On this day in comedy on May 25, 1994 Beverly Hills Cop III was released by Paramount Pictures.
This third installment in the trilogy reteams Eddie Murphy and director, John Landis. They worked previously on the comedy classics, Trading Places and Coming to America. This film does not follow that tradition. In Beverly Hills Cop III Murphy reprises his signature role of Axel Foley, the wisecracking detective from Detroit who always finds himself in Beverly Hills. This time it’s because somebody killed his boss (as opposed to his friend) and Murphy has to get to the bottom of it and the only place to do that is any place but where the murder took place.
On this outing the suspects are counterfeiters (as opposed to drug or gun runners). Murphy hooks up with the newly promoted Billy Rosewood from the first two films (Ronny Cox and John Ashton reportedly passed once they did a little thing like read the script) and his new partner and it’s on and cracking. They’re off to Wonder World in Encino, California (but it was really in Santa Clara) where Murphy gets to know Theresa Randle. Naturally his cover is blown when he’s caught snooping around where he doesn’t belong and now they’re out to kill him. Even more naturally he avoids all that murder-the-star nonsense and triumphs triumphantly at the climatic end. The owner of Wonder World is so grateful he names a new theme park character he made up in his old hospital ridden head after Murphy, Axel Fox. Corny end to a similar toned flick.
However, despite being critically lambasted, Beverly Hills Cop III had a good cast: Judge Reinhold, Jon Tenney, Hector Elizondo, Alan Young, Joey Travolta, Stephen McHattie, John Saxon, Timothy Carhart, Michael Bowen and Bronson Pinchot. And besides the action sequences one of the highlights of the film were the cameos. George Lucas, John Singleton, Barbet Schroeder, Jerry Dunphy, Ray Harryhausen, Arthur Hiller, Joe Dante and Robert B. Sherman appear (composing brother Richard Sherman shot a part but it didn’t make the final edit).
Beverly Hills Cop III was made on a reported budget of $50 million and grossed $42 million domestically and $77.2 internationally for a worldwide box office gross of $119.2 million.
By Darryl “D’Militant” Littleton
Check out this clip: