When The Naked Gun
airs on broadcast
, basic cable
, and premium cable channels
it is often edited for content
and running time
like other movies. However, over the years the film has been re-edited to force it to conform the current ideal of "decency
". Most films are edited once and then dumped into syndication
et al, making the continued attention to The Naked Gun
quite curious. Examples of various scenes that have been edited over the years:
- The entire opening scene with Frank Drebin versus the world's terrorist leaders (circa 1988) in Beirut was cut after the events of September 11, 2001. The removal of this material means that the film suddenly begins with the words "PARAMOUNT PICTURES PRESENTS" over a black screen and accompianied by Drebin's (now purposeless and unexplained) scream as he falls from the window at the terrorist conference. Ed Hocken's later comments about "what you did in Beirut" now no longer refer to anything onscreen, too. The scene was restored in early 2004 for some showings.
- During the events of the O.J. Simpson murder trial the scene where Nordberg stalks around in the dark at the pier with a large knife was cut from the film on broadcast and basic cable. After the trial ended, the scenes were restored for later showings.
- Some people consider the "Nice beaver" / "Thanks, I just had it stuffed" exchange between Drebin and love interest Jane to be the funniest moment of the film. Some edits change Drebin's line to "Nice one", weakening the joke.
- While attending a press conference to discuss Police Squad's security plans for the Queen of England, Drebin forgets to turn off his wireless microphone before visiting the restroom. The gag is that the mayor attempts to continue the conference but is drowned out by the sounds of Drebin urinating and singing. Depending on which edit of the film you see, the scene may contain both the urination and singing soundtrack, only the singing soundtrack, or neither.
- After breaking into Vincent Ludwig's office to search for clues, Drebin accidentially sets fire to the office and destroys all of the valuable objects inside while attempting to escape from the inferno. Broadcast and basic cable edits of the film omit the sequence in which he climbs out onto the building's ledge, winds up clinging to a statue, and clumsily advances on a woman. This omission leaves Drebin's escape from the fire and the complete explanation for his dismissal from Police Squad to the viewers' imaginations.
- Near the end of the film Ludwig and Drebin have a final confrontation. In the severely edited broadcast version of the film there is an additional scene included to pad out the film's running time. The scene where Ludwig shoots Drebin in a piece of chest padding stolen from the baseball supply closet is not in any other version of the film. The padding deflates and the scene continues as in the theatrical version of the film, explaining why in the original version of the film the padding had suddenly deflated. This is not the only piece of cutting room floor edited back into the film, but the odd thing is that this shooting scene is the only gunplay in the film that is not part of a madcap joke; Ludwig actually tries to openly shoot Drebin here. While other "indecent" material is edited from the film, an actual murder attempt has been inserted into the film. And who says there are no double standards in Hollywood?
The Naked Gun DVD