Beverly Hills Cop (1984)

R | 105 mins | Comedy | 5 December 1984

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HISTORY

       As stated in a 16 Dec 1984 NYT article, the concept for Beverly Hills Cop was generated in 1975 by Michael Eisner, who was head of Paramount Pictures at the time. While driving an old station wagon that he first owned in New York City, Eisner was stopped for speeding on the freeway, and the police officer treated him with condescension due to the condition of his vehicle. Eisner realized how much status in Los Angeles, CA, was driven by materialism, and reportedly exchanged the station wagon for a Mercedes Benz the following day. However, he became dedicated to enshrining the event in a film about a Beverly Hills policeman. In the coming years, Eisner remained dissatisfied with potential scripts until Daniel Petrie, Jr., who had never been credited as a feature film writer, submitted his screenplay in Sep 1983.
       According to NYT and an 18 Nov 1984 LAT article, the film was initially set to star actor Mickey Rourke, who was personally selected by Eisner when he saw a photograph of the actor in a magazine. Although Rourke was cast in the lead role, script rewrites caused a delay in filming, and he left the project to make The Pope of Greenwich Village (1984, see entry). Without consent from producers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer, Paramount gave the script to actor Sylvester Stallone, who reportedly agreed to replace Rourke in less than one day. However, the 9 Apr 1984 HR announced that Stallone had formally declined to continue with the production due to conflicts with Simpson and ... More Less

       As stated in a 16 Dec 1984 NYT article, the concept for Beverly Hills Cop was generated in 1975 by Michael Eisner, who was head of Paramount Pictures at the time. While driving an old station wagon that he first owned in New York City, Eisner was stopped for speeding on the freeway, and the police officer treated him with condescension due to the condition of his vehicle. Eisner realized how much status in Los Angeles, CA, was driven by materialism, and reportedly exchanged the station wagon for a Mercedes Benz the following day. However, he became dedicated to enshrining the event in a film about a Beverly Hills policeman. In the coming years, Eisner remained dissatisfied with potential scripts until Daniel Petrie, Jr., who had never been credited as a feature film writer, submitted his screenplay in Sep 1983.
       According to NYT and an 18 Nov 1984 LAT article, the film was initially set to star actor Mickey Rourke, who was personally selected by Eisner when he saw a photograph of the actor in a magazine. Although Rourke was cast in the lead role, script rewrites caused a delay in filming, and he left the project to make The Pope of Greenwich Village (1984, see entry). Without consent from producers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer, Paramount gave the script to actor Sylvester Stallone, who reportedly agreed to replace Rourke in less than one day. However, the 9 Apr 1984 HR announced that Stallone had formally declined to continue with the production due to conflicts with Simpson and Bruckheimer. The 16 Dec 1984 NYT stated that Stallone left the project just two weeks before principal photography was scheduled to begin. The rift was provoked when Stallone rewrote Petrie, Jr.’s screenplay, transforming it from a “dialog-oriented” picture into an action movie, and the changes required an additional $2 million for “below-the-line costs.” As noted in the 18 Nov 1984 LAT, Stallone’s representatives claimed Paramount asked the actor to rewrite the script, and that the two-parties split on good terms. NYT added that Stallone, the producers, and Paramount executives debated the merits of the actor’s revisions for two days before finally agreeing to use Petrie, Jr.’s, version “by mutual agreement.” Still, the filmmakers were already courting Eddie Murphy at the time of Stallone’s departure, and on 13 Apr 1984, HR confirmed Murphy’s casting. The deal agreed to an “in association with” onscreen credit for Eddie Murphy Productions and included the film in Murphy’s recent five-picture contract with Paramount Pictures that resulted from his box-office success in Trading Places (1983, see entry). The character name “Axel Cobretti” was changed to “Axel Foley.”
