1. The Naked Gun
1. The Naked Gun
If ever there were a movie that demonstrated the old maxim, “They don’t make ‘em like they used to,” when it comes to comedy, the original Naked Gun is it. From inspired one-liners to timeless visual gags, it’s a relentless barrage of laughing your ass off. (Case in point: Lt. Frank Drebin: “Nice beaver!” / Jane Spencer [stepping down from ladder with the taxidermy animal]: “Thank you. I just had it stuffed.”) The film is so full of golden moments, it’s difficult to pick any particular one. What’s more, 1988â€²s From the Files of Police Squad! is blessed with not one but two priceless montage sequences.
The first comes when romance is blossoming between Frank (played, of course, by the late, great Leslie Nielsen) and Jane (the ravishing Priscilla Presley). The genius of this sequence is its self-reflexivity, as it shamelessly lampoons the clichÃ©s of other feel-good montages with lowbrow comedy brilliance. To the tune of “I’m into Something Good” by Herman’s Hermits, the couple â€” their relationship newly consummated in human-sized condoms â€” frolic on the beach, eat candyfloss… and get love tattoos from hairy bikers. Among the slapstick gems are the parts where they squirt mustard and ketchup over each other and the hotdog vendor, laugh their asses off leaving the movie theater having just watched Platoon and â€” our favorite â€” the slo-mo double clothesline of another couple as they splash through the waves. Slapstick win.
The Naked Gun’s other awesome montage sequence is the sheer hilarity that ensues after Frank yells “Strike!” and begins calling the game whilst posing as an umpire in the baseball game finale. Frank does the splits, moonwalks, busts other Michael Jackson moves and generally lavishes in the crowd’s approval. And as the piano chords are struck, it’s more of the same, with the added bonus of him harassing â€” and bludgeoning â€” players to frisk them for weapons, and by turns hoovering home plate, producing a sander and Vaseline from the pitcher’s person and “uncorking” a bat. We’re even treated to Ed putting away soda, an ice pop, an apple and a whole cake as if he’s got four hands out of shot. Then the dugouts start communicating with a signal lamp and slaps to the face. Double slapstick win.