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Kindergarten Cop

Kindergarten Cop film poster
Directed by Ivan Reitman
Produced by Brian Grazer
Ivan Reitman
Written by Murray Salem
Hershel Weingrod
Timothy Harris
Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger
Penelope Ann Miller
Pamela Reed
Music by Randy Edelman
Cinematography Michael Chapman
Editing by Wendy Greene Bricmont
Sheldon Kahn
Studio Imagine Entertainment
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date(s) 21 December 1990
Running time 112 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $15,000,000
Gross revenue $201,957,688

Kindergarten Cop is a 1990 comedy thriller film directed by Ivan Reitman and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Schwarzenegger stars as John Kimble, a tough loner police detective, who must go undercover as a kindergarten teacher to catch drug dealer Cullen Crisp (Richard Tyson), before Crisp can get to his ex-wife and son, while along the way discovers his passion for teaching. Pamela Reed plays his partner Phoebe O'Hara, a teacher-turned-cop and Penelope Ann Miller plays Joyce, the teacher who becomes Kimble's love interest. The original music score was composed by Randy Edelman. Schwarzenegger received a salary of $12 million for the film.[1]



The taciturn, stubborn, autocratic, violent Police Detective John Kimble (Arnold Schwarzenegger) has pursued drug dealer Cullen Crisp (Richard Tyson) for years. He finally arrests Crisp for murder of an informant who has brought news of his enstranged wife's whereabouts, but is unable to convict him due to the refusal of a witness, a girl drug addict named Cindy, to identify the killer. After Kimble psychologically humbles Cindy, Crisp is identified in a police line-up and placed in custody. Kimble, accompanied by Detective Phoebe O'Hara (Pamela Reed), is then ordered to go undercover in Astoria, Oregon, to find Crisp's ex-wife Rachel Myatt and their son, who are hiding from him, and offer her a deal to testify against Cullen. Since their appearance is not known to them, O'Hara is to act as the substitute teacher of the son's kindergarten class at Astoria Elementary School, while Kimble has to track down the identity of the mother, who is believed to have stolen money from Crisp.

Detective John Kimble and O'Hara in the classroom (after she has recovered)

Unfortunately, O'Hara, who is hypoglycemic, gets a terrible case of the stomach flu and falls ill at the last moment. Kimble therefore takes the teacher's job, much to the suspicion of the school principal, Miss Schlowski (Linda Hunt). Despite having no teaching experience — and thus initially collapsing beneath the stress — Kimble soon adapts progressively to his new status. Using his tame ferret as a class pet, his police training as a model for structure of the classes, and positive reinforcement, he becomes a much-admired and cherished figure to the children. In turn, Kimble begins to love his cover job and his young charges, even to the point of manhandling an abusive father whose son Zach attends Kimble's class.

Kimble becomes passionately fond of his student Dominic's mother Joyce Paulmarie (Penelope Ann Miller), who also works at the school. Joyce, like many other of the students' mothers, is on terms of estrangement from her husband, so that she will not speak of him. This excites the suspicions of Kimble. In a conversation with the gradually more trusting Joyce, Kimble learns that Joyce and his quarry Rachel are one and the same.

Crisp is released from jail when his mother Eleanor (Carroll Baker) has Cindy poisoned by tainted drugs. When they receive the news of Cindy's death and Crisp's release, Kimble and O'Hara tell Joyce the truth of their mission. She tells them that she never stole any money, but that Crisp wishes to control Dominic. She then leaves in a rush. Kimble attempts to track them down, to find that Dominic has gone without the knowledge of his mother to plant toy lasers in a radio-transmitter tower. Dominic has been raised believing that his mother has enemies, identified only as the "bad people"; to quell his own feelings of helplessness, he has made these toys and now wishes to put them into action. Kimble, remembering this, is able to retrieve Dominic. Joyce and Kimble share a kiss, as a sign of her gratitude and his protection.

