I always found odd that in The Naked Gun (1988) the credits of the song “I'm into Something Good” are displayed on screen just after the song played:

“I'm into Something Good” on the screen.

What is the reason?

Song credits are usually shown in closing credits.

  • 3
    Being a spoof movie, The Naked Gun pokes fun at a lot of different things - itself included. This, to me, appears like an advert for the song and soundtrack within the movie itself, poking fun at product placement in a similar way the movie Spaceballs also featured its own (fictitious) product placement within the movie.
    – user25730
    Dec 22 '20 at 21:36
  • @user25730 You may want to flesh that out into an answer.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Dec 23 '20 at 0:51
  • @user25730 Long time since I saw the film… Was the soundtrack for the film itself featured in the film itself as some big meta joke? I posted an answer but if that’s a plot detail I missed, you should post your own answer. Dec 23 '20 at 1:34
  • 1
    @Giacomo1968 not a clue. I vaguely remember this scene (which is why I didn't post an answer myself), but it seems like a pretty obvious parody of product placement.
    – user25730
    Dec 23 '20 at 2:50
  • @user25730 Just updated my answer with text from a book that is focused on John Williams work in film but also references the trend in many films to force some song into the soundtrack to cash in on soundtrack sales. Dec 23 '20 at 5:39

Credits like those are typically shown in music videos.

The whole sequence is a very silly romantic montage that is so dominated by the song that the “music video”-like tag itself was a visual joke about how many movies have similar forced music montages in them to promote songs featured on the soundtrack albums.

The whole scene is here:

Nowadays, music videos are very commonplace. But back then, they mainly appeared on MTV in the United States and when MTV played music videos, they would tag the credits to the video just like that.

When it comes to music videos, you can’t really have “end credits” because that eats up time. But by placing that credit tag near the beginning and/or end of the video you can properly credit the artist for the song the video is associated with.

So the visual joke is — instead of straight action happening on screen — that whole sequence was like a promotional music video shoved in the middle of the movie as product placement to promote sales of the movie’s own soundtrack.

In fact, I found that exact sequence — and credit placement — referenced on page 65 of this book: “John Williams's Film Music: Jaws, Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and the Return of the Classical Hollywood Music Style” by Emilio Audissino. Here is the relevant passage on 65; bold emphasis is mine:

“This type of unabashedly promotional sequence is brilliantly spoofed by Zucker-Abrahams—Zucker in The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad (1988). We see a montage showing Lt. Frank Drebin and his new fiancée, Jane, involved in a series of clichéd romantic activities, accompanied by a merry song. At the end of the sequence, as in a MTV video, the song’s title, authors, album name, and record company — “Herman’s Hermits, ‘I’m Into Something Good,’ The Naked Gun Soundtrack, Wheelo Records, Inc.” — appear on screen, hilariousy baring the economic motivation of songs in such sequences.

So it was a nod to the trend of many movies featuring some oddly placed commercial track smack dab in the movie so the producers could cash in on soundtrack sales on top of ticket sales — and video rentals — of the film.

  • 1
    Very good job. I couldn't understand that because I never watched MTV very much.
    – user38141
    Dec 23 '20 at 8:57

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