Beverly Hills Cop is a 1984 American action-comedy film directed by Martin Brest and starring Eddie Murphy, Lisa Eilbacher, John Ashton, Judge Reinhold, and Ronny Cox. Murphy stars as Axel Foley, a street-smart Detroit cop, who heads to Beverly Hills, California to solve the death of his best friend. This first film in the Beverly Hills Cop series shot Murphy to international stardom, won the People's Choice Award for Favorite Motion Picture, and was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture - Comedy/Musical in 1985. It earned an estimated US$234 million at the domestic box office, narrowly making it the biggest hit of 1984 (ahead of Ghostbusters).
Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy) is a young, talented, but extremely reckless Detroit police detective, having been reformed from his hoodlum years. His latest act of attempting to catch crooks through a cigarette smuggling operation goes sour when some uniformed officers show up, questioning their suspicious activity, and earns him the wrath of his boss, Inspector Douglas Todd (Gilbert R. Hill). Axel's childhood friend and former criminal cohort, Mikey Tandino (James Russo), long gone from Detroit, shows up in his apartment (by breaking in) and tells him he's working in Beverly Hills, California, as a security guard, through the efforts of a mutual friend, Jenny Summers (Lisa Eilbacher). After going out to have a few drinks, both men return drunk to Axel's apartment, where the detective is knocked out cold and Mikey is confronted by two thugs, questioning him about some missing bearer bonds that he had shown Axel earlier. Mikey is then murdered, and after being refused the investigation because of his close personal ties, Axel uses the guise of going to Beverly Hills for a vacation to ascertain the motive and solve the crime. Axel's search soon leads him to Victor Maitland (Steven Berkoff), Mikey's most recent employer and a respected art dealer who Axel soon begins to suspect is involved in some questionable activities, including Mikey's murder. However, his investigation is hampered by the Beverly Hills Police Department, who are even less enthusiastic about Foley's crime fighting methods than the Detroit Police Department. As evidence of Maitland's unsavory activities piles up, Axel eventually convinces his Beverly Hills counterparts to assist him in bringing Maitland to justice.