Police Academy

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Side view of the building that served as the Police Academy in Parts 1, 3 and 4
Cast in most of the films: GW Bailey , David Graf, and Lance Kinsey

Police Academy is a film series based on the 1984 US comedy film of the same name . Six sequels had been produced by 1994 . Furthermore, a cartoon series with the film characters and a series with a new generation of actors were created.

The seven films played more than 240 million US dollars into the United States, including more than 200 million by the first four parts. However, the series was never well received by film critics.

Up to the seventh feature film all parts are of Warner Bros. produced. Part 7 was produced by Paul Maslansky Productions , but was released by Warner anyway. The producer of all films and series is Paul Maslansky , who worked as a screenwriter for the later television series.

Feature film series

Film parts

After the great success of the first film, a total of six sequels were produced.

  • Police Academy (1984): The first and most financially successful Police Academy film. The city eases the admission requirements for the police academy, whereupon a group of chaotic cadets begin their training.
  • Police Academy 2 - Now things really get going (1985): The police officers trained in the first part start their service. You have to fix a district that is being terrorized by a street gang .
  • Police Academy 3 -… and nobody can stop it (1986): The academy is threatened with closure and has to compete against another academy. Commandant Lassard is calling back his best graduates to train a no less chaotic group of cadets.
  • Police Academy 4 - And now it's going on (1987): Commandant Lassard starts a program to involve citizens in police work and to improve relations between police and citizens. His opponent, Captain Harris, tries to sabotage these plans.
  • Police Academy 5 - Assignment Miami Beach (1988): Commandant Lassard has reached the age of compulsory retirement, but is to be named "Police Officer of the Decade" in Miami. There he is kidnapped by gangsters. First film without the previously central character of Carey Mahoney.
  • Police Academy 6 - Resistance is futile (1989): A mysterious series of robberies shakes the city in which the Police Academy is located. Commandant Lassard and his team are to help solve the case.
  • Police Academy 7 - Mission in Moscow (1994): In Moscow the police have problems and call Commandant Lassard and his men for help. The task is to catch a mafioso. A young cadet also smuggles his way into the team.


The opponent in five of the seven films: Thaddeus Harris, played by G. W. Bailey

The films initially revolved around the police officers and trainees at a police school (Police Academy). This basic theme is taken up in episodes 1, 3 and 4. The second part is a continuation of the content of the first film. From part 5 the films contain the characters known from the previous films, but their content is only loosely related to the first films.

The police officers split into two rival groups: the sympathizers, usually chaotic and weird characters, and their opponents. The latter represent a much smaller group of police officers who try to enforce their goals with severity and intrigue at the expense of those who are popular. These in turn reciprocate with malicious pranks. Because of this rivalry, the actual opponents of the police, namely the criminals, only play a subordinate role and are therefore usually only introduced towards the end.

Slapstick interludes, which are mainly achieved through the excessive behavior of the characters, are typical . Pun is comparatively rare. The first film is the only one that uses this on a larger scale.

The main actors experience - due to their chaotic behavior or the conflict with the internal police opponents - many failures in most films at the beginning. In the end, with courage and good luck, they turn the tide for the better again. For this they are usually praised or promoted, while the opponents get nothing. The award of the medal or the new rank always takes place in a parade-like ceremony in front of a grandstand with festive decorations and a brass band, and in most parts it concludes.

Despite the frequent use of firearms and physical violence, no one is seriously harmed in the films. Only the opponents of the likeable main characters suffer injuries, which are ultimately harmless and do not influence the plot any further.

The first three sequels, like the first part, revolve around the young policeman Carey Mahoney , played by Steve Guttenberg . With the exception of the second film, all of them have police training as a central theme. With the departure of Steve Guttenberg, the content orientation of the comedies also changed. From the fifth part, police training no longer plays a central role. The academy director Commandant Lassard takes center stage. Only parts of the original figures are clustered around him, as from part 5 onwards there are numerous departures. All films of this era received devastating reviews and were at least temporarily included on the IMDb's list of worst films .

