holds a gun ones head

The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear

The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear is a 1991 comedy film starring Leslie Nielsen as the comically bumbling Police Lt. Frank Drebin of Police Squad!. Priscilla Presley plays the role of Jane, with O.J. Simpson as Nordberg and George Kennedy as police captain Ed Hocken. Also starring Robert Goulet (who previously made a "special guest star" appearance on Police Squad!) as the villanous Quentin Hapsburg and Richard Griffiths as renewable fuel advocate Dr Albert S. Meinheimer (and also 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.

It is the first sequel to The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!, and was followed by Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult. The film is marketed with the tagline "Frank Drebin is back. Just accept it."


Dinner at the White House

Frank Drebin and his boss, Washington, D.C. police commissioner Annabelle Brumford (played by Jacqueline Brookes) attend a dinner function at the White House. Among the guests are President George Bush, his chief of staff, John Sununu, Nelson Mandela and his then-wife Winnie, and others.

The President announces that he will base his recommendation for the country's energy program on Dr. Albert Meinheimer's advice at the National Press Club dinner the following Tuesday night. The heads of the fossil fuel and nuclear industries look over at each other suspiciously at this point, but the antics of Frank Drebin distract from the undertones, as he accidentally injures Barbara Bush several times.

The names of the fossil fuel lobbies are ironic acronyms: the oil industry's is Society of Petroleum Industry Leaders, SPIL; the coal industry's, Society for MOre Coal Energy - or SMOCE; and the nuclear industry's, the Key Atomic Benefits Office Of Mankind - or KABOOM.

Interestingly, Dr. Meinheimer reveals (after the credits) that he was going to also give his results at the White House dinner at the start but because of Frank Drebin "making such a ruckus" he was unable — so almost all the events of the movie can be blamed at Frank Drebin's behavior at the start of the movie. (The rest, of course, can be attributed to Drebin's investigation of the bombing at Meinheimer's office the night of the White House dinner.)

Red van

Jane Spencer (Presley), is shown late at night at the Meinheimer research institute crying as she is thinking about Frank, whom she had dated in the first Naked Gun film, while Dr. Meinheimer, back from the White House dinner tries to console her. At one point Spencer looks out the window and sees a man run into a red van and leave. In the background a maintenance man, emptying out garbage cans, picks up a time bomb and takes it down to the security guards downstairs. The guards think the bomb is merely an alarm clock and wind it to the correct time, triggering it in the process.

The next morning, Frank reacquaints with Jane as he interviews her. He then is shown around the institute and meets Jane's boyfriend, Hexagon Oil executive Quentin Hapsburg, who he becomes exceedingly jealous of, calling him 'Mr. Poopy Pants' and telling him he probably read the book on male sexual dysfunction.

On Monday, at the police station, the Police Squad examines a wallet left near the institute. They determine it belongs to the driver of the van, Hector Savage. Frank, Ed and Nordberg head off to the red light district of Washington, D.C.'s Little Italy to a sex shop where he has been tracked down to. They spot the red van upon entering the store, which Nordberg is given the task of bugging.

While he is doing this, Savage takes off in the van. Before successfully installing the device, Nordberg is trapped when his sleeve gets caught underneath the van, and he is pulled along with the van as it moves. As Frank and Ed follow Savage in their car, Nordberg eventually gets himself free from the van, but as it's swiftly rolling down a hill, he ends up getting trapped under Frank's car. Nordberg is hit by several objects in the road (mainly in the groin) as a running joke that he keeps getting hurt through the films. Frank and Ed pursue the signal (from what they think is Savage's van) in their car, and when they finally stop, Nordberg is propelled forward and ends up getting stuck under a bus to Detroit.

Savage, meanwhile, is held up in a suburban home, surrounded by police, and Frank commandeers a tank, which he drives into the house. He misses Savage, who was about to surrender, and Savage instead escapes. Frank then drives the tank into the National Zoo where many animals escape.

The kidnapping

At a meeting of the "old-energy" industry leaders on Sunday night, Quentin has revealed that he has kidnapped Dr. Meinheimer and found an exact double for him, Earl Hacker, who plays the part of the disabled doctor. This is so that Hacker will give a recommendation to the President endorsing fossil and nuclear fuels, rather than environmental ones. While the industry leaders would rather not see the alterative-fuel recommendations be made, they are audibly horrified at Hapsburg's taking Meinheimer hostage.