       During preproduction, Simpson and Bruckheimer were taken to an actual Detroit, MI, murder crime scene, according to the 16 Dec 1984 NYT. The homicide inspector who escorted the producers to the site, Gilbert R. Hill, was cast in the role of Axel Foley’s boss, “Inspector Todd.” Hill also provided research material for Murphy, who copied the officer’s habit of tucking his gun in the back of his trousers. While at the scene, the producers noticed that the incident occurred across the street from Mumford High School, and decided to feature a long-sleeved t-shirt from the school in Murphy’s wardrobe. A 19 Jan 1985 LAHExam noted that Murphy’s trademark “Mumford Phys. Ed. Dept.” shirt resulted in a lucrative licensing deal for the high school, which was unable to keep up with the onslaught of orders after the film’s release.
       According to the 13 Apr 1984 LAHExam, principal photography was scheduled to begin 7 May 1984 with locations in Detroit and Los Angeles. The 16 Dec 1984 NYT stated the script was completed the same day filming began, and that it was consistently revised based on Murphy’s improvisations.
       During production, a 29 Jun 1984 Beverly Hills Courier news item stated that shooting was prohibited in the city’s streets past 10:30 p.m., so the filmmakers moved locations to Pasadena, CA, where the town’s mansions stood in for those in Beverly Hills, CA. Second unit stunts, chase scenes, and opening credits were filmed over five days in Detroit during summer 1984, as noted in a 12 Oct 1984 Back Stage article. The “cigarette spill-over” crash sequence was filmed on John R and Brush Streets in the Highland Park district, the smashed fruit truck scene was located at Michigan Avenue and 30th Street, and the two-ton truck collision was shot several blocks away, on Jackson Avenue and 30th Street. Other Detroit locations included the Warehouse District, the residential area adjacent to Wayne State University, and the Ford Motor Company assembly plant in Wayne, MI.
       The film was released 5 Dec 1984 on 1,450 screens, as stated in the 11 Dec 1984 DV, and Paramount planned to add an additional 521 venues by 21 Dec 1984. The picture grossed $3,865,673 in its first two days of release, and $19,080,478 its opening weekend. DV also noted that the film was initially budgeted at $14 million, but it came in $1 million under its projected cost. Murphy earned $4 million for his participation in the project. On 29 Dec 1984, NYT announced that the picture had grossed $64.5 million in twenty-three days of opening. By 17 Apr 1985, Beverly Hills Cop earnings reached $200,074,594, making it the most successful film “released outside the summer season” to date, according to a DV article published that day. Just over nine months later, the 22 Jan 1986 HR, which noted that box-office receipts now totaled $233 million, stated that the Beverly Hills Cop videocassette release on Paramount Home Video was the highest-selling video to date. At that time, the picture also marked the highest-grossing comedy in motion picture history.
       As reported in the 12 Dec 1984 LAT and Var, Motown Records filed a lawsuit against Paramount shortly after the film’s release, alleging that the studio used the Rick James song “BHC (I Can’t Stop)” on the soundtrack album without formal permission. Furthermore, Motown contended that the song should not have been included on the album because it was not played in the film nor credited onscreen.
       Beverly Hills Cop was nominated for one Academy Award in the category Writing (Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen). The picture also ranked #63 on AFI’s list of the 100 funniest American movies, “100 Years… 100 Laughs.”
      End credits include the following acknowledgements: “Gallery artwork courtesy of: Peter Gebhardt, Gary Gibson, Eugene Jardin, Larry Lubow, Andre Mirapolski, Paul Morgensen, Bruce Richards, John Sonsini, Don Sorenson, [and] Rita Yokoi.”
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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Back Stage
12 Oct 1984.
---
Beverly Hills Courier
29 Jun 1984.
---
Daily Variety
27 Nov 1984
p. 2, 13.
Daily Variety
11 Dec 1984.
---
Daily Variety
17 Apr 1985
p. 1, 225.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Apr 1984.
---
Hollywood Reporter
13 Apr 1984.
---
Hollywood Reporter
30 Nov 1984
p. 3, 42.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Jan 1986.
---
LAHExam
13 Apr 1984.
---
LAHExam
19 Jan 1985.
---
Los Angeles Times
18 Nov 1984
Section W, p. 23, 38.
