Having only vague memories of this series, I decided to read the mostly favourable customer reviews here, and after seeing the great offer on Amazon I thought I'd take a chance on it, and its great! All the glowing reports about this series are spot on.
Lead character Agent 86 - Maxwell Smart (Don Adams) is brilliant, with his great facial expressions and mannerisms, (not to mention that wonderful voice) He basically bungles his way through his assignments with pure luck - and the assistance of the delightful Agent 99, (Barbara Feldon) who helps him to keep one step ahead of that fiendishly subversive organisation K A O S.
With James Bond-style gadgets also on hand, this brilliantly spoofs the likes of The Man From U. N. C. L. E.
There's a continual flow of witty one-liners and delightful sight gags (with writer Mel Brooks involved, what more can you expect)
Back at headquarters waits Smart's Chief of operations, (a great performance by Edward Platt) Also, lets not forget agent K13, the canine called Fang.
As various new characters are introduced, the great standards are maintained throughout the entire series. Its all good clean fun that anyone can watch and won't be offended by swearing, sex or smut.
There are loads of special features on each of the 5 series, including guest spots on TV shows, plus TV advertisements and bloopers.
All episodes are in colour, (except the pilot) and the picture and sound quality are great, with English subtitles.
All 138 episodes are over 5 series, with each 5 disc series stored in a single-size dvd case, which means that the size of the boxset is kept to a minimum.
Superb quality, great jokes (even if they keep repeating them!). The Chief and his numbered agents ("Agent 86 - you're twice the man agent 43 ever was.") fight against the distributors of nastiness, KAOS. Good, clean fun from an era when Good always won, even if Good was a bit stupid! I bought series 1 firstr, and then bought the whole set becauseit is such outstanding value. Great to see it in colour as well (I used to watch it in B&W). A small warning: kids of today will find it a bit dated, but who cares! Dad loves it!!!
on 4 December 2008
This is classic television at it's best, and a trip down memory lane, to boot. Who can forget these classic phrases?
-would you believe?
-sorry about that, Chief !!
-missed it by that much !!
-what's he saying, Max? He wants me to get my knee of his chest !!
-of course ! The old camera in the gun in the camera trick !!
That's the second time I've fallen for it this month !!
-and.....loving it !!
-you're worth two 43's, 86 !!
-if only he had used his talent to work for the forces of niceness
.instead of the forces of rotteness !!
And let's not forget the Cone of Silence !!
It is refreshing to watch a program that does not need to resort to vulgar language and filth to be humorous.
One almost misses the Cold War era. At least we know who our enemies were !!
And, last but not least, there was Agent 99 !! The prettiest spy in history !!
PS And this show is a treat for auto enthusiasts, with all those
1960s Chrysler and Ford products !!
These DVDs are ridiculous!
No, they are! Not only containing some hilarious episodes of Get Smart but the quality is off the scale!
There are 5 plastic cases with custom sleeve designs for each series, each series disc also has custom coloured discs, there is also an insert with a guest writer and also packed full of info such as airdates, etc.
When you play a disk (i'm only on series 1 btw) lets say you go into the episodes menu and choose an episode, you get an introduction to that episode by Agent #99. Every episode!
There are 1-2 hours of bonus features on each series as well.
If only other companies could be bothered to do what they have done with this box set, its outstanding.
Not to mention the many commentaries.
Other people have reviewed the content, I was just blown away by the presentation of this box set.
The only thing that is a minus is the actual outer box, it looks great but is only a thin card box, if this had been a thicker box or even one that did not fully close (it has a flap on both sides you see) then that would have been better but its a very minor point in an otherwise flawless presentation.
on 1 May 2013
It is well-made and the transfer to DVD is good, image being at good level while the sound is above mediocrity. Overall, an honest product in my opinion, which delivers on its promise.
This is a basic, plain-vanilla set of the series some of us grew up with.
For those that haven't, these are the stories of battle of "good" versus evil. Good always triumphs by the sheer idiocy and dumb luck of its key agent -- our hero, agent Smart. It is a humorous series bereft of the ubiquitous gore and violence producers deem the sine qua non of TV success nowadays and your children can watch without fear of lengthy psychoanalysis later on in life.
