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Trivia / Police Academy

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  • Acting for Two: In addition to playing Jones, Michael Winslow also supplied the voice for all public address announcements heard at the academy.
  • Actor-Inspired Element: Harris' trademark stick was not originally in the script. The prop was brought onto the set by an extra, who gave it to G.W. Bailey to keep.
  • Big Name Fan: Bill Clinton once told Steve Guttenberg that this was one of his favorite movies, and that watching the films helped him through a difficult time, presumably when he was undergoing heavy media scrutiny during the Monica Lewinsky scandal. He also stated during his speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention that Hillary Clinton had found his parenting choices questionable, after he watched six of the movies back-to-back with daughter Chelsea Clinton.
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  • Box Office Bomb: The last film. Budget, $10 million. Box office, believe it or not, $126,247.
  • California Doubling: The first four films were filmed entirely or primarily in Toronto.
  • Career Resurrection: Steve Guttenberg's role as the lead in the Village People faux biopic Can't Stop the Music dragged his career through the metaphorical mud; it was by agreeing to star in these films that Guttenberg returned to form.
  • The Cast Showoff:
    • In the party scene, Tackleberry is seen to play the saxophone. In real life, David Graf actually was an accomplished saxophone player.
    • In addition to his sound effects shtick, Michael Winslow performed the "Citizens On Patrol" song from the fourth film.
    • Leslie Easterbrook recorded a song for the Mission To Moscow soundtrack in addition to her operatic Incoming Ham during the chase scene in Assignment Miami Beach.
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  • Cast the Runner-Up: Lance Kinsey auditioned for the role of Fackler in the first film, and went on to play Carl Proctor in the first five sequels.
  • Creator Backlash: Alan Metter, who directed Mission to Moscow, disowned the end product due to the level of Executive Meddling involved. Notably, he's the only director in the franchise (except for Jerry Paris, who had succumbed to Author Existence Failure many years beforehand) who doesn't give an interview on the DVD special features.
    • Ron Perlman regretted appearing in the film, and considering it a "public service" to put the franchise out of its misery. Christopher Lee didn't have a high opinion of the film either.
  • Creator Killer: Mission to Moscow director Alan Metter's disowning the film didn't save his career; his only subsequent work was on a couple of direct-to-video movies starring the Olsen Twins. Assignment Miami Beach director Alan Myerson and City Under Siege director Peter Bonerz also haven't directed any films since, with all their subsequent work being in sitcoms, though Bonerz hadn't directed any films before working on the series either, while Myerson hadn't worked on a film for over a decade.
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  • Deleted Role: Julie Brown was going to appear in Their First Assignment as Mahoney's second love interest, a seamstress named Chloe Daniels, only to find out later that all her scenes, bar two nearly cameo apearances, were cut from the final print. Without context, her appearance at Tackleberry's wedding as a bridesmaid (and the one who catches the bouquet to boot) is confusing to the viewer.
  • Descended Creator: Director Hugh Wilson stated that when it came time to film the driving scene with Hightower at 2:30 a.m., the actor originally cast as the angry driver was found passed out drunk in the trailer, so Hugh himself ended up playing the role of the angry driver, who Hightower crashes into.
  • Franchise Killer: Mission to Moscow earned barely over $126,000 at the box-office, spelling the official death knell for the film series. That said, it had already been left effectively dead by City Under Siege, which was reviewed almost as poorly and made a still unimpressive $11 million.
  • Inspiration for the Work: Paul Maslansky says he got the idea for the film when in San Francisco filming The Right Stuff:
    I noticed a bunch of ludicrous-looking police cadets being dressed down by a frustrated sergeant. They were an unbelievable bunch-including a lady who must have weighed over 200 pounds and a flabby man of well over 50. I asked the sergeant about them, and he explained that the mayor had ordered the department to accept a broad spectrum for the academy. "We have to take them in,"...[he said]..."And the only thing we can do is wash them out."
  • Life Imitates Art:
    • In the first film, the cadets are told they are to withdraw from the area because the riot is uncontrollable, causing it to become even worse. In 1991, LAPD did the same thing: pulling out of a liquor store looting at Florence Boulevard and Normandie Avenue in south central LA that escalated into assaulting passing motorists (done in the wake of the acquittal of the officers involved in the Rodney King beating), which led to the LA Riots.
