Beverly Hills Cop

Beverly Hills Cop Information

Beverly Hills Cop is a 1984 American action comedy film directed by Martin Brest and starring Eddie Murphy as Axel Foley, a street-smart Detroit cop who heads to Beverly Hills, California, to solve the murder of his best friend. Judge Reinhold, John Ashton, Ronny Cox, and Lisa Eilbacher 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", was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture - Comedy/Musical, and even received an Academy Award nomination in 1985. It earned an estimated $234 million at the domestic box office, making it the biggest hit of 1984.


Axel Foley (Murphy) is a young reckless but charismatic Detroit police detective. His unauthorized cigarette smuggling sting operation goes sour when two uniformed officers intervene, resulting in a high-speed chase of a semi-truck carrying the cigarettes through the city, causing widespread damage, which earns him the wrath of his boss, Inspector Douglas Todd (Hill). Todd warns Foley that if he disregards proper procedure again he will be fired.

Mikey Tandino (Russo), Foley's childhood friend, arrives and tells Foley he has been working as a security guard in Beverly Hills, thanks to a mutual friend, Jenny Summers (Eilbacher). After going out to a bar, they return to Foley's apartment, where Foley is knocked unconscious and Mikey is confronted by two men who question him about some bearer bonds he is holding, then kill him.

After being refused the investigation because of his close ties to Mikey, Foley uses the guise of taking vacation time to head to Beverly Hills to solve the crime. He finds Jenny working in an art gallery and learns her and Mikey's boss is local art dealer Victor Maitland (Berkoff). Foley tries to question Maitland, but is thrown through a window by Maitland's bodyguards, and then arrested for disturbing the peace at Maitland's direction. At the police station he meets Beverly Hills police officers Sergeant John Taggart (Ashton), Detective Billy Rosewood (Reinhold), and Lieutenant Andrew Bogomil (Cox). Bogomil warns Foley he has been in touch with Inspector Todd and will have Foley fired if he is found to be conducting any kind of investigation. Foley assures Bogomil he is simply on vacation and is released. Bogomil assigns Rosewood and Taggart to follow Foley, who uses various methods to evade them. Eventually, he invites them to a strip club for a drink, where they manage to foil a robbery together, leading to a sense of mutual respect.

On the trail of Mikey's killers, Foley sneaks into one of Maitland's warehouses, where, after some undercover work, realizes that many of Maitland's crates had not gone through customs. After Foley confronts Maitland at his country club and is arrested again, Bogomil demands to know why Foley is bothering Maitland. Foley finally admits that he suspects Maitland to be a smuggler, certainly of bearer bonds but also possibly drugs. Bogomil seems to believe Foley's story, but Police Chief Hubbard orders that Foley is to be escorted out of town immediately. However, Foley convinces Rosewood to pick up Jenny and take her with them to Maitland's warehouse, where a shipment is due to arrive that day. Foley orders Rosewood to stay outside while they find 'probable cause' for him, as a local police officer, to enter.

Foley and Jenny break into the warehouse and discover several bags of cocaine inside a crate. Foley tells Jenny to get Rosewood, but Maitland and his associates arrive. Maitland takes Jenny and leaves Foley to be killed. After some hesitation, Rosewood enters the warehouse and rescues Foley. Taggart tracks Foley and Rosewood to Maitland's estate, where he joins Foley and Rosewood in their efforts to rescue Jenny and bring Maitland to justice. When Bogomil hears reports of shots fired at Maitland's residence, he calls for backup at the location and heads out to join the others. After a firefight that kills most of Maitland's men, Foley kills Maitland's right-hand man Zack, who had killed Mikey. Maitland shoots and injures Foley, then uses Jenny as a shield. Bogomil's arrival distracts Maitland long enough to allow Jenny to break free; Bogomil and Foley then shoot and kill Maitland.

Chief Hubbard arrives and Bogomil fabricates a story that covers for Foley, Taggart, and Rosewood. When Hubbard asks Taggart to confirm the story, Taggart backs up Bogomil. Realizing that he will probably be out of a job in Detroit, Foley asks Bogomil to speak to Inspector Todd and smooth things over for him. Bogomil is reluctant, but relents after Foley talks about staying in Beverly Hills.

Taggart and Rosewood meet Foley as he checks out of his hotel, where the bill is paid by the police department. Foley invites them to join him for a farewell drink, and they accept.


