Top Secret! [DVD]
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An American rock star is lured into an insidious plot to reunite East and West Germany under East German rule.
In between the disaster movie satire Airplane! in 1980 and the hardboiled cop show parody The Naked Gun in 1988, the comedy crew of Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams and David Zucker put together a picture that's almost as funny as their better-known hits. Top Secret! sends up spy movies and cheesy teen rock 'n' roll musicals. Val Kilmer stars as swivel-hipped American rocker Nick Rivers, a sort of blonde Elvis whose secret weapon is Little Richard's tune "Tutti Fruitti." On tour behind the Iron Curtain, Nick strikes blows for democracy overtly and covertly, with his music as well as his espionage skills. In short, this is a very, very silly motion picture. Some great gags, including a subtitled scene in a Swedish book shop, and an inspired bit with a Ford Pinto that not everybody may get anymore. (The Pinto, you may or may not recall, was notoriously prone to gas tank explosions when rear-ended.) --Jim Emerson, Amazon.com --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Now, roll on 18 years and I've finally found this film on VHS. Is it still as funny as it was in 1984? Well, I suppose that I'm a little more discerning about comedy these days, but this film is just so full of gags that I was forced to laugh all the way through. I have not seen another comedy that manages to cram so much funny stuff into such a short space of time. And because the directors weren't satisfied with simply filling the length of the film with great gags, they also layered them deep into most scenes. So at any one time you will have a main foreground gag going on and one or more gags happening somewhere in the background that you'll probably only notice on the third of fourth viewing!
It's full of highly memorable imagery and brilliant comic performances throughout and is the definitive Zucker & Abrahams classic.
It is interesting that Airplane!, which came before, and The Naked Gun, which followed, were huge successes and this is probably because they were more disciplined parodies of highly recognisable genres. Here, though, as in The Kentucky Fried Movie where they began, the team just let ideas run wild. Although more surreal, this is no less funny and at times is probably the best work they've done.
The songs are sublime, from a razor-sharp Beach Boys spoof to a reworded Are You Lonesome Tonight? turned into an advertising jingle. The dialogue sparkles, the jokes are terrific and the fact that Val Kilmer is taking it so seriously (he always does - and this actually makes the film funnier now that he is so well-known) just adds to the brilliance.
Who can forget the city map turning into a Pac-Man game, the giant pigeon statue or the scene with Peter Cushing, filmed entirely backwards - a scene which was ripped off by an advertising campaign for Tennants Pilsner which must have lasted a decade?
Of course, today many of the targets sent up will perhaps have been forgotten. Who now remembers Midnight Express, The Blue Lagoon, any number of cheesy Elvis, World War II and Cold War movies...perhaps even Pac Man itself?
The fact that it's so brimming with ideas will just be too much for some viewers, like a cake that's too rich. Others will be in comedy heaven.
The jokes are incessant, frequently very funny and sometimes absolutely hilarious.
Even for an Airplane film the plot is completely loopy: Val Kilmer is an American rock star on tour in communist East Germany (although the germans all wear nazi uniforms) when he chances upon the daughter of a scientist who is being held against his will by the German army. They enlist the help of the French resistance (?), who are being led by the daughter's long-lost childhood sweetheart with whom she was stranded on a tropical island(a complete send-up of 'The Blue Lagoon').
It's a completely stupid movie that never dares to take itself seriously and is one that you will watch over and over again. The dvd format makes it even more of a must buy, as you can jump straight to you favourites and watch them ad-infinitum.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Classic mad comedy, well worth a watch when you're looking to switch off. Nothing intellectual, nothing remotely sensible - the cow in boots is comedy gold.Published 1 month ago by Jasper
It's a Spanish DVD. Not UK. Design of box doesn't match. Not impressed. I'd give zero stars if possiblePublished 2 months ago by Jackson
Have always loved this film and was delighted to find it. Delivered on time and excellent condition, very happy xPublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
Saw this film soon after it's original release date in the 80's. Despite the march of time this had us all the family in fits of laughter, even the ones born after East and West... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Mr. RD CRESDEE