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Axel Foley Was Right! You Should Never Fall For a Banana In Your Tailpipe

A Retrospective Look at the Blockbuster Hit, "Beverly Hills Cop"

By Digital_FootPrintPublished 29 days ago 20 min read
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Axel Foley Was Right! You Should Never Fall For a Banana In Your Tailpipe
Photo by BP Miller on Unsplash

Ahhhh! Beverly Hills! The land of palm trees, fast cars & even faster women. The ideal place for a vacay unless you're on the hunt for a murderous art dealer who had your best friend offed.

Alright! I got my VCR all hooked up and running and now I'm sliding the tape in.

Hopefully, the machine won't eat it. Don't you just hate it when that happens?!

There goes that FBI warning. I miss those days.

I wonder did they ever prosecute folks for copyright infringement.

Now I was only kidding about the VCR bit. I'm actually watching the movie on my laptop.

This thing hasn't played any music yet. Let me make sure that I have the volume turned up and not on mute.

There we go. It took about 27 seconds for any sound to come on.

I thought I had fucked up for a minute.

I had no clue that Eddie Murphy had his own production company back then. He only had a few movie credits to his name at the time.

I would guess four but let me head on over to imdb.com to verify whether that number is correct or not.

Presses pause on my make-believe Sansui remote.

Matter of fact, he only had 3 film credits up until this point.

*Note: That's not including his time on "Saturday Night Live." Only his FILM career.

Lets see…….he had two hits with "48 Hrs." and followed it up with "Trading Places."

Now he also had "Best Defense" which was……….bleh but even Steph Curry doesn't make every shot.

Here I am about a minute into the movie and here comes the rather catchy 80's music.

Now, the music might be a little on the cheesy side but the cinematography is superb. They did a great job of perfectly, capturing the city of Detroit.

A great cinematographer knows how to make the audience feel like they know a city even if they never been to "said" city before.

Oh, oh! Nature's calling and I do not have voicemail. Be right back after this brief intermission.

Alright! I'm back after handling some porcelain business.

Now where were we?! Oh, cheesy 80s' music. Presses play.

You know, it wouldn't quite be the 80's without Glenn Frey's "The Heat is On" record playing in the background.

They have kids out there "trying" to breakdance with extra emphasis on the trying part.

They show a man coming out of a cafe rocking the same type of tight pants Eddie wore in "Delirious."

The man's checking out this woman with a whole lot of junk in her trunk. I dont blame you, man.

You can really tell that they used real people in this movie because they look and act just like real people.

It's either that or they got one hell of a casting director.

Man, the team of Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer couldn't miss in the 1980's.

I bet they felt like McGwire & Sosa did during the home run chase of 1998 when they were on roids.'

Now, we're into movie. Axel Foley is an undercover cop trying to get these hoods to buy a truck load of cigarettes.

Eddie Murphy just has this uncanny ability to make the characters he portrays come to life.

He really knows how to get in-depth with these characters. He also seems to have great chemistry with his fellow actors like the guy he's hassling with in the back of the cigarette truck.

These two would pair up again for another brief encounter in the sequel.

The cops come and fuck up Foley's investigation.

Don't these ever guys talk?!

Here comes some more 80's pop flavor for you.

This time, it's The Pointer Sisters "Neutron Dance" song playing as the truck filled with cigarette cartons takes off while the police give chase.

These police cars are slow as hell.

They might've been built like tanks but they were just as slow as a tank.

They should be able to catch a big rig that's carrying 2 trailers loaded with cigarettes.

Of course, when the cars have 18 horsepower, it's not going to be able to do too much.

18 horsepower? That sounds like an oxymoron right there.

Horses can move. That would be more like tortoise power for that lackluster speed.

Foley's hanging on for dear life in the back.

You know, seeing this scene reminds me of the trucking missions from "GTA: San Andreas."

Good grief! I hated doing those things.

Speaking of GTA, they must've put in an indestructible code for this truck because it's crashed into 4 vehicles causing one to explode and it still hasn't caught on fire or blown a radiator, yet.

Props to the actor that's the getaway driver.

He has the perfect intensity for someone who's trying to escape from the police in an 18 wheeler.

