Police Academy (franchise)

Police Academy

Police Academy DVD boxset
Directed by Hugh Wilson (1)
Jerry Paris (2-3)
Jim Drake (4)
Alan Myerson (5)
Peter Bonerz (6)
Alan Metter (7)
Produced by Paul Maslansky
Starring David Graf
G.W. Bailey
Steve Guttenberg
Bubba Smith
Leslie Easterbrook
Marion Ramsey
George Gaynes
Michael Winslow
Bob Goldthwait
Tim Kazurinsky
Tab Thacker
Music by Robert Folk
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release dates
Running time
627 min. (total)
Country United States
Language English
Box office $239.6 million[1]

Police Academy is a series of American comedy films, the first six of which were made in the 1980s. The seventh and to date last installment, Mission to Moscow, was released in 1994. The series opened with Police Academy (1984) which started with the premise that a new mayor had announced a policy requiring the police department to accept all willing recruits. The movie followed a group of misfit recruits in their attempts to prove themselves capable of being police officers, and succeeding both in spite of and because of their eccentricities. The main character, Carey Mahoney (Steve Guttenberg), was a repeat offender who was forced to join the police academy as punishment.

In general, all of the movies and television shows depended on low-brow humor, usually based on simple characterizations and physical comedy. As with many similar movies, the theme was a group of underdogs struggling to prove themselves while various stereotyped authority figures tried to suppress them. The sequels have not been well received by critics over the years. The first film grossed $81.2 million in North America, with the following films earning $150 million in total.[2] Parallels are often drawn between Police Academy and the British Carry On franchise[3] for their common reliance on a largely constant ensemble cast throughout the various films, the two series' frequent use of low brow humor, sexual innuendo and physical comedy.



Police Academy was released in 1984, and directed by Hugh Wilson. The film has a newly elected mayor announcing a policy requiring the police department to accept all willing recruits. The movie followed a group of misfit recruits in their attempts to prove themselves capable of being police officers and their adventures at the police academy. In Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment, the newly graduated cadets are sent to one of the worst precincts in the city to improve the conditions. Lt. Mauser undermines their attempts so that he can get Capt. Lassard fired and get the position in charge. Police Academy 3: Back in Training was released in 1986, and like its predecessor was directed by Jerry Paris. When the governor of the state announces that budget cuts are in order to get rid of the worst of the two police academies, the Metropolitan police academy, led by Commandant Lassard, work on ensuring it isn't theirs. This is hindered by their unusual gang of new cadets. The fourth installment, Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol, released in 1987, involves new recruits being brought in when the officers work with a newly formed Citizens On Patrol group. However, Harris and Proctor are in charge and plan to dismantle the program. Citizens on Patrol was the final film starring Guttenberg. Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach was released in 1988 and directed by Alan Myerson. The plot involves the officers attending a police convention in Florida to honor Commandant Eric Lassard as police officer of the decade where Commandant Lassard inadvertently switches his sports bag with that of a group of jewel thieves. The thieves try to get it back. The sixth installment, Police Academy 6: City Under Siege directed by Peter Bonerz, was released in 1989. When the city suffers from a dangerous set of crimes by a gang of jewel thieves, the Metropolitan Police Academy graduates are brought in to do something about it. Police Academy: Mission to Moscow released in 1994, and directed by Alan Metter involved the officers go to Russia to help catch an international crime figure.

Cast and characters


Film Director Writer(s) Producer(s)
Police Academy (1984) Hugh Wilson Neal Israel, Pat Proft & Hugh Wilson Paul Maslansky
Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment (1985) Jerry Paris Barry W. Blaustein & David Sheffield Paul Maslansky, John Goldwyn & Leonard C. Kroll
Police Academy 3: Back in Training (1986) Gene Quintano Paul Maslansky & Donald L. West
Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987) Jim Drake
Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach (1988) Alan Myerson Stephen Curwick
Police Academy 6: City Under Siege (1989) Peter Bonerz
Police Academy: Mission to Moscow (1994) Alan Metter Randolph Davis & Michele S. Chodos Paul Maslansky, Donald L. West, Suzanne Lore & Leonid Vereschtchaguine


The music score was composed by Robert Folk, which includes a famous melody theme that appears in all the rest of the movies. However, a pop song entitled "I'm Gonna Be Somebody" by Jack Mack is used at the end of #1. For #4, a rap song, "Citizens on Patrol", was written by John Debney and sung by Michael Winslow and LA Dream Team.


As of September 2003, plans were set in motion for an eighth "Police Academy" film to be released in 2007 after a decade of absence.[4] Says series creator Paul Maslansky: "I felt it was time to start again. I saw that Starsky & Hutch and a number of other revivals were doing really well. Police Academy has such a great history, so I thought, 'Why not?'"[5] Most of the main cast members were due to return,[6] except David Graf (Sgt. Eugene Tackleberry) and Billie Bird (Lois Feldman) who have died. Hugh Wilson was slated to direct.[7]

Leslie Easterbrook (Capt. Debbie Callahan) and Marion Ramsey (Sgt. Laverne Hooks) mentioned that filming for the next Police Academy film was due to start shooting in summer 2006 for a release in 2007.[8] The film was shelved in October 2006. Easterbrook did mention that there was still hope for a direct to DVD sequel. She added that while Warner Bros. wanted to do one, they wanted a producer to get independent financing.[9][10] In May 2008, Michael Winslow replied to a question about a possible new Police Academy film: “Anything’s possible. You’ve got to hope for Paul Maslansky and those folks over there to put it together. It’s up to them. It would be great to see everyone again."[11]

