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Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult

Promotional poster
Directed by Peter Segal
Produced by Robert K. Weiss
David Zucker
Written by Jim Abrahams
Jerry Zucker (television series Police Squad!)
Pat Proft
David Zucker
Robert LoCash
Starring Leslie Nielsen
Priscilla Presley
Fred Ward
George Kennedy
O.J. Simpson
Anna Nicole Smith
Kathleen Freeman
Music by Ira Newborn
Cinematography Robert M. Stevens
Editing by James R. Symons
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date(s) March 18, 1994
Running time 79 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget US $30,000,000 (estimated)
Gross revenue $51,132,598 (domestic) [1]
Preceded by The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear (1991)
Followed by The Naked Gun 4: The Rhythm of Evil[2] (2010)[3]

Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult is a 1994 comedy film, the third and final film in the Naked Gun film series, which was based on the Police Squad! television series. The film was marketed with the tagline "Mostly all new jokes." The 33⅓ of the title is a reference to the speed at which long playing (LP) phonograph records (gramophone records) play. The film was originally going to be titled Naked Gun 33⅓: Just for the Record, but was changed after the studio felt not many understood the joke.[4] It was also going to be called "The Naked Gun III: The Final Insult", according to some Christmas 1993 video previews.

The film stars Leslie Nielsen returning as Lieutenant Frank Drebin (his original character from Police Squad!), Priscilla Presley as Jane Spencer Drebin, O. J. Simpson as Nordberg, and George Kennedy as Captain Ed Hocken, all of whom reprise their roles from the first two films. Fred Ward, Anna Nicole Smith, and Kathleen Freeman co-star as a gang of bombers set to blow up the Academy Awards ceremony. Raye Birk reprises his role as the villainous "Pahpshmir" from the first film.

Contents

Plot

As the film begins, we are introduced to an imprisoned terrorist, Rocco Dillon (Fred Ward), who is approached by Mr. Pahpshmir to be given a target for a bombing.

Meanwhile, Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen) has retired from Police Squad after marrying Jane (Priscilla Presley) and works as a house husband. However, after the Department learns of Rocco's plans, he agrees to come out of retirement in order to prevent the bombing. When Jane learns that he has gone back to being a cop, Frank tells her, "No, I swear, it's another woman!" Jane does not believe him, and is distraught that he has gone back to his police work. A devastated Jane leaves him in a parody of Thelma and Louise. While Jane leaves to go on a road trip with a girlfriend, Frank goes undercover in Rocco Dillon's cell, where he pretends to be "Nick 'The Slasher' McGuirk." Together, "McGuirk" and Dillon break out of jail in a sequence parodying The Great Escape.

Meanwhile, Jane finds the address of Rocco's girlfriend written in Frank's handwriting. Mistakenly concluding that Frank really was seeing another woman, she drives to Rocco's hideout planning to give him a piece of her mind.

After their tunnel breaks ground outside in a L.A. high school playground, they are escorted by Dillon's gangster mother to his country retreat, where they meet the gorgeous buxom Tanya Peters (Anna Nicole Smith), Rocco's girlfriend, in a pink bathing suit. Frank comments, "It was Tanya. That bathing suit never looked happier." Later, Rocco tells Frank of his plans to bomb the Academy Awards. He also has a confrontation from Tanya that night while Frank says he was playing chess, Tanya tries to seduce him, then she kisses Frank while Jane arrives looking for him.

Later, Frank and Jane pretend to be Vanna White and "Weird Al" Yankovic and are able to infiltrate the Awards, and cause mayhem on stage while he and the police are looking for the bomb hidden in one of the envelopes. While looking for the bomb he encounters Tanya again. Attempting to seduce him, she takes off her black shiny dress. Frank is spellbound by her breasts, but to his horror, Frank is surprised to see (although the viewer sees only a shadow) that there is a penis (which bends rather impossibly) on Tanya, a la The Crying Game (in the censored version the viewer sees that she has the legs of an old man instead of a penis). He runs onstage and vomits into a tuba. Rocco Dillon arrives and points his gun at Frank, who is holding the bomb in the best picture envelope, having snatched it from Raquel Welch's hands as she was about to open it. In a subsequent fight, Rocco takes Jane hostage, vowing to make Frank pay for killing his mother (Frank had shot upwards and hit an applause sign, which fell and got stuck on Rocco's mother's head). In the scaffolding above, Frank and Rocco battle until the terrorist grabs the bomb and is sent hurtling through the ceiling and into the sky above, where he crashes into Pahpshmir's helicopter, head-first into a toilet. The bomb explodes killing both of them. Months later, Frank and Jane are finally having a baby. However, when Frank and Det. Nordberg (O.J. Simpson) arrive to videotape the birth, they enter the wrong delivery room. Enraged that the baby is black, Frank chases Nordberg down the hospital corridor, threatening to murder him.