He crashes and we FINALLY see the radiator give way.

I must say that they've done a beautiful job of restoring these old movies because the picture quality looks pretty sharp for a film made in 1984.

The getaway driver gets away while Foley's buried up to his ears in cigarette cartons.

The cops draw down on Foley and yell,

"FREEZE asshole!!!!! Foley? We should've have known it was you¹." (07:56–8:09)

Paul Reiser is in this film. This was way before the "Mad About You" era. He played his role very well.

Speaking of actors that played their role very well, the late Gilbert R. Hill mastered his role as Inspector Todd and makes one hell of an entrance.

Well, he was a politician so I'm pretty sure he had plenty of practice playing it up for the cameras.

He pretty much chews Foley a new one in that bathroom which is dirty as hell.

Have these people ever heard of Clorox bleach?!

Inspector Todd drops a few bars of wisdom before leaving that nasty ass restroom.

"You're a good cop. You got great potential but you don't know every got damn thing and I'm tired of taking the heat for your ass²." (10:29–10:36)

The next scene has Foley driving a piece of shit car which is how it should be.

Don't you hate it when you see cop movies/tv shows and they have these motherfuckers rolling around in drop top Rolls-Royce Phantoms or the newest Mercedes-Benz?!

I'm not saying that real police officers are broke but they're certainly not driving around in Ferraris.

If you see police officers riding around in Maybachs then it's a safe bet that they're on some drug kingpin's payroll.

Foley might want to get those brakes checked out though. That car's squeaking like a rat caught on a glue board.

They're playing that funky ass Axel Foley theme music. Serious props to Harold Faltermeyer for this classic theme.

This music should never be remixed but unfortunately, it was and from what I heard it's just…….Pauses for a brief second.

Pardon me, as I let out a loud sigh…..well, it's like our parents used to tell us,

"if you don't have anything nice to say then dont say anything at all."

I'll get more into that whole debacle in another post.

Axel notices that the door to his apartment is ajar so he draws his weapon and catches an old time friend, Mikey Tandindo, having a meal.

Homeboy Mikey has one hell of an appetite. I guess he got hungry stealing all of those vagabonds.

10,000 Deutsche Marks to be exact.

I don't know how much that is in "Merica" money but I bet you could buy a lifetime supply of Whoppers…………with cheese.

Mikey doesn't know it now but that's going to come back to haunt him soon enough.

They head to a local pool hall to catch up on things while Patti Labelle's "New Attitude" plays in the background.

I don't know about you all but I just can't pool unless I have some Patti Labelle playing in the background.

Axel asks Mikey why he never dropped dime on him when they stole a car together back in the day.

Mikey tells Axel it's because he loves him. These guys had a great feel for one another.

Unfortunately for Mr. Tandino, his journey in this film is about come to a dead end. Two "hoods" come looking for those 10,000 Deutsche Marks he stole earlier.

They get the drop on the car-stealing duo knocking Foley out and taking out good ole' Mikey.

One of the lead bad guy's in the film was in the movie, "Armed and Dangerous."

I know his face but I can't remember his name. I hate it when that happens!

Hold on! Let me head back on over to imdb to identify this cat real quick.

Jonathan Banks!

He plays a thug called Zack in this one. He's been in some bad ass films playing some bad ass characters in them as well.

He's one of those guys that you might know his name but you've seen his face in a lot of your favorite movies and tv shows.

The henchman standing next to him looks familiar too but I don't feel like researching him right now.

Well, since this video's been buffering for the last couple of minutes, I decided to look him up too.

His name is Michael Champion and I've seen him in quite a few movies over the years as well.

Unfortunately, he passed on a few years ago. RIP.

Not to sound morbid but those two head shots they gave ole' Mikey were very realistic.

Foley's apartment is now a crime scene which featured more great dialogue between Foley and Inspector Todd.

Foley informs his boss that he wants to take his vacation time and I've got two Maxell videocassettes to whoever can guess where he's headed.

By David Vives on Unsplash

If you said Beverly Hills, you guessed correctly. (In my game show host voice)

Another masterclass in cinematography as this scene sees Foley cruising around Beverly Hills admiring all of the beautiful scenery with Patti Labelle's "Stir It Up" playing in the background.

