Leonard Part 6

Last updated
Leonard Part 6
Leonard part six ver2.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Paul Weiland
Screenplay by Jonathan Reynolds
Story by Bill Cosby
Produced byBill Cosby
Cinematography Jan de Bont
Edited by Gerry Hambling
Music by Elmer Bernstein
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date
  • December 18, 1987 (1987-12-18)(U.S.)
Running time
85 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$24 million [1]
Box office$4.6 million

Leonard Part 6 (also known as Leonard Part VI) is a 1987 American spy parody film. It was directed by Paul Weiland and starred Bill Cosby, who also produced the film and wrote its story. The film also starred Gloria Foster as the villain, and Joe Don Baker. The film was shot in the San Francisco Bay Area. It earned several Golden Raspberry Awards; Cosby himself denounced and disowned it in the press in the weeks leading up to its release.


The film was universally panned by critics and has often been considered to be one of the worst films ever made. It was also a box-office bomb, earning just over $4.6 million on a $24 million budget.


Bill Cosby plays Leonard Parker, a retired CIA spy who now operates a restaurant. According to the opening sequence of the film, the title refers to the idea that this film is actually the sixth installment of a series of films featuring the adventures of Leonard with parts one through five concealed in the interest of world security. In reality, no Leonard films precede this one.

The theatrical release poster points out that Leonard Parker is, at the time of his reluctant return to action, coping with domestic issues:

His daughter is engaged to a man old enough to be his father.

His estranged wife behaves like she is younger than their daughter.

And now his government has asked him to save the world. Again.

The film starts with Parker being called out of retirement by his CIA director Snyderburn (Baker) to save the world from evil vegetarian Medusa Johnson (Foster), who brainwashes animals to kill people. During the film, he infiltrates the International Tuna factory (Medusa Johnson's hideout), fights vegetarians dressed in bird costumes and "horny" bees, and successfully steals her mind control device. However, Medusa kidnaps Leonard's wife and blackmails the CIA into returning the device to her. Leonard then enlists laboratory rabbits to attack other CIA agents in an effort to regain the mind control device. Leonard again infiltrates Johnson's headquarters to rescue his wife, is captured and tortured by lobsters, but uses their claws to remove his restraints. Freed from his cell, he attacks Medusa's henchmen with "magic meat" he acquired from a Gypsy, frees the captive animals, and destroys the base using Alka-Seltzer. He escapes by riding an ostrich across the roof and, despite ostriches being flightless birds, he is flown to the ground by the animal.



Cosby says he got the idea for the film from watching Rambo. He said he thought to himself "Man, there's got to be a place for a hero who has to deal with a heavy who's got a bigger gun than he has." Cosby described the lead as a "high-tech comic-book character." He said, "I've put stuff in here for the women, I've put stuff in here for the kids." [2]

Asked years later about his work on the film, director Paul Weiland recalled:

It was a terrible mistake. ... When anyone gets into that position (Bill Cosby's position of power in the 1980s), they are surrounded by sycophants and no one tells them the truth. But Cosby just wasn't funny. I couldn't tell him directly. I'd say it feels slow, and he'd say, 'You worry about construction, let me worry about funny.' [3]


The movie received overwhelming negative reviews. [4] [5] When the film was released in 1987, even Cosby himself said that he was so disappointed with it that he publicly advised people not to waste their money on it. [6]