  • 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
  • Jonathan Banks as Zack
  • Stephen Elliott as Chief Hubbard
  • Gil Hill as Inspector Douglas Todd
  • Art Kimbro as Detective Foster
  • Joel Bailey as Detective McCabe
  • Bronson Pinchot as Serge
  • Paul Reiser as Jeffrey
  • Michael Champion as Casey
  • Frank Pesce as Cigarette Buyer
  • Gene Borkan as Truck Driver
  • Damon Wayans as Banana Man
  • Chuck Adamson as Warehouse Crate Opener #1
  • Chip Heller as Warehouse Crate Opener #2
  • David Wells as Police Dispatcher
  • Michael Gregory as Beverly Palm Hotel director


Danilo Bach completed a draft for the film in 1977, seven years prior to production. The script's earliest version involved a cop in East L.A. who was transferred to Beverly Hills, before evolving into the story of a cop from the East Coast who came to Beverly Hills to avenge his friend's death. Drafts before the script was locked in (and became more of the comedy it ended up being) gave the cop's name as Axel Elly and set the out-of-Beverly Hills action in Pittsburgh.

When asked by the producers, director Martin Brest flipped a quarter to decide whether to undertake the direction of the film or not. As the film proved to be an enormous hit, he framed the quarter and hung it on his wall.

On the DVD featurette, producer Jerry Bruckheimer claimed that the role of Axel Foley was first offered to Mickey Rourke, who signed a $400,000 holding contract to do the film. When revisions and other preparations took longer than expected, Rourke left the project after his contract expired to do another film. It was then offered to Sylvester Stallone, with the character of Michael Tandino being his brother, and Jenny Summers being his love interest. Two weeks before filming was to start, Stallone was suddenly out and Eddie Murphy was in, prompting massive rewrites. According to Eddie Murphy on Inside the Actors Studio, Stallone also envisioned a "harder edged" screenplay. After his departure due to differences in scope (Stallone essentially rewrote Beverly Hills Cop as what would be the 1986 film Cobra), the role was re-written for Murphy. Besides Stallone and Rourke, other actors who were considered for the role of Axel Foley included Richard Pryor, Al Pacino, and James Caan. In one of the previous drafts written for Stallone, Billy Rosewood was called "Siddons" and was killed off half-way through the script during one of the action scenes deemed "too expensive" for Paramount to produce.

In the process of casting the characters of Rosewood and Taggart, the director paired up various finalists and asked them to do some improvisation to get a feel for the chemistry between the actors. He paired up Judge Reinhold and John Ashton and gave them the following direction: "You are a middle aged couple, married for years. You are having a conversation on an average evening." Judge Reinhold immediately picked up a nearby magazine and the two improvised the "5 pounds of red meat in his bowels" bit almost verbatim as it eventually appeared in the film. This got them the parts. Only after Martin Brest cast Judge Reinhold and John Ashton was the decision made to keep Rosewood alive due to his chemistry with Taggart. The original finale for the Stallone draft of the script took place at night and ended with a car chase between Victor in a Lamborghini and Foley in a turbo-boosted Pontiac GTO. Victor is ultimately killed when his car smashes into an oncoming train.

Some scenes were filmed in Detroit, including scenes filmed in Brush Park. The T-shirt that Murphy wears in the film is from Mumford High, a real high school in Detroit. The Renaissance Center is visible in the opening scene.

Gil Hill, the actor who portrayed Inspector Douglas Todd, was a real-life detective in the Detroit Police Department who later became a Detroit City Council member and mayoral candidate, losing to Kwame Kilpatrick in 2001.

In the art gallery, there is a large art piece containing several figures. One of the figures, a maitre'd with a chain around its neck, is modelled after director Martin Brest.

During his tirade at the Beverly Palms Hotel, Foley pretends to be writing an article called "Michael Jackson: Sitting on Top of the World" for Rolling Stone magazine. In real life, Playboy magazine ran an article called "Eddie Murphy: Sitting on Top of the World."

The scene in which Foley, Rosewood, and Taggart give an explanation to Bogomil about the strip club arrest was improvised according to a production featurette. The song which plays during the strip club scene, Vanity 6's "Nasty Girl", was recommended by the real-life stripper who was hired for the scene.

When trying to find Foley and Rosewood, the Beverly Hills Police control room use a GPS. Such a system did not exist at the time and was made up to advance the plot. The pistol Murphy uses in the film is a Browning High Power 9mm pistol, which he also uses in both sequels.


Beverly Hills Cop was well received by critics and is considered by many as one of the best films of 1984. Eddie Murphy, in particular, received much acclaim for his performance. Janet Maslin of The New York Times wrote "Beverly Hills Cop finds Eddie Murphy doing what he does best: playing the shrewdest, hippest, fastest-talking underdog in a rich man's world. Eddie Murphy knows exactly what he's doing, and he wins at every turn". Richard Schickel of Time magazine felt that "Eddie Murphy exuded the kind of cheeky, cocky charm that has been missing from the screen since Cagney was a pup, snarling his way out of the ghetto". Axel Foley became Murphy's signature role and was ranked 78 on Empire magazine's list of The 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time. Also, Entertainment Weekly magazine ranked Beverly Hills Cop as the third best comedy film of the last 25 years. According to Christopher Hitchens, the British novelist and poet Kingsley Amis considered the film "a flawless masterpiece."