Foley arrives at the Beverly Palm Hotel and is greeted by a porter who has a slight resemblance to A.C. Slater.

After some back and forth banter with the hosts of the hotel, Foley gets his room for the mere rate of 235 dollars a night.

A curious mind wants to know what that would be in today's money. Let me go and do some quick research.

Okay, I'm back.

According to dollartimes.com, 235 dollars would be the equivalent to 712 dollars in 2024 money.

Inflation is a motherfucker!

Foley informs the front desk that,

"if Michael (Jackson) calls, tell him what room I'm in³." (23:07–23:09)

Then he walks outside and immediately sees two guys rocking Michael Jackson-esque Beat It jackets and fashion. Eddie Murphy puts that iconic laugh to good use.

Axel goes to an art gallery where he mets Serrlllgeeee (Serge). Serge informs Foley that somebody paid 130,000 dollars for one of those weird-looking art pieces.

Rich people do spend money on dumb shit like that in real life.

One of the funniest scenes between Axel & Serge occurs when he tells him how much one of those ridiculous "art" creations sold for.

Serge: "130,000 dollars" Axel: "Get the fuck out of here!!!" Serge: "No I cannot⁴." (25:22–25:25)

Jenny's fine ass lets Axel know she'll be right down. I bet you will, baby and I'll be right here waiting.

Axel asks Jenny if there's a place they can go and talk as he can be seen checking out her ass as he's walking behind her.

Foley: "I can't believe how well you filled out." Jenny: "Yeah I've filled out." Foley: "It looks good though⁵." (26:09–26:13)

I second that emotionnnn. (In a Smokey Robinson font)

He informs her that Mikey's dead. She tells him about Victor Maitland played by Stephen Berkoff.

Another legendary villain in the history of cinema.

Foley pays Maitland a visit. He poses as a flower deliveryman to get past his secretary.

Unfortunately, he gets escorted out of Maitland's office and is thrown out of a window for his troubles and gets arrested in the process.

Axel does makes a good point though.

How does one get arrested for getting thrown out of a fucking window?!

I never realized they had pay phones inside of a jail cell. I guess they really do things a little differently in Beverly Hills.

This is where Sgt. Taggart and Detective Billy Rosewood first appear in the film about 32 minutes and 13 seconds into it.

Taggart and Foley hit it off from the jump literally as Taggart gives Foley a gut punch.

Lt. Bogomill comes in to de-escalate the situation. He informs Foley that he has the right to press charges on Taggart which Foley declines.

Bogomil continues interrogating Foley with no luck. All gets from Foley is the, all together now, "I'M ON VACATION" bit.

Fine ass Jenny bails out Axel. Lisa Eilbacher can bail me out anytime.

She was a fine thing back in the day. I wonder what she's doing now.

Heads on over to imdb.com.

It says that she stopped doing movies nearly 30 years ago. What a great loss to the industry indeed!

Taggart and Rosewood are tailing Foley and Jenny. I guess they didn't buy his "I'm on vacation" story.

Axel orders room service and has it sent to the cops that are staking him out. Oh, how thoughtful of him.

He orders them a bay shrimp salad sandwich, a cold poached salmon with dill sauce and some dessert which is not named.

That food doesn't sound half bad but I did a search online to see what that shit really looks like.

From the looks of the food, I would pass on the poached salmon but the shrimp sandwich sounds really good even though I don't eat seafood.

Damon Wayans of "In Living Color" fame has a cameo in this movie.

He's the one who gives Foley some bananas for the infamous "banana in the tailpipe" scene.

You know, I give a lot of credit to MacGyver for his ingenuity but Foley was MacGyver way before MacGyver.

Whether it was this scene or the scene in the second film where he uses a chewing gum wrapper to crack an alarm system, the guy was quite resourceful.

Also, the fingerprint scene involving the turtle which spuns a funny bit between Foley & Rosewood here,

"Foley: I'm wondering where the turtles dick is at! Rosewood: You know where your dick is, don't ya, Big Al?⁶." (53:26–53:32)

More on that scene in another post.

Rosewood's eating his head off. He must be starving.

Doesn't the department feed these people?! I don't blame the man because that food looks pretty damn good.

