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OUTTAKES THE SEQUEL

The Fur Flies Over Doggy's Due

April 19, 1987|BARBARA MILLER

Every dog--like Mike, Benji, Spuds, Lassie and Rinnie--supposedly has its day. But Brando, the loyal German Shepherd in "Police Academy 4," may beg to differ.

It was bad enough that four of Brando's five scenes ended up on the cutting-room floor. Worse, Brando--who plays Clarence (sidekick of co-star Bubba Smith)--went unmentioned in the film's credits!

A Warner Bros. rep pointed out that Brando's on screen for only a minute, but conceded that he had an important role by attacking a nasty cop. And he was funny enough to earn mention in the Hollywood Reporter's review describing "whacko" cast members.

"They (the producers) seem to be stingy as far as credits are concerned," said Rick Parker, owner of Canadian Wrangler in Toronto, which supplied Brando as well as the pigeons used in the film. Parker said that both Brando and his own stunt work also went uncredited in "Police Academy 3"--"Some people just give them (credits) to me. With others, you have to open your yap."

Producer Paul Maslansky explained that Brando's role in "4" was smallish, adding that Parker oversold the canine's capabilities, requiring numerous retakes.

But Parker contends that Brando was hired on dangerously short notice: "For a dog to attack someone (Brando went for a sensitive part of the male anatomy), he has to become familiar with the person he's working with." Then: "The shoot itself was a nightmare. The schedule was erratic. Originally, we were supposed to be on the set for only four or five days. We ended up working about 15."

Replied Maslansky: "We came in a quarter of a million under budget."

Brando survived his Tinseltown trauma and is now on call as a police dog for CBS' late-night cop drama "Night Heat," which is filmed in Canada.

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