    • In the first film, Hightower is kicked out of the academy after standing up for Hooks by tipping over a police car with Copeland in it. Ten years later, this scene was mirrored by Bubba Smith refusing to reprise his role as Hightower in Mission to Moscow after the filmmakers told him they did not have any plans to bring back Marion Ramsey as Hooks.
  • Money, Dear Boy:
    • In an interview prior to production of Their First Assignment, David Graf (Tackleberry) said he'd gladly sign on for as many Police Academy films as they planned to make for the sake of a good paycheck, having come to appreciate the financial upside to movie work while attending a swanky Hollywood party, and at the same time discussing with his wife how their utilities were about to be cut off. True to his word, Graf appeared in all seven films.
    • During production of the fourth film, the skateboard doubles would pretend relatively easy stunts were dangerous because the stunt team would offer them a cash incentive for each one they completed.
  • Name's the Same:
  • Old Shame: Some of the cast have had fun with the films' dire reputation. Bobcat Goldthwait in particular will bring it up occasionally in other contexts, such as when he appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in 1994 (just a few months ahead of his infamous firestarting stunt on the show), and Jay introduced him by calling him the star of the "prestigious" Police Academy series. Bobcat responded by teasing Jay right back about Jay's role in American Hot Wax ("I only made one of those," said Jay), and saying, "We had to make six of 'em. There were so many unanswered questions!" Then there's one of his appearances as a panelist on Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! on Dec. 22, 2012.
    Carl Kasell: Roxanne Roberts has the lead, Peter. She has five points. Brian Babylon and Bobcat Goldthwait are tied for second, they both have two points.
    Peter Sagal: Okay. Well...
    Brian Babylon: How is that possible?
    Peter Sagal: I don't know. (laughter)
    Bobcat Goldthwait: Why are you insulted that you're tied with me? (laughter) "How is that possible? (laughter) He was in Police Academy for god's sakes!"
  • The Pete Best: Karen Thompson, George Martín and Leslie Barbara are all prominent characters in the first film, but are never seen or mentioned again in any of the subsequent films. That being said, it's probably fair to say that Kim Cattrall (who played Karen) doesn't have any regrets about turning down the sequels, and Donovan Scott (Barbara) also went on to have a long career as a character actor. Andrew Rubin (George) never appeared in another film, however, and only had a smattering of TV credits to his name between appearing in the film and his death in 2015.
  • Real Life Writes The Haircut: Due to being filmed out of sequence, the haircut scene of Scott Thomson and Brant von Hoffman caused problems when it was later determined that they would need to be shown arriving at the academy beforehand, with their full heads of hair intact. Producers worked their way around this by issuing wigs for all of Scott and Brant's scenes that play prior to the haircut.
  • Recycled: The Series
  • Refitted for Sequel: The latter portion of the scene featuring Harris and Proctor at the Blue Oyster Bar in Citizens on Patrol was originally written for Art Metrano and Lance Kinsey in Back in Training. However, the scene was removed from the final draft for the third film, and used in the fourth film instead, with Mauser's role being reassigned to Harris.
  • Throw It In!:
    • Pay close attention to the scene when Barbara is floating down river in the camera booth: Before he passes under the bridge, the booth almost flips over. That was not planned. It really did almost flip over.
    • When Hooks says, "I'll bet there's a back door to this place", Marion Ramsey tries opening the door, only to find it jammed. After several attempts, she finally succeeds in getting the door open. This was unplanned, but kept in the film.
    • Lt. Callahan's singing of "Ride of the Valkryies" during the final chase scene in Assignment Miami Beach was improvised by Leslie Eaterbrook, and caused director Alan Myerson to laugh so hard, he nearly fell off his boat.
    • Throughout City Under Siege, the Mayor constantly forgets his words and stumbles over his lines. This was not in the script, but a character trait improvised by Kenneth Mars.
  • Translation Correction: In the Japanese dub of the third film, Nogata was renamed with the correct Nagata.
  • Troubled Production:
    • During filming of Their First Assignment, some of the original cast members allegedly complained about losing screen time to the newer cast members, causing shooting to be shut down temporarily and a mediator being brought in to mellow out the cast.
