Hot shots! - The mother of all films

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German title Hot shots! - The mother of all films
Original title Hot shots!
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1991
length 82 minutes
Age rating FSK 6
Director Jim Abrahams
script Jim Abrahams,
Pat Proft
production Bill Badalato
music Sylvester Levay
camera Bill Butler
cut Jane Kurson ,
Eric A. Sears

Successor  →
Hot Shots! The second attempt

Hot shots! - The mother of all movies is an American slapstick - comedy from the year 1991 . It is a parody of war films like Top Gun and other Hollywood productions. A sequel was released in 1993 under the title Hot Shots! The second attempt .


A few years ago is US Navy - pilot Dominic "Mailman" Farnham died in an airplane accident, which all have attributed to the unreliability of Farnham's comrades Leland Harley. The incident haunts Harley's son Topper, who later became a fighter jet pilot himself, and ultimately leads to his retirement from the army and living in seclusion with an Indian tribe . But he is needed again, and so the officer James Block brings him back into active service for the secret operation “Sleepy Weasel” with the “Oscar Duck Soft” fighter jets.

His “elite troop” is a confused bunch of short-sighted, mentally disturbed or simply incompetent pilots under the direction of the insane Admiral Benson, whose entire body consists almost entirely of spare parts after countless war missions, of which he likes to report. The team includes the half-blind Jim “Fischauge” Pfaffenbach, Pete “Strahlemann” Thompson and Topper's rival Kent Gregory. Disputes between Topper and Gregory are inevitable, as he is the son of the late Dominic Farnham and desires the same woman as Topper: the beautiful psychiatrist Ramada.

Squadron leader James Block has now been bribed by the aircraft manufacturers Wilson and Rosener and is supposed to sabotage the mission in order to motivate the government to use competing products. On board the aircraft carrier USS Essess , the men go into battle, with Block using Harley's sensitive reactions to the mention of his father to sabotage the maneuver. When he notices that Rosener and Wilson are not keeping their promise not to let anyone harm, he turns the tables. He reveals the truth to the already out of control Harley, namely that his father tried everything in the accident to save Farnham's life. Thus, "Sleepy Weasel" can still be finished successfully and Rosener and Wilson can be overwhelmed. Then Gregory and Harley get along. Harley gets together with Ramada.



The scenes on the aircraft carrier were shot on a wooden deck built on a cliff. The aircraft used by the Navy are Folland Gnats , but Harley's father's aircraft at the beginning is a Northrop T-38 . The opponents fly Northrop F-5 . When Admiral Benson arrives at the airbase, he climbs or falls from a Douglas DC-8 -33 (F).

The name Topper Harley refers to the Harley-Davidson scooter , model Topper , but in the film it drives a Honda Transalp . His real first name is Sean, as you can see briefly when he shows his ID. According to American usage, a topper is a mattress protector .

Was shot u. a. in the following locations in California :

During the recordings in which the "beam man" crashes, you can see that these scenes were filmed at Mojave Airport in California. In the background you can see many parked civil aircraft. You can also see the rear of an Airbus A300 in the Airbus factory paint.

Parodied templates

Hot Shots parodies the following films, among others:

Furthermore, the two American professional basketball players Bill Laimbeer and Charles Barkley parody themselves during the bar fight scene. They allude to an actual physical argument between the two during a game of their two teams.


The German dubbing was done by Deutsche Synchron Filmgesellschaft mbH . Michael Richter , who also wrote the dialogue book, directed the dubbing .

The German title addition The mother of all films is a satirical allusion to a winged phrase by Iraqi President Saddam Hussein . In 1990, he described the then imminent Second Gulf War as the mother of all battles .