Good is upheld by a secret organisation code-named "Control" while evil comes from the dastardly "Chaos" and their despicable, foreign accented villains -- a James Bond villain take off. Our hero, agent 86 and his would-be girl friend, beautiful agent 99, following orders from "the Chief" foil Chaos' any and all attempts at destabilising world order, much like Bond, James Bond, saves the world on the big screen. Both get impossible assignments and get away with -- and thus doing save the world.
The difference is that Bond is the quintessential larger than life male who is so efficient, we are glad he is on our side -- the good guys. Bond's women, all to be reckoned with in one way or another seem to be incapable of resisting his natural charm and melt in his arms.
In Get Smart this is (hilariously) reversed: Smart is smaller than life. He has a squeaky nasal voice and he never catches on to discreet advances of the only woman in his life, agent 99. He triumphs through sheer dumb luck, help from friends, the Chief and, of course, the beautiful agent 99. Where Bond is refined, eccentric and intelligent, Smart is ignorant, conventional to nth degree and a stickler for useless rules - much to the Chief's consternation and our delight.
But most of all, Smart is dumb: "he's so dumb he'd blind himself picking his nose" as the saying goes.
We're not sure it's a good thing he's on our side -- but we love him!
True to form and cult, our hero has coined phrases which have remained for posterity:
- of outrageous statements following the response "I find that hard to believe": "would you believe..." As in,
"...there are at least 25 agents out there ready to come in..."
"I find zat chard to biliff Mr Smaart..." retorts the villainous lackey
"Would you believe 5 agents..."
- of a dangerous assignment "...being in mortal danger and loving every minute of it"
There are many details that make this series attractive & lovable: the silly use of passwords; the cone of silence,a contraption used for secret conversations so secret the conversing parties usually can't hear one another; secrets that are so secret no-one is privy to them; Agent 13's position in "tight places"...
Overall a series that has aged well, that keeps a smile on your face all of the time and makes you chuckle some of the time.
on 7 February 2010
While much of American so-called 'humour' strains to be funny this old TV series managed to do it.
'F-Troop' was in the same mould and also gave some laughs.
'Get Smart', the Mel Brooks answer to James Bond, is a really good addition to any DVD library and it is good to see it presented in a well packaged set. The Chief,'86', '99',Siegfried of KAOS and all the gizmos make a very funny alternative to Universal Exports, 'Q' and SMERSH.
on 14 April 2009
This classic series provides laughs by the truckload on first viewing, but rewards repeat viewing just as much, if not more. Let's face it, a lot of people looking to buy this would have grown up laughing at the series on TV, and let me tell you it has not lost any of its zing with age. But even if you didn't grow up with it, I reckon you'll love it too.
All of the episodes are there, the packaging is good, and the extras are generally great: the only exceptions are the 'interactive' features on Vol. 1 to Vol. 4. (By contrast the 'interactive' exam on Vol. 5 is excellent!)
Note this is not the same product as lovingly pictured on the WouldYouBelieve website (search for it). The packaging is different, and I'm not sure if the booklet in this product contains everything that the other one contains, as it is described as an 8-page pamphlet, whereas this product comes with a slick that has at most 4 pages (i.e. one sheet of paper folded once).
Nevertheless the DVDs play on my (hacked) DVD player here in Oz, and I can get delivery. Most of all, the content on the discs themselves looks identical.
My tips: pay attention if you want to pass the test at the end, and in the extras listen out for Don Adam's bit about his plane trip and the story of his golf outing. They are pure gold! I had never seen Don out of the series, so this was great. (Sorry for the familiarity, but you really get to feel like you know him.) And he was, and remains, great! Along with the rest of the cast. And who knew Bernie Kopell (who played Siegfried) was so young!
Sorry for raving, but it really is that good!
Oh. One more thing: the audio commentaries are generally good, but some commentators are better than others...
If you really can't afford the whole set, you probably want to choose out of Vol. 1, 2 or 3. Logic says start with 1, unless you specifically want an absolute classic episode, such as the Emmy-award-winning two-parter "Ship of Spies". (But Vol. 4 and 5 are still good for all that.)
Smart. Maxwell Smart. The dumbest spy in the world, who fights on behalf of the forces of goodness and niceness, and succeeded in making democracy vs. communism a lot more entertaining.
