Everybody might not remember Beverly Hills Cop, but I’m sure they can remember the iconic Axel F song that constituted the theme song from the movie by Harold Faltermeyer. This classic 1984 comedy starring Eddie Murphy morphed into a franchise after the film spanning three films. Set in Los Angeles, California, the films follow the adventures of police detective Axel Foley as he attempts to solve various cases.
Through Axel Foley’s journey, we are able to experience some of Los Angeles’ most extraordinary sights firsthand, as well as some other locations in Detroit, Michigan, so today, we are embarking on a trip to check some of these places out.
Where Is Beverly Hills Cop Filmed?
While most of Beverly Hills Cop’s scenes take place in Detroit, Michigan, a significant portion of them were actually shot in and around Beverly Hills, California. In the movie, Axel Foley is an inexperienced cop from Detroit that eventually lands himself in sunny, liberal California in hopes of solving a crime following the trail of some shady German bonds.
In the movie, we see all sorts of Los Angeles landmarks: From the iconic entrance of Beverly Hills Hotel to the famous Rodeo Drive, as well as some outer locations in Detroit when Axel is picking up some police trail there. The film was shot on locations in Los Angeles and Detroit, but later some scenes were actually filmed at Paramount Pictures Studios in Hollywood.
Los Angeles, California
From iconic landmarks such as Rodeo Drive and Sunset Strip to more hidden gems like Greystone Mansion, the Beverly Hills Cop filming locations provide an exciting backdrop to some of the series’ most memorable scenes.
The beauty and glamour of this historic neighborhood are also captured with stunning accuracy throughout the original movie and some of its sequels. Other locations in Los Angeles include The Lighthouse Café and Wilshire Boulevard.
Last but not least, we make our way to the Malibu Pier. This is where Axel Foley (played by Eddie Murphy) and Billy Rosewood (played by Judge Reinhold) drive up for a scene in the movie, and it’s definitely worth a visit if you’re looking for some classic Hollywood vibes because just the sightseeing and the general ambiance will make you feel as though you were in a movie!
While the title of the movie is Beverly Hills Cop, and it might make you think that all of the movies were filmed in California, it wouldn’t be fair to leave out Detroit. You see, Axel Foley is a Detroit cop, and in the movie, he picks up on the breadcrumb trail of mafia and financial crimes that eventually land him in Los Angeles.
The production and film crew went to Detroit to film several scenes in the Summer of 1984; in the movie, we see iconic Detroit city landmarks, like the Grand River Avenue, where there was a car chase, and the Detroit City Hall, which doubled as the police station where Axel Foley reports to his superiors, and Jefferson Avenue, where they shot a scene of a bar.
Furthermore, Detroit is a prime location for many successful films, like the Academy Award-winning picture 8 Mile, Exit Wounds, Clint Eastwood’s Gran Torini, Scream, and the RoboCop movies; judging from these movies, it’s fair to say that Detroit is a great urban setting for storytelling from all walks of life.
As an extra piece of trivia, some of the scenes that depict places like Rodeo Drive at night were actually shot in Pasadena because back then, in 1984, the City Council banned filming movies past 10:30 PM. So the filmmakers had to find another location that resembled Beverly Hills, and Pasadena was their answer.
The movie’s opening sequence with Rodeo Drive in the background was actually shot on Lake Avenue in old-town Pasadena. This area is filled with unique shops, coffee houses, and galleries that make for a great place to explore.