Crown Vic Faces A Hollywood Ending

Ford's rugged and roomy Crown Victoria sedan has long been a favorite of police departments and taxis fleets. But Ford has been trimming its production line and last week, the final "Vic" rolled off the assembly line. Host Audie Cornish recalls some movies in which the Crown Vic played a roll.

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AUDIE CORNISH, Host:

The last Ford Crown Victoria rolled off the assembly line in St. Thomas, Ontario this week and there have been any number of obits for the V-8 powered, four-door sedan that became the workhorse of cabbies and cops.

But the Crown Vic was also a favorite on the movie screen, and with a nod to the Chicago Sun Times which compiled the car's filmography, we thought we'd take a moment to acknowledge some of the Crown Vic's best supporting roles.

And speaking of Chicago, the Bluesmobile in the original "Blues Brothers" movie was a Dodge Monaco. That vehicle was completely demolished by the end of the film. So for the sequel, "Blues Brothers 2000," the producers turned to the durable Crown Vic.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "BLUES BROTHERS")

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The Blues Brothers Band? I thought you guys were all in jail.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC AND CAR CRASHES)

CORNISH: A slightly more customized Crown Victoria was the ride for alien hunters Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith in "Men in Black." Their 1987 car featured some customizing including twin turbines and an ability to drive upside down.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "MEN IN BLACK")

WILL SMITH: (as James Darrel Edwards III) Unlimited technology from the whole universe and we cruise around in a Ford P-O-S.

TOMMY LEE JONES: (as Kevin Brown) Fasten your seat belt.

SMITH: (as James Darrel Edwards III) Man, we've got to work on your people skills. You know, you'd get a much better reaction if you were a little more polite.

LEE JONES: (as Kevin Brown) Fasten your seat belt, please.

SMITH: (as James Darrel Edwards III) Whoa, that was good. Did you hurt yourself?

(SOUNDBITE OF SQUEALING TIRES AND A SPEEDING CAR)

LEE JONES: (as Kevin Brown) Oh, the red button there, kid. Don't ever, ever touch the red button.

SMITH: (as James Darrel Edwards III) Oh.

CORNISH: Bumbling police Lieutenant Frank Drebin relied on his Ford in "The Naked Gun," as did Al Pacino's character in the 1995 caper film, "Heat."

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "HEAT")

AL PACINO: (as Lieutenant Vincent Hanna) Does this look like gang bangers working the local 7/Eleven to you?

CORNISH: And there have been lots of other Crown Victoria appearances on screen over the years from "Superbad" to "Monsters Ball" to "Mystic River."

We're not sure what car will replace that sturdy sedan in the hearts of movie goers and law enforcement officers. Somehow a Prius just doesn't seem to cut it.

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

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