    • Filming of Assignment Miami Beach was temporarily suspended due to Hurricane Floyd moving through Southern Florida in October 1987. While filming Proctor's scene atop the swaying tree outside Harris' office, strong winds picked up, causing the tree to sway more than planned. With news of the hurricane fast approaching, the cast and crew were then sent home for their safety until the dangerous weather conditions subsided a few days later.
    • Filming of Mission to Moscow was disrupted by the 1993 Russian Constitutional Crisis to the point where production nearly moved to Budapest. There were also difference of opinion between producer Paul Maslansky (who wanted to keep the slapstick nature of the previous films) and director Alan Metter (who would have preferred to derive the humor more from the location and cultural differences between the American and Russian officers), eventually culminating in Metter disowning the finished product.
  • Urban Legend of Zelda: GW Bailey, the actor for Lt. Harris, has had a bit of fun with this. In the famous scene where he winds up with his head up a horse's rear end, there is no actual shot of him inside the horse (for obvious reasons) - merely a shot of him heading straight for the horse, cutting to a first person view as the camera zooms towards the horse, a few frames of Harris with his head in the carriage, not the actual horse, followed by a reaction shot by Mahoney. However, in a minor example of the Mandela Effect, some fans claim they clearly remember actually seeing Harris with his head embedded in the horse (Bailey revealed, in a behind-the-scenes interview, that when asked about this he leads fans on and explains that he had to work very closely with a trainer to keep the horse at ease in order to film the scene in question).
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Creator Paul Maslansky originally envisioned the franchise to have ten movies.
    • According to Hugh Wilson, the original cut of the first film was around two and a half hours long.
    • Billy Crystal, Tom Hanks, Michael Keaton, Rick Moranis, Bill Murray, Jerry Seinfeld, John Travolta, Robin Williams and Bruce Willis were all considered for the role of Mahoney.
    • The role of Commandant Lassard (originally named "Capt. Lewis Lassard" in an earlier draft) was originally written for Leslie Nielsen. Robert Conrad was offered the role, but turned down the part, which he regretted later on, to the point that he took the part of the Police Chief in ''Moving Violations, which was co-written and directed by Neal Israel, who also co-wrote this film.
    • Before Robert Folk was hired, the filmmakers initially wanted Elmer Bernstein to write the first film's score.
    • Marion Ramsey was asked to wear a fat suit for her role as Hooks, with the idea that the boot camp training would've rendered her slim by the end of the first film. Due to time constraints, the scene showing Hooks after her weight loss was removed from the final cut. By the time work on the sequel began, the filmmakers changed their minds, opting instead to have Ramsey wearing the fat suit in order to garner audience sympathy for her character. However, a brief shot of slim Hooks remains in the film, as a close-up of Marion Ramsey without the fat suit is seen during the graduates' march at the end of the film.
    • Bill Paxton was offered the role of Zed in Their First Assignment, but turned it down when the contract required him to also appear in future sequels.
    • After failing to land the part of Mahoney in the first film, Jerry Seinfeld auditioned for the role of Carl Proctor in Their First Assignment. Lance Kinsey and Seinfeld both shared the same manager, and were surprised to see each other in the waiting room at the audition. According to Kinsey, he couldn't help laughing so loud when Seinfeld came back out of the audition room, leaned over to Kinsey, and said, "It's still available."
    • Donovan Scott confirmed in his Facebook page that he did actually receive a copy of the script for Their First Assignment, but balked at reprising his role as Barbara due to the combination of both a scene where his character had to "eat cat poop", and the discovery that Hugh Wilson would not be returning for the film. As a result, Barbara was rewritten as Sgt. Vinnie Schtulman, as played by Peter Van Norden.
    • G.W. Bailey had hoped to reprise his role as Lt. Harris for Their First Assignment, but was passed over in favor of Art Metrano in both that film and Back in Training. However, on a day off from filming Rustlers' Rhapsody with Hugh Wilson, Bailey made an uncredited cameo as a guest at Tackleberry's wedding to Sgt. Kirkland at the end of the second film.
    • Karen Adams, Mahoney's second love interest from Back in Training, was originally called "Karen Hoover" in a earlier draft.
    • The Japanese character Nogata, who appeared in both Back in Training and Citizens on Patrol, was originally written as a male Indian police cadet named Ramu, which explains why in the third film, Nogata sleeps on a bed of nails that he picked up in New Delhi, and also likes to meditate with his hand over a candle flame.