Track record

The following table gives an overview of the audience figures, the box office result and summarized critic and audience ratings. The indication “space” refers to the grossing results of the film in the respective year.

part publication Germany United States IMDB
Rotten Tomatoes
Moviegoers space Gross profit (in US- $ ) Cinemas space
total First weekend maximum First weekend critic audience
1 March 23, 1984 5,187,443 1 81.198.894 8,570,007 (10.6%) 1,587 1,063 6th 6.4 44% 66%
2 March 29, 1985 3,876,471 7th 55,600,000 10,675,896 (19.2%) 1,613 1,613 10 5.1 23% 52%
3 March 21, 1986 3,299,839 4th 43,579,163 9,049,586 (20.8%) 1,788 1,788 17th 4.6 40% 48%
4th April 3, 1987 2,235,128 10 28,061,343 8,482,487 (30.2%) 1,750 1,750 43 4.1 0% 45%
5 March 18, 1988 1,122,638 18th 19.510.371 6,106,661 (31.3%) 1,700 1,700 51 3.6 0% 44%
6th March 10, 1989 611.168 36 11,567,217 4,032,480 (34.9%) 1,627 1,627 75 3.4 0% 39%
7th August 26, 1994 478.473 57 126,247 Appeared on video only ( direct-to-video ) 225 2.7 - 36%


  • The first three films in the series each received a gold screen .
  • Part 4 was nominated for the Golden Raspberry in the worst song category.

Possible eighth part of the series

There have been repeated reports since 2004 that an eighth part of the series is in preparation. Even if the former producer Paul Maslansky and the actors of the first seven parts have repeatedly confirmed that the project is going, further details are sparse. Neither a script nor a preliminary cast list appear to exist.

Producer Paul Maslansky considered a sequel when he saw remakes of Starsky & Hutch and other classics well received. For this project he was able to interest a large part of the original cast, including Steve Guttenberg alias Carey Mahoney and Marion Ramsey alias Laverne Hooks, who recently dropped out . Hugh Wilson , who directed and wrote the first film, was reinstated as director. There were also plans to introduce a new generation of characters with this film, who could then inherit the well-known characters and establish a new series.

The shooting should take place in summer 2006 so that the film could appear in 2007. In October 2006, however, the preparations were frozen.

In December 2006, Leslie Easterbrook said in an interview that Warner Home Video wanted to release the film directly on video. Before doing this, however, a producer should first be found for independent financing. In May 2008 Michael Winslow gave an interview in which he said that he thinks anything is possible and it would be great to see them all again, but one has to hope that Paul Maslansky and his people get the film done. In an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live in November 2008, Steve Guttenberg stated that the eighth film was still in preparation. He's developing the script and planning to direct. However, it is not yet certain whether he will appear in the film himself.

According to a report from March 2010, Warner handed the project over to its sister company New Line Cinema . This is looking for actors. Paul Maslansky is involved as a producer, but neither a scriptwriter nor a producer have so far been committed. Maslansky announced a new generation of performers. In July 2010, Michael Winslow said in an interview that New Line Cinema was pursuing the project, but that there was still no script and no director. Whether the film will be called Police Academy 8 is not yet certain. His involvement has not yet been confirmed either, but he will be happy to help. Steve Guttenberg said in an August 2010 interview that Warner Bros. had the film produced and was currently being developed by David Diamond and David Weisman .

The project only began to take shape again from 2012.

First, New Line Cinema announced in January 2012 that Scott Zabielski had been designated as director for the film. Zabielski is known only as a series director, especially in several seasons of the successful Tosh.0 series on Comedy Central . Michael Winslow said in an interview that Shaquille O'Neal had been asked for the role of Moses Hightower. The recordings should start in April 2012, but would probably not start until November 2012 due to the change of director. The screenwriter Jeremy Garelick, who worked among other things for the film Separation with Obstacles , was hired to revise the script.

However, there were no concrete results here either. In April 2014 it was finally announced that Zabielski was no longer involved in the project. Instead, Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele , who had previously been successful in the comedy formats MADtv and their own series Key & Peele , took over the production. In July 2015, Key and Peele confirmed that they are still working on the project.

After that, the project became quiet again. In September 2018, Steve Guttenberg said in a tweet that the next Police Academy film was coming. There are no details yet, but it is in a "gift bag that is made ready".


Actors in all seven parts: David Graf alias Eugene Tackleberry

In the Police Academy series, many of the film characters also appear in the respective follow-up films. Since they are always embodied by the same people, recognition and identification with the protagonists is made easier for the audience.

