Great Moments In Film – The Naked Gun (1988)
A slight break from the usual format. I learned last night that the great Leslie Nielsen had died from complication from pneumonia. As we all know, Nielsen started out as a very serious actor. This phase of his career featured The Poseidon Adventure and, one of my favorites, Forbidden Planet. Later on, a group of screwball directors had the great idea of spoofing disaster movies that were so prevalent in the 1970s with Airplane! The difference was that instead of casting only comedic actors, they would also reach out to, up until then, dramatic actors as well. Among them are Peter Graves, Robert Stack, and Leslie Nielsen.
This would prove to be a complete career change for Nielsen, who would spend the rest of his career making comedies (most of them spoofs). Some are classics (The Naked Gun), others not so much (Mr. Magoo), but one thing that could counted on: Nielsen would make you laugh frequently.
Below is Nielsen as Frank Drebin, arguably his most famous character. While searching for the would-be assassin of Queen Elizabeth II, Frank has to go undercover to protect her. Unfortunately for Frank, he takes the place of Enrico Palazzo (who was very unwilling as we will see), a famous opera singer who’s there to sing to National Anthem. Uh oh.
Rest in peace, Mr. Nielsen. Thank you for all the laughs.
Vodpod videos no longer available.
Also, we have lost Irvin Kershner, who was a mentor of George Lucas as the director of The Empire Strikes Back, one of the finest science fiction movies ever made. RIP, Mr. Kershner.