Roger Ebert called it "one of the worst movies of the year" and strongly criticized the obvious Coca-Cola product placement in one of the film’s close-up scenes, saying that Cosby "ought to be ashamed of himself." [7] Gene Siskel gave the film zero stars out of four, calling it "The year's worst film involving a major star. That's right, it's worse than Ishtar ." [8] Variety declared, "Bill Cosby is right to be embarrassed by this dud, but result really can't have come as a total surprise to him since he wrote the story and produced it." [9] Caryn James of The New York Times wrote: "Mr. Cosby and the director, Paul Weiland, were reportedly at odds while filming Leonard Part 6...but there's plenty of blame for them to share. Mr. Weiland's direction, Mr. Cosby's story and Jonathan Reynolds's screenplay seem equally trite." [10] Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times wrote: "Leonard Part 6 is a smug, tedious exercise in self-indulgence ... There's virtually nothing to laugh at in this film, and too much of everything else." Thomas noted that, although Weiland was the director, "clearly Cosby, as star, producer and idea man, is the auteur here." [11] Rita Kempley of The Washington Post stated: "Cosby looks woebegone all movie long. He knows he's out of his element, a comedian of words in a physical role." [12] Robert Garrett wrote in The Boston Globe , "This Christmas turkey is so dreadful that it must be in the same league as Paul Newman's The Silver Chalice for its power to embarrass its star." [13]

As of June 2022, Leonard Part 6 had a 7% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 14 reviews. [14]

Box office

The movie was a box office flop. It only grossed $4,615,255 [15] [16] —a mere fraction of its $24 million budget. [1]


The movie won three Golden Raspberry Awards, for Worst Actor (Cosby), Worst Picture, and Worst Screenplay (Jonathan Reynolds and Cosby). It was nominated for two more Razzie Awards, for Worst Supporting Actress (Foster) and Worst Director (Weiland). A few weeks after the ceremony, Cosby accepted his three Razzies on Fox's The Late Show. He demanded that the three Razzies he earned be specifically made out of 24 karat (99.99%) gold and Italian marble, which were later paid for by Fox. Cosby later brought the awards with him when he was a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, happily displaying them and proclaiming, "I swept the awards!" [17] For the 2005 Razzies, the movie earned a nomination in the "Worst 'Comedy' of Our First 25 Years" category, losing to Gigli .

It was also nominated for Worst Picture at the 1987 Stinkers Bad Movie Awards.

Home media

Leonard Part 6 was released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment on DVD, on April 26, 2005. [18]

See also

Related Research Articles

<i>On Deadly Ground</i> 1994 film

On Deadly Ground is a 1994 American environmental action adventure film directed, co-produced by, and starring Steven Seagal, and co-starring Michael Caine, Joan Chen, John C. McGinley and R. Lee Ermey. It is Seagal's only directorial effort and features a minor appearance by Billy Bob Thornton in one of his early roles. Seagal plays Forrest Taft, an expert firefighter who decides to fight back against the environmental destruction caused by his ruthless former boss (Caine).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Golden Raspberry Awards</span> Awards presented in recognition of the worst in film

The Golden Raspberry Awards is a parody award show honoring the worst of cinematic under-achievements. Co-founded by UCLA film graduates and film industry veterans John J. B. Wilson and Mo Murphy, the Razzie Awards' satirical annual ceremony has preceded its opposite, the Academy Awards, for four decades. The term raspberry is used in its irreverent sense, as in "blowing a raspberry". The statuette itself is a golf ball-sized raspberry atop a Super 8mm film reel spray-painted gold, with an estimated street value of $4.97. The Golden Raspberry Foundation has claimed that the award "encourages well-known filmmakers and top notch performers to own their bad."

The 2nd Golden Raspberry Awards were held on March 29, 1982, at an Oscar night potluck party to recognize the worst the film industry had to offer in 1981.

<i>Ishtar</i> (film) 1987 film by Elaine May

Ishtar is a 1987 American adventure-comedy film written and directed by Elaine May and produced by Warren Beatty, who co-starred opposite Dustin Hoffman. The story revolves around a duo of incredibly untalented American songwriters who travel to a booking in Morocco and stumble into a four-party Cold War standoff.

The 8th Golden Raspberry Awards were held on April 10, 1988, at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel to recognize the worst the film industry had to offer in 1987. Leonard Part 6 was the biggest "winner" with three awards out of five nominations. Although he did not attend the ceremony, actor/producer/co-writer Bill Cosby later accepted all his awards on The Late Show.