Their car stalls out from all of those Chiquita bananas Foley stuffed in the tailpipe so they end up losing Jenny & Axel.

Jenny lets Axel inside the warehouse and by the looks of it, she wants to let him inside her own personal "warehouse" if you catch my drift. She definitely has feelings for him.

Axel discovers coffee grounds and believes Maitland & his thugs are shipping drugs and using the art gallery as a front.

The score is incredible.

The beat they play during this scene is funky as hell. Foley and Jenny follow the van with the vagabonds.

Now, you mean to tell me that the driver of the van wouldn't notice a car like this following them?

By RAPHAEL MAKSIAN on Unsplash

There must've been low standards for "hoods" back then.

Lt. Bogomil chews out Taggart and Rosewood for losing Foley. The non-descript white van arrives to its destination at a bondage warehouse.

Foley tells Jenny to take the car and go home.

Axel gets spotted after he enters the warehouse by a rent-a-cop who looks like a starting power forward for one of the 80's Milwaukee Bucks teams.

Murphy really has the gift for gab because he takes that "IRS crawling up your ass with a microscope" scene to a whole new level.

I heard they used a ton of improv during this movie. I bet the entire cast were bursting with tears from all of the laughter in between takes.

Foley meets up with Taggart and Rosewood at a local strip club to smooth things out with his fellow cops.

Vanity 6's "Nasty Girl" plays in the background of the scene.

That was another funky tune. TAFKAP really had a feel for making some snappy hits.

I did mention strip club so fellas lets wipe away all the drool from our mouths.

Now, this young lady right here is incredibly talented.

By Timur Garifov on Unsplash

You can tell that daddy wasn't around and now she's taken all of her frustrations out on that pole.

I have to emphasize this once more but that "Nasty Girl" song is one funky ass tune. I'm seriously grooving over here just like Foley did in his chair in that club scene.

Vanity wasn't much of a powerhouse vocally but Prince did an excellent job of producing her.

I heard that he also "produced" her outside the recording studio the same way he did Carmen Electra back in the day.

What else can I say?! The dude had great taste.

Foley has a little fun with his fellow cops as the music plays.

"Billy?! Billy?! You know you don't have to be embarrassed if your dick gets hard. Your dick is supposed to get hard. See, that's the whole object of this. Taggart's dick is hard but he won't let you know it because he's the boss. Boss dick got to stay limp,right? See I ain't on duty so my dick can get hard⁷." (52:07–52:23)

Foley tells them about his coffee ground discovery in the warehouse earlier. Then he spots a stickup crew getting ready to make their move.

The trio breaks up the attempted robbery but Bogomil isn't too thrilled in the least bit when he hears about it.

Axel tells an "amazing" story of heroicism demonstrated by Rosewood and Taggart but Taggart comes clean with the truth and they're taken off the case. Dummy!

There is a silver lining here because it gives us one of the most memorable quotes in the entire film.

"Yeah, we're not gonna fall for a banana in the tailpipe. Your not gonna fall for the banana in the tailpipe? (In a very nasally tone) Foley laughs. It should be more natural, brother. It should flow out like this. Look, man! I ain't falling for no banana in my tailpiple! See that's more natural for us. You've been hanging around this dude too long⁸." (59:22–59:36)

That Mercedes that Victor Maitland's riding in is clean, man.

That's a 500 SEL Mercedes-Benz to be exact. Now this was back when having a Benz really meant something.

It really does pay to be a movie kingpin.

Foley takes off after Maitland's vehicle as Bogomil's officers follow him which sees him having no problem losing the self-proclaimed "first team."

They arrive at the Harrow Club as Foley pretends to be Maitland's "lover" to get access into the exclusive club.

They have some kind of roasted duck or it could be pig, on the table. It looks really good though. I've never had duck or pig before. I wonder does it taste like chicken.

That's one hell of an ice sculpture sitting right next to the pig/duck on the table.

Here we go! Bad editing strikes yet again.

The scene where one of Maitland's thugs and Foley have a scuffle which results in "Foley" flipping him over onto the table filled with food.

I put Foley in quotations because the stuntman looks nothing like Eddie but moreso like another famous comedian, Richard Pryor. I believe they could've cleaned that up a little better.