If a certain actor does not participate in a part, the corresponding role is dropped. Some roles are consistently represented in all seven parts, but most are limited to a few parts.

Carey Mahoney occupies a somewhat prominent position within the characters in the first four films. In the following films it is more like Eric Lassard. However, there is no single leading actor on whom the plot focuses.

Each main character has stereotypical traits, such as a sonyboy , heartthrob, gun fanatic or wallflower . All of the main characters are police officers or cadets and have special quirks or skills. They are divided into “the good guys” and their opponents. The latter usually pursue goals that are contrary to “the good guys” or compete with them. The Chief Police Officer, Commissioner Hurst , has a special role, as he usually takes a neutral position.

figure Role / rank actor Speaker (animated series) Appearance
Eric Lassard Commandant (Police School Director) George Gaynes Tedd Dillon all films and animated series
Carey Mahoney Cadet (1st film), Officer (2), Sergeant (3 and 4) Steve Guttenberg Ron Rubin Films 1 to 4 and animated series
Larvell Jones Cadet (1st film), Officer (2), Sergeant (all other films) Michael Winslow Greg Morton all movies, animated series and television series
Eugene Tackleberry Cadet (1st film), Officer (2), Sergeant (all other films) David Graf Dan Hennessey all films, animated series and guest star television series
Moses Hightower Cadet (1st film), Officer (2), Sergeant (3–5), Lieutenant (promotion end of 5th film, 6th film) Bubba Smith Greg Morton Films 1 to 6, animated series and guest appearance television series (Captain)
Zed Civilian / villain (2nd film), cadet (3), officer (4, cartoon series) Bobcat Goldthwait Dan Hennessey Films 2 to 4 and animated series
Sweetchuck Civilian (2nd film), Cadet (3), Officer (4, cartoon series) Tim Kazurinsky Howard Morris Films 2 to 4 and animated series
Laverne hooks Cadet (1st film), Officer (2), Sergeant (all other films) Marion Ramsey Denise Pidgeon Films 1 to 6 and animated series
Debbie Callahan Sergeant (1st film), Lieutenant (3–5), Captain (6–7) Leslie Easterbrook Denise Pidgeon all films except 2, animated series and television series
Tommy "House" Conklin Participant in the COP program (4th film), Academy graduate and officer with the rank of officer (5th film, animated series) Tab Thacker Don Francks Films 4, 5 and animated series
Thaddeus Harris Lieutenant (1st film), Captain (4-7, animated series) GW Bailey Len Carlson Films 1 and 4 through 7 and animated series
Proctor Sergeant (2nd film), Captain (3), Lieutenant (4–6, animated series) Lance Kinsey Don Francks Films 2 to 6 and animated series
Mauser Lieutenant (2nd film beginning), Captain (from the middle of 2nd film), Commandant (3rd film), Sergeant (cartoon series) Art Metrano Rex Hagon Films 2 and 3, animated series and television series
Douglas Fackler Cadet (1st film), Officer (2), Sergeant (3 and 6) Bruce Mahler Films 1 to 3 and 6
Nick Lassard sergeant Matt McCoy Films 5 and 6
Chad Copeland Cadet (1st film), Sergeant (3rd and 4th film) Scott Thomson Films 1,3 and 4
Kyle Blankes Cadet (1st film), Sergeant (3rd film) Brant from Hoffman Films 1 and 3
Henry J. Hurst Commissioner (Chief of Police) George R. Robertson Films 1 to 6
Mrs. Fackler Wife of Douglas Fackler , cadet in the 3rd film Debralee Scott Films 1 and 3
Nameless prostitutes "Good friend" of Eric Lassard and Carey Mahoney Georgina Spelvin Films 1 and 3
Kathleen Kirkland Policewoman (officer in the 2nd film, sergeant in the 4th film), colleague of Eugene Tackleberry , marries him at the end of the 2nd film Colleen Camp Films 2 and 4
Max Kirkland Eugene Tackleberry's father-in-law Arthur Batanides Films 2, 3, 4 and 6
Bud Kirkland Eugene Tackleberry's brother-in-law, cadet (3rd film), officer (4th film) Andrew Paris Films 2 to 4
Mrs. Kirkland Eugene Tackleberry's mother-in-law Jackie Joseph Films 2 and 4
Nogata Exchange cadet from Japan (3rd film), representative of the Japanese police (4th film), lover of Debbie Callahan Brian Tochi Films 3 and 4


Forecourt of the academy (decorated with the Police Academy logo in the middle in the films)

All Police Academy films and series are set in a fictional nameless US city and its police academy. Part 5 also takes place in Miami and Part 7 in Moscow. Some places appear repeatedly and are the scene of important events. This includes the buildings and grounds of the Police Academy, especially the forecourt where the new cadets arrive, the office of Commander Eric Lassard , where several important meetings take place. In the first four parts, some of the protagonists unintentionally end up in the gay club The Blue Oyster .