<i>Angel Heart</i> 1987 American horror film

Angel Heart is a 1987 American neo-noir psychological horror film, an adaptation of William Hjortsberg's 1978 novel Falling Angel. The film was written and directed by Alan Parker, and stars Mickey Rourke, Robert De Niro, Lisa Bonet, and Charlotte Rampling. Harry Angel (Rourke), a New York City private investigator, is hired to solve the disappearance of a man known as Johnny Favorite. His investigation takes him to New Orleans, where he becomes embroiled in a series of brutal murders.

<i>Over the Top</i> (1987 film) 1987 American sports drama film by Menahem Golan

Over the Top is a 1987 American sports drama film starring Sylvester Stallone. It was produced and directed by Menahem Golan, and its screenplay was written by Stirling Silliphant and Stallone. The original music score was composed by Giorgio Moroder. The main character, Lincoln Hawk/Hawks, played by Stallone, is a long-haul truck driver who tries to win back his estranged son, Michael, while becoming a champion arm wrestler.

<i>Two of a Kind</i> (1983 film) 1983 film by John Herzfeld

Two of a Kind is a 1983 American romantic fantasy crime comedy-drama film directed by John Herzfeld and starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. The film reunited Travolta and Newton-John who had appeared together in 1978's Grease. The original musical score was composed by Patrick Williams. Travolta plays a cash-strapped inventor while Newton-John plays the bank teller whom he attempts to rob. They must come to show compassion for one another in order to delay God's judgment upon the Earth. Despite being a critical failure, the film's soundtrack was a commercial success, yielding three hit singles for Newton-John and being certified Platinum.

The Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Picture is an award given out at the annual Golden Raspberry Awards to the worst film of the past year. Over the 39 ceremonies that have taken place, there have been 202 films nominated for Worst Picture and 42 winners including three ties.

The Late Show is an American late-night talk show and the first television program broadcast on the then-new Fox Network. Originally hosted by comic actress Joan Rivers, it first aired on October 9, 1986, under the title The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers. It is also the first late-night show hosted by Arsenio Hall.

<i>The Devil and Max Devlin</i> 1981 film by Steven Hilliard Stern

The Devil and Max Devlin is a 1981 American fantasy–comedy film produced by Walt Disney Productions, directed by Steven Hilliard Stern and starring Elliott Gould, Bill Cosby and Susan Anspach.

The Stinkers Bad Movie Awards was a Los Angeles-based group of film buffs and film critics devoted to honoring the worst films of the year.

<i>A Piece of the Action</i> (film) 1977 film by Sidney Poitier

A Piece of the Action is a 1977 American crime comedy film directed by and starring Sidney Poitier and co-starring Bill Cosby. It was the third film pairing of Poitier and Cosby, following Uptown Saturday Night (1974) and Let's Do It Again (1975). The films are considered a trilogy, even though the actors play characters with different names in each film. It was also Poitier's last acting role for more than a decade, as he focused his attentions on directing.

<i>Cop and a Half</i> 1993 film by Henry Winkler

Cop and a Half is a 1993 American family buddy cop-comedy film directed by Henry Winkler, and stars Burt Reynolds, Norman D. Golden II, and Ray Sharkey in his final role. Reynolds plays a veteran cop who reluctantly takes an eight-year-old boy (Golden) as his partner to solve a murder investigation.

<i>A Time of Destiny</i> 1988 film by Gregory Nava

A Time of Destiny is a 1988 American drama war film directed by Gregory Nava and written by Nava and Anna Thomas. The story is based on the opera La forza del destino by Giuseppe Verdi. The motion picture was executive produced by Shep Gordon and Carolyn Pfeiffer. It features original music by veteran composer Ennio Morricone.

<i>Six Weeks</i> 1982 film by Tony Bill

Six Weeks is a 1982 American drama film directed by Tony Bill and based on the 1976 novel of the same name by Fred Mustard Stewart. It stars Dudley Moore and Mary Tyler Moore.