The next day at the school, Kimble brings O'Hara to school to speak to his class about strangers. At the same time, a newly arrived Crisp, posing as a father looking to move to Astoria, sets a fire in the library, which triggers the school fire alarm and initiates an evacuation as a diversion for the rest of the school children, giving him enough of a distraction to abduct his son. The other children, who have been put on the alert by O'Hara, see him and he flees. While Kimble searches for them, a frightened Dominic attempts to escape his kidnapper. Outside, O'Hara attempts to get in the building, but is kept outside by the firefighters. She takes her revolver out of her purse and runs around to the back of the school to get in, but is struck by Eleanor's 1989 Buick Century, after which Eleanor takes her weapon. In the school's locker room, Kimble and Crisp fight over Dominic. When Kimble has the upper hand, Crisp threatens to kill his son. Just as Crisp is about to shoot Kimble, Kimble's tame ferret emerges from Dominic's shirt, where he had been concealed, and bites Crisp on the neck, throwing off Crisp's aim. Wounded in the leg, Kimble grabs his weapon and kills Crisp. Dominic, Joyce, and the ferret escape.

Eleanor enters and threatens the wounded Kimble. As she is about to kill him, an injured O'Hara arrives and knocks her unconscious with a baseball bat. Eleanor is arrested, while the unconscious Kimble (much to the sadness of the children) is hospitalized. During his recovery, O'Hara and her chef fiancée announce their marriage, inviting him to it. After Kimble recovers, he quits the police force and comes back to the school to resume his teaching, and Joyce kisses him in front of all the kids.

Filming locations

Exterior scenes at "Astoria Elementary School" were filmed at John Jacob Astor Elementary School, located at 3550 Franklin Ave. in Astoria, Oregon.[2]

At Astor, Universal Studios hired local artists to paint murals on the walls, provided new playground equipment, fenced the playground, and laid a new lawn and hedges around the school building. Most of the filming was completed after school was out in June 1989; therefore many of the students and staff were able to be in the movie as extras. Students' artwork was also used. Teachers and neighbors, as well as students, were used in filming; viewers see Astor School's custodian, "Mr. John" raising the flag for an early morning scene.[citation needed]

Also filmed in or near Astoria:

  • John and Phoebe stayed at the Bayview Motel, 783 W. Marine Drive, Astoria. The vintage lodging facility "played itself" in the film.
  • Scenes involving John and Phoebe walking to dinner, and Crisp and his mother shopping, were filmed on Commercial Street in downtown Astoria.
  • The exterior portions of the restaurant scene were filmed outside the Seafare Restaurant at the Red Lion Inn, 400 Industry St., in Astoria.
  • Scenes at Joyce and Dominic's house (interior and exterior) were filmed at a private residence located at 414 Exchange St., Astoria.
  • Highway scenes were filmed on U.S. 26 east of Seaside, Oregon, 20 miles from Astoria.
  • The school picnic was filmed at Ecola State Park near Cannon Beach, Oregon, 25 miles south of Astoria.

Information on Astoria-area locations are courtesy of the Astoria & Warrenton Area Chamber of Commerce.

Interior school scenes were shot at Universal Studios in Hollywood, California.[2] The film's opening scene was filmed at the Westfield MainPlace in Santa Ana, California.[2]


Kindergarten Cop received generally mixed to somewhat positive reviews and currently holds a 52% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 61 out of 100 on Metacritic. It was much more popular, however, with the general public. Soundboard prank callers often use lines from Kindergarten Cop, such as "I'm a cop, you idiot!", "First, I would like to just get to know you", "who is your daddy and what does he do?", and many others.[citation needed]