Maitland's role as the quintessential bad guy is spot on.

You know, it seems that the best villains in movies are foreigners.

It has to be the voice.

It's just got a certain twang that speaks pure evilness.

The two share pleasantries as the cops show up to arrest Foley. I wonder what the charge is now. Disturbing the peace….of an ice sculpture or arroasted development of a pig?!

You get it? Roast? Pig? You roast a pig? Nevermind.

Foley lays out his case about why Maitland's a big player in a dirty game. Bogomil's boss arrives just as Foley was getting the fellas to come around to his side of things.

Foley's impression of this man was spot on.

"Is this the man who wrecked the buffet at the Harrow Club this morning⁹?" (1:09:53–1:09:58)

After Bogomil gets chewed out by the Chief of Police, he orders his officers to escort Foley on a plane out of town.

Maitland pays a little visit to Jenny at her art gallery. He tries to press her for some info about Foley but Jenny doesn't bulge.

Jenny, surrounded by a murderous drug boss and his underlings, still doesn't give Foley up.

See? What did I tell you?! If that ain't love then I don't know what is.

Foley talks Rosewood into taking him by the art gallery which Billy agrees to do, begrudgingly. Foley declares his love for Rosewood in a joking manner.

They arrive at the gallery to see Jenny and Serge. Serge gets Rosewood an espresso.

"You want it with laymen twist? Sure, if it's no problem. Nooo, don't be stuupid¹⁰." (1:14:41–1:14:49) Read that in Bronson Pinchot's voice for desired effect.

Jenny lets Axel into the warehouse as he finds the crates of drugs that he's been searching for.

They're confronted and nabbed by the bad guys. Outside, Rosewood sees Maitland arrive at the warehouse to join the party.

We learn that Jenny is short for Jeannette. I would've taken her for more of a Jennifer.

They take her off and leave Foley in the warehouse. Foley warns Maitland that if he hurts her, he'll kill him.

It's the usual, "if you harm a hair on her head" routine. Murphy does do an exceptional job of delivering the line though.

Zack begins to work Foley over and then slaps him on the head. You didn't have to slap the man on the head though.

Damn, these fellas ain't playing around at all.

Maitland gives the nod for his henchmen to dispose of Mr. Foley.

Rosewood sees them take Jenny away and is conflicted on whether he should intervene or not which he finally decides to do.

These bad guys really do have some nice rides though. As dirty of a scumbags as they are, they sure do ride clean.

Dirty Rosewood to the rescue to make the save as he and Axel dispose of Maitland's henchmen in the warehouse.

The duo heads to Maitland's spacious mansion where Taggart hurries on over there to stop them from doing something stupid.

His attempts prove to be futile as Axel picks the gate and enters inside Maitland's property.

Don't these people realize that the bad guys have surveillance cameras and they can see everything they're doing?!

It wouldn't be a problem for them to sneak up on these cops and take them all out.

Sometimes, you just got to scratch your head at Hollywood logic or the lack thereof.

While watching Foley walk through Maitlands' mansion, I notice that he has some breathtakingly, beautiful flowers.

Fuck his connect; I want to know who his florist is.

The bad guys are seeing this all go down on their surveillance system which looks highly impressive I might add.

I'm going to have a system like that installed in my mansion.

Rosewood and Taggart are taking forever to get over that wall.

Two words fellas? Weight room!

By the time these guys get over that wall the election will be over with. The 2084 election that is.

Shout out to the new Prez John Cena III. You can't see me!

Bogomil knows something's amiss because it's only two people in the entire station.

He orders an officer to find their location.

Rosewood and Taggart FINALLY get over the wall only to be welcomed by machine gunfire.

It's kind of ironic that Billy says he "hates machine guns" when you see his development in the follow-up movies.

He goes from hating them to not being able to live without them. A very interesting turn of events, you could say.

Bogomil calls for backup while also providing a cover for his men just in case things go haywire.

I have to say that floral display is second to none. I'm not sure if I'm more impressed with the gunfight or the floral design.

Foley makes his way into the mansion as he's encountered by Zack and his pump action shotgun.