Los Angeles Times
5 Dec 1984
p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
12 Dec 1984.
---
New York Times
5 Dec 1984
p. 25.
New York Times
16 Dec 1984
p. 21.
New York Times
29 Dec 1984
p. 1, 9.
Variety
28 Nov 1984
p. 19.
Variety
12 Dec 1984.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
A Don Simpson/Jerry Bruckheimer Production
In association with Eddie Murphy Productions
A Martin Brest Film
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
2d unit dir
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
1st asst dir, 2d unit
2d asst dir
2d asst dir, 2d unit
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Assoc prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Still photog
Gaffer
Key grip
Dolly grip
Dolly grip
Best boy
Best boy
2d grip
2d grip
Cam op, 2d unit
Cam op, 2d unit
1st asst cam, 2d unit
1st asst cam, 2d unit
2d asst cam, 2d unit
2d asst cam, 2d unit
Grip/Gaffer, 2d unit
Grip/Gaffer, 2d unit
Grip/Gaffer, 2d unit
Cam equip and dollies supplied by, 2d unit
Insert car provided by, 2d unit
Insert car provided by, 2d unit
Crane provided by, 2d unit
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
Asst ed
Apprentice ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
Prop master
Asst prop
Standby painter
Const coord
COSTUMES
Cost des
MUSIC
Mus consultant for MCA Records
Mus ed
SOUND
Boom op
Supv sd ed
Supv sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Asst sd ed
Foley ed
A.D.R. ed
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Digital consultant
VISUAL EFFECTS
Computer eff consultant
MAKEUP
Make-up artist
Make-up artist
Hair stylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Casting
Casting asst
Scr supv
Asst to Mr. Moder
Asst to Mr. Simpson
Asst to Mr. Simpson
Asst to Mr. Bruckheimer
Asst to Mr. Brest
Asst to Mr. Brest
Asst to Mr. Brest
Office asst
Loc mgr
Loc mgr
Prod auditor
DGA trainee
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Tech consultant
Art gallery consultant
Extras casting, 2d unit
Prod asst, 2d unit
Prod asst, 2d unit
Prod asst, 2d unit
Prod asst, 2d unit
Prod secy, 2d unit
Craft service, 2d unit
Catering, 2d unit
Loc mgr, 2d unit
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
SOURCES
SONGS
"The Heat Is On," written by Keith Forsey and Harold Faltermeyer, performed by Glenn Frey, produced by Keith Forsey and Harold Faltermeyer
"Neutron Dance," written by Allee Willis and Danny Sembello, performed by Pointer Sisters, produced by Richard Perry, courtesy of Planet Records
"Stir It Up," written by Allee Willis and Danny Sembello, performed by Patti LaBelle, produced by Keith Forsey and Harold Faltermeyer
+
SONGS
"The Heat Is On," written by Keith Forsey and Harold Faltermeyer, performed by Glenn Frey, produced by Keith Forsey and Harold Faltermeyer
"Neutron Dance," written by Allee Willis and Danny Sembello, performed by Pointer Sisters, produced by Richard Perry, courtesy of Planet Records
"Stir It Up," written by Allee Willis and Danny Sembello, performed by Patti LaBelle, produced by Keith Forsey and Harold Faltermeyer
"Do You Really (Want My Love?)," written by Junior and Glenn Nightingale, performed by Junior, produced by Nigel Martinez, courtesy of London Records (UK)
"New Attitude," written by Sharon Robinson, Jon Gilutin and Bunny Hill, performed by Patti LaBelle, produced by Howie Rice, Peter Bunetta and Rick Chudacoff
"Nasty Girl," written by Vanity, performed by Vanity 6, produced by The Starr Company and Vanity 6, courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc., by arrangement with Warner Special Products.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
5 December 1984
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 5 December 1984
Production Date:
began 7 May 1984 in Detroit, Michigan, and Los Angeles, California
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Pictures Corporation
Copyright Date:
27 December 1984
Copyright Number:
PA235452
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo® in selected theaters
Color
Color by Technicolor®
Lenses/Prints
Lenses and Panaflex® Cameras by Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
105
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
27539
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

