Police Academy is a 1984 film directed by Hugh Wilson. It was produced by Paul Maslansky with the screenplay being written by Hugh Wilson based on the original story by Neal Israel and Pat Proft. The film stars Steve Guttenberg, Kim Cattrall, G.W. Bailey, Bubba Smith, Donovan Scott, George Gaynes, David Graf, Leslie Easterbrook, Michael Winslow and Bruce Mahler.

The storyline for Police Academy follows a decision made by the Mayoress to remove set personal criteria from the requirements to joins the police force. No longer is sex, weight, height and orientation a factor which allows for an insurgence of people applying. Following a select group of Police Academy misfits in their quest to become policemen and women. The main focus is on a petty criminal called Carey Mahoney who was busted for criminal damage and as punishment is forced to go to Police Academy. Mahoney initially feels that this isn’t the right place for him and he makes it his mission to be thrown out as he is not allowed to quit. As the classes go by and the training exercises are played out, Mahoney soon realises that he is actually enjoying the Academy and does want to become a police officer.

Principle photography took place in Toronto, Canada. The camera booth scene was shot on the lower drawbridge which links Hamilton and Burlington. The Academy itself was previously the site of the Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital in Etobicoke and has since become the Lakeshore campus of Humber College. The studio scenes were shot at Lakeshore Film Studios.

Upon its release it received mixed critical reviews. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times, gave the film zero stars out of four, saying that “It’s really something. It’s so bad, maybe you should pool your money and draw straws and send one of the guys off to rent it so that in the future, whenever you think you’re sitting through a bad comedy, he could shake his head, and chuckle tolerantly, and explain that you don’t know what bad is”. Vincent Canby of The New York Times, however, gave the film a favourable review. The film’s critical reception, however, is still better than its six sequels, which have been universally panned by critics.

Commercially, Police Academy was a huge success. Produced on an estimated budget of $4.5m, it took $8,570,007 in its opening weekend and the No. 1 spot of films released that weekend. At the time of Police Academy’s release it faced strong competition from other high-profile comedies such as Ghostbusters, Gremlins, Romancing the Stone, Splash, Bachelor Party (which also featured a screenplay by Police Academy co-writers Neal Israel and Pat Proft), The Gods Must Be Crazy, Cannonball Run II, Moscow on the Hudson, Sixteen Candles and Rhinestone. Despite this, it took $81,198,894 in US box office receipts and became the 6th highest grossing film of 1984. Worldwide box office receipts grossed $146 million.

Due to its financial success the film spawned six further films in the Police Academy series.

Police Academy UK Quad


Police Academy
Year of Film
Hugh Wilson
Steve Guttenberg, Kim Cattrall, G.W. Bailey, Bubba Smith, Donovan Scott, George Gaynes, David Graf, Leslie Easterbrook, Michael Winslow, Bruce Mahler
Origin of Film
Genre(s) of Film
Comedy | Crime
Box Office
Budget: $4,500,000 (Estimated)
Opening Weekend: $8,570,007 (USA) 
Gross: $146,000,000 (USA)


Type of Poster
Style of Poster
Origin of Poster
Year of Poster
Drew Struzan
Size (Inches)
40″ x 30″
NSS # / Printer Markings
Printed in England by Lonsdale & Bartholomew Ltd. Nottingham.
The new police recruits. Call them what you like…
Just don’t call them when you’re in trouble.

Poster Collector

Simon, is a movie poster warrior who collects far too much. He also writes posts, articles, and guides for The Poster Collector. He also fancies himself a bit of a sports star in his hometown and spends too much time researching and finding new movie posters to acquire. If he’s not typing away at his keyboard or searching auctions, you can probably find him watching James Bond or Star Wars (or both).

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