    • During filming of Back in Training, Bobcat Goldthwait suggested to the filmmakers that the villains in the final chase scene should be the same ones who appear earlier in the film, but Goldthwait was told to just say his lines, and that the filmmakers were not paying him to write.
    • Both Back in Training and Citizens on Patrol were originally meant to be filmed back-to-back, but production got held up due to the death of the third film's director Jerry Paris, so Jim Drake was brought in to direct the fourth film.
    • When Jerry Paris fell ill, Gene Quintano was offered the chance to direct Citizens on Patrol, but turned it down, not feeling confident enough in his abilities, while the offer went to Jim Drake, and Quintano instead wrote the script. On the day of the film's premiere, Quintano told producer Paul Maslansky that he regretted turning down the director's chair. So, Maslansky offered Quintano the job of writing and directing Honeymoon Academy, which this time Quintano accepted immediately.
    • Bobcat Goldthwait and Tim Kazurinsky were both brought on board at the last minute for Citizens on Patrol to replace Fackler, who was dropped from the film due to Bruce Mahler's negotiations over his pay falling apart.
    • In an early draft for Citizens on Patrol, Mr. Kirkland was enrolled in the Citizens on Patrol program. His son Bud Kirkland's role was originally meant to be bigger, but was cut down to only one scene after the death of Andrew Paris' father Jerry, who was originally scheduled to direct the film.
    • Tackleberry's wife Kathleen was not originally intended to appear in Citizens on Patrol, as Colleen Camp was unavailable for the originally planned shooting dates, which were back-to-back with those of Back in Training. However, the delay resulting from having to hire a new director after the death of Jerry Paris meant that Camp ended up being available after all, and her character was given a one-scene cameo appearance in the film.
    • Harvey Korman was the first choice for the role of Tony in Assignment Miami Beach, but was unavailable for the filming dates.
    • Bobcat Goldthwait refused to reprise his role as Zed in Assignment Miami Beach due to not being able to come to a financial agreement with the filmmakers. As a result, Tim Kazurinsky ended up not being involved either because the filmmakers felt there was no point in bringing back Sweetchuck without Zed. Goldthwait later said that he skipped this sequel because the script lost focus and his character "would never talk like that."
    • If Steve Guttenberg had agreed to appear in Assignment Miami Beach, Mahoney would have been promoted to Lieutenant along with Hightower at the end of the film.
    • The original plan for City Under Siege was to have Lassard and his crew travel to Moscow, Russia under the working title of Operation Glasnost. However, permission to film in Russia would not be granted until five years later with Mission to Moscow. Then, the sixth film's setting was moved from Russia to London, England, with Richard Curtis and Ben Elton being offered to write the script, and a new working title called The London Beat, but was shot down by Assignment Miami Beach performing below expectations at the box office, resulting in a decreased budget for the sixth film, in comparison to the earlier films' massive budgets, as well as Curtis and Elton turning down the scriptwriting offer, thus it ended up being filmed in Los Angeles.
    • After plans to film City Under Siege in England were nixed, the idea was again considered for the seventh film under the working title of Operation Scotland Yard. Paul Maslanky's revisited idea was to have Steve Guttenberg, Bubba Smith, and other former cast members unite with the cast for a Grand Finale to the franchise, with tentative plans for a 1991 theatrical release. However, the final product, Mission to Moscow, ended up being a very different, much lower budget, Direct-to-Video release, with Guttenberg, Smith, and others declining to return.
    • Bubba Smith had planned to reprise his role as Hightower in Mission to Moscow, but ended up withdrawing from the film after being told by the filmmakers that they were not planning to bring back Marion Ramsey as Hooks. As a result, scenes originally written for Hightower (who would've been promoted to Captain) had to be given to some of the other characters (i.e. Tackleberry checking up on Commandant Lassard in his hotel room, Capt. Harris wearing a tutu at the Bolshoi Ballet, etc.), and G.W. Bailey was brought on board at the last minute.
    • The three Russian acrobatic police painters (whose names were Brullov, Dukhov, and Repkin) who were assigned to Lassard and friends in Mission to Moscow were originally meant to have a larger role than what was shown in the final cut.
  • The Wiki Rule: The Police Academy Wiki.


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