The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear

The Naked Gun 2½:
The Smell of Fear
Theatrical release poster
Directed by David Zucker
Produced by Robert K. Weiss
Written by David Zucker
Pat Proft
Based on Police Squad! 
by David Zucker
Jim Abrahams
Jerry Zucker
Starring Leslie Nielsen
Priscilla Presley
George Kennedy
O.J. Simpson
Music by Ira Newborn
Cinematography Robert M. Stevens
Edited by Christopher Greenbury
James R. Symons
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • June 28, 1991 (1991-06-28)
Running time
81 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $23 million
Box office $86.9 million

The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear is a 1991 Robert Goulet (who previously made a "special guest star" appearance on Police Squad!) as the villainous Quentin Hapsburg and Richard Griffiths as renewable fuel advocate Dr. Albert S. Meinheimer (as well as his evil double, Earl Hacker). Zsa Zsa Gabor, Mel Tormé and members of the Chicago Bears have cameo roles.

David Zucker returns from the first entry as director and screenwriter of the film. Jim Abrahams and Jerry Zucker serve as executive producers for the film and receive writing credit due to their contributions to the first entry of the series and the Police Squad! television series. However, neither contributed to the screenplay for the film.


  • Plot 1
  • Cast 2
  • Music 3
  • Soundtrack 4
  • Reception 5
    • Box office 5.1
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen) is honored at the

Police Squad tracks down the driver of the van, Hector Savage, and find him connected to a sex toy shop. Once he discovers the cops are onto him, Hector holes up in a house demanding money. Frank then takes it upon himself to drive a SWAT tank into and through the house, allowing Hector to escape and causing more damage when he loses control of the tank and crashes into the city zoo, causing all of the animals to escape. Later that evening at a party Frank makes matters worse when he attempts to push the wheelchair-bound doctor up to the front of the room. However, in the encounter he notices that Dr. Meinheimer did not remember him upon sight. Since Jane told him he had a photographic memory, Frank confronts her with that at her home following the party. She refuses to believe him and dismisses him. Moments later Hector enters the house trying to kill Jane, who spots and alerts Frank. After a tussle where Frank causes Hector's body to burst by sticking a fire hose in his mouth and turning it on full blast, Frank confronts Jane again and she realizes that he was right. They then rekindle their romance.

The next day Police Squad stakes out Hexagon Oil's headquarters where Dr. Meinheimer is being held. Frank tries to go undercover into the building but instead is discovered and tied up by his henchmen. The rest of Police Squad is able to return after a snafu and free both Frank and Dr. Meinheimer, and head to the Press Club Dinner to try and intercept Earl. Finding their only way in locked, Frank, Ed, Nordberg (O.J. Simpson), and Dr. Meinheimer commandeer a mariachi band's costumes and head in, stopping briefly to perform for the gathered crowd. After heading backstage, Frank encounters Earl, who attacks him. Several members of the Chicago Bears see this and begin attacking Frank, not knowing he is not attacking a defenseless man. The confusion ends when Ed and Dr. Meinheimer take out Earl so he can begin his speech.

However, due to the confusion Frank does not know that Earl has been eliminated and goes into the gathering assuming Dr. Meinheimer is the fake one. After embarrassing himself for a few seconds, Ed comes in to inform the audience that Quentin is the mastermind of the whole scam. However, he has already left the room with Jane and after a shootout on the roof of the building Quentin informs Frank that he has one more trick up his sleeve; he has rigged the building with a small nuclear device which will kill everyone in there except for him and render Dr. Meinheimer's speech useless. As Frank gains the upper hand and is about to get the disarming code Ed enters and throws Quentin out a window. On his way down he hits an awning and is able to come to the sidewalk unscathed, but is immediately met by a lion and devoured.

Frank frees Jane from being handcuffed to the bomb and they attempt to disarm it while Ed and Nordberg go back into the ballroom to evacuate it. After several failed attempts, Frank finally manages to disarm the bomb at the last second by tripping over the power cord, unplugging it. He is commended by the President, who offers him a special post as head of the Federal Bureau of Police Squad. He declines, instead asking Jane to marry him, which she accepts. They go out to a balcony, where they accept commendations from the crowd. Frank spins around and accidentally knocks Barbara Bush (Margery Ross) off onto the edge. She manages to hold on, although in an attempt to help her, Frank pulls off her dress.