Today, Beverly Hills Cop is regarded as a classic in the comedy genre and holds an 83% approval rating on the aggregate film website Rotten Tomatoes. The film was also picked as one of the 1000 Best Movies Ever Made by The New York Times.

Box office

The film was released on December 5 and screened in 2,006 theaters. It debuted as #1 at box office making $15,214,805 in its first week of release. Thanks to word of mouth, the film generated higher revenue in the weeks following the first week, with the highest one being $20,064,790 in its fourth week of release. It stayed #1 for 14 non-consecutive weeks and tied Tootsie for the films with the second most weeks on the top (the first is Titanic). The film earned approximately $234,760,478 domestically and became the highest-grossing film of the year 1984. It also became the highest-grossing R rated comedy film, a title it would hold until The Matrix Reloaded in 2003. (Adjusted for inflation, Beverly Hills Cop is the third highest-grossing R rated film of all time, behind only The Exorcist and The Godfather.) The film was also the second highest-grossing film worldwide in 1984, behind Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

Soundtrack album

The soundtrack "Beverly Hills Cop" won a Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media (1986). The instrumental-only title tune "Axel F" is a cultural touchstone and has since been covered by numerous artists. The soundtrack was mastered by Greg Fulginiti, and would feature different artists plus electronic style music.

The soundtrack was released on MCA Records, successor-in-interest to Paramount's old record division, the Famous Music Group (specifically Paramount Records).

The track listing is as follows:

  1. "New Attitude" by Patti LaBelle
  2. "Don't Get Stopped in Beverly Hills" by Shalamar
  3. "Do You Really (Want My Love?)" by Junior
  4. "Emergency" by Rockie Robbins
  5. "Neutron Dance" by Pointer Sisters
  6. "Dynamite" by Jermaine Jackson
  7. "The Heat is On" by Glenn Frey
  8. "Gratitude" by Danny Elfman
  9. "Stir It Up" by Patti LaBelle
  10. "Rock 'N Roll Me Again" by The System
  11. "Axel F" by Harold Faltermeyer

Chart positions

Year Chart Position
1985 Billboard 200 1


See Beverly Hills Cop II for more information The film spawned two sequels, both starring Eddie Murphy, in 1987 and 1994. Judge Reinhold also reprised his role of Billy Rosewood for the sequels. The second film was a box office success while the third film was less successful. Faltermeyer's "Axel F" was used in both sequels.


A television series is in the works for CBS. The pilot will star Brandon T. Jackson as Axel Foley's son, Sheila Vand, David Denman, Kevin Pollak, and Christine Lahti. Eddie Murphy will return as Axel Foley, but will only have a supporting role. Judge Reinhold is also rumoured to reprise his role as Billy Rosewood. If the pilot is successful, a full series will be commissioned. The new series will center on Foley's son, detective Aaron Foley. In May 2013 CBS announced they would not be ordering a series of Beverly Hills Cop, however, the pilots producer and distributor Sony Pictures Entertainment were confident either a broadcast or cable network would pick up the series.

Awards and nominations

  • Academy Award
    • nominated for Best Writing (Original Screenplay) - Danilo Bach and Daniel Petrie, Jr.
  • British Academy Film Awards
    • nominated for Best Score - Harold Faltermeyer
  • Edgar Allan Poe Award
    • nominated for Best Motion Picture - Daniel Petrie, Jr.
  • Golden Globe Award
    • nominated for Best Motion Picture - Comedy/Musical
    • nominated for Best Motion Picture Actor - Comedy/Musical - Eddie Murphy
  • Grammy Award
    • won for Best Score Soundtrack Album - Marc Benno, Harold Faltermeyer, Keith Forsey, Micki Free, Jon Gilutin, Howard Hewett, Bunny Hull, Howie Rice, Sharon Robinson, Danny Sembello, Sue Sheridan, Richard Theisen, Allee Willis
  • People's Choice Award
    • won for Favorite Motion Picture
  • Stuntman Award
    • won for Best Vehicular Stunt (Motion Picture) - Eddy Donno
  • This film is 22 on Bravo's list of the 100 funniest films.
American Film Institute Lists

  • AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies - Nominated
  • AFI's 100 Years... 100 Laughs - #63
  • AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains:
    • Detective Axel Foley - Nominated Hero

Video games

See Beverly Hills Cop (video game) for more information

  • Tynesoft released a game based on the films for Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, BBC Micro, PC, Amiga and Atari ST in 1990.
  • Blast Entertainment released a Beverly Hills Cop game for the PlayStation 2 in 2006.

This webpage uses material from the Wikipedia article "Beverly_Hills_Cop" and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions the Wikipedia article may contain.



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