Top Secret!

Top Secret!

5.0 2
Director: Jim Abrahams, Jerry Zucker, David Zucker

Cast: Jim Abrahams, Jerry Zucker, David Zucker, Val Kilmer

     
 

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The second of Zucker-Abraham-Zucker's theatrical-feature spoofs (Airplane was the first, discounting the patchwork Kentucky Fried Movie), Top Secret! lampoons practically every film genre. Specifically, however, this is a hybrid of an "Elvis" movie and a World War II "underground resistance" thriller. In his film debut, Val Kilmer plays NickSee more details below

Overview

The second of Zucker-Abraham-Zucker's theatrical-feature spoofs (Airplane was the first, discounting the patchwork Kentucky Fried Movie), Top Secret! lampoons practically every film genre. Specifically, however, this is a hybrid of an "Elvis" movie and a World War II "underground resistance" thriller. In his film debut, Val Kilmer plays Nick Rivers, a Presley-like American rock idol sent behind the Iron Curtain on a goodwill tour. Before long, he is involved in a complex espionage scheme thanks to beautiful Lucy Gutteridge, the daughter of a scientist (Michael Gough) held captive by the Communists. Also essential to the action is flamboyant resistance leader Christopher Villiers, who behaves like Victor Mature in Betrayed (1954) and talks like James Mason. Adhering to Z-A-Z's cheerful disregard for people, places and events, the East Germans are depicted as Nazis, while the Underground is comprised of Frenchmen. The plot is mainly an excuse for the Z-A-Z team's fondness for joke-a-minute lampoonery, skewering cinematic targets ranging from The Blue Lagoon (1980) to The Wizard of Oz (1939). As in Z-A-Z's other efforts, Top Secret! scores its biggest yocks when invoking cliches that we never realized were cliches-and falls on its face whenever attempting a too-obvious gag (the biggest clinker: that pigeon statue in the park). Everyone has his or her favorite bits in this film: our faves include the resistance fighter named Deja Vu ("Haven't we met somewhere before?"), Kilmer's horrible nightmare while being tortured (he arrives too late to take final exams), the army-booted cow, the sensitive Pinto, and the East German National Anthem, sung to the tune of the Shorewood (Wisconsin) High School marching song. But let's say no more: comedy of this nature is designed to be seen, not written or read about.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
While critically less admired than Airplane! (1980), Top Secret! (1984) nonetheless proved a successful follow-up for the team of Jim Abrahams, Jerry Zucker, and David Zucker. As with the previous movie, the directors continued to develop a new kind of comedy for the '80s. Top Secret!'s zaniness owed more to a Marx Brothers' classic like Monkey Business (1931) or a free-for-all like Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1974) than its contemporaries, leaving aside such niceties as plot resolutions and character development. While some reviewers complained about the nonexistence of the plot, Roger Ebert pointed out that "One does not attend movies like Top Secret! in order to follow the story line." Critics enjoyed Val Kilmer's unlikely -- in retrospect -- acting debut. Playing an outdated hero with aplomb, he is aptly matched by the deadpan innocence of Shakespearian actor Lucy Gutteridge. The Zuckers and Abrahams would continue to explore anarchic comedy in later films like The Naked Gun (1988) and Hot Shots! (1991).

Product Details

Release Date:
02/03/2009
UPC:
0097361384948
Original Release:
1984
Rating:
PG
Source:
Paramount
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Mono, Dolby Digital Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Time:
1:30:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; Group commentary by directors Jim Abrahams, David Zucker & Jerry Zucker, producers Jon Davison & Hunt Lowry; and moderdator Fred Rubin; 4 alternate scenes; Storyboards; Original theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Val Kilmer Nick Rivers
Lucy Gutteridge Hillary
Christopher Villiers Nigel
Omar Sharif Cedric
Peter Cushing Bookstore Owner
Jeremy Kemp Gen. Streck
Billy Mitchell Martin
Michael Gough Dr. Flammond
Harry Ditson Du Quois
Jim Carter Deja Vu
Daisy the Cow Herself
Warren Clarke Col. Von Horst
Tristram Jellinek Maj. Crumpler
Major Wiley Porter
Gertan Klauber Mayor
Richard Mayes Biletnikov
Vyvyan Lorrayne Mme. Bergerone
Nancy Abrahams Pregnant Woman
Ian McNeice Blind Man
John Sharp Maitre D'
Marcus Powell Little German
Louise Yaffe Cafe Diner
Charlotte Zucker Cafe Diner
Susan Breslau Cafe Diner
Burton Zucker Chef
Richard Pescud Priest
Russell Sommers Student
David Adams Back-Up Singer
Mac McDonald German Soldier
Sydney Arnold Albert Potato
Eddie Tagoe Chocolate Mousse
Dimitri Andreas Latrine
Nicola Wright Pizzahaus Girl
Andrew Hawkins Pilot
John Carney Klaus

Technical Credits
Jim Abrahams Director,Executive Producer,Screenwriter
Jerry Zucker Director,Songwriter,Executive Producer,Screenwriter
David Zucker Director,Songwriter,Executive Producer,Screenwriter
Nick Allder Special Effects
Anderson Songwriter
Susan Arnold Casting
Derek Ball Musical Direction/Supervision,Sound/Sound Designer
Lucy Boulting Casting
Martyn Burke Screenwriter
Christopher G. Challis Cinematographer
Freddie Cooper Camera Operator
John Fenner Art Director
Stuart Freeborn Makeup
Kay Freeborn Makeup
Gillian Gregory Choreography
Bernard Gribble Editor
Paul "H.R." Hudson Songwriter
Tom Jacobson Associate Producer
Maurice Jarre Score Composer
Peter Lamont Production Designer
Michael Lamont Art Director
Barry Langley Asst. Director
Jack Lowin Cinematographer
Hunt Lowry Producer
Mike Moran Songwriter
Phil Pickett Songwriter
Emma Porteous Costumes/Costume Designer
Crispian Sallis Set Decoration/Design
Mary Selway Casting
Donald Toms Production Manager
Frederick Zollo Producer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Top Secret
1. Trouble on the Berlin Express [:13]
2. Global Domination [1:10]
3. Skeet Surfing [1:49]
4. Nick Rivers...Ambassador [:18]
5. The Cultural Festival [2:44]
6. Party Tricks [:06]
7. East German National Anthem [3:36]
8. Table for Two [1:38]
9. Folk Dancing [1:56]
10. Das Tutti Frutti [:41]
11. The Nuckcracker Suite [:18]
12. Lengthy Incarceration [2:13]
13. Escape Attempts [4:26]
14. Dr. Paul Flammond [1:00]
15. Nick Rivers in Concert [5:15]
16. Pigeon Park [:44]
17. The Swedish Bookstore [2:16]
18. Childhood Stories/"Are You Lonesome Tonight?" [4:23]
19. Meeting With Some Resistance [1:05]
20. The Torch [1:15]
21. Nice Shooting [2:04]
22. Der Pizza Haus/"Straighting the Rug" [2:37]
23. One of the Herd [2:11]
24. Breaking Into Flugeldorf Prison [2:24]
25. Double Cross [1:46]
26. Underwater Bar Room Brawl [:18]
27. Romantic Finale [4:39]
28. End Credits/"Spend This Nigth With Me" [1:32]

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