Police Academy 3: Back in Training

Police Academy 3:
Back in Training

Poster by Drew Struzan
Directed by Jerry Paris
Produced by Paul Maslansky
Donald West
Written by Gene Quintano
Music by Robert Folk
Cinematography Robert Saad
Edited by Bud Molin
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release dates
  • March 21, 1986 (1986-03-21)
Running time
83 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $43,579,163

Police Academy 3: Back in Training is a 1986 comedy film directed by Jerry Paris. It is the third film and the second of the six sequels of the Police Academy film series.

Despite receiving generally negative reviews,[1] it was an overall success at the box office. It is the first film in the series to have a PG rating and all films in the series afterwards received a PG rating as well.


The film begins in a large garage structure, where Lt. Proctor (Lance Kinsey) and Commandant Mauser (Art Metrano) meet up with former cadets, (now Sgts.) Chad Copeland (Scott Thomson) and Kyle Blankes (Brant van Hoffman). It seems one of the two police academies is getting the axe due to the state government's unwillingness to continue financing two academies, and Mauser wants Copeland and Blankes to make sure Lassard screws up. The men agree to the plan, knowing this may be their only chance at revenge at Lassard for (somewhat deservingly) graduating them at the bottom of their class. Afterwards, Mauser and Proctor find themselves and their car stuck inside the garage (as they were forewarned it was closing soon), but when they both get out to try to forcibly open the gate arm, the car falls out of park and starts rolling backwards down the ramp, while Proctor tries futilely to stop it.

After the governor's speech in which he will appoint a committee to evaluate which of the two academies should remain open, Mauser starts getting an edge by kissing up to the governor (offering the committee an escort, showing governor pages of useful tactics, etc.). However, Sgt. Jones (Michael Winslow) quickly and discreetly humiliates Mauser with his unintelligible moaning, prompting Chief Hurst to reprimand him for his behavior. Commandant Lassard (George Gaynes) gets an idea on how to win: along with now Sgt. Jones and Lt. Callahan (Leslie Easterbrook), he calls back Sgt. Mahoney (Steve Guttenberg), Sgt. Hooks (Marion Ramsey), Sgt. Hightower (Bubba Smith), and Sgt. Tackleberry (David Graf) to help train the new recruits. Among the new recruits are Sgt. Fackler's wife (Debralee Scott), whom Sgt. Fackler is against being trained to be a police officer (mirroring her feelings and actions from the first movie), Sweetchuck (Tim Kazurinsky) and Zed (Bobcat Goldthwait) (who have history from the second movie as a meek small business owner being harassed by a gang, led by Zed, who ran the block his business was on), Karen Adams (Shawn Weatherly), and Tackleberry's brother-in-law Bud Kirkland (Andrew Paris). Tomoko Nogata (Brian Tochi) is at first a recruit of Mauser's academy, but Mauser transfers him in with Lassard's academy instead in hopes of sabotaging the latters' academy further.

After a few weeks of training, Nogata is lovestruck over Callahan, and Sweetchuck contemplates quitting after his roommate Zed drives him crazy (although Tackleberry talks him out of it). Copeland and Blankes make the recruits do things that would make the committee think they are incompetent. Mauser wants them out on the field soon, knowing the committee will be there. The recruits fail and are teased by Mauser and Proctor. However, Mahoney gets back at them by taping Mauser's eyes closed while doing a taste test. Proctor succeeds in removing the tape, but the tape pulls off Mauser's eyebrows.

Both Lassard and Mahoney give a pep talk to each of the cadets before training resumes. At the policepersons' ball, Mahoney meets up with his hooker friend from the first film (Georgina Spelvin), and has her do a favor on Proctor after the latter insults Mahoney and Adams. The hooker tricks Proctor into removing all his clothes and then locking him out of the hotel room (much to the dismay of onlookers). He goes out and steals a car and drives to the academy. The car runs out of gas, however, and Proctor enters a building, which to his horror turns out to be the Blue Oyster Bar. Meanwhile, Mauser insults Lassard in front of the recruits by telling him that he is winning (after he pestered Hurst so much that Hurst made him believe he was winning), so Mahoney gets him back by giving a speech at the ball and then putting the microphone in a pitcher of water. When Mauser grabs it, the microphone shocks him.

On the final day of the cadet training/evaluation competition, one recruit from each academy attends the governor's ball (Proctor misunderstands and sends in two, one of whom is portrayed by David James Elliott). Copeland and Blankes play with the computer system and send cars to the wrong locations, but are quickly caught by Hooks, who punches them out cold. At the governor's party, a gang of thieves dressed as busboys start robbing the guests and take the governor hostage. The most effective academy is proven when Mauser's cadets promptly faint upon being threatened by the thieves. Lassard's cadet Hedges (David Huband) manages to sound the alarm, prompting Mahoney and the gang to rescue the governor. Mauser and Proctor prove to be too overconfident and ineffective to react to the emergency, but Lassard's squad arrives just in time to fight off the thieves and rescue the governor.

As a result of the governor's final judgment, Lassard's academy stays open, and the epilogue shows Lassard delivering a speech on how the academy is grateful for the "many, many" recruits. The graduating class salutes the camera as the film ends.


Lassard Academy

Mauser Academy



Filming Locations

As with other films in the series, the film was shot primarily in Toronto, Canada . The city skyline is clearly identifiable in the concluding 'yacht club' scenes. There is also the scene where the female recruit drives the police car up and over a dirt pile out of an alley. At the end of the alley, there is a Toronto Sun paper box. The city grid shown on the computerized dispatch system also shows a map of downtown Toronto streets, with the detail bordering between Trinity, Yonge, Queen Streets, and the Gardiner Expressway. In the scene in which Tackleberry shoots out the television screen with his gun, a Canada Dry soda machine can be seen in the background next to a 'C' Plus soda machine, a form of Sunkist that is only sold in Canada.


The film received negative reviews.[2]

Box office

The film debuted at number one at the box office.[3] The film grossed $43,579,163 in the United States making it the 17th highest-grossing film of 1986 in the United States. It faced stiff box office competition from many other high-profile comedy films released early that year such as Back To School, Ruthless People, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Down And Out In Beverly Hills, Legal Eagles, Short Circuit, Running Scared, The Money Pit, Gung Ho, Hannah and Her Sisters, Wildcats, and Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling. When released on VHS, it grossed $21 million in the United States in rentals.


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