On a Detroit, Michigan, street, undercover police officer Axel Foley persuades several criminals to purchase black market cigarettes. When police arrive, the crooks speed away in a double-trailer semi truck as Axel clings to a storage chain. After a citywide chase, officers detain Axel at gunpoint only to realize he is one of their own. Back at the police station, Inspector Todd scolds Axel for his recent act of insubordination and threatens to fire him. Returning home, Axel is surprised to find his ex-convict childhood friend, Mikey Tandino, who has broken into the apartment. After showing Axel a stack of stolen German bearer bonds, Mikey reports that he recently returned from Beverly Hills, California, where he worked as an art gallery security guard for their longtime friend, Jenny Summers. When the companions return from a pool hall, a hired killer punches Axel unconscious as his boss, Zack, shoots Mikey dead as retribution for stealing the bonds. A short time later, police arrive and Axel, now conscious, unsuccessfully appeals to Inspector Todd for permission to pursue the case. Taking matters into his own hands, Axel requests time off and drives his battered Chevrolet Nova to Beverly Hills, pretending to be on vacation. There, he checks into the overbooked Beverly Palm Hotel by insisting he is a journalist for Rolling Stone magazine. Unfazed by the $235 per night fee, Axel walks to the Hollis Benton Gallery, where Jenny Summers works for art dealer Victor Maitland. She is shocked to learn of Mikey’s murder and reports that their friend ... +


On a Detroit, Michigan, street, undercover police officer Axel Foley persuades several criminals to purchase black market cigarettes. When police arrive, the crooks speed away in a double-trailer semi truck as Axel clings to a storage chain. After a citywide chase, officers detain Axel at gunpoint only to realize he is one of their own. Back at the police station, Inspector Todd scolds Axel for his recent act of insubordination and threatens to fire him. Returning home, Axel is surprised to find his ex-convict childhood friend, Mikey Tandino, who has broken into the apartment. After showing Axel a stack of stolen German bearer bonds, Mikey reports that he recently returned from Beverly Hills, California, where he worked as an art gallery security guard for their longtime friend, Jenny Summers. When the companions return from a pool hall, a hired killer punches Axel unconscious as his boss, Zack, shoots Mikey dead as retribution for stealing the bonds. A short time later, police arrive and Axel, now conscious, unsuccessfully appeals to Inspector Todd for permission to pursue the case. Taking matters into his own hands, Axel requests time off and drives his battered Chevrolet Nova to Beverly Hills, pretending to be on vacation. There, he checks into the overbooked Beverly Palm Hotel by insisting he is a journalist for Rolling Stone magazine. Unfazed by the $235 per night fee, Axel walks to the Hollis Benton Gallery, where Jenny Summers works for art dealer Victor Maitland. She is shocked to learn of Mikey’s murder and reports that their friend worked at Maitland’s warehouse. Sometime later, Axel gains access to the Maitland’s office, pretending to be a flower deliveryman. Unaware that Mikey’s killer, Zack, is sitting in the room, Axel tells Maitland about the murder. The art dealer feigns distress then orders his henchmen to remove Axel from the building. As they throw him through a glass wall, Axel is arrested by two Beverly Hills policemen for carrying a concealed weapon. At the police station, Sgt. Taggart and his partner, Det. Billy Rosewood, reveal they are aware that Axel is a fellow officer, but the infuriated Taggart punches him in the stomach. When Lt. Bogomil asks if Axel wishes to press charges, he refuses to betray a colleague. Bogomil mentions that Axel’s boss, Inspector Todd, has again threatened to fire the detective if he is pursuing Mikey’s murder case. Later, Jenny bails Axel out of jail and defends Maitland, who launched her successful career. As they drive away in Jenny’s Mecedes convertible, Axel notices Taggart and Rosewood trailing them. Back at his hotel, Axel orders room service for delivery to the detectives’ unmarked police car. While