And while some of the running gags become almost tropes (how often will Max repeat a plan that 99 just suggested), this clever parody of spy thrillers is one of the best time capsules of the 1960s. A lot of the comedy is dependent on Mel Brooks and "The Graduate's" Buck Henry, but the delicious writing wouldn't work without the brilliant comic trio of Don Adams, Barbara Feldon and Edward Platt.
Don Adams is Agent 86, Maxwell Smart, a not-so-bright spy with an endless arsenal of strange devices and odd sayings, who survives on a mix of bravado and dumb luck. This bumbling spy works at a top-secret government agency called Control, which is responsible for keeping the free world free (very Cold War). Backing him up is his beautiful partner/love interest Agent 99 (Barbara Feldon) and his long-suffering Chief (Eward Platt) who puts up with Smart's constant mistakes.
Together with 99 (whom he marries late in the series), and the Chief (and his faithful dog Fang), Max battles the forces of badness and rottenness -- namely, the anti-Control called KAOS. They battle against their archnemesis Siegfried and a bunch of other KAOS agents, with explosive paintings, lovable robots, explosive pianos, KAOS shoe stores, evil gurus, espionage on the Orient Express, the Claw, the Choker, evil hippies, and much more.
In a sense, "Get Smart" is the perfect antithesis of the suave, inhumanly competent James Bond -- his catchphrases ("Missed it by that much!") and goofy confidence somehow get him through the day. Unlike Bond and similar movie spies, Max succeeds out of luck and bumbling more often than skill... but somehow, he still succeeds.
The comic timing is a little awkward at the very beginning, but rapidly gets its footing, with lots of running gags (Larabee becomes a secondary source of comic ineptitude) and snappy dialogue ("Confiscate that plant!" "I can't do that, Chief. I'm not a priest!"). What's really funny is the endless spoofery -- Max is given all sorts of weird gadgets, including the legendary "shoe-phone," and he faces off against all sorts of cartoonish villains. And it has dozens and dozens of movie spoofs -- "The Great Escape," "The Most Dangerous Game," "Maltese Falcon," "King Kong," and even the Bond movie "Goldfinger."
The political clime of the mid 1960s is all over the series, especially in the form of KAOS. But fortunately they don't get preachy -- KAOS is merely a big evil organization, no more. Some references are dated, and this definitely debuted before the era of political correctness and racial sensitivity (there's a bizarre episode about American Indians threatening the US government, and the Claw is funny if un-PC).
Don Adams MAKES this series, with his quirky facial expressions, nasal voice and odd body language. His Max overestimates his own skill and believes himself to be a sexy, karate-chopping Bondian treasure, though he survives mostly by luck ("Missed it by that much!"). Barbara Feldon is the least quirky of the cast, serving as the "straight woman" for Max, as well as the brains for his adventures. Edward Platt is just wonderful as the long-suffering, stressed-out Chief, who always looks slightly frayed, and Bernie Kopell is hysterical as the stiff-backed, volatile Siegfried.
It's been decades since "Get Smart" was first aired, but it is still gutsplittingly funny if you can get past some of the awkward racial jokes. You'll roll around on the floor, laughing yourself sick... and... loving it.
on 3 February 2011
An unexpected opportunity to re-visit a favourite show I never thought I'd see again. All 138 episodes, generous bonus features and a staggeringly low price - what's not to like?
I remember seeing episodes of this show when it was on daytime TV in the early 1990s. On impulse, I decided to get the full DVD set. It can be a mistake buying something one remembers from one's childhood. However, if anything this is funnier than I remember it. Don Adams plays Maxwell Smart, Agent 86 of Control, a secret organisation dedicated to the preservation of order, fighting the agents of KAOS, an evil organisation dedicated to spreading, well... chaos, aided by the lovelt Agent 99 (Barbara Feldon), and Agent K13 (a dog called Fang). However, Smart does not exactly live up to his name, leading to heachaches for his long-suffering boss, the Chief (Edward Platt).
This could have been lame and annoying, if it wsn't for the casting. Don Adams has the looks to be a glamorous super-spy, and the ability to be convincingly silly without being childish (too often). Indeed, he seems to model his appearance on Sean Connery as Bond. The episodes are short enough not to become too absurd, at 30 minutes, and the extras, including audio introductions to each episode read by Barbara Feldon. Remastered, this is a good-looking collection, well-presented and not taking up too much space.
If you like good clean fun which makes you laugh out loud, buy this excellent collection.