Police Academy - Dumber than the police allow

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German title Police Academy - Dumber than the police allow
Original title Police Academy
Police academy 1 de.svg
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1984
length 96 minutes
Age rating FSK 16
JMK 10
Director Hugh Wilson
script Neal Israel ,
Pat Proft ,
Hugh Wilson
production Paul Maslansky
music Robert Folk
camera Michael D. Margulies
cut Robert Brown ,
Zach Staenberg

See Recurring Characters in Police Academy



Successor  →
Police Academy 2 - Now it's just getting started

Front view of the academy building. Lassard's office is above the entrance.
Forecourt of the Academy (decorated with the Police Academy logo in the middle of the film). The flagpoles can be seen in a similar form in the film.

Police Academy - Dumber Than the Police Allowed is an American feature film from 1984. It was a great success at the time and founded a seven-part series of films and two TV series.

The first Police Academy film laid the foundation for the entire series. On the one hand, the style was found with many slapstick and slapstick elements, which should become the hallmark of the entire series. On the other hand, many characters are introduced that should endure for long stretches of the series. The film is widely considered to be the best of the series.


The new mayor of the city, Mary Sue Beal, has decided that in the future neither height, weight, gender, education or physical strength should be used as a reason to turn away a recruit from the local police school, the Police Academy .

This is received negatively by the police, as it also causes numerous obviously unsuitable candidates to appear in the Police Academy for training:

Eugene Tackleberry works as a night watchman in a high-rise building and chases alleged burglars at night. Carey Mahoney is a parking attendant in a big city parking lot who gets himself in trouble and ends up at the police station, where he meets Larvell Jones . The district manager gives him the choice: Either he takes part in the training of the academy or he does his time in prison. Mahoney reluctantly chooses the academy but asks if he can take Larvell Jones with him. Leslie Barbara is a salesman in a mobile photography store who keeps being terrorized by rowdies. Douglas Fackler is a brittle type of accountant and wants to become a police officer against his wife's wishes. Karen Thompson, daughter of a wealthy family, wants to become a police officer in order to experience something and get to know people she would otherwise never meet. Your mother is not convinced of this. George Martín is a womanizer. Furthermore, the very great florist Moses Hightower and Laverne Hooks , who has a very low and high voice, are among the recruits.

Commissioner Hurst asks Commandant Lassard , the head of the academy, to organize the training so that certain people prefer to go voluntarily. Lassard's assistant Harris is apparently enthusiastic about the idea, but Lassard only pretend . Harris recognizes in the recruits Copeland and Blankes willing helpers who are supposed to help pull out unwanted cadets.

The cadets are tortured at the first training session. Mahoney seeks out Lassard to convince him that he wants to leave the academy. Lassard then reveals to him that Captain Reed has asked not to be kicked out under any circumstances. An enmity develops between Harris and Mahoney, with Mahoney playing tricks and Harris responding with disciplinary measures. Copeland and Blankes are set to find out where the cadets' compulsory party takes place, but a Mahoney trick leads them to the Blue Oyster Bar , a gay club, where they are forced to join in dancing. Meanwhile, the others are having fun at the real party. Thompson and Mahoney also get closer.

The womanizer George Martín begins an affair with the trainer Sergeant Callahan , who caught him on his nightly trips to the quarters of the female recruits.

The training of the cadets works better and better. During driver training, Hooks accidentally runs over Copeland's feet. He insults her, whereupon Hightower knocks over the police car out of anger and is thrown out. As a result of the incident, there is a fight in the canteen, in which Mahoney is also involved. He takes the blame and is then also suspended.

A chain reaction following a clumsiness by Douglas Fackler causes rioting across the city. The cadets are to be used as support in quieter districts. Mahoney joins despite being kicked out. However, due to a coordination error, the cadets end up near the troubled crowd. Copeland and Blankes provoke some of the rioters and they get rid of their weapons. They can escape, but end up back in the Blue Oyster Bar. Harris is kidnapped. Mahoney rushes to his aid, but is also disarmed. Hightower, actually a civilian again, saves the situation and overpowers the kidnapper.

Mahoney and Hightower are then awarded the highest honor the police can award at the event to mark the successful completion of their training.


In addition to the recurring characters , the following can be seen in the film:

  • George Martín ( Andrew Rubin ): Cadet who successfully worked as a womanizer in the academy with his Spanish accent. I.a. that's why he has an affair with Callahan. His Latin American appearance is only a facade - he later admits that he only fakes the accent to make himself interesting to women.
  • Karen Thompson ( Kim Cattrall ): Attractive cadet who comes from a wealthy family and is the target of Carey Mahoney's flirtations. One of the reasons she gives for her career choice is that she likes to dress like a man and wants to meet people she would otherwise never meet.
  • Leslie Barbara ( Donovan Scott ): Overweight cadet who works in a mobile photo shop and is often terrorized by a gang. He has a (male) dog named Princess, who apparently finds Lassard's left leg so attractive that he tries to mate it.
  • Nameless Villain ( Doug Lennox ): He doesn't appear until the end of the film and remains unnamed. He kidnaps Harris in the riot and is eventually overwhelmed. He appears again in the third film.