the officers are distracted, Axel stuffs their car tailpipe with bananas so they cannot follow Jenny’s Mercedes to Maitland’s warehouse. There, Axel takes a sample of scattered coffee grounds, witnesses the transfer of German bearer bonds, and follows deliverymen to a bonded warehouse. When he locates the suspicious Maitland crate, Axel pretends to be an irate undercover customs inspector and orders the employees to check the origin and destination of the container. Returning to the hotel, Axel climbs into the backseat of Taggart and Rosewood’s car and convinces the men to join him for a drink. Despite Taggart’s insistence on following police protocol, Axel takes the detectives to a strip club, where he notices two suspicious men in trench coats. Axel persuades Taggart to back him up then detains the men. Back at the Beverly Hills police station, Axel credits Taggart and Rosewood for the arrests, but Taggart is a stickler for honesty and confesses the truth. Lt. Bogomil is outraged and reassigns the case to another team, detectives Foster and McCabe. The next morning, the new team follows Axel to Maitland’s mansion. When the art dealer’s limousine drives away, Axel outwits the detectives by speeding through a red traffic light, then trails Maitland to the elite Harrow social club. There, Axel pretends to be Maitland’s homosexual lover, who needs to convey his recent diagnosis of “herpes simplex 10,” and the maître d’ awkwardly asks Axel to deliver the message in person. Pushing Zack into a buffet table, Axel threatens to hold Maitland accountable for Mikey’s murder and ends up back at the Beverly Hills police station, where he finally reveals the true cause for his “vacation.” He explains that Maitland is bypassing customs to smuggle foreign bonds and drugs into the U.S. Although Lt. Bogomil is intrigued by the discovery, he cannot issue a warrant without proof, and his boss, Chief Hubbard, expels Axel from Beverly Hills. As Rosewood escorts him back to the hotel, Axel reveals that a Maitland shipment is scheduled to arrive that day. He convinces Rosewood to help him procure evidence and directs the detective to Maitland’s gallery. When Axel asks Jenny for keys to the warehouse, she insists on joining the officers. Leaving Rosewood outside in the unmarked police car, Axel and Jenny creep into the storeroom and uncover bags of cocaine, packed in coffee grounds. Just then, Axel and Jenny are detained at gunpoint by Maitland’s henchmen and the art dealer soon arrives with his cronies. Admitting that he is Mikey’s killer, Zack beats Axel, and Maitland is driven away in his limousine with Jenny. Meanwhile, Rosewood observes the events and realizes Axel is in danger. Risking his career, Rosewood rescues Axel and pursues Maitland’s limousine. On the way, Rosewood radios Taggart, who orders Foster and McCabe to go to the warehouse while he follows his partner to Maitland’s estate. There, Taggart orders an end to Axel’s pursuit, but the Detroit officer and Rosewood are intent on rescuing Jenny, so Taggart joins their mission. Back at the police station, Lt. Bogomil orders other officers to the scene. Meanwhile, Axel, Taggart, and Rosewood are ambushed by machine gun-bearing security guards, but Axel breaks into the mansion, kills Zack, and is shot in the arm by Maitland. As police arrive, Maitland holds Jenny at gunpoint, but Lt. Bogomil interrupts the attack, and he and Axel shoot Maitland dead. Outside, Chief Hubbard demands Axel’s arrest, but Lt. Bogomil invents a story to explain the incident. When trustworthy Taggart backs up the account, Hubbard finally believes Lt. Bogomil’s report. Although Axel is ordered to return to Detroit, the lieutenant agrees to restore Axel’s credibility with Inspector Todd. That evening, Taggart and Rosewood arrive at the Beverly Palm Hotel to escort Axel out of town. When he realizes the police department is paying for his accommodations, Axel adds two bathrobes to the bill and gives them to his friends. Outside, Taggart agrees to stop for a drink on the way out of Beverly Hills, and Axel promises in jest that he will take them to a respectable establishment. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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