Foley's lucky that this dude can't shoot for shit. Otherwise, this would've been the first and only "Beverly Hills Cop" movie.

Billy's having a little discussion about "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid." Taggart doesn't seem too amused. You really can't blame him because they are in a gun battle and they're outgunned in it.

Foley puts Zack down and gets popped by Maitland in the process.

Police backup is on the way as the surveillance crew looks to get the hell out of dodge.

I told you these hoods wasn't shit.

Foley goes looking for Maitland after he reloads only to find him holding Jenny hostage.

Bogomil shows up screaming "FREEZE" which allows Jenny to elbow Maitland in the gut and get away while Foley and Bogomil blow Maitland away to kingdom come.

The lifeless Maitland takes a tumble down the steps for added effect.

Ooh, ooh! The Chief shows up to the scene and he isn't too happy with his police officers but Bogomil is there with the save.

He came up with an exceptional story. Now, the Chief may not believe but I sure as hell did.

Taggart backs up his Lieutenant when the Chief asks him if what he said was true.

Bogomil orders Taggart and Rosewood to make sure Foley gets on a plane and out of Beverly Hills. The police department even picks up his highly, expensive hotel bill.

Foley invites the guys to a spot for one last drink. Billy wants to decline the offer but Taggart accepts on his behalf.

There you have it, folks! Cue up Patti Labelle's "Stir It Up" and roll credits.

A great movie indeed. This was Eddie Murphy in the prime of his career which would see him go on to star in other blockbuster films as well.

I still can't believe this movie will turn 40 years old later on this year but a timeless classic nevertheless.

I give it two thumbs up, Siskel & Ebert style.

References

  1. Beverly Hills Cop. Dir. Martin Brest. Paramount Pictures, Don Simpson/Jerry Bruckheimer Films & Eddie Murphy Productions (1984) Paramount Home Entertainment (United States, 1984) Blu-Ray (2020)
  2. Beverly Hills Cop. Dir. Martin Brest. Paramount Pictures, Don Simpson/Jerry Bruckheimer Films & Eddie Murphy Productions (1984) Paramount Home Entertainment (United States, 1984) Blu-Ray (2020)
  3. Beverly Hills Cop. Dir. Martin Brest. Paramount Pictures, Don Simpson/Jerry Bruckheimer Films & Eddie Murphy Productions (1984) Paramount Home Entertainment (United States, 1984) Blu-Ray (2020)
  4. Beverly Hills Cop. Dir. Martin Brest. Paramount Pictures, Don Simpson/Jerry Bruckheimer Films & Eddie Murphy Productions (1984) Paramount Home Entertainment (United States, 1984) Blu-Ray (2020)
  5. Beverly Hills Cop. Dir. Martin Brest. Paramount Pictures, Don Simpson/Jerry Bruckheimer Films & Eddie Murphy Productions (1984) Paramount Home Entertainment (United States, 1984) Blu-Ray (2020)
  6. Beverly Hills Cop II. Dir. Tony Scott. Paramount Pictures, Don Simpson/Jerry Bruckheimer Films & Eddie Murphy Productions (1984) Paramount Home Entertainment (United States, 1987) Blu-Ray (2020)
  7. Beverly Hills Cop. Dir. Martin Brest. Paramount Pictures, Don Simpson/Jerry Bruckheimer Films & Eddie Murphy Productions (1984) Paramount Home Entertainment (United States, 1984) Blu-Ray (2020)
  8. Beverly Hills Cop. Dir. Martin Brest. Paramount Pictures, Don Simpson/Jerry Bruckheimer Films & Eddie Murphy Productions (1984) Paramount Home Entertainment (United States, 1984) Blu-Ray (2020)
  9. Beverly Hills Cop. Dir. Martin Brest. Paramount Pictures, Don Simpson/Jerry Bruckheimer Films & Eddie Murphy Productions (1984) Paramount Home Entertainment (United States, 1984) Blu-Ray (2020)
  10. Beverly Hills Cop. Dir. Martin Brest. Paramount Pictures, Don Simpson/Jerry Bruckheimer Films & Eddie Murphy Productions (1984) Paramount Home Entertainment (United States, 1984) Blu-Ray (2020)

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