Beverly Hills Cop (1984)

Beverly Hills Cop is a 1984 American action comedy film directed by Martin Brest, written by Daniel Petrie Jr. and starring Eddie Murphy as Axel Foley, a street-smart Detroit cop who visits Beverly Hills, California to solve the murder of his best friend. Judge Reinhold, John Ashton, Ronny Cox, Lisa Eilbacher, Steven Berkoff and Jonathan Banks appear in supporting roles.

This first film in the Beverly Hills Cop series shot Murphy to international stardom, won the People’s Choice Award for “Favorite Motion Picture” and was nominated for both the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy and Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay in 1985.

It earned $234 million at the North American domestic box office, making it the highest-grossing film released in 1984 in the U.S.Young and reckless Detroit police detective Axel Foley’s latest unauthorized sting operation goes sour when two uniformed officers intervene, resulting in a high-speed chase through the city which causes widespread damage. His boss Inspector Douglas Todd reprimands Axel for his behavior and threatens to fire him unless he changes his ways on the force. Axel arrives at his apartment to find it has been broken into by his childhood friend, Mikey Tandino.

Mikey did time in prison, but ended up working as a security guard in Beverly Hills, thanks to a mutual friend, Jenny Summers. Mikey shows Axel some German bearer bonds and Axel wonders how he got them, but chooses not to question him about it. After hanging out at a bar, they return to Axel’s apartment, where two men knock Axel unconscious and then confront Mikey about the bearer bonds, and kill him. Axel asks to investigate Mikey’s murder, but Inspector Todd refuses to allow it because of his close ties to Mikey. Axel uses the guise of taking vacation time to head to Beverly Hills to solve the crime alone. He finds Jenny working in an art gallery and learns about Mikey’s ties to Victor Maitland, the gallery’s owner. Posing as a flower deliveryman, Axel goes to Maitland’s office and tries to question him about Mikey, but is thrown out a window by Maitland’s bodyguards and arrested. At the police station, Lieutenant Andrew Bogomil assigns Sergeant John Taggart and Detective Billy Rosewood to follow Axel. Taggart and Rosewood have a humiliating encounter with Axel that night, and do not get along with him at first, but the three do begin to develop a mutual respect after they foil a robbery at a striptease bar.

On the trail of Mikey’s killers, Axel sneaks into one of Maitland’s warehouses, where he finds coffee grounds, which he suspects were used to pack drugs. He also discovers that many of Maitland’s crates have not gone through customs. After being arrested again, this time after a scuffle at Maitland’s country club, Axel admits to Bogomil that Maitland must be a smuggler. Police Chief Hubbard, who has learned of Axel’s ill-advised investigative actions, orders that Axel be escorted out of town. However, Axel convinces Rosewood to pick up Jenny instead and take her with them to Maitland’s warehouse, where a shipment is due to arrive that day.

Axel and Jenny break into the warehouse and discover several bags of cocaine inside a crate. Before Axel can get this new found evidence to Rosewood, Maitland and his associates arrive. Maitland takes Jenny and leaves Axel to be killed, but after some hesitation, Rosewood enters the warehouse and rescues Axel. Taggart tracks Axel and Rosewood to Maitland’s estate, where he joins the two in their efforts to rescue Jenny and bring Maitland to justice. Together, the trio wipe out a number of Maitland’s men, including Zack, Maitland’s right-hand man and Mikey’s killer. With Bogomil’s help, Axel then fatally shoots Maitland and rescues Jenny. Bogomil fabricates a story to Hubbard that covers for all the participants without discrediting the Beverly Hills Police force.

Realizing that he may be fired in Detroit, Axel asks Bogomil to speak to Inspector Todd and smooth things over for him. Later, Taggart and Rosewood meet Axel as he checks out of his hotel, and pay his bill. Axel invites them to join him for a farewell drink, and they accept.

Cast

  • Eddie Murphy as Axel Foley

  • Judge Reinhold as Detective Billy Rosewood

  • John Ashton as Sergeant John Taggart

  • Lisa Eilbacher as Jenny Summers

  • Ronny Cox as Lieutenant Andrew Bogomil

  • Steven Berkoff as Victor Maitland

  • James Russo as Mikey Tandino

  • Stephen Elliott as Chief Hubbard

  • Paul Reiser as Jeffrey

  • Jonathan Banks as Zack

  • Gilbert R. Hill as Inspector Todd

  • Bronson Pinchot as Serge

Box office

The film was released on December 5, 1984 in 1,532 theaters.

It debuted in first place at the U.S. box office, making $15,214,805 in its first five days of release. It stayed at number one for 13 consecutive weeks and returned to number one in its 15th weekend making 14 non-consecutive weeks at number one tying Tootsie for the film with the most weeks at number one.

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