. We want Commendant
Eric Lassard saying 'the bitch' when he is asked what he thinks of the
We want dumb movies, yeah baby yeah!
Better than its
successors - 29 August 2003
made Steve Guttenberg a star?" sing the stonecutters, a secret masonic
cult that Homer joins in a famous episode of the Simpsons. The
implication, I think we can all work out, is that Mr. Guttenberg, the
star of the early police academy movies, isn't particularly talented.
Meanwhile a young Kim Cattrall puts in a wooden performance as his love
interest that's still better, and arguably more highbrow, than her sex
and the city days.
Whether or not you hold this to be true, the
acting talent of Guttenberg and his fellow cadets isn't really
important, because the crude (but often funny) jokes themselves are the
true stars of the show, from mix-ups at gay bars to oral sex performed
in the most unusual of locations, this first installment of the police
academy series is a lot more 'adult' than later films. It's also a lot
Without giving too much away, the scene with the horse is undoubtedly
one of the funniest moments in 80s comedy.
favorite quotes from Police Academy
Harris: You make me sick.
Thank you, sir. I make everybody sick.
Cadet Eugene Tackleberry:
Drop that stereo before I blow your goddamn nuts off, asshole.
Harris: Uh Tackleberry? We really need
(side note: Whenever they show Police Academy on
TV, they always change that line to "before I blow your gosh darn knees
off, eggroll." Don't ask me why I remember that.)
[Tackleberry is angrily banging his head against the hood of a car]
Cmndt. Eric Lassard:
What's wrong with this man?
Cadet Leslie Barbara:
There was gunplay, sir, and he missed it.
Harris: Hey! Why didn't you guys call me this weekend?
Cadet Kyle Blanks:
Well, nothing really happened, sir.
Harris: There was a party, wasn't there?
Cadet Kyle Blanks:
Harris: Well, what went on?
Cadet Chad Copeland: Dancing,
sir. Mostly dancing.
Cadet Chad Copeland:
Boy, there sure are a lot of spades around here.
[he sees Hightower standing next to him]
Cadet Chad Copeland:
[in a choked voice] Which I think is good. Very good for the Academy.
I was a florist.
Yeah, you know, flowers and shit.
Harris: What the hell are you doing here?
Cadet Laverne Hooks [timidly]: I wanna be a
Harris: What? I can't hear you-u?
Cadet Laverne Hooks:
[whispering] I wanna be a police officer.
Harris: Don't unpack.
their way to a riot zone] We are being sent to a safe area away from
the disturbance. Our job will be to divert traffic away from the
trouble zone, and to protect public property. You will have live
ammunition, but there will be no call to use it - TACKLEBERRY! Do you
Cmndt. Eric Lassard:
[Presenting a slide show just as a hooker begins to give him a blow
job] Now this first SLIIIDE... shows a very, very interesting thing:
our main building. On slide... TWO! We see other view... of... IT! Oh,
my God, you wouldn't believe it!
Yes, if you want to see Punky Brewster's dad get a BJ, watch Police
favorite scene(s) in Police Academy
I am a huge fan of Tackleberry and Hooks, so just about any scene
involving the two of them is a personal favorite. "It's time
that this cop
met the public" is a quote that I use all the time, usually in regards
to myself. And of course Tackleberry on the shooting range
he runs off and goes apeshit) is my favorite scene in the movie.
regards to Hooks, I love the "Don't Move Dirtbag!" scene of course, but
she has a bunch of other little hilarious moments that no one ever
remembers "Don't move, this is a stick up" is a personal
favorite, but there is another scene that cracks my wife and me up
every time we watch up. It is the scene where Lt. Harris is
trying to teach her voice command. There is no way you can
that scene and not laugh when Lt. Harris starts mimicking her.
Hooks: (mutters something quietly inaudible)
Harris [doing his best
bashful Hooks impression]: "whaaaaaaaaaaat?"
I am laughing just thinking about that.
now I am having fun just naming Police Academy moments. There
another scene in the movie that ALWAYS cracks me up, but it is kind of
subtle so hardly anyone remembers it. It is the scene where
Harris is writing on the chalkboard. He is saying something
the class like "Police procedures are what you will learn and be graded
on," and as he is speaking he is trying to write the exact same thing
on the chalkboard. Only he doesn't write it out longhand, he
starts writing it in symbols and in some odd form of rebus. I
don't know, it is impossible for me to explain exactly what he is doing
but that scene always makes me laugh because as he his writing, his
symbols start to get more and more ridiculous. I have no
that G.W. Bailey improvised that entire thing. It is just
I thought of one more little Police Academy moment that I love.
love the scene where Copeland is trying to be a badass and throw Leslie
Barbara's books out the window, only he misses and the books
the bar in the middle of the windowframe instead. And then
Copeland just turns around pathetically and lets out this sad little
whimper. The timing of that two-second moment is just perfect.
I better stop now. I could sit here and name funny little
Police Academy moments all day.
the way, keep in mind that I haven't seen this movie in five
years. I am just remembering these off the top of my head.
Lt. Harris and his ridiculous little rebus lesson
at the IMDB
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