The next evening, Drebin arrives at a function where he sees the police commissioner and Quentin Hapsburg. After cutting in on Mel Tormé, who is dancing with Jane, Frank starts dancing with Jane to make Hapsburg jealous. Later, attempting to "wheel" the Meinheimer double (Hacker, actually in an electric wheelchair) to the stage for a raffle drawing, Drebin ends up manhandling the double and slamming the wheelchair into a drinks tray, spilling drinks onto the wheelchair controls and causing them to short circuit, making the wheelchair go crazy, before being tossed to the floor. Hacker's electric wheelchair then goes flying through an upper-story window and is seen passing in front of the full moon, in a parody of E.T.

Frank then goes to Jane's apartment, where Savage arrives with orders to kill Frank. However, he comes across Jane while she's having a shower, and when she sees him (thanks to his overeagerness in singing along to "The Way We Were" with Jane) she screams, alerting Frank to Savage's presence. Frank and Savage fight until Frank sticks a fire hose in Savage's mouth and turns on the water full blast. Savage's stomach quickly fills up with water, the flow of which becomes fatally unstoppable when Drebin accidentally disconnects the water-flow valve. Drebin makes it into Spencer's flat just before a loud explosion is heard -- the sound of Savage's stomach exploding from the water pressure.

During the fight with Savage, Frank picked up a card on Savage leading him to the dock of the Hexagon oil company's Hapsburg Valdez (a play on Exxon Valdez). Frank goes with the police to investigate, while Hapsburg and the energy representatives are meeting in a warehouse. He is bugged and accidentally falls through the roof of the warehouse as he was being chased by a Doberman guard dog. Hapsburg discovers the bug and ties him up next to Dr. Meinheimer. The police arrive and free them, but not before Frank tries to free himself, knocking many objects onto Meinheimer's head. Ed, believing the Hapsburg goon guarding the doctor and Drebin beat up Meinheimer, tries to slug the guard, but is instead knocked out cold.


The police then go to the hotel where Dr. Meinheimer will make his recommendation to President Bush, and where they hope to get Hapsburg. Police commissioner Brumford has ordered that if any member of Drebin's Police Squad unit is spotted he or she is to be arrested on sight, due to the damage Frank caused by having all the animals released from the National Zoo.

Drebin wants to get the jump on Hapsburg by having Jane let them in from the back entrance, but that plan is ruined when Hapsburg runs into Jane and takes her to his table at the ballroom. Drebin, Nordberg, Hocken and the real Meinheimer get into the building by appropriating a costume and instruments from a Mariachi band due to perform at the hotel, and wind up on stage, where they perform the song "Besame Mucho" for the National Press Club audience.

After the performance, Drebin encounters Hacker in the hallway outside the conference room. Hacker attempts to attack Drebin, but is forced back into his wheelchair by Drebin's hits. Members of the Chicago Bears appear and, believing Frank to be attacking a defenseless man in a wheelchair, proceed to wheel away Hacker while beating Frank unconscious.

When the real Dr. Meinheimer is put into one of the stage wings, Hacker appears and Ed starts a fight with him. Meinheimer picks up a small hand axe and cuts some ropes, releasing weights onto Ed's and then Hacker's heads. Later, during the confusion (with Drebin mistaking Hacker for the real Meinheimer, with comic results), Hacker ends up arrested.

Eventually, Frank has a shootout with Hapsburg's goons on the hotel roof, in which Nordberg assembles a 155 mm cannon which blows a hole into the rooftop control room, which Drebin uses to enter to find Hapsburg with Jane, who has been gagged and had her hands tied behind her back. Hapsburg holds a gun at Frank, telling him that he is about to set off a small nuclear device which will destroy the function, so that it won't matter what Meinheimer will say in his speech. Nordberg tries to attack him by swinging on a rope but hits the wall. However, this distracts Hapsburg, at which point Frank suddenly disarms him and proceeds to aggressively subdue him.

Frank beats Hapsburg convincingly, and takes him to the window of the tall building, where he starts telling Frank the code for disarming the bomb. Ed arrives and throws him out the window, believing that he was still struggling with Frank. He manages to survive the fall thanks to an awning, but is then mauled to death by a lion, one of the animals presumably released by Frank from the zoo. Frank then frees Jane.