Paul Maslansky , the show's producer, came up with the idea for the film when he saw a crowd of police cadets at work in San Francisco . He noticed that the group was very diverse. There were men and women of all sizes, weights, and skin colors among them. He then asked a police officer who was present why that was the case. He then replied that the police's guidelines required adopting almost anyone regardless of their physical fitness. However, the unsuitable are thrown out again after three weeks. From this Maslansky developed the idea of ​​making a film with incompetent police cadets, but where the police do not easily throw them out.


Most of the main actors were hired immediately because the producers were enthusiastic about their performance and demeanor:

  • Steve Guttenberg, whose father was a police officer, wore an original police shirt during his casting.
  • The makers of the film attended a Michael Winslow stand-up comedy show in Long Beach . They loved it so much that they hired him straight away. Since there was no part for him in the film, Hugh Wilson wrote the role of Larvell Jones especially for him.
  • Debbie Callahan was portrayed in the original description as 45 years old with a mustache. Leslie Easterbrook wasn't enthusiastic about her agent's recommendation at first and worked two afternoons to be appropriately loud and dominant. When she was able to instill fear even in her then-husband, she went to the audition and at first didn't think she would be accepted because the producers looked scared.
  • Donovan Scott, who played Leslie Barbara, made a slapstick act when he came in at the casting, which immediately convinced Paul Maslansky .
  • Marion Ramsey aka Laverne Hooks thought the idea of ​​auditioning for Police Academy was a joke at first. When she presented a short sample of a joke about Michael Jackson at the casting , the producers did not want any of the actual text to be read and immediately invited them to audition scenes.
  • David Graf came to the audition in a camouflage suit and Paul Maslansky knew immediately that he would be the right cast for Eugene Tackleberry.
  • Bruce Willis , unknown at the time, auditioned for the role of Mahoney.
  • Robert Conrad turned down the role of Commandant Lassard, which he later regretted very much.


The film was shot in Toronto (see also Recurring Locations in Police Academy ).

The academy building used to be a mental hospital and is now part of Humber College. The building is currently unused (as of 2012). The home of Commandant Lassard in the film was Cumberland House, the former home of the clinic director and now the seat of a drug counseling center for women. The scene at the Blue Oyster Club was filmed in the Silver Dollar Room nightclub . The parking lot where Mahoney initially worked is now built on, but numerous street scenes still exist today in a similar form.


  • The kissing scene on the beach between Carey Mahoney and Karen Thompson took six days to complete.
  • The order in which the scenes were shot was planned incorrectly. As a result, the scene where Copeland and Blankes had their hair shaved off was filmed before the scene when the two arrived at the academy. Therefore Brant van Hoffman and Scott Thomson had to play the arrival scene with wigs.
  • The film's director, Hugh Wilson, cameo as the disgruntled driver of a car that Hightower and Mahoney rammed into on their night out outing.
  • The scene in which Tackleberry asked Leslie Barbara to hit him had to be repeated numerous times so that David Graf's cheeks were red by the time it was finally locked.
  • The racist failure of Copeland, which causes Hightower to freak out, is, from the point of view of the Hightower actor Bubba Smith, unique for the 1980s, since here one black stands up for another black and risks his job in the process. He has never seen this in other films.
  • This film is the first feature film directed by Hugh Wilson.
  • Chief Hurst's nameplate is incorrectly labeled “Chief Hurnst”.


The film is by far the most successful of the series. In the US it grossed 81 million US dollars, which corresponds to a third of the revenue of the entire series and made it # 6 of the most successful films of 1984. In Germany, the film was the most watched feature film of the year with over five million viewers.

It is also the only film in the series that has received at least some positive reviews. In the IMDb , it achieved 6.7 out of 10 possible points in the user ratings (as of December 30, 2019). In the ratings of professional critics presented on Rotten Tomatoes , he received a rating of 54 percent (as of December 30, 2019), while the audience there rated him 64 percent.

"Chaos comedy with rough slapstick and a desire for destruction."

"The farce, which was filmed in a former psychiatric institution, blossomed into one of the greatest hits of the eighties."

“It's so bad, maybe you should pool your money and draw straws and send one of the guys off to rent it so that in the future, whenever you think you're sitting through a bad comedy, he could shake his head, and chuckle tolerantly, and explain that you don't know what bad is. "

"It's so bad that you should pool money and draw someone to go to the video store and borrow it so that in the future every time you think you're going to have to endure a bad comedy, he'll shake his head, giggle tolerantly, and you." can explain that you don't know what's bad. "

- Roger Ebert : Review for the Chicago Sun-Times

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Age rating for TV version . Youth Media Commission .
  2. ^ Blog entry from 2012 in which many of the locations were tracked down
  3. box office results on boxofficemojo.com
  4. Police Academy - Dumber than the police allow the Internet Movie Database (English)
  5. Police Academy - Dumber than the police allow at Rotten Tomatoes (English)
  6. Police Academy - Dumber than the police allow. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed March 2, 2017 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 
  7. Police Academy - Dumber than the police allow on cinema.de
  8. ^ Review by Roger Ebert