Three of the films were shot in Canada , two in California , one in Florida and one mostly in Moscow .

The German version of the first film specifically names the New York Police Academy , which the film is supposed to be about. However, this is an invention of the translator, as this is not the case in the original version. There are no identifying features such as B. famous buildings of the city, uniforms of the NYPD or corresponding license plates.


The marching-ready theme song was composed by Robert Folk and is a well-known feature of feature films. It can be heard at many locations in the film in different variations, but above all in the opening credits and parades.

Another melody that recurs several times is the music that is danced to in the Blue Oyster Club. It is a tango called "El Bimbo", which Jean-Marc Dompierre recorded with his orchestra.

The remaining titles are mostly unknown pieces that are only discreetly perceptible. An exception is the 4th film, in which a number of titles were prominently placed. While a longer series of titles is mentioned in the first four films, the number of titles decreases significantly from Part 5 onwards. The credits of the 5th film don't even mention the music, the 6th film only has two titles and the 7th film only has one. The following list includes the slightly more prominently placed titles with artist and associated scene in the relevant film section:

  • Part 1: She's My Corner (beach party scene) and I'm Gonna Be Somebody (credits) - Jack Mack and The Heart Attack .
  • Part 2: Dirty Work - written by Mike Piccirillo , sung by Tony Warren (opening scene with Mahoney on the beach).
  • Part 3: Team Thing - written by Tena Clark and Tony Warren (scene at the police ball, some of the main actors entertain the guests with a performance. Tackleberry plays the saxophone, Jones electric guitar. Callahan and Hooks sing in the foreground, Sweetchuck and Hightower in the Background).
  • Part 4: Citizens on Patrol - Michael Winslow together with The LA Dream Team (opening and closing credits), "Shoot for the Top" - Southern Pacific (scene with skateboarding stunts), "It doesn't have to be this way" - The Blow Monkeys (love scene between Zed and Laura ), "Let's go to Heaven in my Car" - Brian Wilson (credits).

Let's go to Heaven in my Car was nominated for the Golden Raspberry in the worst song category in 1987 .

More productions

From the late 1980s onwards, other productions related to the films were made.


Two series were produced based on the films:

  • Police Academy (animated series) : Cartoon adaptation of the Police Academy from 1988, which contains all the main characters and has been adapted with typical cartoon opponents and educational safety tips for children. 2 seasons with a total of 64 episodes.
  • Police Academy (TV series) : 1997 series featuring younger characters that carries on the concept of chaotic cadets found in movies. The cast of the original films had guest star appearances, only Michael Winslow was part of the regular cast . The series was discontinued after a season of 26 episodes.


As part of the exploitation of the Police Academy for the cartoon series, comic books were also published in various languages.

From November 1989 to February 1990, six issues of a comic series based on the series were published by Marvel Comics . In the German-speaking countries these appeared in 1990 and 1991 under the name Police Academy: Bastei comic for the television series; Quirky, fun, exciting at the Bastei-Lübbe publishing house . It was available at retail outlets for 3 DM in Germany , 24 S in Austria and 3 SFr in Switzerland .

This series of issues was also published in other countries. a. in the UK ( ISSN  0961-1959 ).

