Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult

Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult
Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Peter Segal
Produced by Robert K. Weiss
David Zucker

Executive Producers
Jerry Zucker
Jim Abrahams
Gil Netter
Written by Pat Proft
David Zucker
Robert LoCash
Based on Police Squad! by
Jim Abrahams
David Zucker
Jerry Zucker
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 (1994-03-18)
Running time 83 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $30 million
Box office $51,132,598 (domestic) [1]

Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult is a 1994 comedy film, the third and final film in the Naked Gun series, which was based on the Police Squad! television series.

It 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.[2] It was also going to be called "The Naked Gun III: The Final Insult", according to some Christmas 1993 video previews.

Leslie Nielsen returns as Lieutenant Frank Drebin (his original character from Police Squad!), along with Priscilla Presley as Jane Spencer Drebin, O. J. Simpson (in his last role before being tried for murder) as Officer Nordberg and George Kennedy as Captain Ed Hocken. Newcomers to the series 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

Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen) has retired from Police Squad and lives a basically happy life with his wife Jane Spencer (Priscilla Presley). It remains "basically happy" because police work has been Frank's meaning of life, and he feels unhappy about not being able to legally take on criminals anymore. Additionally, Jane tries to push him into siring a child, but Frank does not have the courage to go through this yet. It comes as a blessing to him when his old friends Ed Hocken (George Kennedy) and Nordberg (O.J. Simpson) come by and ask for his help in an investigation. The Police Squad has caught wind that a well-known bomber named Rocco Dillon (Fred Ward), who is currently incarcerated, has been hired by a terrorist (Papshmir, known from the first movie) to conduct a major terrorist act against the United States. An important contact, Tanya Peters (Anna Nicole Smith), Rocco's girlfriend, proves to be a dead end, so Drebin is asked to join Dillon undercover in prison, befriend him, and then leak details of the plan to his colleagues. However, the first part of the mission – by pure accident – proves to be extremely taxing; Jane becomes frustrated both at Frank's sudden unwillingness to engage in his marital duties and the suspicion that he is doing police work again, and storms out of the house.

Frank joins Rocco in prison, and after winning his trust, the two stage their breakout together. Rocco even manages to persuade his dominant and highly distrustful mother Muriel (Kathleen Freeman) to take Frank into their house. However, both are loath to tell Frank too many details right away, which is why he is forced to stay around a little longer. In the meantime, Jane joins her friend Louise (Ellen Greene) on a road trip, but in time she realizes that she really misses Frank. When she calls home and receives no reply, she follows a clue Frank had inadvertently left behind to Tanya, where she is promptly taken hostage by Rocco and his mother. Frank is barely able to save her life for the time being, and eventually Rocco reveals his plan: the bomb is to be set off at this year's Academy Award ceremony, with the bomb hidden in the envelope with the nomination of Best Picture and triggered when the card is pulled out.

At the awarding night, Frank and Jane separate from Rocco's team and frantically begin searching for the bomb, with Frank inflicting his usual chaos on stage during the prelude show. However, they are unable to find the bomb before the nomination for Best Picture is begun. When Frank bursts onto the stage and awkwardly attempts to prevent the detonation of the bomb, Rocco and his mother realize what's going on and take Jane hostage, but in the process Frank loosens an electronic sign which takes out Muriel. Desperate, Rocco decides to detonate the bomb to follow his mother, but Frank manages to catapult him and the bomb out of the awarding hall right into Papshmir's private plane (which was circling overhead), with the bomb eliminating all hostile parties involved. Frank and Jane reaffirm their love under the applause of the awarding audience and viewers worldwide. Nine months later, Frank and Nordberg rush into the pediatric ward to witness the birth of Frank's child, only that a slight mistake ends with Frank being very resentful at Nordberg.

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

Reception

The directors' commentary to the DVD frequently mentions the critics' reviews. The film did fairly well at the box office, yet it received several very negative reviews.[3] Many felt that there was little plot, that it relied on comedy throughout, and had little of the romantic or action elements of the previous two films. In addition, some felt that the humor was weak and too similar to that of the previous films. The opening sequence, which parodied The Untouchables, was popular, however, and the climax at the Academy Awards was also, but the middle part was criticized as uninspiring.[4] The film holds a 53% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

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 The Naked Gun 2½.[6]

The movie was nominated for and won two Golden Raspberry Awards, Worst Supporting Actor for O.J. Simpson and Worst New Star for Anna Nicole Smith.

Box office

The film made over $51 million domestically according to Box Office Mojo. 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).[7]

Cameo appearances

Numerous celebrities have cameo appearances in the film, both in credited and uncredited roles.[8]

As themselves:

As minor characters:

Related litigation

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.

References

External links


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