Production

This is the only film in the series to be directed by Peter Segal, rather than David Zucker, who instead received credit for writing the film's screenplay. Similar to the previous entry in the series, Jim Abrahams and Jerry Zucker did not write the film's script, but both returned as executive producers and received writing credits due to their contributions to Police Squad! and the first film.

Several scenes in the film had been planned for the earlier films but had been cut out. The opening sequence had been planned for the first film. The scene where Frank and Jane get married, and drive off with Nordberg on the back of the car, was filmed for the second film. In the latter, the car being driven is the electric car that featured in the second film.

In the opening scene at the train station, the woman with the baby carriage who is assisted by Frank Drebin is played by Susan Breslau, the sister of Jerry and David Zucker.

Director Peter Segal, in addition to playing the producer of Sawdust and Mildew, also has several minor roles in the film (mostly in voiceover):

  • The voice of the suicide bomber in the The Untouchables (1987) parody at the start of the film.
  • The voice of the KSAD deejay.
  • The ADR'ed scream of the inmate escaping prison by pole-vaulting.
  • The real Phil Donahue, before Frank knocks him out and takes his place.
  • The voice of the man shouting "Stop the stairs, Joey!" at the Academy Awards.

Critical reaction

The directors' commentary to the DVD frequently references the critics' reviews on the film. The film did fairly well at the box office, yet it received several very negative reviews. Many felt that there was little plot in the film; it relied on comedy throughout, and had little of the romantic or action elements of the previous two films. In addition, many felt that the humor was weak and similar to that in the previous films. The opening sequence of the film, which parodied The Untouchables, was popular, however, and the climax at the Academy Awards was also fairly popular, but the middle part of the film was criticized as uninspiring. The directors claim on the DVD that it would have pleased some critics to have stopped the film after the opening credits. Chris Hicks is an example of an unsympathetic critic of the film, who gave the film a rating of two stars.[5] Roger Ebert was more sympathetic and gave the film three stars, the same rating he had given to Naked Gun 2½.[6]

Anna Nicole Smith's role in the film was widely panned by critics, with Smith winning the Razzie as Worst New Star.

Naked Gun 4: Rhythm of Evil

In 2008, a sequel was announced.[7] Naked Gun 4: Rhythm of Evil, is in early stages of production and is expected to be released in late 2010.[8] Nielsen is likely to reprise his role as Detective Frank Drebin, however the situation with OJ Simpson and the rest of the Naked Gun cast members remain unclear.[9]

Box Office

The film made over $50 million domestically according to BoxOfficeMojo.com. That more than exceeded its estimate $30 million production budget. However, this would be the lowest grossing film of the Naked Gun Series. Still 33⅓ managed to grab the #1 Weekend Box Office title in the U.S. during its opening weekend (the other Naked Guns did as well).

Cameo appearances

Numerous celebrities have cameo appearances in the film, both in credited and uncredited roles.[10]

As themselves:

As minor characters:

Related litigation

Naked gun three.jpg

An image used on the promotional poster for the film parodies a famous portrait photograph by Annie Leibovitz which was featured on the August 1991 cover of Vanity Fair magazine. The original photograph showed a pregnant, nude Demi Moore, and the parody photograph showed Leslie Nielsen in a similar pose. Leibovitz sued Paramount for copyright infringement; the Second Circuit deemed the use to be protected fair use because of its transformative parodic purpose.

See Leibovitz v. Paramount Pictures Corp., 2d Cir. 1998

References

External links








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