With the movie's 30th anniversary right around the corner, Geek Dave disables an unmarked unit with a banana and reveals 10 things you might not know about Beverly Hills Cop.
1. The original script for Beverly Hills Cop was written in 1977. 20 re-writes and 7 years later it finally went in to production with director Martin Brest. That is after both Martin Scorsese and David Cronenberg passed on the project.
2. Sylvester Stallone was originally lined up to play Axel Foley, and had contributed towards one of those re-writes. Stallone dropped out just two weeks before production was due to begin. He allegedly quit the movie over a dispute about the brand of orange juice in his trailer. Honestly. Stallone took his script ideas with him and incorporated them into his screenplay for Cobra.
3. After Sly left, Eddie Murphy wasn't the producers first (er, second) choice. The part was offered to Al Pacino, Mickey Rourke and James Caan before Murphy was even considered.
4. Because the movie had to start production at the allocated time, and now needed a total rewrite to fit Murphy's style, many of the already cast actors received their scripts with very little time to rehearse their lines. In the first scene involving Police Chief Hubbard (played by Stephen Elliott)
you'll notice he walks in carrying some rolled-up sheets of paper. That is actually his new reworked script which was handed to him just minutes before that scene was shot. He was stood just out of camera memorising his lines, and just took them on to set with him when called.
5. When it came to cast Rosewood and Taggart, Martin Brest had a short list of about a dozen actors and set about teaming up pairs of them and then asking them to improvise a scene together, so he could judge their chemistry. He
paired up Judge Reinhold and John Ashton and asked them to act out a scenario involving them being " a middle aged couple, married for years. You are
having a conversation on an average evening." Reinhold picked up a nearby health magazine and between them they improvised the scene - "by the time the average American is fifty, he's got five pounds of undigested red meat in his bowels". They got the parts and the scene was incorporated into the movie, almost verbatim.
6. Realising he had three great actors who were happy to improvise, and come up with amazing material, Brest encouraged Murphy, Reinhold and Ashton to go for it whenever possible. This resulted in literally hundreds of takes ruined by various cast members (or even the
director himself) because they couldn't stop laughing. Some of these scenes made the final cut, in fact during the "super-cops" monologue, Ashton is pinching
his face hard and looking down in, what appears to be, apparent frustration. But if you look
closely, you can see that he is actually laughing. In a DVD commentary Reinhold revealed that during many scenes he had to put his hand
in his pocket and pinch his thigh really hard to prevent himself from
7. Bronson Pinchot character of Serge was only supposed to have a couple of lines, with his co-worker at the art gallery taking all the others. But Pinchot impressed Brest so much that he gave him all the lines... and added more.
8. Remember the "Banana in the tail-pipe"? Well it was supposed to be a "Potato in the tail-pipe". The script called for Axel Foley to steal a potato from the hotel kitchen before disabling the unmarked vehicle. Brest decided to cut the kitchen scene, but then realised that it would be weird to not explain how Foley just happened to have a potato handy to insert in the car's tail-pipe. So the scene was re-shot, and the hotel was given a fruit cart so Axel could grab a banana from the buffet.
9. Beverly Hills Cop was the first R-rated film to have a release in more than 2,000 theaters across the United States. This really helped the film to be so successful. In fact after the initial US release on December 5th 1984, the movie went on to become the highest grossing R-rated film of all time, and kept that title for 20 years until The Passion of the Christ was released in 2004.
10. Paramount were so keen to cash in on the success of Beverly Hills Cop that they started planning a spin-off TV series to debut in the Fall of 1985. They'd gone a long way into pre-production, but at no point in time had anyone ever actually asked Eddie Murphy if he wanted to commit to a TV show! He didn't!! So eventually elements of the pilot episode were incorporated into the script for Beverly Hills Cop II.
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