Beverly Hills Cop (1984) B
Paramount (Simpson-Bruckheimer Production)
This blockbuster action-comedy, the first and best of three in the 1980s series, made Eddie Murphy a major box-office star.
Murphy plays an irreverent Detroit detective on a case in Beverly Hills, who teaches the local cops (white, of course) about life on the streets and other matters.
As the young wisecracking cop, driving a beat-up Chevy Nova, Axel Foley is a classic fish out of water. He’s a Detroit detective sent on involuntary vacation, because he refuses to drop his intention of avenging his friend’s murder.
Though warned by Beverly Hills police chief Ronny Cox to stay out of trouble, Foley decided to dog the trail of above-the-law Steven Berkoff, the British crime czar who was responsible for the murder of his friend.
With the help of sympathetic local cops (Judge Reinhold and John Ashton) and a female friend (Lisa Eilbacher), Foley corners Berkoff in his mansion, leading to a wild slapsticky shootout.
In the course of the action, Alex also takes on the uptight store owners and gallery operators on Rodeo Drive.
Director Martin Brest gives the film the right, fast tempo, but the real pleasure comes from Murphy’s loud-mouth, streets-smart motor of a cop, who is given the best lines of the scenario (which was Oscar-nominated).
As an action comedy, it’s far superior to the two sequels that were made, the second of which in 1987 by Tony Scott.
Oscar Nominations: 1
Screenplay (Original): Daniel Petrie, Jr; story by Danilo Bach and Petrie
The Original Screenplay Oscar went to Robert Benton for “Places in the Heart,” which was nominated for Best Picture and won Sally Field her second Best Actress Award.
Running time: 105 Minutes.
Directed by Martin Brest.
Eddie Murphy as Axel Foley
Judge Reinhold as Detective Billy Rosewoo
Lisa Eilbacher as Jenny Summers
John Ashton as Sgt. Taggart
Ronny Cox as Lt. Andrew Bogomil
Steven Berkoff as Victor Maitland
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