David Zucker to present ‘Naked Gun’ at BIFF Feb. 17

Staff Report

BELOIT, Wis. — David Zucker, legendary writer, director and producer and honorary chairman of this year’s Beloit International Film Festival (BIFF), will bring BIFF 2013 to a close with a special appearance and presentation of The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!. Zucker will be on hand to introduce his 1988 pioneering work in film comedy and to answer questions following the film.

The annual First National Bank Classic Film presentation is Sunday, Feb. 17, at 2:30 p.m. at the Eclipse Center in Beloit, Wis. Admission to the event is free.

This is the first film in the Naked Gun franchise and features an all-star cast. A re-run of many of the gags from the original TV series “Police Squad,” it is a spoof of the sort that Zucker launched with his first dry comedy hit, Airplane. The main figure is the incompetent Lt. Frank Drebin, who always “gets his man.” It is difficult to keep up with the visual gags that come thick and fast. The plot is built around an attempted assassination of Queen Elizabeth II during an American visit using a brainwashed baseball player. The cast includes Leslie Nielsen, Priscilla Presley, Ricardo Montalban and O.J. Simpson, among others.

One of Hollywood’s most successful filmmakers, Zucker’s worldwide box office hits include Airplane!, Ruthless People, Phone Booth, A Walk In the Clouds and the record-breaking Naked Gun and Scary Movie franchises.

The Wisconsin native recruited his brother, Jerry, and friends to join him in creating the Kentucky Fried Theater in Madison, Wis., before moving the company to Los Angeles in 1972. The Zucker team conceived the idea that would create a whole new film genre with Airplane! by breaking all conventions and featuring dramatic actors performing hair-brained dialogue with straight-laced sincerity.

The Classic Film presentation will follow 120 films and events that will fill venues in Beloit, Janesville and Rockford over the course of four days, Feb. 14-17. Visit beloitfilmfest.org for a full schedule and more details, or call BIFF at (608) 313-1200.

From the Feb. 13-19, 2013, issue

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!