Radio play cassettes

In Germany, Karussell Musik und Video GmbH released a 12-part radio play series on compact cassette in 1990 and 1991 . These are obviously adaptations of individual episodes of the cartoon series. The tapes always contained two stories. The total length was 50 minutes. They were in detail:

  1. Bring me the clowns; On the claw, set, go (order number 843506-4)
  2. The ghost master; The attack of the robots (843505-4)
  3. Cop blues; The Phantom of the Opera (843507-4)
  4. The strongest woman in the world; The wedding of the year (843508-4)
  5. The wild west is calling; Operation Egypt (843509-4)
  6. Pointed Head's Revenge; Call the Doctor, Proctor (843572-4)
  7. Fat Bertha; Cursed and Sewn up (847460-4)
  8. Lights off, spot on, help !; The dear children (847461-4)
  9. Diamond shimmer; Soft heart and hard tooth (847462-4)
  10. Amazon Astronauts; Special Agent 839 (847463-4)
  11. Master Shiro; The big city surfers (849481-4)
  12. Nine cops and a baby; Fish and Microchips (849482-4)

Episodes 1 to 10 appeared in 1990, episodes 11 and 12 in 1991. The cassette sleeves were printed with "TV original recording" and motifs from the cartoon series. The titles of the radio plays also came from there and are in the same order as episodes 1 to 24. The stories are therefore based on them.

Stunt show

The company Warner Village Theme Parks , a subcontractor of Warner Bros. , operates a chain of amusement parks on the Gold Coast in Australia , including the Warner Bros. Movie World . In this, the Police Academy Stunt Show was performed from 1991 to 2008 , which contained numerous stunts, explosions and slapstick scenes. Among other things, viewers were involved in the show as "cadets". The show has been performed since 1991 and has long been one of the most popular shows. Due to the twice daily performance, it has brought it to over 17,000 performances.

An offshoot of the stunt show conceived by Vic Wilson was played in both German and English from 1996 until the Warner licenses were given up in 2003 at the Warner Bros. Movie World amusement park in Bottrop (since 2004 Movie Park Germany ). The only differences to the Australian show were the mirror-image film set (the exploding car and the Blue Oyster Bar were now on the left, the frame on the right), which is why the choreography first had to be redeveloped.

In terms of content, the show was loosely linked to the film series. So there was also a Captain Harris, Proctor and of course Lassard. Furthermore, the police academy's coat of arms, uniforms and cars were used.

In April 2008 the Australian show closed to make way for another show.


A special identification symbol is the logo of the police and the Police Academy. It appears in numerous places in all films: on uniforms, vehicles and the flag of the police - in the third film even on Proctor's underpants. It is circular and has the character of a coat of arms thanks to the use of crosses and maple leaves . In addition to the words "Metropolitan Police", a surrounding ring also contains three words that are obviously intended to represent the ideals of the police: "Integrity", "Knowledge" and "Courage" ( German "courage" or "bravery").

Uniforms and ranks

Lance Kinsey in his film uniform in June 1989

Even if, in principle, superiors have greater decision-making power and are not open to attack, the aspect of different ranks is never discussed. This would also contradict the principle of most films, since many cadets and low-ranking police officers play tricks on their superiors. In the background you can see the career of the individual characters in the uniforms and the corresponding tiers. So every cadet is an officer in the next film and then a sergeant in the next film. The ranks and their typical badges are in detail:

  • Cadet : No badges of rank, but colored markings in blue on the epaulets and cap
  • Officer: No rank insignia and no markings
  • Sergeant : Three stripes similar to those used by sergeants in the American military
  • Lieutenant : A silver stripe
  • Captain : Two silver stripes
  • Commandant : Three Stars (four stars in the seventh movie)
  • Commissioner : gold decorations and six gold stripes

In the German version of the first film, the commissioner is also referred to as the chief. In the United States, commandants and commissioners are not actually ranks, but rather posts to which individuals are appointed.

The uniforms vary slightly as the films progress. The lower-ranking police officers usually wear black uniform shirts with a black tie, with no badges attached to the collar. Higher ranks, from captain or commandant depending on the film, wear uniform jackets. The Commandant and Commissioner jackets are mostly double-breasted. The uniform variants that are worn on festive occasions differ from the regular uniforms mainly in the form of decorations. Sergeants there also wear black uniform jackets, some of which are decorated with cords.

The second film shows a "beach uniform" with the sleeves of the shirt missing. There is also a motorcycle cop version that Tackleberry often wears. In the fifth film, the police officers wear uniform shirts with a shiny fabric, sometimes with short sleeves. In the sixth film, all police officers wear a red ribbon buckle.

On the uniforms of the competing academy in the third film, the shirts are gray and the color markings are red. Commandant Mauser wears a single-breasted uniform jacket. A beret is also worn instead of the regular uniform hat. The dress uniforms, however, are practically identical.


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