In a radio interview on November 26, 2008, with Colin Paterson for BBC Five Live's Simon Mayo show, Steve Guttenberg (Sgt. Carey Mahoney) confirmed that 8 was still in development and that he was working on the script with Warner Bros..[12] Guttenberg is slated to direct the film,[13] and stated that all of the cast from the previous installments (except for the deceased David Graf, Billie Bird and Tab Thacker) would return to reprise their roles.[13]

After seven films in its original ten-year run, New Line is planning on reviving the Police Academy series, which grossed $240 million worldwide and spawned a pair of TV spinoffs. The slapstick comedy will be helmed by original producer Paul Maslansky. "It's going to be very worthwhile to the people who remember it and to those who saw it on TV," Maslansky told the Hollywood Reporter. "It's going to be a new class. We hope to discover new talent and season it with great comedians. It'll be anything but another movie with a numeral next to it. And we'll most probably retain the wonderful musical theme."[14]

In an interview with MTV Movies Blogs on March 17, 2010, Paul Maslansky stated that he plans to bring back some of the original cast to train the new recruits. When asked which characters he would bring back, Maslansky stated, "I haven't decided which ones. And I don't want to mention names and others will be disappointed, at this point, All I know is that I want to bring back some of the older characters to it, and maybe they'll have principal roles, some of them, and some of them might be just you know [a cameo]."[15]

While appearing as a guest on the July 12, 2010 edition of This Morning, Michael Winslow (Sgt. Larvell Jones) confirmed that Police Academy 8 is still in production. In August 2010, Steve Guttenberg revealed a script was being written by David Diamond and David Weissman.[16]

On August 9, 2010, actor Bobcat Goldthwait (Officer Zed) released a statement urging Hollywood to reboot the Police Academy series with a new group of actors instead of the original cast members. Goldthwait confirmed that Steve Guttenberg would return and that movie bosses were trying to get Kim Cattrall and Sharon Stone to return for an eighth film though Goldthwait said he had no desire to return to the series.[17]

On January 9, 2012, New Line Cinema confirmed that Scott Zabielski (Tosh.0) will be the director of the upcoming film.[18] During a radio interview on March 21, 2012, Michael Winslow stated that production of the eighth film was due to begin in November and that an offer had been made to Shaquille O'Neal to replace the late Bubba Smith as Hightower.[19] On June 5, 2012, Jeremy Garelick (The Break-Up) was hired by New Line Cinema to help rewrite the aforementioned script.[20][21]

Box office

Film Release date Domestic gross Budget References
Police Academy March 23, 1984 $81,198,894 $4,500,000 [22]
Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment March 29, 1985 $55,600,000 N/A [23]
Police Academy 3: Back in Training March 21, 1986 $43,579,163 N/A [24]
Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol April 3, 1987 $28,061,343 N/A [25]
Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach March 18, 1988 $19,510,371 N/A [26]
Police Academy 6: City Under Siege March 10, 1989 $11,567,217 N/A [27]
Police Academy: Mission to Moscow August 26, 1994 $126,247 10,000,000 [28]
Total $239,643,235 N/A

In other media

Animated series

An animated comedy, entitled Police Academy: The Series produced by Ruby-Spears Productions and Warner Bros. Television. It ran from September 1988 to September 1989, lasting two seasons with 65 episodes produced.

Live-action series

Police Academy: The Series was a 1997 live-action show based on the films, comprising 26 hour-long episodes. It was produced by Warner Bros. Television and Protocol Entertainment. Michael Winslow reprised his role from the films, the only cast member from the films to have a recurring role on the show, although several others made occasional guest appearances.


Unknown American City

All of the Police Academy films are set in an unnamed American city. The filming of the first 4 films took place in Toronto, Canada. This is obvious as the First Canadian Place building can be seen in the opening credits, and in the third film near the end, there is a wide angle shot of the officers riding on jet-skis to rescue the governor. In that shot the Toronto skyline is clearly seen with the CN Tower visible in the background. Also, the campus in Police Academy is the Humber College Lakeshore campus, based in Etobicoke. The rest of the films were shot in Los Angeles. The opening shot of the sixth film shows downtown LA with the AT&T building visible. It is also revealed in the sixth film, the seal of the unnamed city. It is very similar to the seal of Los Angeles. The seal is circular with four pictures in the center depicting elements of the city. The producers mixed the seal up to avoid recreating the LA seal too much. The picture of the lion and the castle in the LA seal has been moved left and the picture of the eagle with the snake has moved right. On top the picture of the stars and stripes has replaced the Californian flag and a picture of a pyramid has taken its place. Unlike the LA seal it does not state the city's name on top but merely states its motto. Family Integrity Industry. Also down at the bottom there is no indication of when the city was founded simply leaving it blank. Another thing that was revealed in the sixth film was the name for its transportation authority. The buses have LITA imprinted on their side. LI therefore may be the initials for the unknown city as TA most likely stands for Transportation Authority. Because it was filmed in LA the bus probably originally said LATA for Los Angeles Transportation Authority. The producers probably simply changed the A to an I to make it a random city.

Blue Oyster Bar

The Blue Oyster bar is a fictional bar, and the setting of a recurring gag-scene. The bar is a stereotypical depiction of a leathermen's/bear gay bar, featuring patrons dressed up as bikers in leather clothing, and as police officers, sailors, and other stereotypical masculine gay fashion archetypes. The Blue Oyster was originally located on Howell Street in the first movie, but was relocated to 655 Cowan Avenue in the second (Proctor erroneously gives the address number as 621).

Within the film series, unsuspecting characters periodically enter the bar unaware of its nature (this usually happens as a prank by the lead characters). Once inside the victims are trapped and forced to dance with the patrons to the signature tune, "El Bimbo". Among those lured into the bar were:


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