As with the first Naked Gun film, the original music for the second installment was composed and orchestrated by veteran soundtrack composer Ira Newborn, including the familiar big-band/blues theme for the Naked Gun/Police Squad! franchise.

Several of the orchestral movements revolve around two other Newborn pieces: "Drebin - Hero!" (used at the top of the pre-credit sequence, from the Paramount-logo animation onward) and the romantic "Thinking of Him" (right after the credits).

Seasoned Broadway and film singer/actress Colleen Fitzpatrick plays a saloon singer at a sad-sack restaurant called the Blue Note, to which a depressed Detective Lieutenant Drebin repairs after seeing former girlfriend Jane Spencer being wooed by villain Quentin Hapsburg. This role has frequently been attributed to singer Vitamin C who happens to share the same name, but this is incorrect.[1]

Other non-Newborn pieces make cameos in this Naked Gun installment. They include the standards "Tangerine" and "Satin Doll" and the Righteous Brothers' recordings of "Unchained Melody" (featured in Jerry Zucker's drama Ghost) and "Ebb Tide." Nielsen himself voices the Latin-flavored pop standard "Bésame Mucho" at the Press Club dinner.


The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear
(Original Soundtrack)
Soundtrack album by Ira Newborn
Released 1991
Recorded 1991
Genre Big Band
Length 35:46
Label Varèse Sarabande
Producer Ira Newborn
Robert Townson (Executive Producer)

In conjunction with the second Naked Gun film, Varèse Sarabande released a soundtrack combining the best Newborn compositions from the first two films.

Track listing
# Title Time Original Film
1 Beirut Vacation 0:56 The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!
2 Drebin-Hero! 1:03 The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear'
3 2:00 The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!
4 Meat Miss Spencer 5:28 The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!
5 There's Been a Bombing 0:47 The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear
6 The Exciting Chase 2:44 The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!
7 Bad Boys & Meinheimers 2:44 The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear
8 Miss Spencer 1:00 The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!
9 Hey Look at These 0:44 The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear
10 On the Ledge 1:36 The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!
11 Thinking of... Him! 2:33 The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear
12 The Date 0:56 The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear
13 Roof, Roof!! 4:14 The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear
14 I Must Kill Frank 3:10 The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!
15 I Want a World 1:47 The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear
16 End Credits 4:32 The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear


The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear was met with mixed reviews from critics. The film currently holds a 58% "Rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 38 reviews, with an average rating of 5.8/10, with the critical consensus stating, "The slapstick antics of this sequel provide a few laughs, but fail to equal those of the original". Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly awarded it a B+, but observed that in some ways, it was "the most predictable of the ZAZ films. Even the inconsistent Top Secret! (1984), a demented hybrid of Elvis movies and World War II espionage thrillers, had far wilder passages. Yet I'll take lesser ZAZ over most of the competition any day. Their comedies don't just get you laughing. They put you inside a new, cracked-mirror world — a world where no detail is too small for ridicule, and where Leslie Nielsen (bless him) can be a movie star."[2] Kenneth Turan wrote in the Los Angeles Times that one should "consider The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear. The title is funny enough, so are the credits ("Un Film de David Zucker"), and the key art, showing fearless Lt. Frank Drebin spread-eagled on a pair of speeding bullets, is good for a chuckle as well. But that's where the laughter ends, pal. Because the only thing about The Naked Gun that won't make you laugh is the film itself."[3]

Box office

The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear knocked Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves from the top spot at the box office.[4]


  1. ^ Blues Singer at Blue Note Club scene at YouTube
  2. ^ "The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear". Entertainment Weekly. 1991-07-12. Retrieved 2010-10-10. 
  3. ^ Turan, Kenneth (1991-06-28). ' Fires Blanks : The main characters, cast and creators of the off-the-wall original are back, but they forget one thing--the laughs."12"MOVIE REVIEW : 'Naked Gun 2.  
  4. ^ Strauss, Bob (1991-07-05). ` 2nd To None In Its Debut Weekend"12"Naked Gun 2. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2010-10-10. 

External links