Hot shots! is also one of those films in which the German dubbing has built in additional gags. In one scene, Topper Harley throws a coin into a barrier machine and says in the German version: “The trick with the old buttons still works!” Elsewhere (at the beginning of the film) football is played on the deck of the aircraft carrier ; a crew member catches the ball and falls overboard, while still being heard shouting "Three to One!" In the English version only the screaming can be heard.

role actor Voice actor
Sean "Topper" Harley Charlie Sheen Ingo Albrecht
Kent Gregory Cary Elwes Patrick Winczewski
Ramada Thompson Valeria Golino Bettina White
Thomas Benson Lloyd Bridges Edgar Ott
James Block Kevin Dunn Tom Deininger
Jim "Fisheye" Pfaffenbach Jon Cryer Hans-Jürgen Wolf
Pete "Strahlemann" Thompson William O'Leary Hans-Jürgen Dittberner
Dominic "Mailman" Farnham Ryan Stiles Hubertus Bengsch
Leland "Buzz" Harley Bill Irwin Michael Pan
Drill Sergeant Cylk Cozart Raimund Krone
Herring Bruce A. Young Tilo Schmitz
Mary Thompson Heidi Swedberg Ulrike Möckel
Wilson Efrem Zimbalist junior Christian Rode
Owatonna Rino Thunder Helmut Krauss


A few gags were built into the credits of the film. Baking recipes as well as information on what you could do after the film are shown between the individual credits . Shortly before the presentation of the logo of the production company, the viewer is told that they would probably be at home if they had left the film at the beginning of the credits (“If you had left this theater when these credits began, you'd be home now. ").

Awards and box office results

  • 3.95 million German moviegoers saw hot shots . That's what the golden canvas was for .
  • In the United States , the film grossed 69.47 million US dollars and came in at number 18 on the American annual charts in 1991. With production costs of about 26 million dollars, the parody grossed 181 million dollars worldwide.


In 1993 the same team followed up Hot Shots! The second attempt that parodied Sylvester Stallone in particular in Rambo 2 - The Order . Richard Crenna played in both productions in the same role as Colonel and Rambo's superior. The story of the film revolves around a hostage rescue of US soldiers in Iraq, which is ruled by dictator Saddam . Comedian Rowan Atkinson makes a guest appearance as a detained scientist.


The Revue du cinéma finds the references to other films arbitrary and lacks a real plot. Otherwise, however, the film is well suited for diversion.

“With this film, director Jim Abrahams established the genre of chaos comedy. The plot is unimportant, only a thin thread serves as a hook anyway, which is borrowed here from the Top Gun flying spectacle . From this, completely absurd to beautifully stupid ideas are lined up, and everything that was trendy in the cinema at the time is pulled through the cocoa. Every now and then it can be a classic. It just hails the gags, so it doesn't matter if one or the other is badly wrong. It's always funny. "

"Conclusion: super-amber quotes cinema with eighties flair."

“Abrahams serves gags of the bad taste that made the Naked Cannon films a recipe for success . [...] In any case, 'Hot Shots' does not touch the foundations of American enthusiasm for everything military, and the subversiveness of its humor never comes close to that of military satires like Catch 22 or MASH . "

“A predominantly rough parody of the successful film" Top Gun ", which doesn't trust subtle undertones and relies on slapstick; only really funny in a few moments. "

"The ideas picked up here and there are laboriously strung together, since the unimaginative direction cannot replace the nonexistent script."

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Source on filming locations at
  2. Hot Shots! - The mother of all films. In: German dubbing file , accessed on March 2, 2017 .
  3. Hot Shots! - The mother of all films
  4. ^ Revue du cinéma, No. 476, November 1991, Paris, p. 42
  5. film review
  6. film review
  7. epd Film No. 12/1991, joint work of Evangelical Journalism, Frankfurt aM, pp. 36–37
  8. Hot Shots! - The mother of all films. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed March 2, 2017 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 
  9. Positif No. 369, November 1991, Paris, p. 43 (Les idées prises ici ou là s'enchaînent laborieusement les unes aux autres puisque la réalisation, par son absence totale d'invention, ne peut compenser un scénario inexistant.)