  • Arnold Schwarzenegger - Detective John Kimble, an Austrian-American police undercover as a kindergarten teacher.
  • Penelope Ann Miller - Joyce Paulmarie / Rachel Myatt Crisp, ex-wife of criminal Crisp
  • Pamela Reed - Detective Phoebe O'Hara, Kimble's partner who is a former teacher
  • Linda Hunt - Miss Schlowski, school principal
  • Richard Tyson - Cullen Crisp Sr., a dangerous criminal looking for his ex-wife and child
  • Carroll Baker - Eleanor Crisp, Cullen Crisp Sr.'s mother
  • Christian and Joseph Cousins - Dominic Paulmarie / Cullen Crisp Jr., son of Cullen Sr. and Rachel
  • Justin Page - Zach Sullivan, abused child in Kimble's class, initally thought to be son of Crisp
  • Jayne Brook - Mrs. Sullivan, wife of an abusive husband and mother of Kimble's student Zach Sullivan
  • Cathy Moriarty - Jillian, mother of Kimble's student Sylvester
  • Miko Hughes - Child's father is an Ob-gyn
  • Sarah Rose Karr - Emma, one of Kimble's students
  • Richard Portnow - Captain Salazar, Kimble and O'Hara's superior
  • Tom Kurlander - Danny, one of Cullen's victims
  • Alix Koromzay - Cindy, Danny's girlfriend who witnesses his murder. She later dies of a drug overdose
  • Bob Nelson - Henry Shoop, Phoebe O'Hara's fiance
  • Tom Dugan - Crisp's Lawyer
  • Odette Yustman - Rosa
  • Angela Bassett - Flight Attendant

See also


External links



Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Kindergarten Cop is a 1990 film about a cop who goes undercover in Astoria to find the ex-wife and son of drug dealer Cullen Crisp (who is in a murder investigation).

Directed by Ivan Reitman. Written by Murray Salem, Herschel Weingrod, and Timothy Harris.
Go ahead, you tell him you didn't do your homework.


John Kimble

  • But what about your wife? Remember her? All this hard earned drug money she stole from you? How much was it? Three million dollars? I bet you she would be a much better witness.
  • Hey. I'm a police officer.
  • I'm a cop, you idiot! I'm Detective John Kimble!
  • Bring your toy back to the carpet!
  • I have a witness too, specfically about murder this time. Now you're mine.
  • You lack discipline!
  • Well I've got news for you; you are mine now! You belong to me!
  • Who is your daddy, and what does he do?
  • Now I want to ask you a bunch of questions, and I want to have them answered immediately.
  • Stop it!
  • Shut up!!!
  • Kimble: I have a headache
Lowell: It might be a tumor.
Kimble: It's not a tumor!
  • I'm Detective John Kimble.
  • There is no bathroom!
  • Take it back!
  • My name is John Kimble [cocks shotgun] and I love my car.
  • [mockingly after the children laugh at him for accidentally sitting on a piano] Ha-ha-ha-ha. Quiet!
  • I'm the party pooper.
  • Hi, Cindy...
  • I want to hang out with you, till the end...of time.
  • You hit the kid, I hit you! [punchs Zach's father in the stomach, but stops after he was spotted by the kids]. You're not worth it. I'm pressing charges against you.
  • Stop whining!
  • I'm back!


  • You can't just walk in here and put a gun in my face. I'm trying to get a manicure. I have witnesses.
  • I know all about you, Kimble. Without me you wouldn't even have a life. My lady left because of the money. Yours left because she just couldn't stand a sight of you.

Detective Phoebe O'Hara

  • Kimble, if you were any stiffer, we could take you surfing.
  • You're not so tough without your car, are you?
  • taught them the basics. That's important.


  • Boys have a penis. Girls have a vagina. ~ Kindergarten student
  • Mrs. Schlowski: I want you to answer one more question, and don't lie. What did it feel like to hit that son of a bitch?


  • An undercover cop in a class by himself.
  • Go ahead, you tell him you didn't do your homework.
  • He's the toughest undercover cop in LA. If you're bad he'll know it. If you're hiding something he'll find out. If you cheat he can tell. Now...
  • It's a jungle gym out there.


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