Meanwhile, Hocken and Nordberg evacuate the Press Club; Nordberg accidentally admits to the bomb and the audience freaks out.

After several attempts to disarm the bomb, Frank then manages to disarm the bomb accidentally at the last second by tripping and unplugging the power cord. He is then commended by the President, who offers him a special post as head of a Federal Bureau of Police Squad. Drebin declines, vowing to take an environment-friendly approach to his police work instead and asking Jane to marry him, which she accepts. They then go out to a balcony, where they wave at the crowd, and Frank turns around, knocking Barbara Bush off the balcony, but she manages to hold on, although Frank pulls off her dress in an attempt of saving her. The movie ends with them waving at the crowd of reporters, who are pointing at Mrs. Bush but they don't notice and keep waving back.

Full Cast


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).

Singer Colleen Fitzpatrick (known to modern-rock fans as Vitamin C) appeared on camera as 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. Fitzpatrick, then in her 20s, was made up to look like an aging, world-weary, chanteuse.

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 "Besame Mucho" at the Press Club dinner.


In conjunction with the second Naked Gun film, Varese 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 Police Squad! theme.ogg 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

Opening credits

Like the first movie, the opening credits appear over a video montage of the police siren going through various increasingly-absurd scenes. At the end, it pulls over a car, out of which emerges Zsa Zsa Gabor (played by herself). She walks to the police car and smacks the siren out, parodying her own 1989 arrest for slapping a police officer in Beverly Hills.

Notable references

  • When investigating the bomb at the beginning of the film, there is an outline of an Egyptian. This is a reference to the original TV series, Police Squad!.
  • In the scene at the lonely people's club, Casablanca is parodied by having a piano player named Sam who resembles the character in the film. Casablanca was also parodied in the first film.
  • The love scene between Frank and Jane in this film is a spoof of the clay scene in Ghost (which Jerry Zucker, who wrote Naked Gun 2 1/2, directed). Afterward, it is heavily implied that they are having sex by interspersing images of Jane's hands holding onto (and eventually breaking) brass posts on the bed's headboard with a plethora of heavily euphemistic images.
  • At one point in the movie, a despondent Leslie Nielsen has drinks in a bar called "The Blue Note", a watering hole full of sad people with blues music playing. The camera pans the walls to show pictures of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, the Hindenburg, the R.M.S. Titanic, and Michael Dukakis (the punch line). Later, pictures of Neville Chamberlain, the Edsel, and the Hubble Space Telescope are visible. (Before the Hubble was repaired in 1993, it was widely considered an expensive fiasco).
  • During the scene at the Press Club dinner in which the audience panics at word of a bomb, actor Lloyd Bochner (playing one of the old-energy industrialists) runs through a crowd in panic with a large volume, yelling “It's a cookbook, it's a cookbook!”. This parodies Bochner's performance in The Twilight Zone episode "To Serve Man."
  • The story of the first Naked Gun-movie was played in Los Angeles, this film is played in Washington DC.


  • French: Y a-t-il un flic pour sauver le président ? (A reference to another Zucker film Airplane! known as Y a-t-il un pilote dans l'avion ?) or L'agent fait la farce 2 1/2 : L'odeur de la peur
  • Spanish (Spain): Agárralo como puedas 2½: El aroma del miedo (Catch it as you can 2½: The Smell of Fear)
  • Italian: Una Pallottola Spuntata 2½: l'Odore della Paura
  • German: Die nackte Kanone 2½
  • Brazilian portuguese: Corra que a Polícia Vem Aí 2½
  • Mexican Spanish: ¿Y dónde está el policía 2½?
  • Argentinian Spanish: La pistola desnuda 2½
  • Finnish: Mies ja alaston ase 2 1/2
  • Swedish: Den Nakna Pistolen 2 1/2
  • Chinese (Taiwan): 站在子彈上的男人 (The man who stands on bullets)
  • Serbian: Goli Pištolj 2½: Miris straha
  • Polish: Naga Broń 2 1/2: Zapach strachu
  • Danish: Høj pistolføring 2 1/2
  • Russian: Голый пистолет 2 и 1/2: Запах страха
  • Bulgarian: Голият пищов 2 и 1/2: Мирисът на страха


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