The summer of 1984 was a pretty good year for action/comedies. It brought us screen gems like Ghostbusters, Romancing The Stone, Cannonball Run II, and Gremlins. The top-grossing action/comedy of the year, however, was Beverly Hills Cop. It was a smash hit that catapulted former Saturday Night Live favorite Eddie Murphy into international stardom.
Beverly Hills Cop was the first big budget action film that starred the comedian, but he wasn’t exactly the first choice for the role. The producers had worked on scripts under contract with Mickey Rourke, Sylvester Stallone and even Al Pacino. Rumor has it that once the producers nixed Stallone’s more serious and violent script, he walked across the street to Warner Brothers studios and presented it as “Cobra.”
By the time the producers decided to give the lead role to Murphy, they barely had time to rewrite the dialog, so Murphy and co-stars Judge Reinhold and John Ashton basically improvised in all the key scenes that weren’t driving the actual plot. Eddie was able to deliver, and the movie kept audiences coming back for multiple views. Beverly Hills Copcleared nearly $310,000,000 in pure profit by the end of its theatrical run. After that, Eddie Murphy became pure A-list material in Hollywood and hasn’t slowed down since.
For this scene in our Stunt Truck Driving series, we take a look at the opening action sequence that involves a 1980 GMC Aero Astro Cabover with a double trailer. Eddie, as Detective Axel Foley is trapped in the back payload of the runaway semi truck, and can only hold on to the security chains while the thug driving basically destroys about 22 cars within the three minute chase. The scene earned an Oscar nomination for stunt truck driver Eddy Donno.
So let’s watch the stunt legend at work doing what he does best – driving a truck and squashing the hell out of 4 wheelers in his way (don’t you wish you could do that sometimes?). Enjoy, truck drivers!
If you can’t get the video to play, visit the direct link at YouTube here.
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