Paul Weiland OBE is an English motion picture and television director, writer and producer. Weiland is a director and producer of television commercials in the UK, having made over 500 commercials, including a popular and long-running series for Walkers crisps. He has also directed several British television series, including Alas Smith and Jones (1989–1992) and Mr. Bean (1991–1992). His feature film credits include Made of Honor (2008), Sixty Six (2006), Blackadder: Back & Forth (1999), Roseanna's Grave (1997), City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold (1994) and Leonard Part 6 (1987).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jonathan Reynolds (writer)</span> American writer (1942–2021)

Jonathan Reynolds was an American writer. He practiced as an actor for a short period before becoming a writer. He wrote for David Frost and Dick Cavett before a breakthrough with two comedy plays which ran off-Broadway in 1975. His most successful play was Geniuses at Playwrights Horizons in 1982, which was inspired by his time on the set of the war movie Apocalypse Now. Reynolds wrote several screenplays, receiving praise for his writing on the 1984 romantic comedy Micki & Maude. His other film work was less well received and he was awarded the 1988 Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Screenplay for 1987's Leonard Part 6. Reynolds returned to writing plays in the late 1990s and received a Pulitzer Prize for Drama nomination for his work on the 1997 play Stonewall Jackson’s House. He wrote a food column for The New York Times Magazine between 2000 and 2005, publishing a selection of columns in book form in 2006. Reynolds returned to acting in 2003 leading in Dinner with Demons at the Second Stage Theater.


  1. 1 2 Dick, Bernard F. (1992) "Columbia Pictures: Portrait of a Studio" (p. 46). University Press of Kentucky. ISBN   0-8131-1769-0. Retrieved on November 28, 2010.
  2. Bill Cosby makes the most of 50: [CITY Edition] Waters, Harry F. St. Petersburg Times 22 Sep 1987: 1D.
  3. Simon Hattenstone (1994-09-22). "Through slick and thin Paul Weiland, adman turned Hollywood film-maker, talks about stars, egos and his latest movie, City Slickers II". The Guardian.
  4. Thomas, Kevin (1987-12-18). "Cosby's 'Leonard' a Super-Inane Superspy". Los Angeles Times . Archived from the original on 2012-07-09. Retrieved 2010-12-12.
  5. Willman, Chris (1988-01-24). "Confessions of a Film Masochist: Nothing Explains 'Leonard Part 6'-That's Why It's Fun". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 2012-11-03. Retrieved 2010-11-09.
  6. Broeske, Pat H. (1987-12-20). "Leonard RIP?". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 2012-01-19. Retrieved 2010-12-26.
  7. Siskel & Ebert . December 26, 1987.
  8. Siskel, Gene (December 23, 1987). "Siskel's Flicks Picks". Chicago Tribune . Section 8, page I.
  9. "Film Reviews: Leonard Part 6". Variety . December 16, 1987. 11.
  10. Caryn James (1987-12-18). "Film: Bill Cosby's 'Leonard Part 6'". The New York Times . Archived from the original on 2017-09-10. Retrieved 2017-02-10.
  11. Kevin Thomas (1987-12-18). "Cosby's 'Leonard' a Super-Inane Superspy". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 2012-11-04. Retrieved 2015-07-28.
  12. Kempley, Rita (December 19, 1987). "Cosby, Lost With 'Leonard'". The Washington Post . D6.
  13. Garrett, Robert (December 18, 1987). "'Leonard 6' leaves Cosby with egg on his face". The Boston Globe . p. 97.
  14. "Leonard Part 6 (1987)" via www.rottentomatoes.com. Accessed August 16, 2021.
  15. Mathews, Jack (1988-01-06). "Laughing Their Way to Bank Hollywood Accounts Swell From 'Baby' and 'Momma'". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 2012-07-01. Retrieved 2010-12-08.
  16. Mathews, Jack (1987-12-22). "Weekend Box Office". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 2012-07-07. Retrieved 2010-12-26.
  17. "Razzie® Award Reel – YouTube". YouTube . Archived from the original on 2016-04-29. Retrieved 2016-11-26.
  18. "Leonard Part 6". DVD Talk . Archived from the original on 2012-11-06. Retrieved 2012-05-17.
Preceded by Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Picture
8th Golden Raspberry Awards
Succeeded by